Getting Ahead of the Facebook Marketing Curve – Part 1

Future-FacebookThe users of the largest social network on the planet are not the Facebook audience you think they are.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Facebook audience you think you know is only a small slice of the social marketing pie.

How Facebook is Used Today

Watching the live stream of this year’s f8 Facebook Developers Conference reminded me of the very first live stream broadcast a few years ago. Mark Zuckerberg’s statement at that time that Facebook was making the shift from an internet company to a mobile company got my attention and stuck with me, as I’m sure it did many others in this industry.

My first thoughts as Zuckerberg got into the meat of his keynote this year, was that Facebook had indeed succeeded in fully realizing the goal of being a mobile company. Facebook is no longer a website that users access during their free time on their computers. Facebook is now a family of mobile apps with Groups, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram at its core.

Truthfully, the only segment of the Facebook users that spend a great deal of time looking at Facebook through the lens of a computer monitor are the administrators of business pages on Facebook. Even for them, Facebook has put much of the page administration and ad management into mobile apps.

So, here is the first hurtle for business owners and their community managers to surmount. How do we step away from our powerful desktop marketing tools and open our eyes to the reality of a mobile and highly diversified Facebook audience?

In this two part series we are going to dig into the realities of what the Facebook audience really is, the future of effective and engaging Facebook content, and how to connect with active Facebook users in mobile apps.

Mobile – Diversified

It is absolutely possible to be an active daily Facebook user without ever using the core “Facebook” app.

In other words, you can have a Facebook account and use it to access Instagram, Messenger, or any number of apps developed by third parties to integrate with Facebook and their data collection. Zuckerberg pointed out that from this moment on they will continue to roll out enhancements to their core family of apps and introduce new apps to satisfy all of the ways people want to connect with one another and the world around them with the device they carry on their person at all times.

For instance, while the core of the original Facebook audience continues to age, younger users are shifting to much more private, selective, and intimate ways of connecting with the people and media they like best. It doesn’t mean younger audiences don’t use Facebook, they just use something other than the core app that most people currently recognize as Facebook.

Blowing your mind yet?

Future of Newsfeed Content

Does this shift in the use of the core Facebook app mean that placement in the newsfeed will become less valuable? Highly unlikely, but again a paradigm shift must occur on the part of brands to keep up or spend placement dollars on fruitless campaigns.

Right now photos have taken the top content spot away from text status updates, with user created video content hot on it’s heels. Not only do videos already silently auto-play in both desktop and mobile newsfeeds, but Facebook is so determined to be your video host of choice that they launched an embeddable Facebook video player. Now brands and users alike have a choice to post video content to Facebook, just like they might on YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed the video on their own sites. Content creators are also able to embed properly attributed video that leads directly back to the Facebook source.

Want to get more out of the videos you create for Facebook? Learn how to embed the Facebook video player on your blog.

Posted by Firestarter Social Media on Friday, April 3, 2015

Businesses Must Adapt for the Future

Better video tools are for the right now. If you want to really get ahead of the curve of user content demands, you need to be thinking about virtual and augmented reality. The team at Facebook isn’t satisfied with serving up passively consumed content, they want to give users a much more immersive experience. Keep your eyes peeled for support of fully interactive spherical videos in the Facebook news feed.

That’s right, Facebook is going to give you the ability to let a prospective home buyer virtually tour a property in Facebook. Can you imagine targeting a walk through of the new product you’re launching to all the Facebook users that have visited your website in the last 30 days?

And how might this enable the growth of an audience for Facebook’s Oculus devices? Yet another part of the Facebook crowd you probably haven’t been thinking about. As you lay out plans and budgets for marketing efforts to come, you will need to take these innovations into consideration.

But, virtual reality is well into our marketing future at the moment. There are plenty of opportunities opening to us in the here and now. In part 2 of this series we will cover the business opportunities in the Messenger platform, take a look at App Analytics, and gain a better understanding of the Facebook Audience Network.

Need to see what the future will be like for Facebook? Watch the full f8 opening Keynote:

Full Video: Opening Keynote F8 2015

Posted by Facebook Developers on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Beginners Guide to Video Marketing

Adding video to your marketing is not as hard as you think and is more important than ever. According to iStock, 88% of internet users are now spending more time on sites that have videos on them. That’s a huge percentage of users who won’t be bouncing immediately off your site if you have a video embedded. Videos also help increase your conversions on landing pages by 86% according to Wishpond. With technology becoming more and more accessible, it’s now easier than ever to create your own marketing videos and share them with potential customers. How so?

Glad you asked! Let’s explore the several different ways you can use videos to enhance your overall marketing efforts, and look good doing so.


Image Source: iudm

Client Video Testimonials

Having video testimonials help draw the line between fake reviews and real ones. It also shows how dedicated your customers are. They are not only taking time out of their day to do something for your company, but agreeing to be on camera and say nice things about how business was conducted. This is personable and real in a world that has become so disconnected.

Think of 3-5 of your best clients. Give them a call and introduce the new idea. Send over an example you shot in-house and instructions on how they can do something similar. You are more likely to receive a positive response if you have an incentive to give. I have worked with companies in the past who’ve offered free items like massage coupons or Starbucks giftcards to customers who posted testimonials on their social media pages. Asking your customer to shoot a video testimonial is a wee bit bigger of a favor, so make sure and give them a great incentive to do so.

Hosting Video Contests

Instead of submitting photos or taking polls like traditional contests, host a fun and interactive video contest for your followers. Just about everyone who would be interested in entering your contest has a smart phone, which means they have the capability of making a video and entering.

Video entries give people a unique way to interact and get excited, while spreading the word. One of the best ways to host a video contest is by selecting the winner based on votes and utilizing the company’s social media profiles. This encourages users to share their video, and your company’s branding, on their own social networks for votes.

An Inside Look At Your Company

Do you find yourself searching for info on a company before calling? I know I do! I’ll catch myself deep in a Google image search trying to see what every seat in the house looks like before choosing where I’m going to dinner. Being able to envision the type of business you’re about to give your hard earned dollars to is a big part of consumer decision making.

Don’t believe me? Remember that one time you went to Vegas and booked a room at Hooters? Imagine if you were able to see past those unrealistic stock photos and see how tacky and outdated the hotel rooms really were before you booked. You probably would have chosen another hotel, one that actually resembled what it advertised. The Signature by MGM Grand does a great example of this by offering users a video, photo, and a virtual tour of the rooms, giving an inside look at what they can expect.

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Using Video for Search

Video has so many positive marketing benefits, including rankings. Embedding videos to your website or adding them to third-party hosting sites like YouTube has several SEO benefits when optimized correctly. Just posting a video tour of your new building and titling it, “The New Building” on YouTube doesn’t do much for your SEO. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re optimizing your marketing videos properly:

  • Embed your video on the webpage that makes the most sense. Having a tutorial video is great, but it doesn’t do you any good search-wise being on your “About Us” page. Instead, embed the video on your “How-To” page or the page that is most likely to receive a video rich snippet. This includes pages that have terms like tutorial, how-to, video review, learn how, etc.
  • Optimize your keywords on third-party hosting sites. Using YouTube, Vimeo, or Vine are great ways to increase your viewing audience while promoting your company. To help stand out against the thousands of other videos hosted on these sites and increase chances of your video showing up in search results, use specific keyword terms in your title and description. To ensure the right keywords, you need to do thorough keyword research on your video topic, just as you would for a PPC campaign.
  • Create a video sitemap. Search rankings = obeying Google, so make it easy for Google to find your video and give them the exact information about your new video. Google provides plenty of rules and detailed instructions on how to set this up here. Make your life easier and follow their instructions to install it correctly.

Photos Are Soo Yesterday

Photos used to be the go-to for posting on social media, especially on Facebook. But, the times they are a changing! Marketing Land recently posted an article discussing this change and how photo posts now have the lowest average organic reach and video posts are seen twice as often. Images aren’t as visually attractive on social media when we have technology like GoPros and HD smart phones to capture unique video with.


Image Source: Marketing Land

Tips For Creating Your Marketing Video

Now that you have a better understanding of the different ways to use video marketing, here are a few tips to help you shoot a professional video, without the expensive equipment.

  • Plan out the content and scene ahead of time. Envision what you want to accomplish with the video way before you actually shoot it. Have your goal defined and where you will be posting the video so you can shoot according to that audience. You’ll also want a clear development of the overall idea, different angles, who will be in it, and a basic overview of what they will say.
  • Keep it simple, keep it short. No one has time to watch a 20-minute product video, unless you’re teaching us how we can make it ourselves. The shorter the video, the more likely it is to be watched in it’s entirety.

Image Source: The Next Web

  • The brighter the better! Make sure the room or environment you are shooting has bright light from several different angles. You can also enhance the brightness and contrast using video editing tools, but I highly recommend if you’re going to invest in anything for your video marketing, invest in quality lighting.
  • Eliminate background noise. This is especially difficult if you’re shooting outside, but background noise can come out louder than it sounds while shooting. If you’re using a mic, avoid areas where there is a lot of movement for the mic to pick up. You’ll also want to make sure the mic is close enough to your mouth to help ensure it picks up the noise you’re projecting.
  • Don’t have a microphone? If you don’t have a mic or the budget to purchase one, make sure whoever you are shooting is very close to the camera (or phone). The closer you are, the easier it is for the device to pick up the subject’s voice with clarity.
  • Film in several takes. Trying to shoot everything in one take is a great idea, if you’re perfect. It’s best for whoever is shooting the scene, as well as the subject, to shoot in several takes. Practice your scene a few times before shooting and then shoot a couple takes of each scene. Watching after each take will help you adjust exactly what needs to be adjusted then, instead of waiting until you get back to the office to realize the mic wasn’t on.
  • Smile. Being in front of the camera is nerve wracking, unless you’re Beyonce. Remember to breathe, talk clearly and have fun. We can all tell when you’re nervous, so why not relax and have a little fun with your video?

Image Source: Guy Code Blog

How I Work Remotely for More Than One Company


If you had told me 9 years ago that I would work hard for 7 years to create a consulting business and then basically walk away from it I would have said you were crazy. However, that is just what I did, and I don’t have regrets.

I worked a lot when I worked for myself, but I think I work a lot more now. I am going to break down what is required to do a good job working remotely, how I work, the tools I use, the help I need, and how I stay sane.

Who I Work For

First, let me explain what I do. I am have been an associate at Moz for over two years. I currently handle social from 8am-12:30pm Eastern Time and I help out with certain aspects of YouMoz. When my shift is over I jump right into working for AuthorityLabs doing a variety of tasks, but the main focus is editing and social.

What is Required to Do a Good Job

I am going to give you my philosophy on this and please note that what I say has nothing to do with Moz’s or AuthorityLabs’ beliefs – this is what I think and what has worked for me.

#1. Work your darn butt off!

Give them everything you have and be the best worker you can be. People are trusting you to work from afar, so be someone they can completely depend on.

The truth is you can be replaced at anytime by a remote worker or someone in-house. That is always something that hangs in the back of my mind. I feel like I have to give more because people aren’t right there with seeing how hard I work, nor are they forming the same attachments they would with in-house co-workers.

What is so great about what you offer a company? Try to offer something great. Working hard and caring a lot about doing great job – this is not something that is easy to find in a worker. Become as invaluable as you can.

#2. Be as diligent as possible.

Watching social for a brand is really an extremely serious job. Complaints, or saying the wrong thing, can turn into a crap storm real quick. So, when I say I watch social for Moz from 8am to 12:30pm I mean I don’t take my eye off it. If I get up to get a drink the laptop is coming with me, or my phone with social tool apps right in front of my face. I take the trust they have placed in me seriously and I don’t want to let them down.

I suggest going beyond and be as diligent as possible.

#3. Learn as much as you can about the company.

Moz and AuthorityLabs both offer tools. I have tried to learn as much as I possibly can about their tools, their support teams, their strategies for everything and upcoming changes. What can you do to make things easier or better for others? I focus on this daily.

Fact: You can’t run social without knowing all the things I mentioned above because you are the one that has to answer the wide range of questions that come in.

#4. You HAVE, HAVE, HAVE to be self-disciplined.

If you can’t work hard every hour of everyday and want to achieve “more” without someone pushing you to do it then you cannot be a remote worker. Part of your job is essentially to make the lives of those you work for/with easier.

Additionally, when you are sick or unhappy or have distractions all around you work can’t stop. Without self-discipline you won’t make it.

How I Work

There are few things that make my work life easier.


A very smart man named Todd Malicoat, AKA @Stuntdubl, told me to never feel guilty about buying good computers because they are what supports my work. So, with him yelling “Push the button!” I bought an iMac (and later a Macbook Pro).

My computers are expensive, but they work non-stop without any problems. This is what I need and what the companies I work for deserve.

Managing Both Moz and AuthorityLabs

The strategy that I have found works best for me is to have a dedicated browser for each company. Moz has their own browser with all tools open for work in tabs; this includes email. The same goes for AuthorityLabs.

All tools with apps for both companies are on my iPhone and iPads. No matter what I can chat with either company or access tools. This is REALLY important when you have unreliable Wi-Fi (if you follow me on Twitter you know which company I have).

Food and Drinks

Believe it or not, there are times when 4 hours will go by on social and you haven’t had a second to take a break to make food or a drink. I have a back up of frozen foods and canned drinks for these occasions. You can’t let your blood sugar drop and be grumpy on social :-)

Giving More Time Than You Are Paid For

While both Moz and AuthorityLabs pay me for about 5 hours a day of work I actually give them more time than that. To do a really good job for these companies I have to keep up with as much as possible, all day.


Moz is a large company with several moving parts that never stop. If I just stopped working at 12:30 and never looked at anything I would not be ready for work the next day. Reading all the team emails is critical to doing a good job. What is happening, what is changing, what do I need to know about, what do customers need to know about and what is happening tomorrow – all these things have to be looked at daily when my shift is over. 8pm for me is only 5pm for them & these people work beyond 5. I check Moz emails until I go to bed, usually around 12:30-1am.


With AuthorityLabs I keep an eye on the company chat rooms for the exact same things I mentioned above with Moz. I talk with Brian LaFrance all day about work agendas, events, social, SEO, traffic and a billion other things. This happens along with editing and social. They are based in Phoenix so their day ends far into the night for me. I try to keep up and be prepared for the next day.

If you work remote you have to give a few more hours. 

Scheduling Personal Social Shares

I would say about 95% of the things I share on social are planned the night before or during a break. Thank God for Buffer, it handles all my accounts. If you need to keep up with social for personal branding you have to schedule shares while you are working.


I won’t say which tools I use for each company; I am just going to break down the tools I use daily. Whenever you work for a company remotely it is your job to make sure you know how to use the tools they use well. This requires a bit of studying and practice on your part.

My Daily Tools I suggest everyone learn to use each of them.

  • Buffer – how I love the Buffer!
  • Trello – great for organizational planning and tracking.
  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck
  • SproutSocial
  • Followerwonk
  • Flowdock
  • Slack
  • Intercom
  • Zendesk
  • Twitter Analytics
  • Google Analytics
  • True Social Metrics
  • BuzzSumo
  • Copyscape
  • Google Docs
  • Skype
  • Google Hangout

Getting Work Help

I am a mom that works, but a mom that wants to be involved as well. When AuthorityLabs offered me 25 hours a week of work I knew I couldn’t handle all the work I had alone. I had clients, Moz, a home to maintain and a child heading into middle school.

So, my husband and I made the decision that he would quit working and come work with me. It was a tough call and financial risk, but the truth is I couldn’t handle everything at home and working 10 hours a day by myself. He handles all work I can’t do until my shift with Moz is over. I now have support, help with tasks that could distract me and when I don’t have time to eat he brings me food <- this is no little thing (low blood sugar). Having my husband work with me was the best decision we ever made.

Avoiding Burnout

While my philosophy of working your butt off has worked for me thus far, it also tends to burn me out. I have had to find ways to avoid burnout. Some strategies I use:

  • Force myself to take a couple of breaks a day.
  • Try to eat breakfast and lunch.
  • Drink water – seriously :)
  • Vent when frustrated.
  • Super decompress on weekends – start Monday ready to go!
  • Get some additional sleep on the weekends. Sleep later or take naps, or both.
  • Include humor throughout the day – memes, videos, tweets.

 Staying Sane

Mistakes kill me and I try so hard to avoid them. I made a mistake last year and people were upset and it totally wrecked my day…I admit there were tears and to this day it bugs me.

My challenge – I have to remember that being perfect isn’t possible. I tend to push myself really hard and have had to tell myself mistakes are okay (every once in awhile).

Be honest with those you work with. If things are not going well, just tell them.

The only way to really stay sane is to know yourself well and be able to notice when you are about to be pushed beyond your limits.

Before You Choose to Work Remotely…

Be honest with yourself. Do you need to be around people? Do you need that one-on-one with others? Can you push yourself to work hard throughout the day on your own? Are you organized enough to create a system that works for you? Are the companies you want to work with supportive? If the answer to these is “no” you will need to evaluate if you can make working remotely work.

3 Simple WordPress Features You Might Have Overlooked


There’s no denying the popularity of WordPress. Tens of millions of sites rely on it as a blog platform, content management system, and even social networks. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all that it does and how to make things work exactly the way you want. Over the years, I have seen thousands of different WordPress sites and installations. There are some very useful and easy to implement features that even today, people seem to overlook.


This is probably the most common feature I see overlooked by people using WordPress. Just about anyone putting out content will run into a situation where they want to embed a video, image, tweet, or podcast into a post. Most services like YouTube and Vimeo include a nice little embed code on the video page that you can copy and paste into anywhere that you want to drop a video. That’s great, but it’s actually much easier if you use WordPress’ built in Embeds feature.

Here’s how you take advantage of these embeds:

  1. Copy the URL of for the page that the video, image, etc. is on.
  2. Paste the URL into where you want the video, image, etc. to show up in WordPress

That’s it. Nothing complicated. No hunting down an embed code. No right clicking on an image to copy the URL so you can drop an image tag into your page and hoping someone doesn’t block it from being linked externally (or worse…stealing the image by downloading it).

New services are continuously added to the list, which currently covers the majority of popular sources that allow embeds. If you only want to enable certain providers from the list, you can use the wp_oembed_add_provider function to add to the list or wp_oembed_remove_provider to remove providers if your theme enables all providers by default. If there’s a service missing that you need, you can even create your own.

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2 Vital Steps To Improve Your Digital Marketing: An SEO Podcast

SEO Podcast & Companion Blog Post

I sat down with Clark Buckner of Technology Advice and recorded this podcast where we ended up talking about three things that I’ve been able to do over the years that have helped me improve my digital marketing. These can be applied equally by in-house online marketing positions as freelance and agency SEOs. Initially I just included the transcript, but I decided instead to rewrite the transcript into a companion blog post to distill the ideas down a little bit more concisely for readers vs listeners.

Google, Businesses, & Technology Are Changing Everyday

I think sometimes SEOs and digital marketers like me forget to think of our our customers. Those that either hire an in-house marketing position or turn to marketing agencies have changing needs. The way their customers discover, access and relate to businesses is evolving as quickly as technology advances. It was just a few years ago that just having a website would immeditately be an advantage, and those early starters reaped the benefits, but now online marketing is more complex.

Read More About Improving Your Digital Marketing…

8 Tips To Help Improve Your Google+ Profile


When it comes to Google+, you’re either a fanatic or utterly annoyed by it. Yet another social network we have to be a part of, and actually network with. In order to avoid disobeying the cyber gods and to help your overall professional online presence, it’s best to move forward using Google+. It is Google, afterall.

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to clean up your Google+ profile and add it to the list of social accounts to regularly network with. To really knock the socks off the Google+ nerds sandals, you’ll want to follow these eight tips.

1. Showcase Who You Really Are

Your profile is one of the first opportunities you have to to truly brand yourself and company. To avoid adding too much, or not defining who you want to come across as, it’s best to keep your profile simple and memorable.

  • Have a memorable tagline. When it comes to short snippet areas like this, give a catchy tagline people will be intrigued and remember you by. This area will also be used as your meta description, so don’t be afraid to be blunt and use all of the 160 characters allotted to describe exactly what you do, what you’re passionate about or what you’re remembered most for.
  • Stop using old profile photos. Your profile photo should be a recent and professional headshot of you, or at least the best looking headshot you have available. If you’re a speaker, try to have a great shot of you speaking at a recent event. Whereas if you’re a chef, your headshot should be featured with a kitchen in the background. It’s worth forking out the extra money to have a professional photographer, preferably someone who specializes in headshots, to take a few different shots that you can use on multiple profiles.
  • Completely fill-in your profile. When asking to connect with someone on Google+ their most likely going to click on your profile to see who you are, what you do, and why they should connect with you. So, give them all the right reasons with your profile information. Google+ gives you several options to uniquely identify yourself by linking blogs and companies you contribute to, basic apps you use, work experience, and other general info.
  • Don’t use Google+’s image options for your cover. Nothing is more basic and uncreative than choosing from a small portfolio of images provided for you, and the rest of the world, when creating your professional profile. If you are a business owner or have specific brand images, tie in your business or your passion somewhere in the cover photo. The recommended image size for the cover photo is 1080×608, so you have plenty of room to make a point, without excessive clutter.

Image Source:

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