To delete, or not to delete, a Facebook post?

To delete, or not to delete, a Facebook post?

I often get this question from clients and new Facebook page administrators:  should I delete negative comments on my business page? The conventional social media wisdom is not to delete a Facebook post unless it is profane, abusive, or spammy (self-promotional and unrelated to the subject at hand). Why? For reasons of credibility. If you visit the Facebook page of a business, particularly one that serves the general public, and you see only “You rock!!!” types of posts, you are a bit skeptical and rightfully so. But there’s a way to know whether the page manager is sanitizing the posts. Business owners, and CEOs in particular, can be sensitive about negative posts. We all know it’s not possible to please everyone, but when it’s your baby that’s being called ugly, you can get offended. In the online world, you take your lumps and try to turn the situation around. Rather than delete a Facebook post, answer it – and don’t be defensive. Most times, the complainer just wants to vent and, handled correctly, can become a raving fan instead of a ranting lunatic. As the page manager, fall on your sword. Say you’re sorry. Commiserate, empathize, and offer a solution. Take it offline by moving the conversation to email or private messaging. If you use Facebook to research companies before deciding to use them, the Posts by Others section can be incredibly helpful. If there are too many credible, specific problems described by sane-looking people, maybe you should look at other suppliers. But the converse is also true: a squeeky-clean page for, say, a big bank or major cell phone company probably indicates some white-washing. Want to know for sure? Type the name of the Facebook page into ZoomSphere’s Hidden Post Explorer and voila! There are the posts that have been deleted. Pretty slick, no? Page admins, before deciding to delete a Facebook post, think about whether doing so will damage the page’s credibility. Ask yourself whether the negative post is actually an opportunity to create a fan of the brand. Show the page’s fans that the company can take criticism and knows how to fix problems. If, after careful deliberation, you decide there is absolutely no upside to a particular jackass, you can banish them. Just know that doing so may send them to one or more of the myriad other social media platforms to talk bad about you. The rest of the world can decide whether the criticism is deserved. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+  {{ CLICK TO TWEET }} With over 30 years of experience in financial services marketing, Lucid Marketing understands your business and has the skills to make your marketing the best it can be. Call...

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6 critical tips about image management.

6 critical tips about image management.

Editor’s Note: Recent research by ShopIgniter show that Facebook posts with photos generate 6 times more engagement than status posts with no photo, outperforming even a special offer. Nearly half of all emails are opened on a smartphone, where visuals are easier to take in than text. In short, images rule. How do you manage the images related to your business and your brand? When you need a picture, do you just snag something from the web and toss it onto your blog or Facebook page? Here are six things to help you manage your visual assets. Image Library—Set up a folder in a secure place, with sub-folders by subject. You may also want to further segregate each folder by the image source. Acquisition—There are several ways to get your images: take them yourself, hire it done, buy stock photos, get your fans or colleagues to take them, or snag them from the web. Copyright—Snagging images from the web can be problematic in terms of copyright: the technology makes it easy to steal images but the law is the law. You can save an image directly, or save the URL, or even use screen-grabbing tools, but make sure you have permission to use the images. Copyright belongs to the creator from the moment of creation. Read more about copyright and Creative Commons usage. Quality—High-resolution images are required for commercial printing, whereas lower-resolution images are generally okay for screen viewing. It’s best to shoot original images at the highest possible resolution; they can be downsized for screen viewing, but a low-resolution image cannot be improved upon. More about that here. Everybody has a camera in his or her cell phone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is a photographer. Manipulation—Once you have the image, you may need to crop it, rotate it, color enhance it, or clean it up in some way. PhotoShop is the professional photo manipulation program of choice, but there are some free ones that give you some basic functionality. Sharing—So you’ve got your images organized, their file names are search-optimized, and you want to use them. Maybe some will go to the web designer, some to the printer, some to the sign-maker. Some high-resolution files can be huge, and some email pipelines won’t accept more than about 5MB of attachments at a time. Use Dropbox or YouSendIt to transfer large images or collections of multiple images. Recently I heard a photographer give this advice for getting better images: stand in front of better stuff. But there is more to great photography than choosing what images best illustrates the point. Great, professional imagery sends the message that your brand has class and will give your...

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Why Blog is a Four-Letter Word, Part 2: Starting a Blog

Why Blog is a Four-Letter Word, Part 2: Starting a Blog

Last time, we talked about some reasons people are resistant to blogging for business, despite the healthy benefits for search engine recognition and content marketing (selling without the sales pitch). Like most things that are good for us, starting a blog is a bit of work. Let’s break it down, step by step… 1. Decide the purpose of your blog. What do you want it to do for you? Set you up as a thought leader in your industry? Cement your relationship with donors? Attract investors? Inspire your employees? Sell something? 2. Look for a place for your blog to live. If you already have a website, adding a blog page can be the best way to attract eyeballs to whatever else happens on the site. Ask your website manager if the website can manage a blog. The site you’re reading now is built upon WordPress, one of the most powerful content management systems around. There are two kinds of WordPress sites: free at www.wordpress.com and hosted at www.wordpress.org. That seems backwards, but you can read more about the difference here. There are lots of other blogging platforms and content management systems, but few have the range and (relative) ease of use of WordPress. Having your own hosted website built on WordPress gives you tremendous functionality and control of your blog. 3. Create a posting plan. Deciding in advance what sort of content will appear on your blog will  a) keep it strategic and  b) make gathering/creating content much easier. Think of your blog like a magazine, with regular features on particular subjects, with occasional side trips just to keep it interesting. 4. Find sources for inspiration. Some blogs are simply “curated,” meaning that the content is shared – with permission, of course – from other blogs. There may be negative search engine effects for duplicate content, something Google is discouraging, and penalizing, more with each new algorithm. The best approach is to create original content, but maybe you hate to write (most people do) or think you don’t have anything to write about (everybody’s an expert at something). There are ways to overcome both of those hurdles; we’ll cover those in more detail in Part 3. 5. Brand your blog well. If the blog is part of your larger website, branding is already covered. If you have a stand-alone blog, make sure the look and feel (and the content) fit how your brand is represented elsewhere. 6. Set up image management. Good blogs usually have great images, and managing those visual assets can be a challenge. Figure out where your images will come from: original shots, stock photography, and free (uncopyrighted, public domain, or creative commons files). Create...

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Why Blog is a Four Letter Word: Part 1

Why Blog is a Four Letter Word: Part 1

The idea that blog is a four letter word is not a new one. Where did this form of publishing get its bad name? Let us review… In the beginning, the “weblog” was used by techies to exchange arcane information that the mere mortal had little use for. Then, the “blog” (shortened as a pun) became a sort of personal diary with a difference: instead of a locked book shoved under the mattress, it was out there for the world to see. Uh-oh.  Now everybody with a keyboard and internet connection became a writer in the same way that everybody with a paintbrush was Michelangelo. Awfulness was created and spread so fast and so far, is it any wonder that “blog” became something to dread? Fast forward… We really need a different word – or words – for what the blog has become, something short and sweet that reflects what the “blog” is actually used for: Online Publishing. 1.  Ink-on-paper magazines and newspapers are being replaced by a dizzying array of websites that publish (in some cases) credible news with excellent writing. Newsweek was the first big dead-tree publication to go entirely online and (logically) PC Week is now the online-only eWeek. Just about every local paper now also publishes online, too; it’s only a matter of time before newsprint goes away. 2.  The number of brand-new online magazines is hard to calculate, but Huffington Post and Salon are two of the most popular. 3.  Broadcast media, like NPR, have excellent online stories to support and supplement programs they air. Paired with podcasts, the reader can take in the content in a richer way, at any time. By the time a story hits the airwaves, it has been seen, discussed, and forgotten already. By the time a story is printed with ink on paper… well, you get the idea. Self-Serve Publishing. Online services like Feedly allow the reader to curate, or gather, news from around the web by subject area. Whatever you’re into, you can essentially create your own daily news magazine. If you’re still following blogs one-by-one, Google Reader gathers your RSS feeds for you. Content Marketing. This is an enormous segment of “blogging” (ugh, there’s that word again) and can range from well-written, useful business information that creates loyal and/or new customers to the kind of writing that made you hate the word in the first place. It also presents a limitless opportunity for both businesses and nonprofit organizations. Whether you have a book to sell, are an artist, or manage a charity in search of donors, a blog can connect you with people in a way that is hard to replicate (and afford) with traditional media....

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The new Facebook timeline design: did Facebook listen?

The new Facebook timeline design: did Facebook listen?

News of the new Facebook timeline design is creating quite a stir. Not only is the new layout, which is being rolled out in stages, a radical new layout, it will change the way companies use it for marketing. It makes one wonder if Facebook listened to the loud complaining about limiting the visibility of posts. For the last several months, Facebook was limiting the number of posts – both personal and business – that a user could see to about 15%, give or take. Early reports say that now, with the new Facebook timeline design, users will be able to see ALL the posts from their friends and from business pages they have liked. This would seem to be stunningly good news, for two reasons:  1) it means Facebook actually listened to users, and  2) Facebook will allow people to decide for themselves what is “too much” in their news feeds. For marketers, this may or may not be good news. The new layout sorts content into tabs that the user has to visit to see the content. The “Following” tab will contain posts from business pages the user has liked, or is “following.” The risk is that users may not visit that tab. You can bet that Facebook has a solution for that, and that it will cost marketers something. Other features of the new Facebook timeline design… Splashier images. Fully half of all content on Facebook is visual (because posts with pictures and videos get shared more than ones without them). This makes acquiring and maintaining a library of fabulous images more important than ever. There are six simple things you can do to improve your image management. Better mobile experience. The Facebook interface on mobile will operate more like the one on your desktop. Mobile, and how to monetize it, has been a thorn in Facebook’s side long enough. Marketers are cautiously optimistic… Facebook’s statement that “This change is a visual redesign of News Feed only and does not change how we surface the most interesting stories to people” brings up some questions:  1) how will Facebook decide what is “interesting” to people and  2) what behavioral changes will the new arrangement cause? Read more here. If you’d like to get Facebook’s new timeline right now, click here. If this post was helpful, please share it with a colleague. Subscribe to receive a notice when there is a new post: click here. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back...

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6 simple things you can do to improve your image management.

6 simple things you can do to improve your image management.

The right picture has always been important, but online marketing demands a steady stream of high-quality images. Images are to be used, reused, and repurposed. To be able to find, preserve, and access your visual assets, here are six simple things you can do to improve your image management today.   1. Maintain an image library. Often, the images associated with a particular compaign or medium get scattered among many files. Set up a central image library folder, with subfolders by topic, and put all your images in it. Within each subfolder, set up two more: hi-res, and lo-res. 2. Give images descriptive names. File names like PHOTO.JPG or IMG18473902 don’t make it easy to find the right shot in your image library. 3. Make file names search-friendly. Use a format that Google search bots like, and include keywords. Instead of DOG.JPG use DOG-GROOMER-CHICAGO-JPG for people who are searching for dog groomers in Chicago. 4. Get good pictures. Either use a professional photographer or buy high-quality stock photos. If you’re using a staff photographer, have the pictures taken in the highest possible resolution, you can always size them down for screen use but you can’t improve lo-res files for print use. 5. Set up a good way to share images. File sizes can be large and/or you may need to transfer multiple images at once. You can use a general file transfer utility like YouSendIt or DropBox, or cloud-based storage. Or, you can set up something more visual and user-friendly at Shutterfly, Flickr, or PhotoBucket. Shutterfly also has a handy calendar function that members of a group can use to manage event information. 6. Be able to make basic alterations to images. Major alterations to images take a professional program: PhotoShop. But there are basic things you can do, like resizing and cropping, with free online photo editing programs like Gimp, Pixlr and others. The importance of high-impact, relevant images becomes more important every day, especially for social media, website content, and blogging. Do these six simple things and you’ll improve your image management now. Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share with colleagues. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn | Google+ Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site....

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