Facebook as a marketing tool

You hear it all over the web, at networking events, even in the local coffee shop.  Facebook is being called the new frontier for marketing.  Get on Facebook – it is where your customers are.  And best of all – its FREE!

Facebook can be a useful marketing tool, I am not denying that.  But it is becoming harder for businesses to use this tool, and even harder for people to promote and find new customers using their personal profiles.

Facebook controls what everyone sees on the ‘Wall’ – that area where the updates come from all your friends and business pages you have liked.  Many don’t know it but you only get a small fraction of the activities that you possibly could be shown.  Even less if you are using the ‘Highlighted Stories First’ option which Facebook offers people via default.

Therefore if you are putting out any kind of marketing related message – it is only going to a very few people.  Therefore the likelihood of new people seeing your message is very low.

Facebook can be used very effectively to connect with existing customers and to prospects that you already know.  It is also an excellent research tool if your target market is active on Facebook.

But as a new lead acquisition tool – it has lots most of it’s power.  If your trying to build up your customer base and need to find brand new prospects – I would find a new strategy other than Facebook.

Facebook EdgeRank determines what is on the Wall

Facebook shows updates and other activities from your friends (personal accounts) or your fans (business pages) on the Wall.  These various items can include new fans or friends.  It can include posting of a new update, picture or video, or sharing a link.  It also includes the commenting activity of friends and fans. For most users it is not realistic that all activity of either friends or fans be displayed on the Facebook Wall.

Therefore, Facebook has designed a process to show each user the optimum updates on their unique wall.  The process that regulates what you see on the wall is called EdgeRank.  EdgeRank rates each item (update, photo, comment, etc) and then shows each user the ones with the highest ranking.

Facebook has two settings that allow you to have some control of your wall.  You can choose to use time as the major factor to determine what shows up on your wall – by choosing recent stories first.  This does not mean that time is the only factor, it only means that time plays a more prominent role in the sorting of stores you see, and that all stories are sorted by when they were posted. Or you can choose to have the best (as determined by EdgeRank) stories show up, regardless of time, by choosing Highlighted stories first.

Regardless of whether users choose recent stories or highlighted stories – the items with the best EdgeRank will show up more consistently and more often on the wall of your fans and friends.

Therefore to get the your message out to your Facebook Fans and Friends, thus engaging those friends and fans – you need to increase the EdgeRank.

WordPress Multisite Help – WPMU DEV

WPMU DEV – The WordPress Experts.

Having to do more and more with WordPress with clients, increasingly using more complex plugins and incorporating multi-site into our WordPress development here at ZedBiz, I found myself searching online for a variety of solutions.  The site that seem to come up time and time again with expert advice was WPMU.org.

As I delved deeper into what this site had to offer I saw that they had a number of free tools, but they also had a premium membership that offered over 300 excellent plugins and themes.  As well this premium WordPress membership also had excellent support area where questions could be asked.  And it had a member forum to share ideas.  The price was reasonable so I had to sign up for WPMU DEV – The WordPress Experts.

Since then they have saved me countless hours.  The plugins I have used have worked flawlessly.  I am immensely happy with the level of service.  Overall this was a bargain.

Sales Cycles

I have been working with many organizations on their sales cycle lately.  By optimizing the sales cycle, a business can drastically improve overall revenue.  By shortening the sales cycle a firm can improve products faster, respond quicker to clients needs and improve overall client satisfaction.

First, we should really clarify what we mean by the sales cycle.  I classify the sales cycle as the portion of the sales process that starts with a qualified lead and ends with a closed sale.  Now the reason the sales cycle uses the term cycle (and one key to improving overall sales and revenue) are in the realization that a cycle is circular and that it should not end.  This has two distinct applications in business; therefore, I like to ride the bi-sales-cycle (insert awkward lol here).

The first application is that if you move a qualified prospect through your sales cycle and they do not buy – then simply let them go around again.  Too often sales people put the brakes on the wheels and simply try repeatedly to close this prospect. It is often much better to let them start back at the qualified prospect stage and go through the whole process again (but I never said you could not speed up the wheel if needed – just pedal faster).

The second application of the sales cycle is for when the client does buy your product.  It should not end there. Do not simply kick them out of the sales cycle and let them free ride in your basket. Instead move them on to the next wheel where they enter another sales cycle to up-sell or cross-sell them on to a new product.