Switchblade’s Marie Macaspac Honored to be a Presenter at ARF’s 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference

January 31st, 2013
Tony LaRussa's ARF 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference  is Sunday, March 23, 2013

Tony LaRussa's ARF 9th Annual Business of Saving Lives Conference is Sunday, March 23, 2013

Marie Macaspac, owner of Switchblade Creative Studios and founder of AnimalRescueMarketing.com is one of 10 speakers who will be participating in this year’s Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) annual conference, The Business of Saving Lives.

Marie will be sharing the stage with ARF’s Marketing Manager, Sara Kersey, for the topic, “Social Media: Unleashed!“. The 90 minute session will cover not just how to use social media, but tips and tricks that may not necessarily be found in a “How to” manual or “Social Media for Dummies” book.

From mobile mavens to casual users, we all know social media is an important marketing tool for animal welfare groups. Social networking choices and platforms are endless…yet the time your staff and volunteers have is not. Are your important messages getting lost in a social media sea of posts, tweets, and pins? Do you see images online and wonder how they got 400 “Likes” in one day? In this upbeat session, we’ll reveal tricks for getting your content liked and shared widely (and your messages heard loud and clear!), and how to tailor content to your audience and get your animals the attention they deserve. If you have the basic know-how to navigate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular platforms, we’ll show you how to stand out and get noticed!

Marie is honored to be a part of this year’s list of presenters:

  • Elena Bicker, Executive Director, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Susan Furukawa, Program Director Community Outreach, ASPCA®
  • Cynthia L. Karsten, DVM, Shelter Medicine Resident, UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
  • Sara Kersey, Marketing Manager, Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Bob Lukas, DVM, Sage Centers for Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care
  • Marie Rochelle Macaspac, Marketing Director, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and Founder, AnimalRescueMarketing.com
  • Rebecca Marsh, former Executive Director, Fix Our Ferals
  • Nancy McKenney, CEO, Marin Humane Society
  • Paul O’Grady, Partner, Armanino McKenna LLP
  • Betsy Saul, Founder, Petfinder.com

“I am so excited to share my expertise with my fellow animal rescue advocates,” says Marie. ” I am thrilled that this opportunity can additionally introduce new visitors to AnimalRescueMarketing.com.”

To register to attend this year’s conference, click here. It is sure to be a blast!

Behind-the-Scenes of Marie’s Interview for KQED’s “The California Report”

November 29th, 2012

It all started with a call to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue’s publicist, Patty Stanton. KQED was looking to interview a volunteer for The California Report’s recurring feature called “The Giivng State”. The segment spotlights  volunteers who shares their experience and passion behind their charitible work.

I was  honored when Patty offered it to me. It was a pretty exciting morning of the day that the interview took place. KQED intern Reena Flores captured the sounds and excitement of Muttville’s first ever Holiday Pup-Up Store last year (Dec 2011). We received a generous donation –  a huge retail space in a busy part of town a block from Van Ness. I envisioned this empty room filled with vintage decor and furniture with dogs relaxing in the front room’s bay window displays on classy armchairs and festive attire. The day Reena met me at the Pup-Up Store for the interview, it was really busy day! Lots of people were coming out to see what it was all about.

Reena followed me around with a microphone while I talked to dogs (yes I often do this!), and talked to people – welcoming visitors, answering questions about dogs for adoption, and directing volunteers where help was needed. We had Santa Paws photos, organic treats for sale, hot apple cider to warm up cold hands, and lots of adorable dogs looking for homes.

Muttville dogs willing to dress up as elves to find homes!

Reena captured roughly 2 hours, which seemed like 20 minutes with all that was going on.

I was thrilled to be able to rant on about how much I love saving senior dogs, and using my Marketing know-how for a cause that means so much to me.

I thank Muttville and Patty for giving me this opportunity to come out from “behind-the-scenes” for a moment in front of the mic, and have 2 minutes on my favorite radio station, NPR!

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue is a non profit organization that rescues dogs 7 years and older from shelters and people who can no longer care for them. Sometimes their guardians have passed away, and other times they are simply given away. For the last 5 years, Muttville has changed the future for senior dogs in the Bay Area, and beyond. The organization also strives to educate people on senior dog care to keep dogs in homes when possible. When Muttville is a senior dog’s last resort, they are given the medical care and TLC they need, and new homes are found so they can find new beginnings. Please check out Muttville’s website and read about the great work we do: www.Muttville.org. The work I do for Muttville has enriched my life and my career. Most certainly, it is the best work I have ever accomplished.

 

 

Reena Flores, Intern for KQED's The Callifornia Report interviewing Marie Macaspac

Here’s the interview!

California Report’s “The Giving State” Interview with Marie Macaspac,
Marketing Director for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

 

“Marketing Automation: Why You’re Doing it Wrong” by HubSpot

November 21st, 2012

An article written by Jeffrey Russo

(original article can be found at  http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33863/Marketing-Automation-Why-You-re-Doing-it-Wrong.aspx#ixzz2CsTZjExq)

Ralphies soap

Marketing automation sometimes sounds like a dirty word, and for good reason. When done incorrectly, it has the potential to undervalue a marketer’s database, irritate those on the receiving end of the campaign, and generate poor results. If that’s not enough to make marketers want to wash out their mouths with soap, I’m not sure what is. I guess you could ask Ralphie.

But the truth is, marketing automation holds a lot of promise for marketers, because it is a powerful tool that can help them overcome some of the core problems they face. For example, we all know that devoting personal attention to our leads tends to generate the best results. Marketing automation can actually help you scale that personal attention. And we could all use some more time in our day to focus on more high-level concerns than just manually nurturing leads. Marketing automation can help with that, too! And these are only a couple of examples.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes made with marketing automation, and some of their better alternatives.

Mistake #1: You’re Marketing to Actions, Not People

marketing automationIn most marketing automation systems, setting up a campaign means selecting a starting list, and drawing out a tree of actions. In that tree, there are often conditions in the middle that change the path a lead takes based on things they do or don’t do (e.g. opening emails, clicking on links, visiting landing pages, etc.).

Depending on how you do this and what your conditions are, it’s very possible that you’re setting yourself up for failure. Here are a few reasons why.

1) Single actions rarely tell the whole story.

When you send a lead down a different path in your campaign based on one or two things they did or didn’t do, you’re making a lot of assumptions that the action they took was intentional and meaningful. But maybe I actually am an interested prospect, but I had a full inbox the morning you sent me an email, and I skipped past your message. Or maybe I clicked through on an email you sent me out of curiosity, but am actually a better fit for an entirely different product you sell. One action a lead does or doesn’t take rarely tells us enough to market to them more effectively.

2) Some actions are tough to track accurately.

Take email opens for example. While open rate is a helpful metric to look at in aggregate over time, using an opened status to change the makeup of a campaign for one person is risky, because no email tool can track it with a perfect rate of accuracy. Some email clients falsely report opens, while others don’t report opens when an email was actually read. Do you want an arbitrary metric changing the makeup of your campaign?

3) Leads aren’t moving through your campaigns in a vacuum.

Let’s be honest — a branching campaign looks great on paper, but it usually doesn’t take into consideration any of the other ways a lead might be interacting with your brand. If your marketing is working the way it should be, those leads are probably coming back to many different parts of your website through many different channels. If I do an organic search to get back to your website on my own volition, then visit your pricing page and download a whitepaper that isn’t a part of the campaign you are sending me, are the conditions controlling the next step of the campaign I happen to be in still important? Probably not.

Solution: Use smaller, more specific segments from the very start of your campaign.

Rather than dump a big list of leads into a nurturing campaign that looks like a game of Mouse Trap and hope they get relevant messages along the way, put them into a better targeted campaign from the start.

If your campaign is tailored to a very specific segment that takes everything you know about your leads into context, you’ll be delivering marketing people love right from the very first email, not spamming your database with messages that have a low probability of being relevant.

At HubSpot, we use our tools to build a rich profile for each lead in our system that combines everything we know about them from dozens of different places. What keyword did they initially search for to find us? What content are they consuming through social media? What pages are they visiting on our website? What can we glean from our sales teams’ data in Salesforce about this lead? These are just a few of the many details we look at to segment our prospects.

marketing segment

 

Looking at those details, our system then automatically puts leads into specific nurturing campaigns we’ve created that we know are well targeted and will speak to those leads in a personal way about things they care about. And because they are better targeted from the start, our nurturing campaigns don’t need to be a complex set of branches — they are simpler, easier to analyze and improve, and they perform well from the very start. We don’t send a six-email campaign hoping that one of those messages will resonate. Instead, we know they all will, and that they are all in context of one another.

 

personalized email

 

Taking things a step further, personalizing your email communications with details from your database (using a lead’s name, sending an email from the sales rep who owns the lead, even mentioning other details about the lead’s business) makes for a well targeted email that reads more like a one-to-one exchange than a marketing email.

Mistake #2: Your Campaign Relies Solely on Email to Get a Targeted Message Out

There’s no doubt that doing stellar email marketing is important. When done properly, email and marketing automation can generate great results and pull interested prospects back to your website.

That being said, relying too heavily on email (or relying entirely on email, as most marketers tend to do) is fraught with problems, particularly the following two.

1) It’s getting harder and harder to effectively reach your leads through email.

Yes, email is easy for us marketers to send, but take a look in your own inbox and think about how you manage the barrage of messages you get. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your prospects aren’t using the same tactics you might be — filters in Gmail, priority inbox, and bulk deleting marketing emails without batting an eyelash.

2) Ignoring other channels means your prospects see different, fragmented messages depending on where they find your brand.

As we mentioned before, your leads (hopefully) aren’t sitting by their inbox waiting for your marketing emails in order to find your content and learn more about your business. Instead, they’re searching for you on Google and coming back to your website through social media, among other things. When they make their way to those deep pages on your website, what do they see? If you are focused solely on email, they probably aren’t seeing the same targeted message they got from you in their inbox on your website. Instead, they are seeing many different, fragmented marketing messages and value propositions depending on where they go. At best, this kind of fragmentation is ineffective. At worst, it’s a liability if you are putting special messaging or offers in front of specific audiences.

Solution: Customize the content and offers everyone sees on your website.

This really is the Holy Grail of marketing automation, and it’s surprising how few companies do it. You know this kind of marketing from companies like Amazon and Netflix — when you arrive on Amazon.com, you are shown products and calls-to-action that feel like they were suggested by someone who knows you and what you like on a personal level. And yes, you can do the same thing.

 

personalized content

 

If you use HubSpot’s tools, those same segments and lists that automatically allocate leads to specific lead nurturing campaigns can be used to automatically change the content leads see on our website — even on the deepest content pages that don’t get updated all that often. For HubSpot’s own website, this means that a lead who is interested in social media will see content and offers related to social media. A lead who is interested in email marketing will see content and offers related to email marketing. And they don’t just see these messages in one place — leads interested in social media can see a mix of interesting social media offers everywhere they go on our website. It’s a better experience for our leads, and more effective marketing for us.

To learn more about how to leverage dynamic content on your own website, download our free ebook, An Introduction to Using Dynamic Content in Your Marketing.

Mistake #3: You Hammer the Same List and Ignore the Fact That It’s Slowly Dying

Think about your own email inbox. How long do you put up with marketing emails from companies who you don’t intend to buy something from? Have you ever switched jobs, or switched email addresses? These are just a few of the many different reasons why the average email database expires at the rate of ~25% per year. And the harder you market to your list, the less effective it will be over time.

Pause to really think about that for a minute. Let it soak in. Or, let’s just put it into perspective: A database of 50,000 email addresses will have shrunk to 21,000 in just three short years. Fighting attrition is tough enough; *growing* your database on top of that requires some serious coordination. It’s something that affects you today — not the next generation of marketers at your company.

Solution: Marketing automation must be complemented by inbound marketing to be a sustainable strategy over time.

Let’s be blunt for a minute. If you aren’t at least replacing leads at the rate you are burning through them, your marketing database is dying.

If leads are coming out of your database at a constant rate, you will need a way to consistently feed your database with brand new leads. There is no better way to do that than inbound marketing — creating content that naturally attracts real people who need what you provide, building a relationship with them over time, and being there at the right time and place when they are ready to buy.

LinkedIn’s New “Endorse Me” & Meetup’s New “Good To See You” Features

October 16th, 2012

I hadn’t read anything about these new features coming soon on LinkedIn or Meetup, so when I started to see the subject line “So and So has endorsed you” and “Good to See You” pop up in my email inbox by the dozens, I was pleasantly surprised and also wondering, “How did I suddenly become so popular?”

LinkedIn’s Endorse Me: This seems to be a way for LinkedIn to become more “social”. Unlike the Recommendations tool, where an Account user is making a request to individuals of his or her choice, LinkedIn is popping windows up on your profile with your Contacts, posing the question, “Would you endorse ‘so-and-so’ in..” with a specific job skill. At first, it appears like LinkedIn is just asking you a question, but in fact, you are about to communicate with someone that perhaps you haven’t communicated to in months or years! What do we think of this new feature? For us, we’d like a few months to see how it works into people’s everyday habits.

Meetup’s “Good To See you”: At first I thought it was a genuine effort by one of the members of my Photoshop Users Group! We had just concluded our monthly meeting, and it seemed like a thoughtful gesture. I was tricked! I started to get a handful at once with the same subject line!

Again, Meetup feels a need to get their usets to be more “social”. Is this one working? I thought it was pretty cool. Without really making any effort, I just said thanks to 20 attendees for joining us for the last users group meeting. Impersonal with a personal touch. What do you think of this new feature? Will it last beyond 2012? Or get old before Christmas?

Let us know what you think of these 2 new features. How can it help you as an employee, business owner, group leader, or member? Any ideas for making them work better? Or should we all just stick to Facebook?

Announcing our new website, “Animal Rescue Marketing”!

October 4th, 2012

I am so excited to announce the launch of my new website, catered to animal rescue advocates. It is called “Animal Rescue Marketing”. It is chock full of advice and strategies for Marketing to save animals. From blogging to social media to fundraising, I share my success stories from my experiences working with San Francisco-based organizations like Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and San Francisco Animal Care & Control. Like many folks, I simply filled out a volunteer application or went to an Orientation. I know there are many people out there who have been in my shoes, and I have met a few of them at the various animal rescue conferences I have been honored to attend to represent Muttville. Everyone could use a great Marketing volunteer or employee for their organization. It truly is the key, in conjunction with Public Relations, to build your organization’s reputation in order to get sponsors, funding, more adopters, and grow as an organization.

 

My goal with this new website is to reach animal rescue advocates on a global level. Please check out Animal Rescue Marketing, and feel free to sign up for my newsletter and leave comments on my blog. Thank you to all the animal advocates in the world who dedicate their lives to speak on behalf of the animals.

Three Tips For Raising More Money At Your Fundraising Events

September 25th, 2012

As a volunteer or leader for your non profit, you may be doing your research and education to uncover the best new, innovative ways to increase revenue and attendance for your fundraising events. But let’s not forget tried-and-true methods that should continue to be an integral part of your event preparation.

These three tips were offered by The Fundraising Authority in its August 14, 2012 e-Newsletter, and republished by Animal Shelter Fundraising in their newsletter published Sept. 25, 2012.

#1:  Use the Phone

Yes, you should send out event invitations.  Yes, you should send out sponsorship letters to prospective sponsors for the event.  Yes you should use PR, your e-mail newsletter, and every other method at your disposal to raise money for your fundraising event.  But, the most powerful weapon in your arsenal is… the phone.

Many non-profits that would never think of trying to run a $500,000 major giving fundraising campaign without making calls and doing face-to-face meetings will none the less try to raise the same amount for an event simply by sending out letters and invitations and doing a nice event sponsorship package that gets mailed out to donors.

Don’t make this mistake… treat your event like you would a capital campaign.  Start with your prospective sponsors, and after you send out a letter, do calls and one-on-one meetings.  Then move to your prospective event guests – target people who could buy whole tables and/or sell 5 or 10 tickets to the event and give them a call or go see them at their office.

Pick up the phone and use it to generate revenue for your next fundraising event.

 

#2:  Find Supporters Who Will “Own” the Event

Most non-profits know the importance of putting together a host committee for fundraising events, but very few put together event committees that really move the revenue dial.  Instead, many organizations end up with a committee that spends all of its time discussing the menu and the floral arrangements, and then at event time asks for a discount on the ticket price for host committee members.

Without fail, the organizations that hold the biggest fundraising events (in terms of net revenue, not attendees) put together host committees comprised of supporters  (a) who  understand that this is a fundraising event, and the job of the committee is to raise money, and (b) who “own” the event, taking personal responsibility for meeting the event fundraising goals by working hard to sell sponsorships and tickets.

If your organization isn’t putting together host committees like this, now is the time to start.  This year, for your next event, try to start adding committee members who will own the event, and make it clear to the entire committee that meeting the event’s fundraising goal is priority #1.

 

#3:  Do One Remarkable Thing at Each Function

The success of an annual non-profit fundraising event grows over time.  If attendees enjoy themselves at your event this year, you can be sure that they come to the event next year and will talk about it with their friends and colleagues, some of whom will likely attend as well.  As the years go by, your event gets bigger and bigger, and in turn, you are able to raise more revenue with each succeeding year.

A great way to accelerate this process is to make sure your organization does at least one really remarkable, water-cooler-gossip-worthy thing at each event.  This could be an simple as having a local celebrity attend as a surprise guest, or as complicated as renting out the next-door pub for an after-party at your annual young professionals event.

Whatever it is that you decide to do, doing something really remarkable will get people talking about your event – and in turn, will make more people want to come to your event next year.

 

 

14,000+ Weekly Visits to Your Website. Realistic Goal? YES!

August 30th, 2012

These are real weekly stats received by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. On average, Mutville’s website receives 10,000 to 20,000 visits per week. It fluctuates depending on the time of year,  news coverage, fundraisers, events, or campaigns under way.

Muttville’s website launched 5 years ago, and has steadily received this level of traffic for the last 3 years.

Interested in learning some of Muttville’s Marketing and PR efforts? Here is a list of some of the organization’s regular activities, both online and offline, to give you an idea:

 

 

Online Efforts

Blogging: Muttville posts 2-3 times a week. Every blog is shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Twitter: Muttville tweets every blog post, event, and dog profile as soon they are published. Profiles are retweeted until dogs are adopted.

Facebook: Muttville posts every blog post, event, and dog profile on Facebook as soon as they are published. They also have a custom Facebook tab with all links back to the website of each dog available for adoption. They also have custom tabs with links to various website pages: Give, Adopt, Foster, Volunteer.

YouTube: Muttville has accumulated a pretty decent library of videos. In November, we were pleased to have a new volunteer who studied film, and was interested in producing our very own Holiday themed video. Starring Muttvillle mutts, it was entitled “A Christmas Tail”. It launched December 22. By New Year’s Day, it had over 4000 views. Muttville plans on producing a documentary style video and a few more fun short films in 2012. A special video is produced every year and premiered at the annual fundraiser, Moolah For Mutts. This year’s video was called “Suma’s Story”.

Social Responsible Sites: Muttville is a beneficiary of various revenue-generating services, like KarmaWell, Rally.org and Causes.org. Participating on sites like these not only earns donations to non-profits like Muttville, it also offers a valuable Marketing opportunity for non-profits to share their missions and causes to new audiences.

Other Social Media: Muttville also uses Digg, Foursquare, Instagram, as well as countless shares to other sites, thanks to our supporters and volunteers.

Inbound Links: These are some of the highest sources of traffic. These sites posts Muttville’s dog profiles of adoptable dogs: The Shelter Pet Project, Petfinder, Dogtime, PetBond, Adopt-A-Pet. Weekly, these sites provide about 50% of the total site visitors. If you didn’t know the importance of effective inbound links, here are shining examples. Businesses can create similar traffic through affiliate marketing programs.

Email Marketing: Many Muttville supporters came to know this organization to adopt a dog or simply to offer a one time donation. Muttville continues to show gratitude to every supporter with on-going communication through email marketing efforts. Often times, the subjects of our newsletters are happy and positive, to share a success story from a fellow adopter, to share a personal heartfelt thanks from our founder,  and sometimes to celebrate special occasions with our pets. Once a year, the efforts are focused for the annual Matching Grant Fundraiser.

Contests: Muttville enters many contests every year. The benefits are plenty –  a chance to repurpose excellent collateral – videos, photos, and advertisements – produced by professionals (all volunteers). The marketing and promotion efforts for the call-to-action (i.e. votes or FB likes or watching a video) are shared with the company or business sponsoring the contest; it is a great excuse to team up with supporters; and the actions can be done by anyone who has access to a computer. Of course the biggest benefit are the prizes. This past year, Muttville won these prizes as a result of winning or placing in various contests:  a new Toyota Sienna, thanks to the Toyota 100 Cars For Good contest, SF Giants star pitcher Tim Lincecum promoted a Muttville dog and spent time taking photos and video, thanks to popchips, a $10,000 grant and the title “San Francisco’s Favorite Charity” by 7×7 Magazine, and a $5000 grant from Sliderocket.

Offline Efforts

Weekly Outreach Events: Every Sunday and many Saturdays, Muttville has outreach events at retail locations, outdoor city locations with heavy foot traffic, and even their own established “pup-up store”. For two months, Muttville occupied a former retail store in San Francisco and held adoption events on Saturdays an Sundays all December and January. It was perfect timing for the holidays. Later this year, Muttville will have a permanent location on 16th Street near Florida St in San Francisco.

Speaking Engagements: Sherri Franklin is known as an expert in senior canine care, and she has over a dozen speaking engagements under her belt, not to mention countless interviews for radio, TV and news. Speaking for various organizations and fundraisers has created widespread awareness of Muttville’s senior canine cause.

News and Radio: Publicist Patty Stanton takes every accomplishment Muttville achieves and announces it to every media contact she knows.  Plus, as Patty taught me, every accomplishment is a big deal if you make it a big deal.

Fundraisers: Who doesnt love a good party? There are many supporters that  splurge all their support into Muttville’s one big night every year. Smaller fundraisers are always great too, and always can attract new traffic from the venue, location or the donors who the space, provide auction items, catering, etc

Socially Responsible Businesses: Similar to socially responsible websites, Muttville is always honored to be the beneficiary of a fundraising event hosted and organized by a business that supports Muttville’s cause. Muttville shows its gratitude by cross-promoting these businesses and including the events on our website’s calendar, which always is posted to Muttville’s Facebook wall and tweeted to our twitter followers.

All these efforts are donated by volunteers. If you don’t have staff, try interns and students help get you started on a few of these tactics. Or give Switchblade a call!

How To Show Off Your Best Yelp Reviews

August 16th, 2012

Are you one of the hundreds of business owners with a Yelp business listing who is frustrated with Yelp’s so-called fair selection of featured reviews? Yelp states on their website: “The filter establishes an objective standard against which every review can be measured. Even though it inevitably affects legitimate reviews from time to time and misses some fake ones, too, it helps protect the integrity of the site both for consumers (who will be less likely to be led astray by bogus reviews) and business owners (who will spend less time worrying about whether their competitors are writing negative reviews about them).”

In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, business owner James Lee voices a sentiment that resonates with many business owners on Yelp. The article stated that “Lee contends that Yelp doesn’t play fair with small businesses, frequently filtering out positive reviews but leaving negative ones.”

“Yelp picks and chooses how they want to apply things for their own best interests,” Lee said. “They say it’s an unbiased, fair system for reviews, but they manipulate it as well.”

Rather than spend – or waste – time dealing with Yelp, where it is clear that a business owner can not have full control over their own listing that is on Yelp’s website, we’ve got better ways for you to use your valuable time – and showcase  your best testimonials.

1. Where are all your best reviews? Probably you have a few on Yelp, a few on LinkedIn, and maybe other profiles like Google Places, Yahoo Local, and industry-based directory sites. Take all your best reviews and gather them into a single document, and include a link to each review’s original source.

2. If you don’t already have one, add a Testimonials page to your website. (See this example on Family Law Attorney Lucy McAllister’s website.) You can also add a widget or plugin to your website’s sidebar if you have one, and post a different review on each page. (See this example on Intuitive Counselor Jessica Lanyadoo’s website.) You can also get fancy and use a slideshow tool like Slidedeck that rotates to show a different review every few seconds. (See an example on Switchblade’s website.). Keep the testimonials text-based so that search engine robots can scan your reviews too.

4. Adding a Testimonials page to your website gives you the control of which reviews you want showcased, and it also gives you a place to consolidate all reviews from various sources. If a review quotes a business or client, you have an opportunity to link back to their online presence, which can be a subtle “thank you” for their testimonial.

5. Don’t forget to SEO this page! Make sure to include a sentence on this page that says something to the effect of: “Thank you to our clients for these great reviews we’ve collected from Yelp, LinkedIn, and Google Places (list all sources of the testimonials you’ve included on the page.) When you SEO the back end, be sure to include in your keywords for this page, “Yelp review, LinkedIn recommendations” and terms that include the source names as well as your business’s name, services or products. With good, strong SEO, you just might rank higher than your Yelp listing.

6. If you also have a Facebook business page, you can create a Testimonials page as a custom tab. Some apps like Woobox let you take an existing web page and drop it into a custom Facebook tab. You can simply designate the URL of your Testimonials page as the custom tab source. Otherwise, simply copy the text and paste it in. (See this example on small club’s FB page.)

7. How about a blog category called “Customer Review of the Month”? Thank clients and customers for taking the time to put in a good word for you. Showcase their business and review in a blog article, where you can also link back to their business’ website, and share background information on their product or service and also the service you provided to them, if this is applicable. (See this example on Ebisu Sushi’s website.)

Do you have other suggestions? Let us know! Please share with us in the comments section of this article. Or let us know what you think of these suggestions.

Social Media Examiner’s “5 Ways to Build a Pinterest Following With Facebook”

August 7th, 2012

Thank you Social Media Examiner for this great advice. Even WE need to get up to speed and get this strategy going!

By
Originally Published August 7, 2012 Read original article on Social Media Examiner website

Are you looking to build a strong Pinterest following?

Did you know that you can integrate your Facebook and Pinterest marketing?

Yes, there’s a way to get Facebook fans to create exposure for you on Pinterest.

Establishing a large audience of followers on Pinterest is one of the most important aspects of a successful Pinterest marketing campaign.

Here’s the skinny: Although during the setup process you can choose to link your Pinterest account to your Facebook personal page, there is currently no way to automatically hook up to your Facebook fan page.

So what’s a business to do?

The truth is most business owners have not figured out a solution. They are failing on Pinterest because they think that they have to build a new following from scratch. Well, that is patently untrue.

Here are five ways to use Facebook to build your Pinterest following.

#1: Get a Pinterest Tab for Your Facebook Fan Page

The easiest thing to do is just go to Woobox and create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.

wooboxEasily get a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page from Woobox.

It’s very simple to do and requires little to no technical skills. Within minutes, you can have your Pinterest account in front of thousands of your fans! This way, whenever people come to your Facebook page to either check out your latest posts or learn more about you, they can also see that you are on Pinterest.

The Pinterest tab allows fans to view all of your boards and even your pins while staying on the Facebook platform. They will not be transferred over to Pinterest until they try to repin or comment on one of your pins.

pinterest tab fb fan pageWithin just a few clicks you can easily create a Pinterest tab for your Facebook fan page.

inside the pinterest tabInside the Pinterest tab as seen on the Facebook fan page.

#2: Post Pinterest Links as Updates on Your Facebook Page

There are a few different ways to use your Facebook status updates to promote your activity on Pinterest.

One way to build your follower base is to share the direct link to your Pinterest page as a status update and tell your fans WHY they should follow you on Pinterest.

What helpful information or cool contests will they have access to? Are there exclusive promotions? Why should they follow you on Pinterest AND Facebook?

facebook status update exampleExample post of a Facebook status update promoting a Pinterest business account.

The more specific you can be about the type of value you are creating for your followers on Pinterest, the more likely your fans will join you there too.

#3: Promote Specific Boards on Your Facebook Page

On Pinterest, people can choose to either follow all, or just a few, of your boards.

Because of that feature, you may find success promoting specific Pinterest boards on your Facebook fan page.

I recommend you promote a few different boards throughout the week.

That way, you have the opportunity to showcase your Pinterest account to a wider audience on Facebook, and you can introduce them to the diverse areas of value shared on your Pinterest page.

There are two ways you can promote a specific Pinterest board on Facebook.

  • Update your status by uploading an image of a pin to Facebook. Add a description and include a link to the board on which that pin is featured.
facebook pinterest board exampleExample Facebook post promoting a particular Pinterest board.

This works well if you have a really compelling image, because it will be granted more space on the Facebook newsfeed than a link.

  • Post the link to your Pinterest board as part of a status update. An image of one of your pins on that board will be automatically generated.
full board viewGenerate a full board preview (photo and all) by posting the board’s direct URL .

Posting the link will also automatically include the text in your board description.

Make sure that you add proper descriptions of the content when setting up your boards. I’m always amazed by how few people take advantage of this opportunity.

Look how brilliantly realtor Raj Qsar utilizes this space for his branding purposes.

His board description reads:

“Raj Qsar & Premier Orange County Real Estate – is one of the most dominant Real Estate Teams in the Orange County Real Estate Market. For over 15 years Team Raj Qsar has held the philosophy to give the best service and most qualified advice to both buyers & sellers.

Implementing honesty and integrity at the highest level possible and to enjoy the entire process along the way. We are truly passionate about real estate.”

raj qsar teamTake advantage of the description area below your board titles for adding value to your brand and board.

To add a description to one of your boards, simply click Edit Board and fill in the Description field.

edit boardAdd a description to your board by clicking the “Edit Board” button at the top of your Pinterest board page.

#4: How to Promote a Particular Pin

Sometimes the best way to really serve your Facebook community is to highlight the value that you are providing in one particular pin.

This is a great way to get maximum exposure when pinning your own original content. Remember these posts can and will be shared across Facebook by your fans.

The same two strategies apply here, as they do to promote a specific board above. You can either upload the image of the pin as a status update (or include a link in the image description), or you can just include the direct link to the pin in your status area.

promote a particular pinPromote a particular pin by pasting the pin’s direct URL into your Facebook status update.

When you post a direct link to a pin as a status on Facebook, the following information will be automatically added and visible:

  • The image of your pin
  • The name of the board that includes the pin
  • The caption that has been added to your pin

So make sure you have fully optimized both your board title and caption for maximum impact. Focus on creating intriguing board titles and including a further explanation of value in the caption.

#5: Promote Your Pinterest Contests on Facebook

Contests and promotions are becoming all the rage on Pinterest. They are a very effective way to quickly add a lot of new followers and drive a ton of traffic to your site.

Unlike Facebook, there are no real restrictions regarding the way contests are promoted and hosted on Pinterest. A great way to leverage both platforms is to promote your Pinterest contest on your Facebook fan page.

pinterest contest facebook fan pageExample of how Bergdorf Goodman promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page.

Bergdorf Goodman recently promoted their Pinterest contest on their Facebook fan page by posting an image of one of the prizes with a brief explanation. They included a link to their blog within the description of the image where fans could find more details about how to enter.

Hopefully you’ve found these five ways to use Facebook to build your audience on Pinterest helpful. I know from personal experience that introducing your fan base to your presence on Pinterest is an effective way to get more followers.

Despite all the hype surrounding Pinterest, Facebook is still the largest social media network. Why not leverage the audience you have already built there and let them fast-track your success on Pinterest?

So what do you think? Can you see the benefits of using Facebook to get more followers on Pinterest? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.