Great Viral Marketing Strategy

I almost called this article how I found out I was a mongoose, but it doesn't Serengeti Bookmake sense until you go take the quiz. My friend Jonathan Rivera, you can find him at did a video and post about Surviving Your Serengeti. <– affiliate link.

The book sounds interesting and he gave it a great review I don't know much about the book beyond his review.  But their marketing has been amazing.

One of the things they are doing is a quiz that helps you determine what animal you are, that's how I found out I was a weasel. It's a simple quiz and we're all curious to find out if the quiz is "right." But on the quiz page they have three different ways you could virally share. #1 like the page on Facebook, #2 like the book on Amazon and #3 like ActiveRain on Facebook.

Once you've gone through the quiz they show you what animal you are and give you multiple ways to share your type. I'll detail three of them here:

#1 They ask you to share your results with your friends. This generates the wall post below 

#2 The ask you to share the Quiz which generates a wall post.

#3 They have Facebook and Twitter Share Buttons

That's not counting the links on the two sides of the and they have a Facebook Profile badge generator that I didn't get a screenshot of, but here's Jonathan's. He's a mongoose too. My guess is that most of my online entrepreneur friends will be mongooses because we're resourceful.

They hit it from all of the normal book launch channels as well, but how they used social media to virally promote was extremely well done. And it looks like it worked:

I'm buying my copy based on Jonathan's review, but their marketing was top-notch. You can learn a lot from this campaign.
One of the core take-away's is to not be afraid to use multiple method because you never know when someone with a large audience will share your page and drive a significant share of traffic.

Social Media Mistake – Not starting with a plan

The most common social mSocial Media Mistakesedia mistake I see my clients making is starting their social media without a plan. Their are several scenarios that happen.

  1. You hear someone talking about how much success they've had with social media so you jump in and set up a Facebook profile. 
  2. Your boss comes in and says, "We need to get on that FaceTube or YouBook thing, and you need to take care of it."
  3. You realize that your old advertising methods aren't working and you need something new so you give it a shot.

In most of the scenarios above you end up failing. Why do you fail? Primarily you fail because you don't start with the right questions:

  1. What are my goals for social media?
  2. Who is my customer?
  3. Where is my customer active in social media?
  4. What information does my customer want to know?

The thing to remember about social media marketing is that it cuts both ways. It's better to not be involved than to do it poorly.

Let's dig into these questions

What are my goals for social media?

There are several metrics that you can track:


  1. # of new people on your email list
  2. # of fans/followers
  3. # of comments / likes / share of your content


  1. # of online sales if you have an online store
  2. # of new customers coming into your store

Who is my customer?

Who is my customer?

I'm always surprised when I ask prospective clients who their customer is and they say everyone. It's not everyone, you might take everyone's money, but that doesn't mean you should be working with everyone or that everyone will buy your product or service. Build a profile of your best customer: age, sex, likes, occupation etc.

Where is my customer active on social media?

There are several ways to find this out:

  1. Ask them – this is the one that most of my online peers miss. Ask them in your store, ask them when you're meeting with them, email them if you have a list, but ask them.
  2. On Facebook –
    • Go to advertising
    • Start an ad
    • Adjust the demographics to fit your demographics
    • Ask yourself if that's enough people

What does my customer want to know?

This will depend on your business. Bars need to let people know what specials, events and music they have coming up. Clothing stores should share sales, dressing tips, Real Estate agents can share tips for lowering your mortgage rate etc… You can also do some of the following to find out what they are interested in.

  1. Ask them…
  2. – search based on your business type and keyword phrases
  3. Do a Google search with the keyword phrases for your business – look for social media sites that could be a good fit
    • "Keyword phrase" blog
    • "Keyword phrase" forum
    • "keyword phrase" in video
    • "keyword phrase" in News

Feel free to ask any questions about planning in the comments below.

Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?


Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

Facebook Rant #1 – Facebook Profiles aren’t for Businesses

Epic Fail

Facebook profiles are for people and pages are for businesses, organizations etc. Does that mean someone can’t say what they do on their profile. Of course not, but what it does mean is that you shouldn’t have several profiles for different businesses or different aspects of your business you need to have business pages set up.  I’ll address dos and don’ts of using your profile to build your online presence without being spammy or breaking Facebook’s Terms of Service in another post.

I see people making the profile mistake all of the time. It’s an amateur mistake and I can understand a person who’s learning Facebook and just trying to get something started making that it. BUT when I see people who are touting themselves as marketing or social media experts building profiles for people it frankly just pisses me off.  This is 101 stuff that no one who’s been doing business on Facebook should be doing.

Why is it a bad idea? Because it’s against Facebook’s Terms of Service. Right, I know, they let you build the profile with a business name. Yes, you managed to slip it through. Yes, you’ve built up a couple of hundred or maybe even a couple of thousand friends.  But that still doesn’t make it a good idea. It’s kind of like speeding or driving without insurance or cheating on your taxes. Yes you haven’t been caught, but sooner or later…you will.

Here’s the info from FB:

Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual name, while Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site, similar to how Groups and Events function. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won’t be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.

If you don’t want to have a personal profile you can set up a business account. I don’t recommend them because you can’t add any applications to the page.

Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.

Here are the terms and the pieces that you are violating if you have a bus!/terms.php?ref=pf

Section 3
1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.

Section 4
2. You will not create more than one personal profile.

All in all, you can do what you want, but I think it’s foolish to violate the terms of service because sooner or later Facebook will notice and they will delete the accounts that are violating their terms.


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4 Ways to Create Value Through Social Media

One of my pet peeves is people who leave comments on content or share share content with comments that show that they didn’t read the article. I had a situation a couple of days ago where I saw an article posted by someone who I used to respect. I read the title and his comment and then read the article. The first paragraph proved that he had not read the article and was commenting solely on the title which showed me he has no respect for his audience.

I think this happens for many reasons. In today’s market far too many people are trying to put themselves out there as experts. Most of these self proclaimed experts have been told that they need to leave comments and add value. But that takes too much effort so they leave short, no value,  cut and paste comments or comments simply based on headlines. They don’t realize that they are doing more damage to their brand every time they leave a bad comment.

Too many people are seeking shortcuts and much of the training that is available focuses on those shortcuts. The way to earn respect and followers online is to create value. Creating value differs by your audience and who you want to attract. You attract one audience through thought provoking in depth analysis and a different one by sharing the latest funny YouTube video.

Here are my thoughts on creating value more or less in order:

Create unique content that others will want to share

This takes far more work, but it delivers the most long term value. You are seen as the expert because you have proven yourself through your content. Before you say I can’t do that you need to understand that everyone is an expert at something. Trust me you are. But it’s not always what you want to be an expert in. We’ll explore that in more depth in another post.

Add value to others content.

Take short snippets of someone else’s content and add value. With a blog post you could use a trackback. You can add value providing more in depth analysis of the subject, you can extend the article, you provide your opinion, you can even disagree with the original article, but you need to add value and extend the conversation.

This shows you as the expert and is easier than starting from scratch. This is a good way to get started on those mornings that you just can’t get focused on a topic. If you use a trackback you will attract some attention from the original post and may even get the original blogger/author to come over and start a discussion on your blog.


Adding value through comments is a great way to get noticed both by the content producer and by their audience. What you want to do is read the post. Find one or two specific things that you can comment on where you can provide unique value. Then I like to scan the comments and see if there is a good comment addressing the same points. If there is I reply to that comment with my thoughts. If there isn’t I leave my own comment.

Do not leave comments like “Great post” or comments that prove that you did not read the post. Also use your name, don’t be “Montana SEO” keyword stuffing your name in comments is spammy and makes you look like an idiot.

This is valuable because it can help you get noticed by the original content producer and their audience. I know people who have built followings simply by being the top commenter on one or two of the big names in their industry.

Sharing on Facebook on other social networking sites

This is good because it provides an opportunity for you to share great content with your audience. When you do it you want to make sure that you add value to the post even if it’s just one or two sentences. “I liked this post because,  I found this part interesting etc…”

Do not share content with comments that prove that you didn’t read it. It proves that either you are an idiot who can’t read or you have no respect for your audience. Either reason is more than enough for someone to quit following you.

If you don’t have time to leave a good comment either don’t share it or at the very least just share it without a comment . There are many times that I read an article and share it without a comment, but I rarely share anything that I haven’t read.

The key component is that you need to add value. While there is some value in being an aggregator of information, if you don’t add value to that content why do people need you?? Reading Chris Brogan and sharing all of his posts does not make you a social media expert.