Category Archives for "Facebook"

Jan 14

How to Update Your Online Marketing Strategy in 2014

By Maria Peagler

Important changes you need to make now

Important changes you need to make now

2013 brought enormous transformations in social media platforms, search engine algorithms, and email marketing.

2014 ushers in a new era in online marketing.  You’ll be seeing “content marketing” and “integrated marketing” mentioned increasingly, as they focus on not just one network, but using your content across multiple channels.

How can you focus on even more social networks if you’re feeling overwhelmed already? No worries: here are my recommendations on working smarter to massively increase your results in 2014:

1.  Focus on Social Media as a Lead Generator

People rarely buy directly from your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or Instagram photos.

Social media is a marketing channel:  you can make sales from it eventually, but it requires that you nurture the fans, followers, and connections you build there.

The simplest and most direct way of connecting to your hard-earned fans is to capture their email addresses so you can reach them directly via your email marketing.  Then you no longer need to concern yourself with reach or how many people engaged with your posts.

What does this process look like?  Here’s a sample flow for a few of the most popular social networks:

From Facebook:

  • a visitor arrives on your Timeline
  • likes your page
  • sees an offer you have for a free product, a coupon, or other freebie
  • gives their email in exchange for the freebie
  • gets the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

From Twitter:

  • a follower sees your tweet, offering a free download or coupon
  • clicks on the link to get the offer
  • arrives on your website landing page (a dedicated web page for this offer only)
  • provides their email in exchange for the freebie
  • receives the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

From Pinterest:

  • a follower sees a gorgeous photo or infographic you’ve pinned
  • clicks on the pin to learn more
  • clicks on the link included in the pin description
  • arrives on your website landing page (a dedicated web page for this offer only)
  • provides their email in exchange for the freebie
  • receives the lead generator freebie and begins receiving your emails in their Inbox

Continue to post regularly to your social networks to nurture those relationships.  You’re now adding the email marketing component to ensure you reach them in case they have seen you on Instagram  or LinkedIn in a while.

This is an approach I’ve been recommending for years, but in 2014 it will be mandatory to implement to get results.  Otherwise, your marketing won’t generate the return on your investment (ROI) you need.

2.  Expand Online Marketing Beyond Facebook

Too many business owners focus solely on Facebook for their marketing.  While you can continue to do that in 2014, you will need to laser-focus on getting higher engagement (which Facebook artificially skews in favor of plain status updates), or you’ll need to begin to advertise.

You can achieve massive results with simple Facebook ads (January’s bonus webinar teaches you how).  How much?  How does 900x your fan base reach sound?

If you don’t plan on advertising in 2014, then you’ll need to expand your online marketing beyond Facebook alone.  Don’t abandon it; instead, add a second social network that provides the biggest opportunity for you.

Not sure what that is?  My Social Media Strategy class teaches you which marketing platforms offer the most potential for your business.

If you’re concerned about how much time it will take to use another social network on a consistent basis, I’ve got you covered.  The 15-Minute-a-Day Social Media System webinar teaches you how to promote your business online efficiently. You won’t get sucked into memes, videos or vacation photos, and your eyes won’t get bleary from looking at computer screen too long. 🙂

3.  Measure What’s Working for You

When’s the last time you analyzed your Google Analytics?

Your Facebook Insights?

Your YouTube Insights?

Anyone? Anyone?

I completely understand.  I’m totally not a numbers person.  But in business, you have to be. Otherwise you won’t be IN business for long.

In 2014, it’s critical that you begin measuring the impact of your marketing.  You don’t have time or budget to waste on underperforming marketing campaigns.

Instead, you need to identify what worked well for your business in 2013, do more of it, improve it, and “beat a dead horse”.  The web’s audience is so vast that you don’t need to worry about doing too much of the same thing.  People rarely see every single post or article you write.

So if your best marketing campaign was a coupon to fill seats on a slow night in your restaurant — continue that.  Now think of how you can improve upon it.  What about a frequent diner card? An evening with the chef? Think about how you can provide something similar, yet different, to continue to motivate your buyer’s interest.

4.  Look for Opportunities Others are Missing

Online marketing will be more challenging in 2014, which requires you to be smarter and more focused about the way you promote.

What opportunities are you missing?  What can you do that your competition isn’t?

Here’s one:  YouTube videos.  This is still the BIGGEST missed opportunity for small businesses and has been for the past three years.

How about you? Have you recorded a YouTube video yet?  If not (or if you want to improve), the YouTube 101 class and Visual Social Media webinar here at SMOC teach you how to get started.  If you don’t want to be in front of the camera, the webinar reveals how you can hire someone to do a whiteboard video or something similar on a budget.

How Will You Update Your Online Marketing Plan in 2014?

Online marketing evolves at a rapid pace, and you can easily feel like you’re not keeping up with all the latest changes.  Don’t feel like you need to join every new social network that comes along.  Incorporate these four tactics into your online marketing strategy and you’ll definitely see better results in the coming year.

Which tactics will you be using to update your marketing plan in 2014?

Easy Facebook Advertising
Jan 06

Easy Facebook Ads on a Budget: Live Webinar + Recording + MP3 Audio

By Maria Peagler

Easy Facebook Advertising

January 2014 Member Bonus Webinar

Join Maria Peagler for this brief live webinar:

    • Learn how to run simple, targeted Facebook ads using the 5/35 formula
    • Thurs Jan 23th, 1pm EST, 6pm GMT
    • 30-Minute Webinar + On-Demand recording + MP3 Audio
    • $297.00 value FREE for Members (Membership is $57 per month, cancel easily anytime.)

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Already a member?  Your webinar access codes will arrive in your Inbox by Jan 21.

How can you increase your visibility on Facebook when fewer of your fans are seeing your posts?

You’ll find out in this jam-packed webinar, when Maria Peagler shares her 5/35 forumula for Facebook ads: spend less than five minutes creating your ad & monitoring results, and only $35 for your ad budget.

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn:

  • how to create a simple Facebook ad in less than 5 minutes
  • the secret to keeping your budget under $35 while still getting massive results
  • how to measure your results for even better ad performance

Plus, plenty of time for Q&A, so come with questions and sign up today!

Get Your $297.00 Webinar ticket FREE When You Join  Today

Purchase your Webinar ticket for $297.00 now, or get it free when you join as a Member today for $57 per month. Cancel easily anytime. is a continuous service, including instant access to over 200 online lessons valued at $1,997.00 plus $397.00 worth of new Bonus Webinars & infographics each month, billed to your payment card every 30 days at the lowest rate then in effect, currently just $57.

In total, you’ll get instant access to $2,297.00 (and growing!) worth of practical Members-Only training to grow your business using social media. Membership helps you:

#1. Get Access to One Billion Customers in 10 Minutes

Learn how to identify the social networks best for your unique business, then build a profile that turns more visitors into paying customers. SMOC brings you ‘what works’  training that cuts through the noise & crushes social media overwhelm.

Members  instantly access how-to videos, screen shots, checklists, infographics, and case studies — tools which can be put to work on your website & social networking right away.

#2. Get More Fans in Less Time

Discover how to get fans & connections without spending all day in social media.  You really can post to all of your social networks in as little as 15 minutes a day, and you’ll learn how to generate content & posts that get your business noticed, attract fans, and turn them into paying customers.

Members immediately get their hands on how-to checklists (like 13 Ways to Get More Facebook Fans), videos that teach you how to do search engine optimization yourself, and real-life examples of successful small businesses who’ve achieved great success.

#3. Customize Your Learning Track

Online training is often a one-sized fits all plan, but not for SMOC Members.  You’ll get a customized social media assessment that details the optimum social networks for your unique business & industry, and you can use it as your guide for what classes you’ll need (Members are often surprised at the results).   Plus, Members can instantly access:

  • hands-on video tutorials
  • monthly social media makeovers (for your website or any social network)
  • bonus webinars that dive deep into profitable tactics
  • infographics to print as your cheat sheets
  • a private community forum
  • virtual office hours

#4. SMOC networking plus exclusive Q&A Webinars & Workshops

Members get instant access to a private online community of peers eager to connect and discuss what’s worked and what hasn’t for them.  Each week, members also get one-on-one Q&A time with Maria during Virtual Office Hours.

Plus, your Membership includes a complimentary pass to SMOC’s monthly Bonus Webinar or virtual workshop focused on a hot social media business topic — ranging from one & done posting to getting listed on search results — with plenty of time for extended Q&As . The webinar alone is a value of $297.00 per month.

As a member you’ll get immediate access to all the materials on the site plus that month’s Bonus Webinar. After that, you’ll be billed the lowest available monthly fee (currently just $57) via convenient automated billing. It’s risk-free and guaranteed, you can easily cancel at any time.

So why not join today and see how can help your business grow!

Get Webinar FREE with SMOC Membership

Dec 23

Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013


Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013 Here at SMOC

Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2013 Here at SMOC

#1. Facebook Marketing Infographic: 64 Tactics to Promote Your Business to 1 Billion People

The most popular article of all time here at 64 Facebook tactics in 8 categories for a possible 4 million unique marketing campaigns . . .

#2.  The Ultimate Guide to Profitable LinkedIn Networking (Infographic)

The most shared article in 2013 was this LinkedIn infographic: your go-to reference for what’s changed and how to get results on this B2B social network . . . .

 #3. Social Media Templates, Presentations & Videos: Get My Best Resources without Leaving the Office

Couldn’t make it to a social media conference this year? No problem. Get these PowerPoint presentations, videos and templates from my own conference talks here . . . . .

#4.  Marketing Infographics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Slideshare & More

My most popular infographics all in one place. Browse through them and download your favorites here . . . . .

#5. Creating a Social Media Action Plan: the First 100 Days of 2013 (relevant for 2014 as well)

How to execute online marketing goals with an action plan. This is the second article in a three-part series including setting SMART goals and measuring your ROI . . . .

#6. How to Double Your Facebook Fans Authentically: No Buying Allowed (CASE STUDY)

This case study of an SMOC member who doubled her Facebook fans is even more critical with lower Facebook reach . . . . .

#7. WordPress Website Checklist: How to Build a Website with WordPress

Build your own WordPress website in just five steps with this article & accompanying checklist . . . .

#8. LinkedIn Sales Checklist: How to Generate Leads from LinkedIn

LinkedIn leads are 3x more likely to convert into a sale than any other social network. Learn how to turn your profile into a lead generation machine here . . . .

#9. The Art of Giving a Recommendation

This surprise entry in the most popular list of 2013 demonstrates how difficult it is to write a solid recommendation for someone. Learn how your recommendations can stand out here . . . . .

#10. 3 Ways to Protect Your Online Accounts from Getting Hacked

Who’s been hacked this year? Target, LivingSocial, Facebook, WordPress, Evernote, Microsoft, and NBC. If it happened to these behomoths, it can happen to you too. Protect your accounts with a rock-solid fortress by doing these three simple things . . . .

Dec 17

CASE STUDY: 3 Metrics to Measure Year-End Social Media Results, Version 2.0 [UPDATED 2016]

By Maria Peagler

measure year-end results with google analytics reports

As we approach year-end, do you need to show measurable results for your online marketing?

I'm about to make it stupidly simple . . . 

. . . by using the 80/20 rule: 20% of your effort generates 80% of your business.

You'll measure the top 20% of your promotional tactics to see what drove 80% of the results.

Here are the three key metrics to measure to discover your most powerful marketing tactics of the year. (If you want to dig deeper, keep reading: I offer additional resources for goals & campaigns.)

1. How Much Traffic Did Online Marketing Drive to My Website?

One of the biggest questions you need to answer is this: what impact did online marketing have in driving customers to my website? Whether your business is online or local, you need a simple way to analyze where they came from.

This is easy if you've integrated Google Analytics (GA) into your website. My instructions for adding GA are here. Google tells you how many of your website visitors are coming from social media. From the GA screen, select Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals:


Google Analytics tells me Facebook is my top social network sending traffic to my site

My own numbers tell me that my top social networks driving traffic to my site are Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

When I look at how long each visitor stays on my site (Avg. Session Duration in GA-speak), again, Facebook tops the list, with Slideshare & Twitter close behind.

Finally, I want to see how many pages each visitor looked at (Pages/Session). After all, the longer someone stays on my site, the more interested they are.  Google+ tops the list, with SlideShare and Facebook not far behind.​

Here are the top 3 social networks by those three critical measurements: number of visitors sent, how long they stayed and how many pages they visited:

My Traffic Data from Google Analytics




How many visitor sent?




How long do visitors stay?




How many pages do people visit?




Notice Facebook, Twitter and SlideShare appear as winners in multiple categories? Those were big successes for my brand this year, and I need to focus on those next year.

Because Pinterest content lasts longer than that of any other social network, and it's a big driver of traffic to my website, I'll focus there too.

Google+ visitors did looked at the most pages on my site, so I need to give them more comprehensive guides in 2017.

Those are definitely where my primary focus should be in 2017.

2. What Were Your Best-Performing Posts?

Once you've discovered which social networks are the most powerful generators of traffic to your website, next you need to identify what you did to motivate them to visit you. Which posts stopped people from enjoying Facebook photo albums & Pinterest recipes to click-through to your website?

For Facebook & YouTube, review the Insights they provide (see my Facebook Insights post here;  for more detailed help, refer to Lesson 20 of Facebook 101; YouTube Insights help in Lesson 19 of YouTube 101). For the social networks that don't provide measurement data, you can still return to trusty GA to see what's working for you (you can also use it to review any network results).

Here's how:

From the GA screen in #1 (Acquisition>>Social>>Network Referrals), select your top social network, and you'll see the pages those visitors came to on your website:

facebook-traffic-pages-2016 google analytics

Pages visited most by Facebook traffic. Also, notice that big spike in traffic on April 25?

GA displays the pages here visited most by people coming from Facebook. I want to focus on those top pages: what were they? Those are the blog posts or website pages I need to do more of in the coming year.

Also notice that big spike in Facebook traffic on April 25? I need to identify what post did that.

Which post was it? Take a look:

My ad for the DIY Blog Tour infographic drove the April 25 traffic spike

This was an ad I ran offering a free infographic download. It teaches you how to create a blog tour to launch a product.  This ad drove that April 25 traffic spike.

Again, this is definitely a tactic I should use in 2017. It drove the most visitors to my website of any post I did on any social network.

Now repeat this process for each of your top social networks. I would look at the top pages for Pinterest, Twitter, and SlideShare.

3. Measure Sales & Compare with Traffic: Is There a Correlation?

The simplest way to measure the sales you receive from your online marketing efforts it to track your sales over the course of the year, and compare them to the chart you see in step 2. Did that spike in April traffic also correlate with higher sales?

This method offers a correlation between sales and online marketing. If you need to scientifically accurate data, you'll need to set up goals in GA for product sales, phone calls, newsletter sign-ups, or other actions you want visitors to take from your website.

Learn how to track sales and marketing campaigns using Google Analytics in our Facebook 103 class.  You get videos showing you exactly how to do it, plus 1:1 coaching with me.  I hope to see you inside!

maria peagler headshot 2015b thumbnail

Maria Peagler, Founder

Goal setup is a more complex process covered in our Facebook 103 class.  Since we're keeping this simple, let's leave it at the correlation. That's good enough to see if your online marketing is having a positive impact on your sales.


Sales in April were low, so that traffic spike from Facebook didn't result in significant sales

What we see from this revenue chart is that sales were low in April. That traffic spike did not result in a significant revenue increase that month.  Why? Likely because that infographic is complex, and it takes a while to digest everything it takes to create a blog tour.

What I do see from my revenue chart is that August & September were significant revenue months.  So I need to go back to Google Analytics and see what social networks were driving that traffic and the pages they landed on.


How to measure your marketing campaign results, including traffic, leads, and sales.  How-to videos in Facebook 103 class.

EXTRA CREDIT: If you need more than sales correlation data, you can get it with GA.  You need to setup goals and campaigns that identify what drove traffic to your website, who became leads, and those who eventually purchased from you.  The GA report below shows what campaigns drove that August/Sept revenue spike and how much:

The marketing campaigns driving the most revenue for Aug & Sept

Your Action Items

Now it's your turn: measure these three simple metrics for your own business using this step-by-step lesson. You need to identify:

  1. Your top social networks
  2. Your best-performing posts
  3. If sales correlated with your high-results posts
  4. Extra Credit: measure which marketing campaigns drove the most leads & sales in Facebook 103 class

Share your results in the comments below!

Dec 11

18 Effective Tactics to Boost Your Facebook Reach

By Maria Peagler

18 Tactics to Beat Declining Facebook Reach

Facebook now admits that fewer and fewer people see your posts

Facebook finally admitted what most page owners already know: organic reach (not paid) is dropping. Advertising Age magazine offered this article about it here:

The plummet in post reach began when Facebook went public, and worsened in September of this year when they changed their algorithm. While this is bad news for most businesses, SMOC members are covered! You have many resources here to overcome this challenge, and I’ll be offering a webinar in January for Highly Targeted Facebook Ads on a Budget.

  1. How a Solopreneur Gets 200% Facebook Reach – without Ads
  2. Facebook Engagement Secrets
  3. 5-Minute Facebook Marketing Plan
  4. Three Critical Elements for Facebook Engagement 
  5. Posting Photos for Facebook Fan Engagement
  6. Measure your Facebook Engagement with Insights
  7. Schedule Your Facebook Posts for Maximum Fan Reach
  8. How to Guarantee Your Facebook Fans See Your Posts 
  9. Get Fans to Take Action Directly from Your Facebook Timeline Cover
  10. Develop a Lead Generation for Your Facebook Page 
  11. Create a Custom Tab to Get Facebook Leads Delivered to Your Inbox
  12. Capture Fan’s Email Addresses in Facebook
  13. Beat Facebook’s New Algorithm to Reach More Fans
  14. A Baker’s Dozen Tactics to Monetize Your Facebook Fans
  15. Video Makeover of a Facebook Business Page to Get More Sales
  16. Small Business Case Studies Using Facebook
  17. Effective Facebook Ads
  18. Running FB Ads on a Budget
Nov 20

How to Make $100,000 in Real Estate from Social Media Alone [CASE STUDY]

By Maria Peagler

This case study of a real estate broker who earned over $100,000 from social media (her listings alone) will totally change the way you approach online marketing.

Molly got over 500 Likes the first week she opened her new ReMax office

Meet Molly McGrory, ReMax Broker

Molly is the owner of five ReMax offices in Georgia, a real estate holding company, is also a listing broker, and travels 105 miles between her offices.  She’s an avid tennis player who enjoys playing three days a week. You might think that a hugely successful owner of multiple businesses doesn’t have time to do her own social media. But she does:  Molly makes the time. Molly uses social media to:

  • Earn $100,000 exclusively from her own listings from one social network (and $75,000 the year before)
  • Tap into a hugely profitable resource (and its not her Facebook friends)
  • Open a new real estate office and get over 500 Likes to its Facebook page the first week
  • Hire a successful agent via social media by making her an offer she couldn’t refuse

How Molly Earned Six Figures from Social Media (Case Study & Interview)

Members – get the 15-minute interview, action items, and screenshots to learn exactly how to earn $100K from social media: click here to login!

Not a member? Start learning today by becoming a Socialmediaonlineclasses member. Get started below:

Social Media Case Studies for Small Business
Sep 09

Why Large-Brand Case Studies Don’t Work for Small Business

By Maria Peagler

social media cases studies small business

If you’ve been staying abreast of how brands use social media, you’ll hear some well-known companies mentioned repeatedly: Dell, Virgin, Starbucks, Ford, Amazon, Zappos and more.

Which is fabulous if you’re a large business: you can take a look at what other mega-brands are doing and simply adapt their strategies to your organization’s style.

But small business is left wondering: “Can I make those same strategies work for me?”

If you listen to the authors of those case studies, they’ll assure you that “Yes! You just scale them for your business!”

Baloney. Those large-brand case studies won’t work for your business. You don’t have the manpower, budget, or agency resources the Coca-Cola’s of the world do.

Small business needs their own case studies. Fortunately, here at SMOC, you’ll get them in abundance. Here are a baker’s dozen to learn from:

Here are the same case studies, in list format:

7 Things You're Doing Wrong with Social Media
Sep 03

7 Surprising Mistakes You’re Making with Social Media

By Maria Peagler

7 Surprising Things You're Doing Wrong with Social MediaEver wished you could have a professional analyze your social media efforts and provide suggested improvements?  That’s what today’s article is all about.  After years of training small business owners how to use social media, I’m sharing the biggest mistakes I see — and how you can avoid them.

1.  Appealing to an Unprofitable Target Audience

The audience you want may not be the one that pays the bills.

Let me say that again:  the audience you WANT may not be the one that is PROFITABLE.  In helping small business owners develop a strategy, our first step is defining their audience.  I’ve noticed an interesting trend:  entrepreneurs often want an audience based on ego, ideas of success, or by watching what other successful people are doing.

But that probably isn’t the most profitable audience for you.  After all, your ego doesn’t balance the books, an idea isn’t backed by solid numbers, and successful people often are unprofitable.

The lesson?  Run your numbers.  Find out who your most profitable audience is.

Here’s an example:  a coaching client wanted to appeal to a target audience of women ages 25-35.  However, when we looked at her Facebook Insights, we saw that her most loyal group of fans were older women 55+ (who also happen to have far more disposable income than young women).  This entrepreneur was basing her social media strategy on what her ego wanted, rather than what her business needed to stay profitable.

2.  Executing Social Media without a Strategy

Pilots never fly without filing a flight plan.  You consult your smartphone’s map app before heading out on a trip.  So why are you still doing social media without developing a strategy?

When people join SMOC, they’re often frustrated that their previous social media efforts haven’t paid off.  They’re overwhelmed, confused, and often skeptical that social can actually work for their business.

Social works for any business:  what they’re missing is a unique strategy customized for their business, their fans, and their entrepreneurial style.  Imagine you’re being fitted for a custom-tailored suit:  the tailor takes endless measurements and expertly crafts a garment that fits like a glove.

That’s what a strategy can do for you.  Stop wasting time on social networks that don’t fit your business.  Make time to craft a tailored plan for your social media, and you’ll be amazed at how little time you spend making social profitable.

3.  Assuming You Should Be Marketing on Facebook

I have yet to see a single business owner that doesn’t believe they should be on Facebook.  After all, 1 billion consumers makes for a highly desirable audience, doesn’t it?

But it may not be right for you.

Here’s an example:  a member recently reached out to me in the Forum, asking how to get more Facebook fans.  She said her financial services business has a business page, but most of their clients aren’t on Facebook.


” . . . most of their clients aren’t on Facebook . . . ”

That sentence tells me that Facebook will never provide ROI for her financial business.  If your audience isn’t there, how can you get fans?  Who’s going to pay attention to your posts, photos, and videos you painstakingly create & share?

MEMBERS:  Here’s a bonus tip for you:  which social network should you be on even if your customers aren’t?  Read the surprising answer below (you must be logged in to see the Members-Only Tip):

4.  Not Using Video

Yep.  This is a drum I continue to beat, but few business owners are confident enough to get in front of the camera. Video is THE biggest missed opportunity for small business.


Because everyone watches YouTube.  Period.

Which makes it the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google.

So if you’re not on YouTube, you are missing out on getting traffic to your website & getting discovered by potential clients.

Your video doesn’t have to be expensive, slick, or professionally produced.

It just has to be YOU.

5.  Posting Inconsistently

What days do you post to social networks?  Which ones?

Do you know which days are best for your target audience? And are you targeting a profitable target audience (see #1)?

Facebook just made it dead simple to find out when the best days & times are to reach your audience with their new Insights.

Have you reviewed yours lately?  What did it tell you?

Make a plan now based on those Insights.  Or whatever is best for your schedule.  Just make sure you are consistent, especially in Facebook.  Because being seen & shared is crucial to getting into your fans’ News Feeds.

6.  Not Measuring ROI for each Social Network

Speaking of Insights, have you been reviewing yours?

Most small business owners don’t.  They’re not easy to figure out (until you watch my videos and webinars), there’s too much data to wade through, and it can seem impossible to figure out what metrics to measure.

Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest all provide analytics telling you who your audience is and how they’re using your presence there.  Take a few minutes each week to check these:  notice trends and patterns, what content people really like, who your audience is, and start doing more of what’s working for you.

7.  Ignoring No-Brainers to Get Increased Sales

Every entrepreneur can make a few simple tweaks to their social media and website to make getting leads and sales easier.  Steps like using Facebook’s custom tabs, inserting your website URL as the first line of a YouTube video description, and using keywords on your Pinterest boards.  These are small steps that add up to a collective win:  greater visibility, more traffic, and leads for your business.

How do you figure out what those tweaks are?  Educate yourself.  Take a few minutes each day to learn a little more about the social networks you should be using and how to be effective on them.

Are you making any of these mistakes yourself?   That’s actually a good thing.  Making mistakes is one of the steps we all take on the road to success.

facebook insights how to
Aug 06

Facebook Insight Stats Explained: How to Mine Your Facebook Analytics for Actionable Tactics

By Maria Peagler

fb insights announceFacebook captures data on how your fans interact with your posts, their demographic info, and what posts they like best.  And Facebook shares it with you in a feature called Insights.

Best of all,  results you see are unique to your fans.

But Facebook page owners rarely use Insights.  Why?

Because they’re filled with numbers, data, and graphs.  In short, it looks like something your accountant would love.

Not mining your Facebook Insights = leaving money on the table.

Inside all that data is are where the gold is.  Sure, it’s easy to get lost in it all — so don’t feel like you need to review everything.  Instead, focus on these Top 3 Facebook Insights you need to know and more importantly — what to do with them.

1.  What Posts Get the Best Results?

Fans of a football team page will respond differently to posts than fans of a coffee shop.  Service-based businesses have fans who want posts completely different.

So how do you know which post will generate the optimal results for your unique fans?

Your fans are already telling you, and their answers are in your Facebook Insights.  Specifically, they’re on the Posts tab:

fb insights 1

Sort by Reach & Engagement to see which posts are best for your unique fans


When you click on the Posts Tab, Facebook shows you the stats for All Posts.  You get three months worth of results, organized by Date, Post Content, Post Type (status update, video, photo or link), Targeting, Reach and Engagement.

Your Action Items:

  • Click on Reach to sort posts by how many people saw them.  Your most popular post appears at the top.  Do more of these types of posts:  look at the content & the post type.
  • Click on Engagement to sort posts by how many people interacted with your post by liking it, commenting on it, or sharing it.  These posts are your real gold:  they are not only getting fan interest, they also improve your EdgeRank so more of your fans will see your posts in their News Feeds.

2.  What Day & Time Should I Post?

Facebook is finally telling page owners when their fans are online the most, both by day of the week and time of day,  in the When Your Fans Are Online Tab shown here:

The best days & times to post for greatest fan reach

The best days & times to post for greatest fan reach

Your Action Items:

  • Check this tab weekly.  The times your fans are online changes from week-to-week, so make sure you’re posting when your fans are reading.
  • Identify the top days & times to post, and schedule those posts ahead of time OR make a recurring appointment on your calendar to post during your fans’ optimum times.

3. What Should I Post on My Business Page?

Now you know, because Facebook tells you which post types get the best response from your fans.  Check out the Best Post Types Tab:

What should I post on Facebook?  Check the Best Post Types Tab to find out

What should I post on Facebook? Check the Best Post Types Tab to find out

Facebook displays clearly your most popular post types, showing you exactly how many fans saw them and engaged with them.  So if video resonates with your fans, figure out how you can post more of it.  While links are often the most actionable posts for business, they don’t get as much Reach.  Get creative:  post a how-to video with a link to learn more.  Make these stats work for you by capitalizing on your strengths and turning your weaknesses into an opportunity.

Your Action Items:

  • Identify which post types work best for your audience.
  • Record these Insights monthly on a spreadsheet (SMOC members can use this one here) so you can view your results over time, identify trends and changes.

How to Turn Insights into More Fans & Sales

Insights data is great, but what’s a page owner supposed to do with it all that data?  Here are three exclusive tools I offer to members to turn Insights into more fans & more sales:

  1. A case study that shows how one solopreneur got over 400 Likes in one day, and exactly how she did it!
  2. An in-depth video tutorial of how to analyze Insights for your business — including what’s important & what isn’t (Members login to watch it)
  3. Facebook Insights Checklist: How to Turn Data into Sales

fb insights video thumbnail

Jun 24

How to Double Your Facebook Fans Authentically – No Buying Allowed! [CASE STUDY]

By Maria Peagler

I don’t advocate “buying” Facebook fans or other schemes that inflate your vanity metrics (it ends up hurting you far more than it helps).  That’s why I’m thrilled to share you with a case study this week of an SMOC member who doubled her fan count in just one week – authentically.

What was her secret?

Meet Jenifer Dick of 42Quilts

Jenifer is a solopreneur quilt designer, Editor at Kansas City Star, and author of five published books on quilting.  She has a successful history in publishing and has a degree in Journalism, so writing comes naturally to her.

You might think that a writer would love blogging and her blog would be her favorite social platform.  But it’s not.

It’s Facebook.

She loves snapping a photo, putting up a funny quote, or sharing photos of her lectures & workshops while creating a community around quilting.

How Jenifer Doubled Her Fans

Until a few months ago, Jenifer’s fan count was hovering around 1,500.  Then she made a few changes to the way she posts on Facebook, and her business page received a flood of new fans (800 in just one week!). That fan growth has continued for a solid month, and she now has over 4,200 fans.

Her fan count isn’t the only thing that’s improved.

See that blue line skyrocketing on Jenifer’s Facebook Insights?  That’s her fan reach, which jumped to 400% (average fan reach is 17%):

Here’s the fan reach for Jenifer’s best photo in June:  almost 19,000 fans saw that post — and her fan page has only 4,200 fans.  That’s a Reach of almost 400%!

Jenifer used several tactics to organically grow her Facebook business page fan count and they’re all centered around content, including:

  1. Increasing the frequency of her posts
  2. Varying the type of Facebook posts
  3. Inviting select influencers to her page

One of Jenifer’s critical success factors was where her fans were coming from. Wisely, Jenifer reached out to industry influencers, which resulted in an exponential fan increase from a surprising source.  You can read more about it by becoming a member of (Members – just login on the left sidebar and you’ll see the details of Jenifer’s success below, including screenshots of her Insights and results that shocked even me!)
[Content protected for members only]


Jun 17

Which Social Network Should I Use for My Business?

By Maria Peagler

In Lesson Three of my free Social Media Strategy class, I show small business owners how to determine which social network is best for their business in just 5 minutes (normally it would take months of market research to figure this out).

J.O, a new member here at SMOC, has this question after doing the exercise in Lesson Three and getting his results:

“So how should I define which social media is where my majority of audience are?
I followed your instructions but I don’t know how to compare the results.”

 Facebook vs. Twitter?

J.O. is wondering whether Facebook or Twitter is best for his business.  After all, Facebook is the network of 1 billion users, and Twitter is a great way to get found with hashtags and conversations around his business.

But the answer was surprising:  neither Facebook nor Twitter was best for his business.


The Surprising Solution

J.O.’s business is all about finding jobs online.  Three social networks will be best for his business:

  1. LinkedIn is the top choice for anyone searching for a job.  It’s become the human resources database of the 21st century, and LinkedIn is continually evolving to make job hunting the #1 focus for people here.
  2. Google+ is the second choice because of it’s boost it gives to search engine results.  By posting here regularly, J.O.’s website & Google+ page will appear higher in Google search results, and drive more traffic to his website.
  3. YouTube is the third social network that completes the solution for J.O.’s business, as it’s the second largest search engine behind Google, and will again help his Google search engine rankings.

Watch the Video

Wondering which social network is best for your business?  Members can watch the video showing the case study of J.O.’s business and find out — in just 5 minutes — which social network you should use for best results.

Jun 03 Most Popular Articles of 2013

By Maria Peagler

Most Popular Articles of 2013 at

I’m on vacation for the next 10 days, so I’m bringing you the Top Ten Articles of 2013.

Use these articles as a checklist to review what’s 2013 brought to social media, see what updates affect your business, and make necessary changes to get better results.

Facebook experienced only minor changes over the last six months, but LinkedIn? Wow! It’s an entirely new social network for B2B.

Mark some time on your calendar so you can read one article each day and then — most importantly — execute it.

  1. Facebook Marketing Infographic
  2. The Ultimate Guide to Profitable LinkedIn Networking [INFOGRAPHIC]
  3. My Social Media Presentations, Templates and Videos
  4. First 100 Days of 2013 Challenge: Creating a Social Media Action Plan
  5. Marketing Infographics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Social Media Strategy & More
  6. Pinterest Marketing Infographic
  7. LinkedIn Sales Checklist Infographic: 5 Ways to Rock Your Profile & Generate Leads
  8. Social Media Strategy Chart [INFOGRAPHIC]
  9. First 100 Days of 2013 Challenge:  Set Your Social Media Goals
  10. How to Drive Sales Using Pinterest Boards (Social Media Makeover VIDEO)

Which one will you be acting on this summer to grow your business? Share your strategies in the comments.

May 21

How an Athens, Georgia Solopreneur Gets 200% Facebook Reach [CASE STUDY]

By Maria Peagler

Marybeth Tawfik had a career as a photographer and an engineer, but her real passion is quilting.   She’s lived all over the world, including Asia and Europe, and she’s won European awards for her longarm quilting.

She returned to her Athens, Georgia hometown and turned her passion into Cambridge Lane Studios, a local longarm quilting business.  She rents space in the artsy Chase Street Warehouse district and collaborates with a University of Georgia (UGA) art professor for a line of custom pillows.

But when it came to marketing, Marybeth wasn’t quite as inspired. She was unsure what the best social network was for her business:  would it be Facebook, Pinterest, or what about Google+?  She had a clean, beautifully designed website:  did she really need a blog too?

The sheer volume of online marketing choices and the work involved in them was overwhelming for this solopreneur to wade through:  which one would offer the best results for promoting her business?

After some initial experimentation, Marybeth found Facebook to be the highest-performing social network for Cambridge Lane, and her results are nothing short of incredible — 200% Fan Reach

Compare that to the 17% reach for the average Facebook page, and Marybeth gets almost 10x that — making her a social media phenomenon.

How’d she do it?  Think you need a huge fan base to get awesome results?

Read on for details, including screenshots, stats, and how you can apply her tactics to your own Facebook page.

Cambridge Lane Studios By the Numbers

  • Facebook Page:  established 2011
  • Page Likes:  155
  • Highest Post Reach:  315
  • Most Viral Post:  50% (avg virality for a FB post is 1.92%)

While Cambridge Lane Studio has a small number of fans, they’re highly interested in Marybeth’s longarm quilting, so they are far more valuable than a fan base of thousands who have no interest in her products.

Her concentrated fan base also contradicts the notion that you need a huge fan count to get results on Facebook.

How Marybeth Did It

Marybeth will be the first to admit she doesn’t have a marketing background, nor does she really enjoy promoting herself.  She views her Facebook page as a true community, listens to her fans, and posts what interests both herself and her audience.

It’s All About the Photos

Marybeth is an excellent photographer and she takes a lot of photos of her client’s quilts, both in progress and finished.  In effect, she’s offering the most popular part of any quilt guild meeting:  show and tell, done online on her Facebook page:

Photos get the highest engagement of any post on Facebook.

Give Your Fans Their 15 Minutes

The beauty behind what Marybeth does as a longarm quilter is her work is a collaboration:  she finishes the quilt top that her clients have lovingly made over weeks, months, and sometimes years.  Every quilt has a story, and each quilter (or quilt owner) wants to show off their finished quilt.  By sharing photos, Marybeth brags a bit about her clients.  Their friends, family, and quilt guild members get to see the beautiful quilts right on Facebook, and prospective customers get to see her work.

Asking for opinions gets more engagement, Likes, and Shares.

Marybeth also asks her fans’ opinions about the quilt photos she shares, and they love giving their replies.

 Listen. Then Educate

Are you listening to your clients?  What are their biggest questions?  Answer them publicly on Facebook.  This tactic gets huge responses from Marybeth’s fan base, especially about hot topics like pricing:

Link to a helpful resource, tie it to fan questions, and ask for opinions.

The Path to 50% Virality

What is virality on Facebook, exactly?  It’s the percentage of fans who have interacted with your post (Likes, Comments, Shares) divided by the number of fans who actually saw it.  So if you have 300 people see a post, 50% virality means 150 people interacted with it.

The average post virality is 1.92%.  It’s not easy to get people to interact with your posts, as Facebook is a noisy place.  It’s like trying to be heard on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

But Marybeth does it.  Her highest post virality is 50%, an astounding achievement:

Virality is critical for your fans to continue seeing your posts in their NewsFeed.

Notice the top 6 posts on Cambridge Lane’s page are all above 10% virality:

How Can You Get Similar Results?

First, realize that quilting is a social & visual business.  That makes getting engagement somewhat easier, as Marybeth does have a visual product to start with, and one that gathers women & men together in social communities to quilt, share, and learn in quilting guilds and bees.

If your business isn’t visible or social, don’t let that stop you.  In last month’s Visual Social Media bonus webinar, I profiled multiple brands overcoming this obstacle, including Waste Management, Southwest Airlines, and others.  If they did it, you can too.

Here are the key tactics for Cambridge Lane Studios that you can learn from:

  • Take photos.  Every post Marybeth does includes a photo.  Use your iPhone to take compelling photos & videos.  Refer to the Visual Social Media bonus webinar for detailed examples and tactics.
  • Show off your client’s work.  Give them their 15 minutes of fame.
  • Ask for your fans’ opinions
  • Listen to your clients, your fans, and refer them to excellent resources.
  • Did I mention photos?  Yes, it’s really THAT important!

If you enjoyed this case study, let me hear from you in the Forum!  And look for more case studies soon, including one small business owner who got 800 new fans in one week!

Facebook Block User
Jan 09

Virtual Office Hours Question: How to Ban a Facebook User?

By Maria Peagler

Facebook Block UserToday during my live Virtual Office Hours a student had this question:

“One of my competitors has just Liked my Facebook page, and I really don’t want her seeing what I’m doing in my business.  How can I block her from my business page?”

Is it even possible to ban a user, and if you do, can you ever get them back? You might be surprised at the answer.

Watch my video tutorial below to learn if you can block a user from your business page: (Students – login to see the video)

Not a student yet here at SMOC? Let’s get you registered so you can rock your Facebook page and keep competitors from spying on you!