Using Facebook

21 03 2013

Facebook is widely touted as the biggest thing in social media, with EVERYBODY and their cute crabby cat constantly logged in. However, using Facebook to successfully market your martial arts or self-defense school is something else.  Many of us have found that the time spent on Facebook has not led to contacts from potential students.

A local (Seattle) company, Brown Paper Tickets, published this list of 5 tips to making Facebook work for your events. My personal favorite is Tip 5, which is writing your event is a distinctive and engaging way (rather than just throwing the usual date/location info out there). My second favorite is #3, which is to post directly to Facebook.  In my experience it appears to be true:  for a short while I was scheduling posts via Hootsuite, and they consistently got fewer views/likes/clicks than did material I posted directly to Facebook.

One person who has seen success via Facebook said that it’s worked for her because she is on it constantly, and you have to be making those connections. So, for best chance of success, you should not just be posting your events, but be connecting with other similar organizations and people, and contributing intelligent and engaging comments on their posts.  Even  though it’s a new technology, the same old rules apply:  it’s all about the relationship.





In The News – Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

20 03 2013

Within the last few weeks, NWMAF member and Certified Self-Defense Instructor Joanne Factor was in the local Seattle media. Two were TV news segments (although in the second late-night segment we were not identified), and two were local radio broadcasts.  You can see (or listen to) the recordings at Strategic Living’s press page.

As self-defense instructors, I hope you all have similar press pages on your website. You do, right?

Two tips for the press page: make sure you have the media available from your own website (on your host server), as sometimes smaller media outlets over time drop older reports.  Also, if the story is still on the news media’s website, include that link — this aids credibility, and the source likes the linkback.

And one other important step.  Check your website’s analytics for the day of and the day after your media exposure.  (You do have analytics, right?  Google Analytics is fine, and free.)  That way you can assess if this media exposure had any effect.  For example, I did not notice ANY increase in visits to my site from either the TV news segments or from the AM radio interview.  But I did notice a bump after the FM radio interview, as well as several emails and phone calls asking about self-defense presentations and classes.  This information will help me decide if I wish to participate in a Health and Wellness Fair put on by one of these media companies (for which I would have to pay, at minimum, $300 for a bare-bones table with no promotion).





8 Habits of Successful Facebook Pages

25 05 2011

Mashable, that source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture, has put together a brief list of companies that are successfully using Facebook to grow their interactions with customers. Each company has a “lesson” to be learned based on that experience. The lessons, in short, are:

  1. Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first.
  2. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll get valuable feedback, plus you’ll be more likely to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds.
  3. Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform.
  4. Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries.
  5. If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors.
  6. Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem.
  7. Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes.
  8. Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits.

Better yet, just read the article: http://mashable.com/2011/05/24/successful-brands-facebook/#. That way you’ll see which brand provided which lesson (from the Brooklyn Muesum to Oreo to Restaurants.com).

Thanks to Lauren Taylor of Defend Yourself for finding this article!





Do You Want to Improve Your E-Newsletter’s Open Rate?

26 04 2010

The bad news:  only about a third of your e-newsletter’s recipients will open your email.  This is true if the recipient enthusiastically subscribed, or if the recipient is a member of your organization.  If this is an unsolicited email, it has about the same chance of being read as one saying you won the Swiss lottery.

Many people today are finding that they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of email and other electronic communications (including the outrageous amount of spam that still seems to seep through filters).  They triage their emails, and may or may not get to yours if it’s not critical.

I’ve recently found that the open rate of my e-newsletter seems highest when I schedule them to send on a Tuesday morning.  A free metrics report from MailingMailing (that I read after sending my last newsletter) says that Monday is the best day to send e-newsletters.  So I’ll be testing that Monday send in the near future and update you in a few months.