Attn Orlando: Upcoming Facebook Training

This post is part of our Reluctant Social Media Manager series, support for those of us who want measurable social media results with the least amount of effort.

This year has been full of excitement for Design Theory, and this summer is no exception.  Earlier this year we launched new services including Managed Hosting, Social Media Management, and the profitable sales tool Automated Virtual Chat.

We’re pleased to announce that starting this summer we will be providing Facebook Training Classes for the Orlando area.  We’ve developed a curriculum that will take any Facebook Business Page manager from novice to expert.  Our classes cover all of the basics – setting up and managing a Facebook Page, Facebook Best Practices, and Advertising.  We’ll go into some advanced topics such as: Managing Ads, Campaign Optimization, Targeting and Insights.

In February I provided a talk on Facebook advertising at WordCamp Miami (you can watch it here) and the response was overwhelming.  I was flooded with so many questions after the session, that I realized there is a need for classroom style Facebook training.  There are tons of resources online to help you learn how to leverage Facebook for your business, but if you’re like me – there’s nothing like having someone sit with you and work on your own website.

WordCamp Miami 2016

Our classes are designed to be hands on, lab-style.  Our students will bring their own machines and log into their own Facebook Pages with me right there in the room guiding them each step of the way.  Our first classes will be held later this summer.  Click here to join our waitlist and receive a discount on your first class.

Share this email with any entrepreneur you know who could use a little Facebook Management assistance.

Facebook Services: Find Businesses in Your City Based on Their Ratings and Proximity

Facebook Services: Find Businesses in Your City Based on Their Ratings and Proximity

Facebook will soon be officially launching a new feature on the desktop version (soon to be released to mobile I’m sure) where you can now search for local services based on your current location. For those of you that have a Facebook Business page/profile you’ll want to really see how you rank for your business. For now it seems the ratings is what is driving the business listing priorities. This means if you don’t have any reviews yet for your business on Facebook, you’re going to want to spend some time asking your customer and clients to log in and submit positive five-star reviews so that you can start to rank up your profile.

Facebook Services - List of businesses

I’m sure there are other algorithms Facebook is using to rank profiles, but at first glance the ratings seems to be driving it. You’ll also want to see how your traffic is doing with people getting to your page, posting, and engaging there.

This new feature should be interesting to see how this affects Yelp since this does exactly what we use Yelp’s website and ratings for choosing a restaurant or business service. Check it out and let me know what you think, is this a good new feature, is this something you’re concerned about? Leave your comments below.

Clever Ad Placement In All of Social Media

These days in just about everything we do, we’re just about accustomed to seeing a commercial, banner, popup, or some type of advertisement trying to get our attention. Even if the attention is only for a few seconds, winning our eyes for just those seconds can change our buying patters and perceptions to brands in a big way. While I won’t get into the science of marketing and mind control, I’ll keep this on topic for social media and the landscape.

I don’t think any social network can solicit ads better than Facebook. They’ve integrated targeted ads at the bottom of images, post threads, and the sidebars. While to most avid users of Facebook, one can train themselves to continue to use the social network and easily ignore the ads. Today I noticed my first sponsored ad in my stream of Instagram. I was a little shocked because I pretty much know all the people I follow and used to the normal content. That all changed when I saw this ad for a TV show that took my by complete surprise.

There have been plans for incorporating ads into IG I think before the Facebook buyout, but with Facebook doing what they already do well, I think ads were inevitable. Anyways, so the ad (see the screenshot below) was a high resolution photo with a TNT logo embedded and that was my first tip off. While a bit subtle it was noticed. There wasn’t enough for me to get a real gist of the program but there was a hashtag and a time and date for the next show on the network.

Instagram Screenshot of Ad

There was about 42 comments and I think there is where all the comedy was.  Some people were complaining for seeing the add, some identified the actor with praise, and of course plenty of sarcasm.

But What Does All This Mean for Avid Instagram Users?

Will you entertain paying big money to advertise your brand, services, products on the powerhouse that is IG? I’ll ask you a better question, how are you currently selling or reselling your brand to your existing audience? Your website is your information stream. People come to it daily for information, there should be subtle ways for you to turn something into revenue. Whether that stream comes from eyes to your website, then a call to action, then an email to buy something at a discount, there should be something in place. Especially if your business is structured to have reoccurring or frequent users – you have their eyes at attention that should be introduced (softly) to strategically placed similar products, well placed ads, or something that encourages an emotion to further engage with your business.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid

Sure I mentioned earlier that most of us are trained to ignore ads and commercial offerings, you must remember why people are using a service, website, or app in the first place. They’ve already been sold on it. So unless something comes around offering a better experience all around, and everyone they know have moved, they’re not going anywhere. Sure some will complain but they’ll continue to use it because all of their friends and coworkers still use it.

I remember when the threat of photo ownership was at risk in IG and people had a mass exodus from the site deleting photos and terminating accounts like it was an Occupy Wall Street protest. I was in the number by the way – (no shame). Then I came back with a new handle and a new perspective on what I decide to post and what I’ll reserve for my own publishing.


You can’t be obnoxious with your offerings and sales pitches. You’ve gotta slide them in there in a real subtle and non-obtrusive way. You also have to make it something that will spark engagement. Even if some it will be negative. Some of the negative will serve as good feedback on how to do better.

How Can You Tell If It Is Working?

Google Analytics is your best friend. Use it. Setup a benchmark for when you’re going to launch your new campaigns and compare that to what was happening on your website a month prior. Even to the week before, see what your numbers look like. See what your sign ups look like. See what your sales are like. See what your emails are like.

Sales Trigger Ideas?

Here are some ideas you can use:

  • A call to action with a form
  • A popup window on entry or exit of your website tied to your mailing list (I would suggest MailChimp)
  • Create new and keyword rich landing pages
  • Once a day try offering a special deal to one of your more engaged followers on each of your social media accounts. (tell them they one a free something or discounted something)
  • Create a timed sale or discount. One that has to be used within a certain period of time that day or within the next 24 hours. This will create a sense of urgency
  • Cross promote your brand with an associated business or service
  • Invite your followers to post pictures on their social apps with your products (something branded) and tag/mention you
  • Create your own ads that are linked back to your products when sending out emails

These are just a few ideas, there are plenty more out there. Why not share your efforts and ideas in the comments below and lets have a discussion!

The Top Stock Photography Websites

The stock photography industry started in the 1920s, by H. Armstrong Roberts . At that time, it was primarily a way for professional photographers to market the duds from commercial photography shoots.  But since then, it has taken off and many people (including me) frequently use these high quality photos for professional use on print collateral, blogs and websites. Images most requested are common landmarks; conceptual and major events that can be used and reused for commercial design purposes.

There are several sites that provide these photographs in a multitude of categories. Each site has a repository for these various categories that allows for creative design assignments.  The compilation of this repository reflects just how important imagery is to every medium.  Here are just a few of the top, highly-used sites that will surely fulfill all your stock photography needs.

Thanks to Top Ten Reviews from TechMedia Network, showcases the 2013 Stock Photography Service Comparisons and what they offer its consumers.
Although this listing is quite helpful, these are my top picks due to availability, quality and pricing.

getty images Top Stock Photography Sites For Royalty Free ImagesA leader in digital multimedia resource that includes:

  1. royalty-free stock photography;
  2. editorial images;
  3. video; and
  4. music.

Image pricing depends on what type of licensing you want and prices for royalty-free images, footage clips, etc. are based on file size.  They have a broad range of editorial images as well.

shutter stock Top Stock Photography Sites For Royalty Free ImagesShutterstock is one of the leading global image marketplace headquartered in New York City.  They have an extensive library of royalty-free stock photos, vectors, and illustrations available by subscription and a la carte.  You can browse the library for free.  This great news as Shutterstock adds over 100+ images to its library each day.

istockphoto Top Stock Photography Sites For Royalty Free Images   Known for the Internet’s “original member-generated image and design community,” reputation iStockphoto offers millions of royalty-free photographs, vector illustrations, video footage, audio tracks and Flash files from over 70,000 worldwide artists. Talk about impressive. And the smaller photos you need for blogs or as thumbnails on a document,  can be as low as $1.oo!

  Yes, we all know that 123rf boasts about their 19,484,862 Royalty Stock photos!  But what most people don’t know is that there’s a fairly large, evolving database that houses several images FOR FREE!  They have a wide variety of commercial and editorial images, video footage, audio clips, logo designs and illustrations that are easy on the eyes and your wallet.













The Most Effective Content Writing Styles

Girl writingA writer’s style is what sets one’s writing apart, is unique and intriguing.  Such style is the way writing is dressed up (or down) to fit the specific context, purpose and target audience. Word choice, sentence fluency, and the writer’s voice — all contribute to one’s style of writing. How a writer chooses words and structures sentences to achieve a certain effect is also a facet of the own writers style and flare for words.  I lean more towards funny, edgy and witty humor writing which is often noted and enjoyed by my readership.

Do you know what your writing style is? Here’s a short-list of the most commonly used writing styles in media and on the web.

Style #1 – Persuasive Writing is a critical skill for marketing that can be a slightly intimidating to a novice.  Looking at a service or product, it is imperative to convince your audience that they want it and need it.  This is where the “why” of the 5 W’s come into play.  A great starting point is to jot down the main points of what would be a verbal persuasive argument.  From establishing your oral argument, you can translate that into persuasive writing to craft an effective, persuasive marketing pieces.  Check out 9 Simple Tips for Writing Persuasive Web Content.

Style #2 – Informative Writing does exactly what is says-it informs your audience beyond their current knowledge base.  In other words, a fact-based writing style. Here is not the place for overly embellished sentences but moreover researched facts & true precedents. This writing style is most frequently u3 way fork with question marksed in news reporting, medical media and outlets that use less “fluffy words” and more punch line information. you need to follow some simple guidelines that will ensure that your words are memorable, informative, and concise So remember Top 5 Informative Writing Tips for Bloggers

Style #3 -Anecdotal Writing is most often found in the blogging forum where anecdotal free form writing is not only common, but very much welcomed. “People love stories—tales about real people doing real things. We can’t resist them”, PR Daily. People love great lead-ins with a short story that ties directly into the main point of the article. It is often witty, even playful and is the antithesis of informative writing.  For several great tips on writing anecdotal leads, see this excellent article from PR Daily.E

Great Articles & Infographics on Writing Styles

3 Style and the Stylebook

10 Elements of Writing Style Infographic

Hot & Cold Writing Styles In Advertising

Using the Inverted Pyramid Style of Writing for Ad Agency New Business