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If you are looking for a way to make yourself more popular on Facebook, some scientists in the Netherlands have the answer. You need sexier friends.

Two scientists conducted a study using 78 people and their conclusion was that if you want to increase your Facebook popularity, then you should have more attractive friends. Is that a useful study?

Social scientists have for years now said that popularity off line in part has something to do with how attractive you are or your friends are, but does that translate online? Maybe it does. But I don’t think a sampling of 78 people in a study is enough to make that statement definitive, do you?

Nevertheless, it’s worth giving it a try. Maybe you can go around looking for attractive Facebook people to add to your friends list. Then what?

These kinds of studies don’t do businesses much good at all. You are looking for customers, people who will interact with your brand and purchase your products or services. That requires a certain level of targeting. If attractive people are your target market, then by all means seek out the most attractive people you can find. But if attractiveness has nothing to do with who is in the market for your goods, then don’t consider it.

Facebook is a place where people go to meet new friends and interact with their current friends. Don’t overcomplicate your social networking. Just do it.

Leave it to Marketing Pilgrim. On one day they’re asking if Facebook Stores are a failed experiment. And the next day they’re announcing Timelines for Brands.

Here’s the question: Do you think Timelines for Brands will change anything?

Many a company has tried to sell through Facebook. Personally, I think it works better for smaller companies and solopreneurs, who can maneuver easily as individuals on Facebook and sell without actually marketing. But that’s just me. Nevertheless, Facebook does have something to offer for brands.

One of the new products, and it hasn’t actually rolled out yet, is Timelines for Brands. These won’t be just like your personal timeline, but they will be a little more eye appealing than the current Facebook page layout. That’s a good thing, right?

People who visit your brand’s timeline will be able to see at a glance the various features of your Facebook marketing offerings. They’ll be able to see your contests, coupons, featured items, and other timeline features at a glance. But will that matter?

I’m not one to pronounce an Internet marketing strategy dead just because no one has figured out how to profit from it yet. How long did it take for companies and brands to take to social media to begin with? How about video marketing? And mobile marketing?

There is a lot of opportunity in Facebook if you can figure out how to leverage your efforts. Hard selling doesn’t work. People go there to hang out, not buy stuff. Still, that doesn’t mean they won’t whip out their wallet for the right item.

A gravatar can be a very useful tool for online content providers. It does several things for your online identity including:

  • Notifying bloggers that you are not a spammer
  • Making your name and website more brandable
  • Easily identifies you as authentic everywhere you go
  • Unifies your blogging, commenting, and social media presence across all channels

Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. It’s easy to set up. You just head over to and upload your photograph or image – the one you want to be associated with a particular e-mail address. It’s important to note that if you own several websites and have different e-mail addresses for managing those websites and often comment on blogs, forums and social media sites under your various names, then you can have more than one gravatar. You can have one for each e-mail address you own because the gravatar is associated with a single e-mail address.

Every time you enter your e-mail address into a comment form, your gravatar will appear beside your name. This makes you recognizable to other commenters while branding you online and shows that you are a legitimate poster, not a spammer.

I highly recommend that you set up your own gravatar – especially if you blog regularly and comment on other blogs regularly.

We spend a lot of time talking about how to increase traffic to your website, but unless you convert that traffic into customers your efforts are often wasted. I know there are some sites that want traffic purely as online branding and promotional use, but many websites exist because of the business they do through the Internet. It’s your website that converts traffic into customers and it can take a lot of research and trial and error to gain the best conversion rates.

Online business owners can learn a lot from their offline counterparts. One feature of many offline businesses is the concentration on efforts to not win walk-in traffic, but to do everything possible to keep that traffic in the store for as long as possible. Every parent knows about the final marketing trick, the offers made at the point of sale – often targeting children. I notice some supermarkets now advertise checkouts that are ‘child friendly’, that doesn’t mean they don’t have point-of-sale marketing material.

Your website needs to follow the same principles. Once a visitor arrives on your website, you need to keep them for as long as possible. The use of video is popular now for catching people’s attention and increasing their desire for your goods or services. Video production now needs to be a little more sophisticated than in the past, but then, a professionally produced video is likely to have more selling power than a home-produced video.

Content is a website’s prime tool in keeping visitors on their site. However, content on its own is useless if visitors cannot find it. This brings into play your internal link structure, the placement of those links, and the anchor text used to promote those links. This is one area where trialing different placements and different anchor text can result in improved click-through rates.

A professionally designed website that makes use of¬†modern features like video, infographics, and well-written content can work together to keep visitors on your website for longer periods. The longer they stay on your website, the more likely they are to become a customer. When it comes to point of sale offers, don’t be afraid to ask for email details for newsletters.¬† Is your website helping you to convert visitors to customers?