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We are well into the digital publishing world. I am fortunate to have my work appear several times a month in a variety of places.
Yet, I still love to see my mug in print, I don’t know why.
So, my digital friend, I thought I would share my mention from Chief Content Officer Magazine (free subscription) and fill in a few more details on the method to my headshot madness.

The Conversion Scientist’s Social Media Avatar Tips

1. Include something unusual in the image, something representative of your personal brand.

I wear the lab coat in every shot, even if it isn’t showing much. The human mind remembers such things.

2. Control the viewer’s eyes with your eyes.

Eye-tracking studies have shown that our gaze is drawn to faces that are looking at us. In fact, we may stare at a pretty girl long enough to forget why we came to your page in the first place. Have several versions of your headshot and aim your eyes at things you want people to see: calls to action, content, headlines, etc.

3. Be unexpected.

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One of the things we want to do is engage the mind of the viewer. Things that will light up someone’s brain activity are the unexpected, off-center and the need to “fill in” an image.

4. Consider integrating action.

You can tell a story with a one-frame headshot. So, tell it. What am I doing in this shot?
I’m talking to an audience. I must be a presenter. Why, yes, I am! But, what am I holding (unexpected)?
I’m going in for the hug! That means I’m a connector, right??
Other avatar actions: Being passionate, banging a table, thinking deeply, contributing at a homeless shelter.
Our avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our Web site, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.
Hand-drawn avatar courtesy Kathleen McElwaine.
Headshot logo by David Holston.
Headshots by Korey Howell Photography.
Image with mic courtesy Eugene Hsu.
Contact Brian Massey

New Tool Makes it Easy to Find Prospects on Social Networks via Social Appending.

In my most recent ClickZ column, I reflect back on my days as a marketing cog in the corporate machine, a time in which the practice of “appending” was considered “black hat.”

Appending is the practice of adding contact information to records in your prospect database. If you have someone’s name and company, you could “append” their email address and mailing address through a number of services that keep that kind of information.

Companies that sell mailing lists often provide this kind of service.

The thinking was that the prospect hadn’t given you permission to contact them through these other channels, and that it violated the “submit button contract” that is implied when they completed an online form.

Social Appending: How Far We Have Come

Social Appending: How Far We Have Come. Source: Unbounce.

We’ve come a long way

Oli Gardner has an interesting info graphic on the Unbounce blog. The graphic highlights a tool called FlowTown. This is a social appending tool. Marketers can use it to find the social media accounts of their prospect list, and begin marketing to them through those social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn.

This is where those of us who have been around the block groan, and then secretly cheer.

Why this is different

While appending has not been considered a best practice, it happens. In fact, the best way to do this is to send ask your prospects for permission after appending the data; sending them an email asking if they want email messages, for example.

Many social media platforms allow us to easily “unfriend” or block unsavory marketers. This puts the opt-out capability in our hands. So asking for permission ahead of time is less of a problem.

But there is a right way to inject yourself into someone else’s conversations. It’s called a Content-oriented Social Media Strategy.

  • Only “append” people who have expressed an interest in your industry or products. This is how you know your content will be relevant.
  • Begin with non-promotional content. “How-to” and “10 Ways” style articles test well.
  • Use social landing pages, such as a blog or Facebook page to “keep it social”
  • Measure what you send. Stop sending content that doesn’t generate clicks, shares or comments.

If you’re going to jump into the social conversations, do it right, or it will backfire in a very public, viral way.

Tell me your social conversion rate

"Social media is revolutionizing customer care." Yawn.

"Social media is helping brands build awareness." That’s sounds interesting (not).

"Social media increases the quality of the traffic coming to your site in measurable ways." Now you have my attention.

Don’t Hate Me for My Myopia

It is my choice of career that has given me this singular focus when it comes to online marketing. There are other people to create brand image. There are smart, dedicated people trying to improve their company’s customer service.

I say “you go!”

But, I want measurable, tangible data on how social media gets qualified prospects to a Web property, and how it helps me carry on a conversation with them making them more likely to buy.

I can already hear Qwitter messages landing in my inbox. I hate Qwitter personally, but it is a FABULOUS metric, the equivalent of email’s unsubscribe rate. So, I have to listen. It’s an measure of my social media Return On Investment, my social media ROI.

This attitude is good for social media

How many times do you have a great conversation in the social space only to find the company’s Web site opaque, posing, and irrelevant?

Social media won’t work if we’re transparent in our social graph and obsequious everywhere else.

Let’s encourage businesses to put content out that draws people to their Web site. They will quickly begin to realize that certain content works (educational, entertaining content) and certain content does not (home pages with self-aggrandizing copy).

ROI is the great informer for these companies.

If our stuff is worth talking about, why hold it back?

There is a camp of social media digerati that believe social channels are not for promotion, that it is evil to advertise where conversations are the norm.

But, if conversations are going on around a brand or a company, why deny the social citizenry of a chance to own or use their offerings?

It’s just plain selfish to hold back.

When buying is an outcome of conversation, ROI tells a company how it’s doing in starting and continuing those conversations.

Communities that raise their hand get more attention

Let’s face it. We want the support of companies as we complain and cheer about their products. We want them to hear us, to reply to us, and to see things our way.

And we are not above the occasional bribe.

How many times have you started a complaint with, “I spend $_____ with your company every _____, and I expect… .”

We regularly use ROI as a way to get attention.

Online communities are arbiters and aggregators of ROI. They drive it, highlight it and can take it away. They should be rewarded for their financial contribution to companies with increased support, more say in product design… and the occasional bribe.

What do eBook Groupies and Designer Laptop Bags have in Common?

I’ve recently begun working with J’Tote Designer Laptop Bags, and heard a story that illustrates this concept perfectly.

It seems that the women of an eBook community have developed a love for J’Tot’e’s chic laptop bags. How do we know?

     

  1. Mysterious spikes in J’Tote’s Web traffic led to the discovery that people were posting about them on the forum.
  2.  

  3. Boxes of bags were soon waiting to be shipped to the group’s members.

Visitors from this community stay on the J’Tote site longer than average, view more pages, and have a very low bounce rate (a measure of the number of visitors who leave immediately after visiting a site).

The folks at J’Tote now make it a priority to tune into the conversations on the forum, and are certain to give them warning when inventory clearing sales are imminent.

Companies speak ROI

It is the lingo of the bottom line; the babble of budgets; the conversation of the coin. If we want more companies to engage in social media for all the “right” reasons, we need to communicate with them in this language: more visits from interested conversationalists who buy their products.

We need to speak to them with ROI.

It’s one thing for a company to monitor our conversations attempting to gauge positive or negative sentiment. It’s quite another for them to know that their Facebook page is generating additional visits and sales.

There is a catch

Companies that don’t measure the ROI of social media won’t get the message. They’ll continue to ignore important communities, cut social budgets and generate plenty of negative social sentiment in the digital conversationsphere.

If you’re not measuring, you’re not listening.

J’Tote is listening. Are you?

On July 21, I’ll be showing you ways to measure your social ROI, and in particular, your social conversion rates.

Did you know there was such a thing as a social landing page? It’s nothing like your landing pages.

Did you know that there are six major conversions that happen when you add social media to your sales funnel?

My presentation is just one part of a spectacular Master’s Group Training being held in Austin by Webmaster World, the PubCon people.

Only, you don’t have to attend a full PubCon to go.

Not only will you learn from me how to measure your social media efforts, you’ll learn how to do the things that make social media work.

     

  • Andy Beal will tell you about social media reputation management.
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  • Dan Zarrella will give you the low down on Twitter and Facebook optimization.
  •  

  • Brett Tabke will show you how he reached influentials in his social graph and put PubCon registrations slashed his marketing budget.

Oh, and there is also an search marketing track going on at the same time. Yawn.

We’re going to make people love your business through your Web site at The Conversion Scientist. Subscribe to learn the strategies and tactics that turn more of your visitors into leads and sales.

Dave Evans is one of the smartest guys in Social Media today and has the ability to ask questions that make you stop and think. Really think. So, when he asked my opinion on where social media meets conversion strategy, I really had to think.

The result of our collaboration is his latest ClickZ article Social Conversions: Taking Step Two. For me, the process crystallized the reasons that so many of us have trouble seeing the ROI in social marketing. We’re looking at it wrong.

I will expand here on how we use inappropriate strategies for our social marketing campaigns. In subsequent posts, I’ll drill down on some of the strategies mentioned in the column and show you how they work.

The Flaw in our Social Marketing Model

Dave’s article hints at the way we use old measures of success in new paradigms. We see social media as simply another way to drive traffic to our traditional conversion funnels.

With this model, we try to cram our social strategies into the Awareness portion of the marketing funnel. While this is a valid use of social marketing, it is it’s most limited.

When we realize that there is a whole world of conversion after the purchase we begin to use our social marketing more strategically.

Strategic Social Marketing

We can use social media strategically when we apply it to the post-purchase portion of the funnel

This expanded model for social media let’s us use social channels more strategically.

Instead of asking, “How can we use video to drive more traffic to us?” we can instead ask, “How can we use video to increase use of our offering?”

Instead of asking, “How can we use Facebook to build a list of prospects?” we can ask, “How can we use Facebook to get people talking about our product?”

Can you see how we would apply social marketing in a more purposeful way when we change our point of view? Doesn’t it become clearer how we would measure the success of our social campaigns beyond just traffic and page views? If you answered “Well, kinda,” don’t worry.

I’ll be exploring best practices for some of the strategies mentioned in the Social Conversion article, including:

  • Use of notification emails which “are among the most overlooked opportunities for engaging new product users.”
  • Designing a blog that converts buyers to users, users to opinion, and opinion to talk.
  • B2B implementation circles

For a complete understanding of the marketing funnel, read Dave’s book Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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