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Empowering Women in Johnson County, IN

It's fall in Indiana and with that comes one of my favorite times of year. With the cool weather comes cozy sweaters, favorite boots, and all of my favorite colors transforming the trees.  One of my favorite activities is joining Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County Women's Build. 

Approximately every other year the build focuses on bringing women together to offer a hand up to a well deserving single mother and her family.  Two years ago a friend asked me to join her team. It was an experience like no other and as uncertain as I was with my building skills the day was full of rewarding and empowering moments. Women cheering each other on and collaborating to work towards a common goal. I was hooked. 

Fast forward to two years later I was asked to lead a team.  You see the build is comprised of several days lead by teams who not only get to build that day, but also raise funds for the many supplies that are needed to create this home.  I didn't hesitate to say, 'yes', and quickly asked my client to join forces.  The Barn at Bay Horse Inn was just a few weeks old at the time, but owner Amanda Cottingham, rarely turns down an opportunity to serve her community.  Together we brainstormed who to invite on our team as well as fundraising ideas.  

Click through to the blog at Barn at Bay Horse Inn to read more see more photos from this spectacular day. 


Is Gmail hiding your email from subscribers?

I’ve recently been asked about Gmail folders “Tabs” and how they effect email marketing.  For those of you who don’t know Gmail created tabs that automatically file or sort your mail into 3 folders:  “Primary/Inbox”, “promotional” and “social”. (This happened in May of 2013)  Many have feared their subscribers will not receive their mail unless they look for it in the “promotions” tab. 

How does this impact your email marketing?  Those subscribers who read their gmail, from their desktop, without a mail server such as Outlook or Mac Mail, may not see your message in their inbox.  (This averages to about 4% of your database.)  Keep in mind this does not effect those who read their email from their mobile devices.

Our gals want you customers to get your mail and put together some tips to reduce your mail from ending up in spam filters. We also put together a short video showing you how Gmail folders work and how your customers can move your mail to their primary inbox.

Here are some tips to avoid Spam filers: 

What you shouldn’t include in your email:

  • Avoid CAPITALS in subject line of your email and throughout the content of your email.
  • Avoid over punctuation!!! 
  • Avoid overuse of special characters $%@
  • Avoid specific words/phrases such as “free”,  “guarantee”,  “limited offer”, “click here” 
  • Education words such as “Master(s)”, “degree”, “earn” , etc. or adult content words (you can guess those.)
  • Don’t add people to your list without permission.

What you should do:

  • Send people email they want. They subscribed to your list and are interested in hearing from you. Be sure to send subscribers what they signed up for. 
  • Use the “spam check” button. (We are avid Constant Contact supporters and know this feature is easily used, your program should have a ‘spam check’ also.)
  • Ask your subscribers to add your ‘from’ email address into their contacts list. 
  • Run reports and compare open rates from those with gmail and those without. You may even decide to separate your gmail subscribers into a different list and view the results. 
  • Use a reputable email marketing tool like Constant Contact. 

We created this YouTube video to show you how the gmail folders work and how your subscribers can move your emails from their "promotions" folder into their main "inbox".

Here are some great articles we sourced a few of these findings:

Google Reviews from a Mobile device


We just posted a blog (and video) on how to support your favorite businesses with a google+ review. What we left out was how to make a review from your mobile device.  It works TOTALLY different from your mobile device. (but, good news - it's easy)

  1. Open Google Maps. (make sure you are signed in.  If you have used maps or gmail then you are probably already signed in.)
  2. Search for the business you want to review. (check that it's the correct address. We've noticed some businesses have multiple map listings if they've moved.
  3. Scroll down and you will see the 5 stars and a place to add comments.
  4. 'Publish' and you are done.

It's simple. Though confusing that you can't do this from the Google+ app.  Either's easy to support your favorite businesses from your mobile device too.  It will come from your personal account, unless you are signed in as your business.  

Here's the link for posting reviews from your desktop

Here's a link to set up a Google+ account business or personal.

We love helping local businesses grow and hope you found this helpful. Check our other blog articles for many more tips, tricks and how to get noticed online. If you need help managing your social accounts give us a call at 317.679.2862 or email





Facebook tests "want" button in retail tests. Do you "like" or "dislike" this plan?

Change never comes easy, and when Facebook changes the game many posts appear in rebellion. Hold on tight because here comes another change. Facebook is running a test with retailers to include a 'want' button that allows users to engage with products and share with friends - a wish list of sorts.  The studies go on further to say a 'collect' button may be included which could possibly direct to an e-commerce site allowing users to purchase items directly from facebook.  As of now these 'want' and 'collect' tabs will only be available within facebook. (unlike competitor pinterest social plug in functions - for now at least). While I imagine businesses will accept this change (for the most part) I fear facebook users will rebel in masses.  Is this going too far with over commercialism? Here are a few articles I enjoyed on this topic.

Following pulled from By Alexei Oreskovic- updated 10/8/2012 5:18:09 PM ET

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company does not receive a fee when someone purchases a wishlist item on Facebook from a retailer's site. But Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the new Collections feature could open up new sources of revenue for Facebook, whose stock has taken a drubbing as concerns about its long-term money-making prospects have mounted. "E-commerce is one of the best ways to monetize the Internet," said Sebastian.  Read full article here:

Additional articles:

LinkedIn Introduces Endorsements

With just a few clicks you can now endorse 1st connections.  A much faster way (than recommendations) to support those you have done business with.  Many intend on sending  a recommendation for  colleagues and connections, but just haven’t gotten to it.  Now with endorsements it only takes a few seconds to show your support and appreciation for connections. You may ask “How can this add value?”  (1)  You increase your credibility by having others vouch for you. Sure anyone can list a skill, but do they really have what it takes to own it? Connections verify that “yes” in fact this person is an expert here. (2) It’s also very valuable in building strong connections and allowing potential networking connections to quickly identify your strengths. And (3) Show your appreciation for others with the support of an endorsement. You stand behind them and want to see them succeed. Who wouldn’t be grateful for this? Toot their horn for them so to speak. (They may very well return the favor.)

Here’s how to make an endorsement:

  1.  simply visit your connections profile page and scroll down to Skills
  2. click the plus sign.

That’s it. Since this is a new feature, you will also be prompted to endorse various connections while exploring LinkedIn. Typically this allows only one skill  at a time. Visit your connections profile to endorse many skills at once.

You can also add skills for someone if you’d like. Perhaps you worked with someone, in the past, who had a slightly different skill set than they are showcasing now. If you’d like go ahead and add the skill and endorse.  If they don’t like that you did this (or someone added a skill for you that you don’t want) - simply click on the right arrow next to the skill and select “Hide Endorsement”

Want to know if you’ve been endorsed? Don’t worry, you will receive an e-mail from LinkedIn.  You can also see these in your profile view. Not only will you build credibility for your connection, but notice your profile picture is tagged next to the endorsement.  Perhaps you’ll expand your network and connect with future clients.

P.S. Don’t quote me, but with keyword rankings I wonder if this will effect search engine results with more endorsements. I haven’t found any proof of this but a gal has to wonder.

View this slideshow, from LinkedIn, for more details with visuals.

It’s all about Customer Experience. Why you should allow customers to post on your wall.


Allow others to post on your wall. Some businesses fear negative feedback, but good or bad, your customers want to know what others are saying about you.

Remember when businesses had a “Comment box” to capture your feedback?  Who knew if the box was opened, or if any action was ever taken. Now, that box is open to the public- visible to all.   Every ‘comment’  or ‘post’ and more importantly your reaction to it is on display.  I’m not saying do everything that’s suggested, but respond and show customers you value their opinion. You may even receive some really great suggestions.

Your business will benefit greatly from allowing others to post on your wall.  Social media is often referred to as “word of mouth on steroids”.  You can organically (aka - free) grow your social media audience by allowing others to post on your wall. Sharing pictures of your product in use, testimonials and ideally recommendations.  These will all be shared with their friends. The viral nature of these comments could mean new customers to you.

Caution: Don’t delete the negative comments.

I always advise my clients not to delete the negative comments.  Every business has a naysayer or two out there, and every business is guilty of a few mistakes.  Respond to any negativity with your best resolution, apology, (owning up to it if necessary) and move on.  If you do delete -  Chances are someone saw the post and notices you hid it under the rug - resulting in lost trust.  Or worse, the original poster fires back repeatedly and you have to “block” that person. Imagine how many others he/she will tell.  Your resolution to negative comments might even win you new customers. Showing the personality behind the business and how you care, listen and how you are honest and respect opinions of your customers matters.

Create a positive customer experience in your social media and people will talk about it. McDonalds has the right attitude - with over 250 billion hamburgers sold - they know how to gain customers.

Landing Page Woe's

When facebook converted toImage Timeline many things changed. The biggest complaint I hear is “what happened to my Landing page?”.  Prior to Timeline pages allowed visitors to land where you directed them. Typically page owners used Landing pages that looked very much like a website - custom images, colors and most importantly a ‘Like gate’ or ‘fan gate’.  This key ‘gate’ increased your ‘likes’ as fans were required to ‘like’ your page prior to entry. Usually they were enticed to do so with a coupon, unique content or chance to win a prize. With the new Timeline you can still have a landing page (you can even have a fan or like gate), but they just work a bit different. While you won’t find an option, in settings, to make a default landing page you can still utilize the tab section for landing pages.  These tabs have a unique url that you can use on your website, blog, QR codes, etc.  You use your landing page url as the link, and people will land here first )same as the ‘olden days - pre Timeline’).

What the new tabs (where your landing page is located) won’t do -  New visitors will not land there first. When a new visitor first finds your page they will land on your wall.  They will still see the “Like” button and be able to opt in. Take advantage of your Timeline Photo to show your company personality, announce a contest, etc.  You can also use your wall to highlight activity and bring it to the top - put your landing page here or announce your contest, unique content, etc. here. Image One thing you'll need to take advantage of 'tabs' is an application. Search via facebook online or on the web and you'll find many applications to add 'tab's to personalize your page. Some are free, others have fees.  Image

In summary landing pages are still available, just with a new twist. Be creative and make it work for you!

How to use Facebook Scheduler.

Those who know me know I'm a multi-tasker and addicted to planning every moment. Scheduling content for myself, and my clients, has been a pleasure and time savvy technique to accomplish more each day.  A few months ago many people were talking about how 3rd party applications (used to plan posts) were suffering from fewer impressions.  This certainly made my job much  more cumbersome, as I manage many social media accounts and scheduling everything in one place sure made my job much easier. Having to go live, in the moment, to schedule many accounts really changed my schedule and made my time less profitable.  (here is a link to one of many articles that confirmed I wasn't crazy - my 3rd party planned posts received fewer impressions : Click here for article  Thankfully - facebook recently unveiled their scheduler!  I still love (and prefer) my other 3rd party application and use it for Twitter, Blog, Linked In, etc., though  my facebook accounts are handled separately.  Today I will show how to use this scheduler. 1. From your facebook Page wall create a 'status update' to begin your post.Image

2. Insert the photo 2nd. (if you try to start with the photo you won't be able to go back and insert status then the forward date.

3. Now select the date you would like to schedule your post. (Notice you can go back in time. Use this for milestone dates you'd like to document)  When you select the year, then month populates, date then hour.

4. Click "Schedule" (notice you can select your audience before this step, by location and language only)

5. That's it for scheduling your posts. Now, let's say you want to go back andImage see what's scheduled, or even change the date/time of a current scheduled post. (this feature was just recently added - as facebook changes daily/hourly, but thankfully this was added as a few weeks ago once your post was planned it disappeared into nowhere for viewing). So, to view your scheduled post. From the admin panel select "Edit Page" then "use activity log".

6. To change a scheduled post simply mouse over the right of the post and you'll see a down arrow appear, click and then you'll be able to "cancel post", "Change Time", or even "Publish Now".

ImageThat's it!  Now you can take a vacation and plan your posts while you are gone, or plan ahead and know your page is being maintained on an ongoing basis while you are  actively working on other aspects of your business!   Happy posting!

Pin this! Or maybe not?

I often link to great articles all over the internet. Hubspot is one of my favorites - here is an interesting article from them that might make you think twice who you link from. Pinterest encourages sharing things you like from all across the web.  A website (or their lawyers) might have something to say about it though.

Tips on running a contest - Part 4 of 4 in our contest series

Part 4 of 4: We’re rounding off our contest series with one final posting.  Bonus tips on running a contest. OVERALL TIPS:

  • Announce contest coming soon. Anticipation will keep your folks coming back to check it out. They might even tell some friends to keep a look out for your contest.
  • Cross Promote it other places (TWITTER, WEB, LINKED IN, Store Front, ETC.)
  • Advertise (facebook makes sense-low cost/targeted demographic)
  • Announce progress (time remaining, who is leading, etc.)
  • Announce Winner, thank fans and advise them to check often as you will run another contest in the near future.
  • Don’t argue with someone regarding winner. Make your contest clear and easy. If in doubt give two prizes to avoid conflict and bad press.
  • Abide by facebook rules and regulations.
  • Make your prizes appealing. Use your products or services when possible.
  • Give winner a choice in two prizes. Example: If HVAC? how often will they need to clean the system? Perhaps they just had it done. Offer a giftcard instead.
  • *Fan gate changes game -Timeline changes removed landing page, but various applications work the same. Be sure and use an app that has a fan “like” gate. You can see stat's on your contestants and even block some (employee's, etc.)
  • Use advertisement, on facebook, to announce contest increases likes when ad is clicked it turns into a page like.

Other contest ideas:

  • Photo contest - Ask fans to post photo -most likes wins. Plus how great to post someone using your product/service!
  • Where are we? -post photo of your mascot/logo/something and ask fans to guess where you are.
  • Ask fans to offer tip or their favorite Quote. The fan’s tip/quote with most comments and “likes” wins.
  • Guess that celebrity. for a dentist we post the smile only and ask to guess who it is.
  • Like Incentive - Not sure I like this one but see it often. When we reach ___#____ Likes we’ll offer _______.  Are people really that eager to help your likes grow? I guess if the offer is incentive enough they would.  I see it often, don’t use myself, but thought I’d offer it up.

In summary, every business is unique, and different approaches will work well for others.  I’d love to hear your comments. What have you tried in the past? Or, have you participated in a contest that caught your attention?

"Posting Contest": Part 3 of 4 in our contest series.

“Posting contest” How: Ask ‘fans’ to post a comment or photo. This could be asking fans to share one of their favorite quotes or even a tip.  The fan with the most “Likes” wins.

Why: Increase overall “Likes”, though might not be as targeted to your demographic. Advantage: Increase activity on page. Increases page “Likes”.


  • Use an application to track (search facebook for current app’s), one with a fan gate is ideal as contestants will have to “like” the page to enter.
  • Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion.
  • Don’t forget to check with facebook on current rules and regulations on contests.

Examples: Share your favorite health tip on our wall and ask your friends to “Like” it. The tip with the most Likes by _______ date wins a _________. Post of picture of your favorite healthy meal. The picture with the most “Likes” by ___ date wins a _______.

Do you want more people to 'like' you on facebook? Contest series...

Part 2 of 4: The first contest we’d like to share is TRIVIA. (Again, be sure to check the latest rules and regulations on facebook via this link: This is easy and will drive people to your website to research the answer.

TRIVIA How: First to comment with the correct answer wins. Why: Increase activity, keep consumers checking back to see if they’ve missed a contest.  Drive people to your website or explore your page further. Increase knowledge of your brand/product/service. Advantage: This type of contest targets your market to those interested in your brand. Tips: Send out ‘reminder posts’ announcing upcoming contest & to check back often. Use prizes from your brand if possible or related. Give away, no discount (at least during the beginning). Explain contest clearly so no room for confusion. Examples: Want to win a $40 whole foods giftcard?  Be the first to answer this ?  Where did Shh owner Beth Smith study nutrition? = answer “Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York”

Want another way to drive people to your website? Hide something and the first to find it wins. Sort of like a “Where’s Waldo”, but use your product “Where’s _____” Hide a picture of your item and the first to post where exactly it was wins.  Hide it well and seekers will explore many pages of your web learning and looking.

Do you want more people to “Like” you on facebook? Perhaps a contest is right for you.

"Like Me"Every time I hear someone say “Like me”  I can’t help but recall Sally Field accepting an Oscar and emotionally saying something along the lines of “I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”  She was then tumbled through the media with not so positive statements and poked fun at. At the time I thought how brave of her to lay it out there so bluntly and show her insecurity and disbelief that people really do like her.  Today businesses are laying it out there and looking for that “Like” to build their brand.  Hearing someone say “Like” us on facebook is a common phrase - far from being laughed at back when Sally exclaimed it. In this 4 part series we will offer our suggestions for creating a contest on facebook to increase likes. Facebook does have policies regarding contests. Any deviation from these rules could result in facebook deleting your page. (Sure facebook is large and may not see you bending a rule, but don’t be tempted. Disgruntled consumers or even your competitors could easily report you - so play by the rules here.).

Before you start with your contest you’ll want to answer a few questions to help you decide what type of contest is best for your business.

Questions to ask:

What is your goal in running a contest? (Is it all about increasing volume of “Likes” or less volume and more targeted to your specific demographic?, drive to web or to educate customers about additional products/services, etc.) Who is your Target Market or Audience? What is your Budget for a contest? What kind of prize/incentive will you offer?

In this four part “Contest Series” we will offer our recommendations for increasing likes through contests. Each business is different and some will be better for others. Let us know what you have tried and share your feedback with us.  For the record I  more than “Like” Sally Field - then and now. So we’ll end this post with a quote from her.

“You lose your habitual behavior, which allowed you to sort of zone out. You have to be here, you have to be now, you have to be present.”

Social Media is so much in the moment that I had to pull this quote.  As a business owner and influencer it is key that we act in the present and move with change and join the ‘now’.  What has worked in the past may not now.  Is your business taking advantage of all social media has to offer and converting fans into customers? Look for part 2 of our blog to begin exploring types of contests on facebook.

Are your parents or grandparents on facebook?

Well, if they aren't their friends may very well be. According to a research study by Forrester Research well over halfImage of seniors- that's 60% of seniors, age 65 and over, are online. That's over 20 million in the US alone. You may ask "What are they doing online?" Here are additional details of the report:

  • 49% have a facebook account
  • 59% have purchased products in the last 3 months
  • 24% sign up for coupons or freebies
  • 46% send and receive photos by e-mail
  • 44% play games online

I've heard numerous times from local businesses targeting seniors, "I don't need facebook, my target market is not there". Well, if they want to stay ahead of the competition they'd better take a second look.  This is one of the fastest growing demographics to facebook.

Do you know a senior who you'd like to see enjoy facebook?  We stumbled upon this article and wanted to share. You may want to check with your local library or community center as many offer courses or have staff that are more than happy to assist.

Easy steps on how to teach facebook to Seniors.

Source: Forrester Research

Admin Roles released on Facebook

Facebook just released controls for admins.  In the past all admins were created equally.  Currently 5 levels of admins are available. (by default all admins are "Managers").  As the official owner of a page you should keep the "Manager" role and anyone else helping you manage your page could be classified according to the control you want them to have.Image To change Admin controls or add an admin:

  1. At the top of your Page, click Edit Page
  2. Select Admin Roles
  3. Type the names of other people you'd like to add (must be a friend)
  4. Click Manager  below the name and then the arrow to change level of admin (Content Creator, etc.)
  5. Click Save Changes