Offline Social Media: How a Hair Salon gets More Likes and Customers on Facebook

I recently spotted a local beauty salon called Wild Style Salon that is doing a great job with their offline social media marketing. They are on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Many small businesses get overwhelmed thinking of how to market their business on social sites and keep up with the demand to post regularly. Retail stores who already have a visual business have an advantage. Just getting customers to like you on Facebook can have a positive affect on sales, even if you don’t do a lot more than that. My guess is that the positive reviews from customers who go to Facebook and then leave a positive review are what drive the most referrals. While their engagement, posting and website aren’t very strong socially (infrequent posts, low engagement, very few sharing buttons), they have done a great job optimizing their retail space for social media.

Your goal as a retail business is to:
1. Create a great business.
2. Get customers through the door.
3. Share your social profile addresses with your customers through displays or posters.

When your customers talk about you online that leads to more customers coming in. You can do several things to encourage people to find and follow you (and hopefully leave stellar reviews). Here are some examples:

Signage: their sidewalk sign was the first place I noticed their marketing. The sign refers to the popular selfie trend (we all want to look good for our smartphone camera, right?) and has a call to action. Salons are perfect for people who take selfies because every woman feels great after getting a haircut and blowout. I also like how they have their phone number above their door and that the door says “Walk-ins Welcome” because that’s just what I did. They could even add a door cling on the outside asking people to follow them on Facebook.

The sign (which got me in the door) reads, “improve your selfies come on in today”:


They told me Facebook sends them the most business, so they have done things to encourage people to like them. Every stylist has a flyer on their mirror inviting customers to like the company Facebook page. There is also a sign on the front desk. To incentivize people to like them on Facebook they give away a free gift – a small gift bag with product samples.


This is the first locally-owned business I’ve seen capitalize on Instagram, the fastest growing social network. Here’s a picture of their display that has URLs to the staff and salon Instagram accounts:


One way they could increase posts and showcase their good looks better is to post their customer or staff’s Instagram photos on Facebook like Starbucks does in the example I linked to.

As is common, the salon’s receptionist manages most of their social media, which, though biased, I think is a missed opportunity. If they’re doing this well at their physical location, think what they could do if their website was optimized for social and they had someone dedicated to regularly posting quality content and engaging with people. I’m certain that would increase bookings not only for hair cuts and product but also for their other products such as higher end hair services and spa treatments. My small experiment of one showed that most of my Facebook followers have no idea what a Brazilian Blowout is, but once I discovered it, I’ve been a fan. Just one customer adding this service and the associated products you need could easily bring their yearly spend up more than a thousand dollars.

For more social media marketing tips you can do to improve your online presence, check out our presentation featuring very cute kitties.

Have you seen any great examples of a local business marketing their Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram accounts offline? Please share! 

5 Valentine’s Day Social Media Campaigns We Love

Valentine’s Day is this week and brands are showing the love already. It’s time for romantic stories to make the front page of Reddit and HARO pitches about relationships. As a social media marketer I’m on the hunt for the perfect Valentine’s Day social media campaign, here are a few favorites.

1. Evian #iloveyoulike
I’m a sucker for social media campaigns that tell stories and are visual. This does both.  Evian is running a Social Media campaign for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. They ask you to complete this sentence, “I love you like…”.

Tweet ‪#‎ILoveYouLike‬ to @evianLoveBot and they’ll respond with a Valentine’s message, like the one below, to share with your sweetheart (until February 16th). Except when we tried it we learned @evianLoveBot got suspended, so just use the hashtag and cross your fingers!

To make it fun there will also be fun prizes.

2. #rejectedcandyhearts on Twitter

This one isn’t backed by a brand but is still an example of stellar storytelling. Anyone can create a picture of a candy heart with their own offbeat wish and share it with the hashtag. What’s great about this one is that it’s become a tradition. Brands put a lot of work into campaigns, why not make one like that can be recycled?

@KngHnryVIII  made a special #rejectedcandyhearts for each of his six wives and this one…


3. DegreeSearch’s Nerdy Valentines

For two years in a row, DegreeSearch created their own nerdy Valentines. They are so well done they could literally be printed off and handed out.  last year we created 3 posts of Nerdy Valentines. I reached out to Joseph LeBaron to get more details. “We decided to break the posts up into series of 5 images. The first one was received so well immediately that we kept it going.”

Notice the number of pins, there was definitely love from Pinterest. This makes sense also because women are more likely to talk about Valentine’s Day and according to data from Pew research, women love social media more than men, and it’s especially noticeable on Pinterest.

Here are the numbers:

Likes – 94
Tweet – 24
Pin It – 41K
G+ – 26
Traffic: 12,291 visitors (a small part of that is a resurgence this year)
Likes – 47
Tweet – 16
Pin it – 1K
G+ – 13
Traffic: 2,271
Likes – 41
Tweets – 5
Pin it – 2K
G+ 11
Traffic: 2,179
They also did a roundup of other people’s valentines which brought more traffic and shares (though significantly less than the originals).

4. Milk-Bone #sayitwithmilkbone Blogger Campaign

Milk-Bone chose 10 bloggers who love animals to make Valentine’s Day crafts using the dog treats and display the project on their blog. In addition the bloggers helped spread the word about contests. There was a Twitter party too. Specially marked boxes of Milk-Bone biscuits have a special red dog bone that says “LOVE” on it and a code. You enter the code on a landing page and if you’re lucky you could win a year’s supply of Milk-Bone biscuits plus some cash.

5. Nutrimill Bosch for the love of whole grain Facebook giveaway

This one could be adapted to love for just about any brand. It’s fairly simple and runs for a week even though there is just one big prize. Each day there’s a new finalist and one of them wins a NutriMill Grain Mill on Valentine’s Day. To enter, they ask a lot. You have to LIKE their page, comment on the posts about the contest, like the post, and SHARE the post. It’s working at driving engagement though, with an average of over 64,000 people reached per day.

 They feature the day’s finalist on an image about the contest, which personalizes the contest and gives them another chance to remind people to enter.

This is our favorite Valentine from @jessmisemer – it’s the perfect compliment for any marketer or PR pro:


Your turn! Any fun Valentine’s Day social media campaigns caught your eye this year? Please share!


5 Selfie Marketing Campaigns to Inspire Yours

dog-selfiesThis past week, selfie was dubbed the word of the year by Oxford Dictionary and the first mention of the word was in 2002 but this is the year the selfie has become most loved, hated and mainstream. Oxford even did an infographic about the word selfie and its origins.

In what seems a nod to the rise of visual web, the word gif (verb) was last year’s word. To celebrate selfies we want to highlight how marketers have tried to cash in on this trend and hopefully inspire you with some selfie marketing ideas for your next campaign.

1. Newspaper selfies.
The Cape Times newspaper in South Africa wants you to know that you “can’t get any closer to the news” except by reading the news they print. To make the point they doctored famous photographs, recent and historic, to turn them into selfies which then ran as print ads to promote the paper.

2. Restaurant selfies.
To celebrate their 30th birthday, Hooters restaurants, asked 300,000 of their former waitresses to go to a Hoosters on that day and snap a selfie to share on Instagram with the hashtag #stepintoawesome. They invited their customers to take selfies too and post them to their social network of choice.

3. Pet salon selfies.
A pet salon in Brasil wanted to remind their human owners they need some pampering too. So they took “selfies” of dogs with different hashtags like #instadog which they used in print ads to promote the salon.

4. Selfies in cars.
Toyota added a cause marketing twist to the selfie marketing trend with their “don’t shoot and drive” campaign. It included a message warning drivers not to take selfies while driving and educated them on the risks. To drive home the message they created an ad with a totalled car that had an Instagram flair. It shows a totaled car with a variety of different Instagram filters.

5. Eyewear selfies.
Warby Parker eyewear knew for a lot of people it wasn’t natural to buy glasses online. This campaign helped. They let customers upload a picture of themselves and choose five of their favorites. Then they sent them the glasses to try out. People were asked to share a selfie of them wearing different glasses on social networks and ask which pair their friends liked best. If that didn’t make the decision easier, they could post the selfie on Warby Parker’s Facebook page and the brand would chime in with their opinion.

If you need to coaching on how to take the perfect selfie, that is covered in this infographic (click to see the full image).


We love to see how selfies and images in general are going social and how they’re used in digital marketing, PR and branding. What examples have you seen?

Best of PubCon for PR Pros

This was my first year at PubCon (an internet marketing and social media conference), though several of our team are regular speakers. Matt Siltala is a bit of a PubCon celeb (he’s famous for his beard and seo/social street cred). Here’s the team in Vegas.

Avalaunch Media executive team

I went to most of the PR-related sessions, most of which were exceptional from both a PR and an SEO/social perspective. Here are my best tips from the top sessions for PR pros.

1. Easily buy SEO and do PR without Breaking the Rules.

PR is content: links, likes, pluses, traffic, media, and blogger mentions. Marty Weintraub showed us how he copies the direct link to a Google+ post.  It’s in a dropdown menu:

Google Plus direct link
How to find the direct link to a Google+ post.

Here’s a direct link for a report from our yeti on how to do social media right:

After you have the direct link, tweet about it using the Google+ link. Next promote the tweet for the hashtag #pubcon (Marty notes on this one he links directly to a blog post). He also posts on his personal Facebook page where he has many friends/followers and pays to boost the post so more of them see it. On his brand page he uses the power editor and creates many versions of the ad to show in the newsfeed. He targets his trade/industry people, in this case to places like Search Engine Journal, Pubcon and SMX. He creates another version of his ad for PR – places like Mashable, producers, show hosts, and local ad agencies. In addition, you can buy LinkedIn ads, Bing ads, and even run Google AdWords to the post.

While there may not be a direct correlation between Google+ interactions, there is a correlation. If you share and someone engages, then their connections see your content. Then your content rises when that person and their friends do related Google searches.

2. Press Outreach Secrets

Rob Woods along with moderator Warren Whitlock talked about creating press and Rob introduced me to a few new PR tools that I can’t wait to try.

  • Do a keyword search in Google News to find who is writing on the topic you want to cover. In Google News there is a link next to the author’s name and that takes you to their Google+ page. Some people put their email address on their “About” page or there is an icon to email them directly without knowing their email address (some have this disabled). If that fails you can tag them. Scraperr will scrape the top 500 results from any search term. From there you can pay someone on oDesk or Mechanical Turk to find contact info for the articles written that fit what you’re trying to pitch. Or you can do research to find contact information yourself.


  • Subscribe to Muckrack to build a list of journalists on Twitter related to your topic.
  • Search Followerwonk profiles for journalists from publications or blogs you want to do outreach to. For example you could search “tech reporter” or “sports reporter” or even search the URL field for the publication itself, such as “,, etc. You can export the results to a csv file. You can even download a file of only your followers and see if there are people from blogs or news organizations who follow you that you could reach out to.
  • Search to find the newspapers and TV stations for every city, state and many countries in the world. Or find the 15 most popular news websites here.
  • Check out Pitchbox to do research and keep track of your outreach efforts and results.

 3. Pinterest Marketing – How to Leverage the Fastest Growing Social Network

You know you truly love a subject when you’ve studied it for hours and still want to learn all you can about it. That’s how I am about Pinterest marketing. John Rampton shared a simple Pinterest marketing plan.

  • Spend 30 mins. on to see what is trending and to get ideas for your business niche. Breaking news, seasonal or pins for the holidays do well.
  • Go to the “popular” category on Pinterest and comment on the top 30 or so pins in your niche. I’d add that you could repin or like their pins.
  • Use auto-follow tool ninjapinner to auto follow back people who follow you.
  • Plan out your pins with ideas you had.
  • Use Viral Tag to schedule out your pins.

Vince Blackham shared some great case studies of pins that killed it on Pinterest. Check out his slides here. In the Q&A Vince gave advice to a vacation rental company that applies to other businesses too:  “don’t promote yourself, promote the experiences”. So for this company based in Park City, Utah, I picture boards with the best places to eat, the festivals, the farmer’s markets, the events, places to stay (with their properties), skiing, and outdoor activities in Park City, Utah.

For additional Pinterest marketing tips see my slides from Bend WebCAM: 10 Tips for Marketing on Pinterest.

Not only were these sessions incredibly helpful for those of us in public relations or blogger outreach, it was also a pleasure to reconnect with or meet the presenters. Thank you to all who shared their expertise at PubCon. I was inspired to fine tune my pitching and introduced to new ideas and tools to use.

If you were at PubCon, did I miss any great PR insights? Please let me know in the comments.

13 Inspiring Business Books Marketing Pros are Reading

The kind of people who work at Avalaunch Media are people who want to constantly improve their game. We also want to follow this advice from Forbes about reading books that sounds a little like a fortune cookie message:

“Make sure to read a book a month (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.”

We asked everyone on staff to come up with business books they want to read this year as a team. If you knew any of us, you could likely accurately predict who recommended which books. Either way, this should keep us busy for years. If you’d like to follow along, here’s our list of

13  business books we’re reading and why you should read them too

1. Your Network Is Your Net Worth – Porter Gale 

Having a strong network can get you jobs, save your job and make you smarter. This book, written by Porter Gale, who is a woman sometimes assumed to be a man (read the Amazon reviews), will help you build yours. Porter has tested this out. She blogs for AdAge and The Huffington Post. She’s also the former Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America, a topic that will come up again later in this post.

2. Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger

ContagiousIf you’re in marketing or PR you’re judged on pickup. What makes some things go big while other ideas fall flat? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger studied that. He looked at “why New York Times articles make the Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear …” He distilled his findings into 6 basic principles that makes something become contagious (or go viral) and follows it up with lots of stories and case studies. Of course there’s no magic formula for creativity, that’s the ingredient every marketer must add, but it helps to see what has actually worked to inspire you.  

3. The Tipping Point: How Small Things Can Make A Big Difference – Malcolm Gladwell

You’ve likely heard of this book, but have you read it? Its point? In our world, major changes can happen rapidly (like the recent news that Jeff Besos, CEO of Amazon, is buying The Washington Post for $250  million). Word of mouth is how this rapid change happens. Since we’re all in the business of creating change that keeps our business and careers growing, we better be good at it.

4. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

4-Hour-Work-Week-by-Tim-FerrisThis is the book that brought  lifestyle design to the mainstream. It also worries Greg Young a bit. He wrote: “I imagine from the sound of this book it would just encourage us to quit here and start something on our own…so maybe not a good book for us, but I was interested in reading it.” Truthfully, we’re all worried he’ll launch his own fashion business, but we hope he’ll stay and manage PPC campaigns like a boss. While few people may want  or actually achieve a 4- hour workweek, there’s are solid ideas about how to be more efficient at work. The inspiring stories and examples from Tim Ferris will have you dreaming about crossing things like “take tango lessons in Brazil” from your bucket list.

5. Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson

A salacious title, but this book  is not about what you might think so get your mind out of the gutter. Instead, its about PR genius Richard Branson and what he learned from starting companies like Virgin Airlines. He’s probably the king of doing it your way. He’s built successful businesses and looks like he’s having a good time. If losing his virginity was anything like the publicity stunts he pulls, you can be assured it won’t be boring!

6. Crush It! – Gary Vaynerchuk 

The most memorable part of this book, besides his spot on business advice, is how Gary was born to be an entrepreneur. As a kid, he didn’t just set up a lemonade stand, he set up a lemonade business. He opened franchises on the block and the other kids paid him an override on all of their sales.  After reading this book, we’re thinking the first time he saw his parents, he didn’t cry for the reason most newborns cry. Instead it was from happiness that comes from having a deep passion for life. In other words, he was born this way.

google-marketing7. Google+ Marketing for Dummies – Jesse Stay

Most marketers and businesses are reluctant or not as interested as they ought to be in using Google+ for marketing. Google is still the powerhouse in search (with 67% of the search market) and Facebook is still a closed network, so marketers need to get on board. From optimizing your profile with photos that show up in Google Carousel, to ranking your content better (esp. with Google authorship), you’ve got to do Google+ better (or at least pay us to help you). Not only that, we know the author, who is from the amazing state of Utah.

8. Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder

“Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers…If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don’t yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.” While most of our book list focuses on ideas and inspiration, this one is about execution and evolving your business, by following a plan.

9. Lean UX – Jeff Gothelf

UX Design stands for “User Experience Design” and its about improving the “user experience”. This skill is vital for creating effective landing pages, websites and products. The book promises to tell you “how to rapidly experiment with design ideas, validate them with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn.” Rather than focusing on what you want in the end, you learn to design so that you deliver an experience the whole time. There is a method in the madness and we want to learn it.

10. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek 

The almost 300, practically perfect reviews on Amazon alone are enough to make me read this book. That and his approach which is to lead by inspiring others. His bio describes it in this way: “Simon Sinek is an optimist. He teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.” One reviewer called it the best business book she’s read in the past 5 years. The premise? The best qualified, most funded or educated people or businesses are not necessarily the greatest.

If it’s too long, listen to his TED Talk that has over 11 million views:

11. All Marketers are Liars – Seth Godin

Who is Seth Godin calling a liar? Oh wait, what he’s really doing is pointing out how good marketing really works, that is, it tells a great story. And the story is more about connection and entertainment than merely a collection of facts. Stories are effective because, Godin says, people prefer fantasy to reality. They expect us to lie. So rather than being honest, he says be convincing and when you’re lying, “live the lie, fully and completely”. So basically you’ll learn how to be a better liar.

12. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future – Dan Pink

whole-new-mindCongratulations right brained coworkers, Dan Pink says you rule the future. Seth Godin would absolutely agree with him when he says, “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers…” Rather than Godin’s style of sharing, Pink makes a list of specific traits you need. He cites six “fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment–and reveals how to master them.”



13. The Art of Enchantment – Guy Kawasaki

enchantmentEnchantment is such an enchanting word. It describes something that “transforms situations and relationships…converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers and the undecided into the loyal.” We don’t usually think of being enchanted at work, but if we can enchant people we can wield more power over them than “traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.” This is our first book. We’re prepared to be enchanted, and as anyone who’s heard one of Guy’s moving speeches, we expect that he will not let us down.

Of course we want to know what you think of our list. Any titles you want to add?

Cats Can Teach Us Everything There Is To Know About Social Media


Matt Siltala Speaking at Local UI had an awesome opportunity to speak at the Local U workshop hosted by SMX Advanced in Seattle this year.  My presentation was infested with cute little Cats and Kittens, but it was also full of social media marketing info.  The presentation was geared towards those who are still trying to figure out how, where, and why to fit in “social” to their overall marketing plan.  

The presentation went hot on SlideShare as the featured presentation of the day, so apparently some people enjoyed it!  I wanted to make sure and share the deck here on our blog, along with access to a couple of free ebooks (we released during the show) authored to teach business owners a little more about social media marketing (click on the link for your free copies).  So, I hope this info helps and that you all enjoy the pawesome content!


Growing Your Brand With Pinterest – My SearchFest 2013 Presentation

First of all, SearchFest 2013 was an amazing event.  If you have never been to one, (this was my first) I HIGHLY recommend going.  The venue was fantastic and the content was even better.  I have never been to Portland before, and it what a great town it was!  I even got to try some famous (or infamous) Voodoo Doughnuts!  Props to David Mihm for having me there.  I hope to go back again and again, if they’ll have me!

Anyway, I wanted to share the slide deck from the event here, where I talked about “Growing Your Brand With Pinterest”.  I also wanted to share a few pictures from the event (below) sorry just low quality iPhone ones … didn’t feel like hauling the big DSLR with me this time.  The presentation has already got amazing response on Slideshade so I hope you enjoy it too!  I really did my best to share some actionable information that can help any business do better with Pinterest marketing.

Other presentations I enjoyed (by the way there were a TON of good ones, I just especially enjoyed these):



Search Fest 2013 SearchFest2013_b SearchFest2013_c SearchFest2013_d SearchFest2013_f SearchFest2013_h SearchFest2013 SearchFest2013_gSearchFest2013_e

Always nice to be checking out a presentation and your company gets a “shout out” Great job again to Luke for putting together that reference for everyone.

7 Ways to Get an Endless Stream of Infographic Ideas

Here at Avalaunch we all have to be creative ideas machines, because every day we come up with ideas for our clients. It’s the perfect position for idea people like me. Our ideas are what sell our work, make us stand out and eventually end up as infographics that get blogged about, linked to and shared.

An infographic has to illustrate and illuminate or inform on a topic using images combined with text. To me, the best infographics are also timely. They’re about something that is on people’s minds right now. Ideally they combine search engine optimization and they have PR value, so that news outlets will also be interested.

For example, we created an infographic about the true cost of owning the latest iPhone. It was created a few weeks after the iPhone 5 was released. It highlighted not just the cost of your phone and contract but the accessories, apps, and even the time it will cost you to figure it all out. It resonated. Gizmodo, Huffington Post and Mashable picked it up. It got over 16,000 shares on Mashable alone.

Want to get ideas for compelling infographics? Here are some ways to dial up your creativity.

1. Scan HARO – 
HAROHARO, short for Help a Reporter is a daily email newsletter with pitches from journalists and bloggers writing stories on a variety of topics. In short, it’s a bunch of story ideas that could turn into compelling infographics.

For example I saw this fact on an email:
Move over Thanksgiving turkey, you’re safe for now… According
to the National Chicken Council’s 2013 Wing Reporter, more than
1.23 billion wing portions will be consumed during this year’s
Super Bowl weekend. Run chicken, run!

Bam! I thought of an infographic about Superbowl foods, including that over a BILLION chicken wings will be eaten.

2. See What’s Trending on Reddit –
RedditI scan or search Reddit for interesting facts or stories that are a bit outside the mainstream. These can help me think of a theme for an infographic that goes for entertainment or shock value.

Example: Today’s homepage had an image of someone’s business card. After seeing the picture, I thought of an infographic of the most creative business cards for photographers (or just one about business cards). It would work well for a printing company or any business whose customers are other businesses.

3. Search press release sites like PRNewswire –
pr-newswire-iphoneBusinesses often tout the latest study or findings with a press release. PRNewswire lets you search any press release and see what news was most emailed or shared on Facebook and Twitter. These can give you ideas for themes for infographics. I often just put in the word “study” or a word that relates to what our client sells.

Example: The first headline in my search is Orthopaedic Surgeons Advise Using Helmets During Winter Sports. It talks about while 40% of skiers and snowboarders don’t wear helmets, wearing one reduces their risk of a serious head injury by as much as 60%. So there’s the start of infographic idea for the skiing industry or even for personal injury attorneys.

4. Google News, Yahoo News –
Google NewsNewsjacking is big and easy to pitch to the media. The idea of newsjacking is to make an infographic about a hot topic that’s in the news right now. So to get ideas, search the biggest online news sites to see what’s in the news relating to the topic you’re researching.

For example, I thought of making an infographic that is an obituary of sorts for Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend. It would chronicle their relationship until her “death.” Sports bloggers and media outlets might pick it up as a way to illustrate the story.

5. Search Twitter
TwitterSince Twitter only indexes recent tweets (maybe 1-2 weeks back) you can find very current information. Again, use the word “study” or a word related to your industry.

I found a tweet about how cruise line Norwegian is doing a Pin to Win type of Pinterest contest. So I thought of an infographic for a marketing firm about the most popular Pin to Win contests or tips for running one.

6. Use Pinterest
PinterestAgain, I use the search feature and search for a topic that relates to the client. For example, if I had a client who has an online store that features women’s shoes, I could put in the word “shoes” and see what comes up. From the search I can see ideas for how to organize your shoes which could be the basis of an infographic that featured various methods. You could also do one on celebrity’s closets because it’s eye candy for women and that’s why their pinning those types of images.

I even found an infographic about the right type of shoe to wear with your wedding dress. You could adapt that to talk about the type of shoes to wear with various outfits.

Tip: Just because someone pins an image of shoes doesn’t mean they will necessarily put the word shoe in the description. If they don’t, it won’t show up in searches. So start broad first and narrow down. In this case, you might start with the category “women’s fashion.” Scan for patterns or trends and use that as a basis for an infographic about new trends in women’s fashion.

7. Look at Infographics in Google Images
Google Image SearchSearch for any topic + infographic to see what’s out there. You can take concepts from outdated infographics and find more current data and a new look. It can help you think of new angles to take on a topic or show you elements you can borrow.

For example, while researching ideas for men’s ties, I saw an infographic for Father’s Day that included a “tie graph.” That gave me the idea for a tie graph infographic that used ties instead of pieces of pie in the traditional “pie graph.”

Now you know our secrets.

So I want to know: how do you find inspiration for infographics?

Solo Social Entrepreneurs Who Make Lots of Cash

I’m obsessed with the solo entrepreneurs who are successful leveraging social media to launch a business. They start with a simple idea – like pay me and I’ll wear your t-shirt around LA. They put up a blog, take pictures and video of themselves wearing your shirts and promote it on their social networking sites. That’s the beginning of

The idea caught on and now there are 2 guys (it should be

Then comes a new spin on the idea – at SheWearsYourTee. I really like this one because a model will wear your tee. That means you get some killer product shots you can use on your site.

Another element is how the pricing works to encourage people to act fast and not wait. January 1st the price is $1 and the price goes up every day. It’s the same concept with another one of my favorite businesses using this model called

I figured out the guy who started it made $18k in 5 days and continues to bring in more money and build more value for his customers each day as the word spreads. He signed on Yahoo! to advertise on their anniversary. I also like how he launched it by reaching out to 10 bloggers (I was one of them and didn’t blog about it but wish I had. I’m making up for it now).

Another twist is to make it personal – someone has a birthday or anniversary every day of the year. Someone gets married or engaged every day, has a baby, etc. What could you offer them? People also have news that you could promote in a similar way. You could be their social media billboard. I really like when it’s both online and offline.

Here’s another one with a new spin – product giveaways — Now if the guys at would just use this to market their sites like you can see how this idea can apply to businesses. The site has a deal on ski gear and once the item is sold it’s gone and the next deal shows up. Why not promote the current deal on social sites? At least a button to tweet about it.

Could you add this model to your business? Have any other examples for me? Leave them in the comments. Oh, and if you wouldn’t mind, could you tweet this post? Thanks!

A Nickels Worth Of Free Online Marketing Advice

Some Burros
Some Burros

As I was searching online for some information to one of my favorite Mexican food joints here in Arizona I ran across several problems with their website and wanted to share them here.  I also came across several areas where I thought they could capitalize on social marketing, increase traffic to their website and interact better (online) with the people who love them.

The Argument:

You walk into one of their locations and they are already packed.  True, but tell me of a business (you know of) that does not want to reach MORE customers, or expand to MORE locations?  If they are speaking the truth, every business wants to grow and expand – and of course, make more money.  So, I feel with a few improvements to their website and nickles worth of free social marketing advice here, I think they could be making vast improvements to their overall bottom line.

Their Website Problems:

The entire thing, besides one html page and some PDFs is built in flash, that means – the entire website is a single flash file, which is NO GOOD for search engine optimization, because even if the flash is crawlable, only be a single page indexed.  They have four valley locations and could be doing a better job with their local marketing and creating pages that target those areas.  When they do this, people searching for them, and those locations get a better experience when they are taken right to the exact information they are looking for.  People hate having to search through an unfriendly website trying to find the information they want.  There are many other things having a site like this will not allow you to capitalize on SEO wise, but for the sake of keeping this post simple – I am not going to go there.

For example:

They have 4 locations here in the valley, so they should at least have four crawlable pages to target the specific locations like so:


We will get into how they can capitalize on social marketing with those specific location pages here in a minute, but first lets talk about why doing the above thing is good.  When I go to Google to look for information on “Some Burros San Tan Location” (because they do catering so it’s not out of the question to think that people will be looking information for them online) the result that needs to come up is the page because then I do not have to navigate several clicks on their website “trying to find” the information I was looking for.

They also have the opportunity to include a link to their Google Maps listing on that page (for that specific location) and maybe link to their Yelp listing with a link that says: “see what people are saying about us”.  By doing this, you are sealing the deal with being found for not only your specific name searches locally, (when you get crawled) but almost anything GEO targeted in your industry (ie: a search on Google for “Mexican Food restaurant in San Tan Arizona”).  This really is just the beginning of how they can capitalize, but I think that gives them a good start. (if they just so happen to be reading this) :-)

Social opportunities missed (and solutions offered):

You see they have a page on their website talking about coupons and promotions (so you know, they know people are looking for this info online – or they would not have included it).  People do not want to go through the process of clicking on, and sending you an email just to get your offers – they want the easy way of getting your offers and deals: In comes social marketing

Here is my suggestion to them:  Why not have a place to connect with customers via Twitter and Facebook?  You can tell them to follow you on Twitter, and friend you on Facebook for special deals that only they get by being your friend or by being a follower.  This gives customers a reason to follow your business on Twitter, or friend you on Facebook because they are getting (and know about) deals of the day that are going on. Put the “Follow Us On Twitter” or Facebook “Friend Me” logos/buttons on the specific location pages (as talked about above) where someone (that worsk for that location) can give specific updates and offers (again, for THAT LOCATION), and offer a little insight or blurb on the page why following or friending would be a good thing etc.

This will bring a whole new following of people to your business, and you can connect with them in a way you never thought was possible – the human way.  There are so many other things that this will do for your business that you do not realize, like filling the SERPs up with the content that you want out there – so its great for reputation management.

Being social just helps your business connect with more people too (then the regulars), you will gain new attention, attract new customers and will be keeping up with the marketing techniques of this generation.  I am going to give local businesses a warning – if you are not making your sites more friendly, and doing everything you can to connect with your customers on a social level, you will be left in the dust by a competitor that is doing this, and “gets it”.

I hope other businesses can learn and get some ideas from this post, and that Some Burros can take it as (like I said) a nickles worth of free advice to improving things.  Its funny, I suffer from a problem that most don’t … when I am online doing searches, or looking for something I can’t just “look” and get the info I wanted.  I have to look at everything as if I were doing marketing for them (always a marketer) – it’s a curse I know, but I hope these guys benefit from it this time, and that everyone can learn something!  LOL