Social Media Marketing: How to Attract More Business Through Yahoo Groups

Social Media Marketing: How to Attract More Business Through Yahoo Groups

Is your business taking advantage of Yahoo Groups to promote your business in Northern Virginia?

While many businesses are focusing their social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In, Yahoo Groups offer a marketing opportunity you should not overlook.

What is a Yahoo Group?

A Yahoo Group is a self-selected group of people who share a common interest. Yahoo group membership is free and open to anyone who has a Yahoo account, registers for membership and is approved by the group moderator.

The Fauquier County Yahoo Group is an active forum of 976 members who regularly post and share information about local community news, activities, events and resources.  The Fauquier County Yahoo Group members frequently ask each other for recommendations to reputable local businesses that other members know, like and trust.

I monitor the Fauquier County Yahoo Group message posts and respond on behalf of my clients whenever I see people looking for the products or services my clients sell.

Case Example

Recently, a local resident posed this question on the Fauquier County Yahoo Groups:

“I am looking for roofer recommendations: Who to get a quote from and who to stay away from.”

As you can see below, Paul Henry’s Windows benefited from the endorsements and recommendations he received from members of this group:

Yahoo group roofer recommendations

Yahoo group roofer recommendations

Online Word of Mouth Recommendations

We all know that people prefer to do business with businesses they already know, like and trust. Nearly every day, Yahoo Group members ask each other for word-of-mouth referrals to trusted and reputable local businesses. Alert business owners or employees can join in these conversations and attract more customers with thoughtful responses.

You can probably find other Yahoo Groups serving residents of your own town or local area that work the same way. It’s easy to join a Yahoo Group and get on the mailing list for real-time message alerts, or daily summaries of messages posted.

Website and Facebook Advertising Tips and Tricks

business innovators podcast logoOn May 7, 2016, I was honored to be featured on the Business Innovators Magazine and Radio Show in an interview with Tamara Patzer, owner of Blue Ocean Authority on the topic of Website and Facebook Advertising Tips and Tricks.”

You can click here to listen or download the podcast recording of this interview, or read the transcript of my interview below.

Key Points and Show Notes

1:45 — How Yvonne helps local business owners market their businesses online.

3:05 — How Yvonne helped a local kitchen designer grow her business by creating a new website and social media presence that showcased her work and attracted more of her perfect prospects and ideal clients.

7:25 – How Yvonne helped a local custom home builder land a $150,000 project after revamping his website and posting his information on Facebook.

14:09 – Three things every website needs to have to generate more quality leads.

23:54 – How to advertise effectively on Facebook.

36:00 – A unique and little-known Facebook marketing strategy for restaurants that can add several thousand dollars a month in additional revenue for restaurants.

37:44 – Tips for wedding industry professionals.

38:40 – A unique and profitable Facebook advertising strategy for chiropractors that is generating $10,000 – $20,000 more new patient revenue per month per chiropractor.

Click the image below to listen to the full podcast recording.
Herbst Marketing Business Innovators Magazine interview


Podcast Transcript: Website and Facebook Advertising Tips and Tricks

Yvonne Herbst helps companies in the home improvement and health and fitness industries leverage the power of the internet and social media to reach and attract more perfect customers and generate more repeat business, more sales and more profits.

How Herbst Marketing Helps Local Businesses Market Themselves Online

00:53 — I help companies in the home improvement field and health related businesses create a web presence that establishes them as a top choice in their local marketplace. That can range from setting up their websites, setting up their social media presence, creating web content, creating video content, and helping them get more visible online, so that when people are looking for them they stand out in the search results.

1:29 — Tamara Patzer — can you give us a few examples of how you help them and what are some of the problems or perceived problems that people seem to be having with their marketing today?

1:45 — Yvonne Herbst — Well, a lot of business owners I talk with today used to advertise in the Yellow Pages, they might be advertising in local newspapers and local magazines and they are just frustrated because they are not seeing a return on their investment. They are not able to track that the advertising dollars they are spending in print media these days are generating real dollars and real customers.

And they also know that they could and should be using the internet and social media somehow, but they are just very confused. There are so many choices and they just don’t have time to sort it out, figure out the technicalities. And that’s where I come in.

I help them understand their options and select the best options for them and then often times they might not have any website at all or they might have put up a website on their own that looks kind of amateurish and it’s time for them to step up their game and create a more professional look and feel in their website.

Benefits of an Improved Web Presence

2:55 — Tamara Patzer — Do you have an example of someone you helped to make a better web presence?

3:05 — Yvonne Herbst — Yes, I do. A few years ago I gave a talk at a small local business workshop and one of the attendees was a kitchen designer and she came up to me afterwards and she said she really needed help. She was intrigued with what I said about how to make your website work for you, how to make it get found, how to capture leads.

And so I took a look at her website. It was one she’d built herself. I think it may have been on the Godaddy platform. And it was perfectly fine when she was first starting out, but now she was several years into her career as a kitchen designer and she had a beautiful portfolio of work but when you went to her website it just didn’t showcase her work well. It looked very amateurish.

And so I sat down with her and spent quite a few hours just interviewing her, getting to know her business, getting to know what she wanted her website to do for her, compiling her photos and organizing them, and created a new website for her that showcased her beautiful photos and a lot of blog content that explained the different projects she had worked on and explained the kinds of questions you should be thinking about before you launch a kitchen remodeling project, how to choose a kitchen designer and all this content positioned her as an authority in the local marketplace for people who are looking for a custom kitchen design.

So, a few months after her new kitchen design website launched — after I optimized the pictures, the blog content, and got her listed on Google and other directories, got her listed on houzz.com, coached her on how to get reviews, and produced some educational kitchen design tips videos for her — people started finding her for her long tail keywords, like “kitchen designer in Reston Virginia” or “kitchen remodeling in Fairfax Virginia” … and so they find her just by searching and then they would get intrigued by what they saw and what they read.

And she told me that within 6 months the number of leads she was getting through online search was equaling the number of leads she was getting through word of mouth recommendations, and so her investment in her new website, the optimization, the blog content, the customer testimonials and reviews, really has paid off for her.

New Website for Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia

New Website for Expert Kitchen Designs, Virginia


6:07 — Tamara Patzer — Did she notice that the length of time it took for her projects to go from start to finish — meaning the relationship she had with her new customer — was shortened after she got her new website?

6:19 — Yvonne Herbst — Yes, one of the comments she made to me was that now when she goes out to meet with potential clients it has made it less awkward in that initial encounter because they feel like they already know her, they know her style, they have seen photos of her work, they have watched her videos, and so they already trust her.

6:50 — Tamara Patzer — I think that’s really important because in the world today, like what you said, her online presence equaled or exceeded her word of mouth or real world referrals, so her website was acting like a referral partner for her. And you also did some work for her husband who is a custom home builder. Can you tell us a little about that?

Learn More: Read or Listen to the Interview with Sandra Brannock, Owner, Expert Kitchen Designs

7:25 — Yvonne Herbst — yes, but before I talk about that I’d like to mention that this kitchen designer now has a couple of dozen reviews on houzz.com, which is the premiere social media site for people in the home remodeling industry. And if you look at her reviews, a lot of these projects are $50,000 – $100,000 projects and probably a good third or a half of them pointed out that the people who hired her found her online. So that just illustrates how it does take up front work to pull your information together and present it in a way that is findable online, but the up front work certainly has paid off. (See example Houzz.com review below.)



> Click Here to Watch Sandra Brannock’s Authority-Building Kitchen Design Tips Videos

As far as her husband goes, he is a home builder, and they have a synergistic relationship because she designs the kitchens and if her client does not already have a construction company in mind, then her husband can come in and build the kitchen she has designed.

And he was in a similar position. He had a very rudimentary website that did not showcase his work well at all and so I built his new website and featured photographs of his building projects in a very attractive way with photo galleries and when the website was done I put up his Facebook page and then I put up photos of his work on my own Facebook profile and just by luck the night I posted the pictures of some of his projects they were seen by a friend of mine who was fed up with her own contractor and she had decided to fire him. So the photos I put up on my Facebook page caught her attention.

Brannock Enterprises Custom Home Builder Amissville VA

Facebook Mention of New Website for Brannock Enterprises

And then what happened — because this is the way people work these days — is she went out and looked at reviews and what other people were saying about his work and she was impressed with what other clients were saying about their experience with him.

And ultimately she hired him to do a $150,000 project – building a cottage by a pond on their property.

Learn More: Read Andria Corso’s Review of Brannock Enterprises Custom Cottage Construction in Amissville, Virginia

So this again points out how the ecosystem of the web works these days. You get an authority-building website that showcases your work and you get customers or clients to come in and say good things about you on your own website and other review sites and it turns into business.

10:30 – Tamara Patzer — I think you are absolutely right and those are very good examples. And it also proves how fast something can happen in the online word, because like you said you posted the home builder’s information and it just so happened that it caught the attention of someone who wanted to find a home builder at that exact moment.

And at any one time you are probably only going to have 3 percent of people looking for what you have but it just happened that you were in the right place at the right time and I think that social media and having an online presence puts you in front of the right audience because you can target the very words and people who are your audience. So that is really important.

Let’s talk more about business in general and basic marketing, because I know that you talk a lot in public and you do presentations. So when you meet business people, what do you think their biggest misconceptions are about what you do for them or what you are able to do for them?

Basic Marketing Principles for Local Business Owners

11:57 – Yvonne Herbst — Well, I think a lot of business owners realize that they need a website but they just think they can put up a website themselves and business will just start flowing to them and then they are puzzled when it doesn’t. They don’t understand all the different moving pieces beyond having their website up there that go into marketing your business online.

They also don’t understand basic marketing principles. Like they will get very hung up on having a trendy looking website but then they make it hard to find their phone number. It’s trendy to have their phone number hidden in small print at the bottom of the page.

And they also don’t want to put up some kind of lead capture mechanism or an offer that will get people to give them their email address so they can follow up with them.

They tend to talk about themselves too much. They don’t think in terms of what problem am I solving for my ideal client and how can I communicate that in a powerful and engaging way.

So it’s about who they serve and the problems that they solve.

13:25 – Tamara Patzer — I think that’s a really good point. You mention that a lot of times people have the misconception of “build it and they will come.” They think that if they build a website that people will come but pointing out the fact that sometimes people create websites that are just fancy online brochures. You mentioned a couple of factors about a good website.

Can you give me three tips about what a good well-designed website should include?

Three Tips for Improving Your Website

14:09 – Yvonne Herbst — Well, you need to capture the visitor’s interest within the first 3-5 seconds. So on the home page of the website it should be really clear what you do and who do you serve and how can you help them?

So you need compelling visuals and a compelling message on the home page. And there should be a clear invitation to call you or email you.

And if you can offer something educational or something that will benefit them when they provide their email address, then you can set up an autoresponder that will send them the information they requested and that is the beginning of cultivating a relationship that will lead to sales in the future.

You know, most people who come to your website in most cases are not ready to buy that minute. They might be researching their options. So there needs to be a lead capture and lead nurturing system in place on your website.

15:30 – Tamara Patzer — So people come to your website and you would have some kind of an educational program via email or something so that they can get to know those people better.

The Importance of Online Reviews

So what about reviews? Do you get very much resistance from people about asking for reviews?

15:57 – Yvonne Herbst – Yes, it’s an ongoing process. A lot of people are shy about going to their clients and asking them to review them. They feel like they shouldn’t be tooting their own horn; they feel like that comes across as arrogant. They also are concerned about imposing on their customers or feeling like they are asking for too big a favor.

But what I’ve found is that in most cases if people are happy with the work that you have done, they are more than happy to send you a testimonial.

The difficulty can come in when it comes to asking people to review you on Google because typically you have to have a gmail address and login to Google before you can leave a review so there is a little bit of a barrier there, but if you have a client with a gmail address it shouldn’t be hard to direct your customers and clients to your Google My Business page – you can even give them a link to that page — and ask them to share what they liked about working with you, or what they like about your products or services — and that also helps your search results. When people are researching your company and they see lots of 5-star reviews and your competitors have few or no reviews, it helps you stand out. It gives you more authority.

17:35 – Tamara Patzer — I think you are absolutely right because word of mouth is how most people perceive that they get most of their business, but as we move more online we do get more and more business from the virtual world because people do take time to research a purchase online before they buy it and people do go online to see what other people are saying about you. It’s so easy to push a button and find out lots of information.

Budgeting for Online Marketing

18:18 — Tamara Patzer — I want to talk with you about expectations. When you work with a marketer or a marketing company such as you, what do you feel are some of the things that people don’t realize is involved when working with a marketing company?

18:37 – Yvonne Herbst – Well, first of all they need to have a budget. It’s amazing how often you will talk with a company and you will ask them about their budget and they haven’t given it any thought and they are a little bit shy about what they are willing to spend. It’s a bit of a dance because they are afraid to say how much they are willing to spend in case they are in danger of getting ripped up. But what I am able to do for you varies depending on how much you are able and willing to invest. If you have just a tiny budget the marketing strategy can be very different from what we can do for you if you have a budget that allows us to do paid advertising on Google or Facebook.

Whether you have a budget that would enable me to take the burden off the client in terms of creating regular content and post regular blog articles or get videos done for them.

You can’t expect to get stellar results with a $500 budget. It’s important to be up front with people and discuss what you are willing to invest, and you also need to be willing to put in time and effort on your own end to provide the information the marketing agency needs to do a good job for you.

The OnBoarding Process

20:20 – Tamara Patzer — How much time would you say it takes to do what you would call an intake with a new client?

20:30 — Yvonne Herbst — Well, in the case of the kitchen designer and home builder I mentioned, I probably spent about 10 hours up front just interviewing them, getting a feel for their business. This was not all in one sitting but over several conversations, getting an understanding of their business, getting an understanding of their ideal client, getting an understanding of their value proposition and what differentiates them from their competition, trying to coach them.

In many cases it’s hard for clients to articulate what differentiates them and why a client should choose them over a competitor. So I help them clarify that. I help them wordsmith it. I help them create content that explains that clearly.

Most business owners aren’t good writers. They don’t like to write. They like doing their own job. So they need help honing their message and crafting a message that is powerful and engaging.

So that intake process can take around 10 hours and then you need to expect that the marketing person might be putting in another 50-100 hours creating the website, setting up your social media presence, and if we are doing videos for you then there is time involved in going to your place of business and videotaping you and editing the videos and then getting the videos uploaded and optimized for search and disseminated around the internet.

So a marketing person is not a mind reader. They can’t get inside your mind. You have to spend time and thought on your end so your marketing expert can help you.

22:35 —Tamara Patzer — I think that is really good advice and I hope business owners are listening because you are echoing what often happens to me because I will say, “Do you have a budget” and often the answer is, “No, I haven’t thought about that” or they feel uncomfortable because they are afraid that you are going to take what that number is and get it all spent.

But really what it is all about is having the budget to know whether or not we have to go for all the free strategies or do we have money to do paid advertising like a Facebook campaign.

Facebook Advertising Tips

I want to talk about Facebook because it is something that I think we all should be looking at, because I think there around 1 billion people using Facebook and we are not trying to get a billion people to become our client. We are just wanting to get the perfect client.

So why do you think people should be advertising on Facebook?

23:54 – Yvonne Herbst — I saw recently that there are around 7.2 billion people on our planet right now, and out of that there are around 3 billion people connected to the internet, and of those 3 billion people there are 1.3 billion people who are active Facebook users. That’s not just people who have put up a Facebook profile page and aren’t using Facebook at all.

And Facebook has acquired a tremendous amount of data on its active users. And what is interesting is that you can target almost any demographic you want inside of Facebook and get your message in front of these active users in a very cost effective way.

For as little as $5 a day in direct ad spend on Facebook you can reach several thousand people a day who have a specific interest in what you are doing.

Facebook Lead Ads

The trick about advertising in Facebook is that they recently introduced something called Lead Ads. You have probably seen these ads that show up in your news feed in Facebook, right? If it says sponsored it is a paid Facebook ad.

Example of a Lead Generating Facebook Ad for Dentist

Example of a Lead Generating Facebook Ad for Dentist

And these paid Facebook ads come with calls to action. One call to action is Call Now, another Download, another is Learn More, another is Watch a Video. So what you can do with the Learn More call to action is send people over to your website with a video they might watch or a report you can offer them, but before they can get that video or report you are asked to provide your name and email address and possibly your phone number.

And what Facebook lets you do now is integrate these lead capture forms with your email autoresponder system, like Constant Contact or Aweber or Infusionsoft so that you can now get leads through Facebook and put them into your autoresponder.

So this is a time saving move. You don’t have to get back to the person immediately. They fill out the form and get immediate get your video or report or coupon that you offered in your Facebook ad. And then you can set it up so they get regular follow up email messages and in some cases text messages from you to cultivate the relationship to the point that they know, like, trust and are ready to buy from you.

26:55 — Tamara Patzer – Wow, that is really phenomenal – how much you can do with Facebook. And that is a great value. I mean if you get one client that would be a really good value.

Facebook Advertising vs. Google AdWords

27:09 – Tamara Patzer — So how is advertising on Facebook different from advertising on Google?

27:11 – Yvonne Herbst — Well, what you need to think about when advertising on Facebook is, Google is a search based platform. So with Google Adwords what you are doing is researching keywords that are being searched. Google has a keyword tool that lets you see what keywords people are searching for in Google and it will tell you how much traffic there is for various keywords and phrases and about how much you should expect to pay to get a click on your ad in Google.

So Google is entirely search driven and people who are searching in Google are much further along in the buying cycle. They are interested in buying soon. They are interested in finding an emergency plumber or a locksmith or a local restaurant.

With Facebook, it is better for piquing people’s interest in a social way. Let’s say you are at a cocktail party and you are introduced to someone, you don’t say “Hey, I’m a home builder and let’s set up an appointment so we can see how I can remodel your home,” or, if you are a chiropractor, you don’t immediately say “let’s make an appointment for a chiropractic service.”

No, you get to know people, you have a social conversation and find out what your common interests are. Then you might follow up with them later on, but you don’t try to sell yourself right away in a social setting.

So Facebook ads are social ads targeted to people with an interest in what you are doing. They are there to pique their interest, to get them to click through to watch a video, or to get a coupon for your restaurant, or to learn more about whatever it is you are doing. Maybe get a how-to or tip sheet.

Then once you get these people into your sales funnel, you can follow up with automated messages with more information to move them forward in the buying cycle. And because they requested information these are permission-based messages. You aren’t spamming them.

How to Get Started Advertising on Facebook

29:57 – Tamara Patzer — So, if somebody wants to start advertising on Facebook, how do they do that?

30:02 – Yvonne Herbst — Well first of all you have to have a Facebook Business page. You can’t advertise just from your own personal profile page. You have to have a business page set up for your business.

Then you have to go to business.facebook.com and set up a business account there. They will ask you for your credit card information because when you advertise on Facebook they will bill your credit card. You can set a threshold inside Facebook for when your credit card will be billed, so you can say you don’t want to be billed until you have accumulated $50 or $100 in ad spend on Facebook. You are not billed immediately until you meet the threshold that you have set

Then once you get your business account set up, when you go to your Facebook business page there will be a message that says “Manage Your Page with Business Manager” and you have to click that link before you can post status updates as your business and not your personal self.

From there, there are 2 ways to create ads inside Facebook. One is through the adverts manager which is a simplified advertising tool, but if you want to dive deep and take advantage of lead ads, you need to use the Facebook Power Editor to create your ads. That gets into more detail than I can get into in this interview today but I can talk with your listeners and provide more information if they like.

Facebook Boosted Posts

32:05 – Tamara Patzer — So what is a boosted post in Facebook?

32:10 – Yvonne Herbst — A boosted post is the most basic form of Facebook advertising yo can do. Let’s say you have written a blog and you post the link to that blog on your Facebook page and you are given the option to boost it.

You want to create an eye-catching graphic to accompany that post to call people’s attention.

And Facebook has rules that any image you post that accompanies a boosted post cannot have more than 20% text on that image. If it does, Facebook won’t approve your boosted post.

Then when you boost your post, you have the option to say you want everyone to be able to see the ad, or you only want people who have liked your page to see the ad, or you want everyone who likes your page plus their friends to see the ad, and you can specify the geographic target area where your ad will be displayed as well.

So you can specify you only want people who live within 5 miles of your business to see your ad.

A lot of business owners assume that if 500 or 1,000 people have liked their page that ALL of them will see everything they post on their business page. But in fact, Facebook only shows your business page posts to 1-2 percent of your Facebook fans so if you want to make sure that ALL your Facebook fans see your post then you have to boost our post to ensure that everyone sees it.

And you can specify if you want your post to be displayed over 1 day or 3 days or 5 days or any period of time.

So boosted posts are a way to ensure that everyone who has liked your page sees what you are publishing and it can keep you top of mind with this audience.

33:34 – Tamara Patzer — So do you have any other good ideas besides Facebook for business owners? For example, can you connect your boosted post with a coupon?

33:57 – Yvonne Herbst — Well you can put a link to your website in your boosted post. For example I have a dog grooming client where I will upload a coupon image to her website and then we will boost a post advertising her dog grooming special with a link to the downloadable coupon in the status update on her page. Then people can click that link and download the coupon from there.

35:20 – Tamara Patzer — OK, so boosted posts are an inexpensive way to test a concept or an ad and you can actually take them to your website where all kinds of things can happen with Facebook like retargeting or remarketing. Do you also offer different campaigns? Would you like to talk about your birthday campaigns?

A Unique Facebook Campaign for Restaurants

36:00 — Yvonne Herbst — Yes, birthday campaigns are especially good for restaurants or day spas or any kind of business that provides personal services. Florists for example.

One of the intriguing audiences you can target in Facebook is people with birthdays coming up within the next 7 days. So a restaurant can advertise a free dinner or lunch to people who live near the restaurant and have a birthday coming up in the next week. Birthday celebrants can bring a lot of money into a restaurant because people usually bring at least one and often several people or a large group of people to a restaurant on their birthday.

So when someone decides they want that offer and click on the Get Coupon link, the restaurant receives an immediate notification of this lead and they can track the performance of their Facebook ad and see that it is really working. I know of restaurants that are generating 50-60 leads a month or more and several thousand dollars a month or more from this one marketing technique.

So these birthday celebrants are automatically added to the restaurant’s email list of customers and we can also add them to a text messaging list.

And the beauty of this marketing strategy for restaurants is that it’s a very cost effective way to build your customer list and get a positive return on your ad spend. Once these people are automatically entered into your email database , you can continue to send weekly or monthly offers and invitations to these people long after their birthday to keep them coming back and spending money in your restaurant.

Facebook Campaigns for the Wedding Industry

If you are in the wedding industry, you can target people who have become engaged in the past 3-6 months and send them an offer for your florist services, or wedding planning services, or DJ services.

The key is that you need to send people to an intermediate page – what we call a “landing page” — where your prospects have to provide their name and email address in order to get the offer. Then they are entered into your email or text message autoresponder system and you have their permission to follow up with them.

Facebook Marketing for Chiropractors and Health Professionals

I know someone who does marketing for chiropractors. He advertises Dinner with a Doc and advertises special events to people in the chiropractor’s local area who suffer from migraines or backaches or any kind of condition that a chiropractor can treat and the offer is to come have dinner with the chiropractor for free and learn how chiropractic can remedy your health issue.

This guy is getting 10-20 leads a month from one campaign for his chiropractor clients and these leads are turning into $20,000 or $30,000 a month in long-term patient new patient revenue. So the return on your investment when advertising on Facebook can be huge.

The key is to craft an offer and a compelling image that will get people wanting to learn more and sign up for your event.

40:16 — Tamara Patzer. — Wow. If you were not taking notes, I recommend that you go back and listen to this interview a couple of times because Yvonne I think you have given some really dynamite examples of how to market businesses online, how to create great websites and a great online presence, and then how to start using Facebook for advertising with a small budget and then of course as your business grows you can increase your budget.

Internet Marketing Warrenton Virginia: Michelle Kelley Reviews Herbst Marketing

Michelle Kelley, Owner, Girls Stand Strong, Warrenton VirginiaMichelle Kelley, Licensed Counselor and Owner of Girls Stand Strong specializes in working with girls and women to empower them to succeed in all areas of their lives: personally, academically, socially and professionally. Michelle is a dynamic, inspiring, no-nonsense personal development coach who has helped her own clients achieve significant — even dramatic — breakthroughs in their own lives.
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How to Get More Facebook Fans for Your Business: Case Example

Facebook Fans Expand Your Facebook Reach.It has been said that every person who becomes a fan of a local business Facebook page is connected to an average of 130 additional Facebook friends. Therefore, growing your business’ Facebook fan base can greatly expand your visibility and raise awareness of your products and services to a larger circle of potential prospects.

For example, the 635 fans of Warrenton Favorites have a combined total of 167,045 Facebook friends. Thus, any information posted on the Warrenton Favorites Facebook page could, potentially, be seen and noticed by 167,045 friends of our Facebook fans.

Plumbing Company Facebook Marketing Case Example

Recognizing the marketing value of each Facebook fan, Appleton Campbell, Inc. initiated a campaign in June, 2012 designed to virally grow their Facebook fan base. Prior to launching the campaign, the company marketing department had noticed that they generated the most engagement (comments and likes) on their Facebook page when they posted information about community activities they sponsored and supported — especially activities related to local sports leagues, school clubs and nonprofit organizations.

A company employee needed to raise $3,000 to finance his daughter’s travel and lodging expenses for a Fastpitch Softball World Series Tournament, which presented a perfect opportunity to help a talented local athlete attain her dream while promoting the company at the same time.

Appleton Campbell launched a Facebook campaign offering to donate $1.00 to their employee’s daughter’s fundraising effort for every new person who liked the Appleton Campbell Facebook page. As part of the campaign, the company’s marketing department also provided a WordPress Website with PayPal donate button to their employee, so that individuals could contribute additional money to the fundraising campaign as well.

Less than two weeks into the campaign, the company had increased the number of Facebook fans nearly 50%, from 140 fans when they started the campaign on June 15 to 208 fans as of June 26, 2012.
fundraising website

How Can You Apply This Viral Marketing Strategy To Your Business?

Look for opportunities within your community where you can sponsor and showcase worthy organizations and causes. Offer to partner up with these organizations or causes for a win-win Facebook promotion where new fans of your Facebook page know they are simultaneously helping to raise money or otherwise support a good cause.


Herbst Marketing helps small businesses in Northern Virginia and elsewhere grow their business by expanding their web presence. We design and develop affordable, customized WordPress websites, provide web copywriting services, and social media marketing consulting services. For more information, call (540) 937-7234 or email us here.

Ethical Bribes: How to Use Free Give-Away Offers to Grow Your Business

Are you using ethical bribes to grow your business?

Free giveaway itemFree give-away offers (also known as ethical bribes) are a classic, time-tested method for building buzz and gaining valuable exposure that can lead to greater sales for your business.

What is an Ethical Bribe?

An ethical bribe is something you give away for free in exchange for a prospect’s name and contact information (usually just an email address, but you can request a phone number and additional information as well in exchange for the free give-away item.)

Benefits of Ethical Bribes

Ethical bribes can help you:

  • Build buzz, gain attention and generate more exposure for your business, your products and your services,
  • Give potential customers a taste or experience of your product(s) or service(s)
  • Qualify leads and develop a list of ideal prospects
  • Position you as a “welcome guest” instead of an “unwelcome pest” in the prospect’s mind.
  • Obtain permission to continue communicating with your ideal prospects.

Studies show that people don’t buy something until they have been exposed to it between 4 and 7 times and sometimes up to 10 times. 

On the internet in particular, your prospects aren’t seeing you face to face or speaking with you directly. They probably don’t know who you are yet, so they aren’t likely to open their wallets and make a purchase when they first come across you. 

Examples of Ideal Ethical Bribes

The ideal ethical bribe provides a taste or experience of your product or service, and/or educates your prospects about your business, so they can decide if you have something of value to offer them.

Depending on the nature of your business, an ethical bribe could be:

  • A coupon or gift certificate to induce prospects to try your product or service
  • A free report
  • An excerpt or sample chapter of a forthcoming book
  • A free consultation or session with you
  • Access to a free educational video

Ethical Bribes Help You Overcome Buyer Resistance

People love free items, so ethical bribes make it easy to overcome price resistance from potential customers and clients. Many people are happy to provide their contact information in exchange for something that is free.

Once you have their contact information, you have the beginnings of a “marketing funnel” that can become a valuable and profitable sales tool.

The better your ethical bribe – the more value it represents to your target customer – the greater your chances of growing a database of leads and qualified prospects.

If people are visiting your website but not providing their names and email addresses to obtain your give-away item(s), then you need to offer something different with a greater perceived value. 

You won’t know if you need to offer a different ethical bribe until you have at least offered something. 

Setting Up Your Follow-Up System

Before offering your ethical bribe, you must set up a follow-up system to deliver the freebie offer and continue communicating with your leads after they sign up to receive your freebie offer.

Your website should be designed to present your ethical bribe in an eye-catching and appealing way, with a prominent sign-up form and inviting, persuasive images and copy.

You should also subscribe an autoresponder email service, such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or Aweber, and set up this service to immediately deliver the freebie offer as well as a series of pre-written messages that will be delivered in a predetermined sequence over a period of time (a week, a month, or longer).

Action Plan

Ethical Bribe Action Steps

Here are the action steps you need to take to start growing your business through ethical bribes:

  • Decide on one or more free give-away items or services you will offer.
  • Design and write your online invitation to obtain your give-away item.
  • Subscribe to an autoresponder email service (I recommend Aweber and Constant Contact)
  • Create an opt-in form (lead-generating form) through your email service to obtain prospects’ names and email addresses.
  • Set up your autoresponder service to immediately confirm and deliver access to your ethical bribe after prospects fill in the opt-in form.


  • Yvonne Herbst owns and manages Herbst Marketing, a Northern Virginia website design and marketing agency that helps local businesses use the internet effectively to grow sales and revenue. Her PiedmontWomen.com blog showcases influential women and women entrepreneurs serving Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Prince William Counties, Virginia.

    Sign up for the Piedmont Women email list to receive free offers, free gift certificates and other give-away items from featured woman-owned businesses.

WordPress Website Development Northern Virginia: Audiologist Website

Herbst Marketing, a WordPress website development company serving small businesses throughout Northern Virginia, has just completed work on its latest client website: Listening-Loops.com.

Listening Loop Technologies, Inc., is a division of Fauquier Hearing Services, Inc., which has provided hearing testing and hearing aid services to clients throughout Northern Virginia since 1999.

Wordpress Website Design by Herbst Marketing, Warrenton, Virginia

Listening-Loops.com


Listening Loops are systems that can be installed in the home and in public spaces that eliminate background noise and dramatically enhance the hearing and listening experience for hearing-impaired individuals who are wearing t-coil equipped hearing aids.
(more…)

Warrenton VA Website Design: How to Attract More Qualified Prospects Online

If you are a local business owner, chances are you could use more leads to keep your business growing and thriving.

If you could get 10 or more additional calls or visits each week from people who are actively shopping for your products and services, would that make a positive difference in your bottom line?

How to Generate More Leads With Less Work With Local Search Marketing

One of the best and fastest ways to attract more highly-targeted and qualified leads for your business is to make sure you have claimed, verified and optimized your Google Business Listing and listed your business in as many other local business directories and review sites as possible.

As you can see from the pie chart on the left (click the chart for a larger view), you need to include at least 17 different elements for a complete local business directory listing.

Know the Top Local Search Ranking Factors Before You Start

While you can create and submit your local business listings yourself, this task is not as simple or straightforward as you might imagine. Before getting started, you should read and understand how to apply these local search ranking factors.

How Much Time Does It Take to Create and Submit an Effective Lead-Generating Local Business Listing?

An effective lead-generating local business listing starts with keyword research. You will want to spend some time researching which business categories are the best choices for your business. Here for example, is Google’s list of official business categories.

Whenever possible, you should list your business using at least one of the “official” business categories used by each directory. If your business does not fit neatly into any of the listed categories, choose the category that best fits your business.

Every directory has its own set of business categories. Unfortunately, there is no standard list of business categories that is used by every local business directory, so you must use your best judgment in each instance to decide where your business best fits within that directory.

Next, you will need to craft a concise, well-written business description that incorporates highly-searched keywords and keyword phrases. You can use Google’s Keyword Research Tool to research and identify keywords and keyword phrases that are most likely to generate search traffic for your website.

Your business description should include a call-to-action that will motivate online visitors to call or email you right away to get something valuable, such as a time-limited coupon or special offer.

Realistically, you should budget 10-20 hours to do the preliminary keyword research and then create and submit a properly constructed lead-generating local business listing to the top local business directories.

This Sounds Awfully Complicated: Is It Really Worthwhile?

Once your complete, well-crafted business information is listed everywhere it needs to be online, you can expect a high return on your investment. Local online business listings can get found by hundreds — even thousands — of people every month who are searching for businesses just like yours. When you make it easy for them to find and contact you online, you can expect to generate many more highly-targeted leads, with little or no additional effort.

I Don’t Want To Do This Myself: Can You Do It For Me?

If you do not want to take the time to learn how to create and submit effective local business listings yourself, Herbst Marketing can do it for you.

Get Started: Call 540-729-4076 Today

Or Send Us an Email

We can get your business listed everywhere it needs to be listed online. Pricing depends on the number of directories in which you are listed. We will need to talk with you first and get a better understanding of your business in order to identify the best business directory listings for you.

QR Codes for Local Businesses: The Smart Way to Reach Your Customers on Smart Phones

 

Herbst Marketing QR Code

Success Tips: QR Codes for Local Business Marketing

QR Codes — those funny looking black and white square images you are seeing more and more in newspaper and magazine ads — can be a powerful, low-cost marketing tool for local businesses in Northern Virginia — if you know how to use them to drive traffic to your business and motivate more people to buy what you are selling.

These 2D Bar Codes let your customers and prospects access and view your business information online in new, fun and engaging ways.

Smart Phone Usage is Exploding:
QR Codes Help You Tap This Market

Mobile phone and smart phone marketing and advertising statistics

QR Codes can help you reach more customers
through their smart phones

As you can see from the graphic to the left,cell phones now outnumber computers 3:1. No doubt you have used your own cell phone to locate and call local businesses when you are on the run and away from your computer.

The skyrocketing use of mobile phones for local search is the reason why you need to (more…)

Websites That Work: Success Tips for Local Business Websites

In our last article, Internet Marketing Essentials for Local Business, we presented a 7-step internet marketing recipe that can help your local business attract more customers and increase sales and profits.


Success Tip #1:
Get A Website That Works

97% of consumers use computers or mobile phones to find local businesses before they buy . . . but 50% or more of local business owners still do not have a (more…)

Internet Marketing Essentials for Local Business

Would you like to know how you can capture more leads and close more sales with less effort?


Grow Your Local Business with Internet Marketing

Grow Your Local Business with Internet Marketing

The internet is a fantastic marketing platform for local businesses — but you need to know the recipe for success to make it work for you.

Did You Know?

Today, 97% of all consumers use computers or mobile phones to find local businesses and research buying decisions. If you are the first business your best prospects find online, then you are ahead of the game.

The Internet Can Help You Capture More Leads and Close More Sales With Less Effort

Here’s a simple “recipe” that can help you attract more qualified leads online and close more sales with less effort.

1. Get a Website Designed With Sales In Mind

2. Make Sure Your Website and Business Information Show Up Fast Online

3. Create an Irresistible One-Time Offer Available Only To People Who Request It Online

4. Require Prospects to Provide Name, Phone and Email Address to Obtain and Redeem Your Offer

5. Follow Up Fast and Follow Up Regularly to Establish Trust and Cultivate Loyal Relationships

6. Position Yourself as the Top Local Expert

7. Deliver Social Proof That You Are the Best Choice for Your Products and Services

Step 1: Get a Website Designed With Sales in Mind

If you really want to capture more leads and close more sales with less effort, you need to start with a website that works.

Websites that work are designed in a specific way that will save you money, time and energy on advertising and marketing while funneling more qualified leads into your business.

If you would like immediate help to get a new website, or fix your underperforming website,

Call Today: 540-937-7234

Or Email Us To Schedule an Appointment

Click Here to Email Us Now