Blizzard University – July 24 & 25, 2014

Blizzard University - Glenwood Springs, July 2014 - Get signed up today!

Doesn’t a trip to the beautiful mountain town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado this summer sound like a wonderful idea? Why not make it a learning experience as well! Join us July 24 & 25, 2014 for another Blizzard University Workshop. Learn from the internet marketing specialists in this 2-day informative workshop geared toward beginner to intermediate internet marketers and vacation rental managers. Book Today or visit our workshops page for more information.

Facebook Introduces – Website Custom Audiences

It seems every time I open my email in the morning I have a newsletter about more Facebook updates. Sometimes these types of news updates are mundane and practices which I have already integrated into my daily best practices, but today, however, today was different. If any of you follow Facebook updates or are super into Facebook Advertising then you know who Jon Loomer is. He is by far, in my opinion, one of the most knowledgeable people on Facebook Advertising and the Facebook Power Editor. If you don’t know who he is I would recommend checking him out, he provides training, weekly webinars and best of all, daily postings of all he knows and finds new with Facebook. As I mentioned above, today I opened up my email, noticed an email from him with the subject line, “Huge Facebook Ads Update [Read]”. Of course anything I see coming from him I immediately click into because I know it’s going to be interesting and with this title, it certainly promised to be.

Introducing - Facebook Website Custom AudiencesI wasn’t disappointed. Facebook is now in the midst of rolling out Website Custom Audiences. It’s a slow roll-out, some have it and some, not quite yet. What this is going to allow Facebook advertisers to do is target visitors to your website, those that have visited a specific page and for some reason or another left. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have been wanting this for quite some time. I always heard talk about how this is available within Google Adwords through the Display Network and wished Facebook had something like this. Now it does and I couldn’t be more excited! Sure it will take time to perfect the system, but this time is well spent if a reach to those visiting specific pages of your website can be targeted through your Facebook Ads strategy.

Thank you Facebook.

You can read Jon’s entire article, Facebook Website Custom Audiences online here. And with the almost daily Facebook updates, among the million other social platform updates, I would suggest getting registered as a subscriber to his newsletters and weekly webinars, that is, if you want to be on top of the Facebook ad game. Happy adveritising!

Facebook Contests – Are 3rd Party Applications Still Important?

Facebook announced last week, some major changes on how businesses can run contests and promotions. No longer requiring 3rd party apps to be used, Facebook wants to make it easier for those without the proper knowledge, budget or capabilities to be able to enter the FB promotions rat race.  Businesses are now allowed to run a contest through a simple timeline status update and use the ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ options to acquire entrants and responses.Facebook Updates Contest Guidelines

Initially, I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work. Being a marketer, one of the biggest reasons to run a Facebook contest is to gather fan and consumer information, establishing a database for long term customer relations. Yes, Facebook contests are important to increase page engagement and potential website visits, but they are also there to create important relationships between you and your target market. The thought of how businesses were losing a way to gather consumer information was bothering me. It seems I spoke too soon.

Leave it to to come up with an app that actually allows you to import the ‘Comments’ and ‘Likes’ from any post on your page. It’s absolutely brilliant and called the Comment/Like Importer. If I didn’t support the on page contest before I am all in now and am comfortable telling our clients about it.

Obviously third party apps can’t be cut out completely. The amount of time to create a contest has decreased drastically which makes my job much easier, however, with the ease of creating a contest established, there also needs to be an easy way to include the rules.  Rules? Oh yeah… As with all Facebook contests you need to include ALL rules and regulations that go along with your promotion. I could not imagine including all this information in a status update. That would be quite a lengthy post, so linking out to a 3rd party app is perfect to not exhaust hopeful entrants with boring, yet important, information. I would suggest researching online for custom facebook app builders that you can use to create your rules and regulations page. Most lend to any level user and are fairly simple to install on your Facebook page.

With your contest goals and ideas in place, don’t forget about advertising it! Promoting your post to those outside your current Facebook fan base will increase page engagement and if your fans aren’t the most active FB users, advertising is a great way to gain social interaction and brand recognition. Posting the information on your Blog, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest pages is also a huge factor in gaining cross channel engagement and branding. Find more information on how to advertise on Facebook by visiting their Facebook for Business center.

In the end, Facebook has simplified the contest creation process for those not so savvy business owners who know they need to be involved in this type of online marketing, who previously didn’t know where to start. Freeing up valuable time for us Social Media Marketers to put toward other areas of our client social media marketing plan is another great benefit of this recent update. Like I said before, if I didn’t support it at first, the Comment/Like Importer has changed my mind.

What do you think about the recent Facebook changes and continued use of 3rd party applications?

Facebook Updates Their Algorithm

Facebook Updates Their AlgorithmSo one of your Facebook friends just shared this awesome picture of their trip to Bali. They posted it at 4 Pm Bali time which means you were probably in REM sleep mode when they made the post. Though you don’t talk to this friend very often on Facebook, you knew they were going and wanted to see pictures! With the recent update to the Facebook ranking algorithm you just might see the pictures after all, even if they were posted 10 hours ago.

Facebook is aiming to improve the News Feed experience for all its users by giving them the information they want to see. Recent testing showed that there was an increase in sharing, commenting and liking organic stories in the news feed when coming from friends as well as an increase in engagement for organic stories coming from pages. Previously, Facebook users encountered an unranked information stream, ordered chronologically, that would place an abundance of less than interesting information into a users news feed. Users would have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see the high engagement  posts from friends.  With the average number of news feed stories from friends and pages being around 1,500, a user’s  ability to see all the posts they wanted to see decreased.

This update makes it easier for Facebook users to view the items that are important to them and their social circle. For marketers, this change does not influence how promoted posts or paid advertisements appear in the news feed, so keep that social strategy intact. As Facebook moves closer and closer to ranking high engagement and relevant posts organically, it makes us wonder if Facebook is testing the waters to bridge the gap between itself as a social network and itself as a search engine. What do you think?

Anatomy of a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign (Infographic)

We are trucking along getting our clients set up with Facebook Advertising.  There are some really awesome targeting features that border on “creepy” when you think about it.

We can target a 34 year old mother of 2 with a full time job and a college degree that “likes” vacation rentals, beach vacations and Kill Devil Hills, NC and has a household income of $175k+ and lives in a town within a 2-hour drive of my client’s lodging property.

Like I said, CREEPY!

This infographic is floating around and has a great roadmap for getting started on a successful campaign.  Keep in mind, we find that your Facebook Ads need more frequent maintenance than even your AdWords ads to be effective, so don’t expect to set these ads and forget about them….If you need help getting started, give us a call!


Read more

Be Safe, Not Stupid on Facebook

When I ran across this article about stupid things that people do on Facebook I expected failblog worthy tales.  Instead, it’s an article that reminders us that even smart people can unknowingly do stupid things on Facebook, maybe you are that person.

Don’t make these stupid mistakes:

1 – Sharing your entire birthday on Facebook.
Giving away your date of birth is a good first step to get your identity stolen. If you like being bombarded with happy birthday messages on your special day, then don’t share the year you were born. Safety first people!

2 – Posting when you will be away from home.
I know it’s hard to contain your excitement when you have a vacation coming up, but don’t announce when you will be gone on Facebook. It’s safer to wait and share pictures and stories for when you come home. I’m not saying that your friends would break into your house while you are away, but you never know what creeps will take advantage of the situation.

3- Make sure to check out the privacy controls.
Unless you really do want the whole world to see your page, who your friends and family are and pictures of your kids, then do yourself a favor and check out Facebook’s privacy options. Play around with the settings to see how people will see your page, including people who you don’t know.

4 – Don’t post dumb things.
I have 2 stories for you:

My friend got a resume and promptly Google’d that person’s name. The first result that came up was this person’s Facebook page which listed her name and the town she lives in, so he knew that it was the right person. The only other information it showed was her quote that said “witches best not be stepping to my man unless they want to be taken down!” (but she didn’t say witches.) That resume promptly got thrown into the trash.

My next story is about a lawsuit that I don’t know all of the details on, but I do know that it has come down to someone’s Facebook wall, IM history and photos being printed out and presented as evidence. That doesn’t sound like fun. (Here’s a fun way to conceal drinking pictures.)

The lesson is don’t post anything that could get you fired, prevent you from getting a job, arrested, and other horrible things. Read more

Get Facebook KPI’s with

Now that you have a flipp’n sweet Facebook page for your lodging website, how do you measure its success?

One tool that will give you great insights is is an easy way to get KPI’s about your page, benchmark yourself against your competitors and get insights into your fans.

This tool is really easy to setup and you add up to 3 Facebook pages for free.

Here are just a few of the extensive reports that offers:

  • Statistics and distribution to understand your fan base.
  • Performance analysis of different types of content like posts, photos and status updates.
  • A customizable dashboard so you can easily see that data that is most important to you.

If you like things to be done for you, then you will also enjoy the automatic and customized reporting from

Here are a couple of my favorite graphs:

Give it a try – it’s free

Add Guest Review App to Your Facebook Page Easily

Learn how to quickly and easily add a guest review app to your Facebook Page.  This is a short 4 step process that will only take you about 15 seconds.

The benefit to having a quick and easy app on your Facebook page is obvious:

  1. Consumers like to read reviews in order to evaluate you.
  2. Your consumer is increasingly using Facebook
  3. You are trying to interact with your guest on Facebook and this is a natural way to do so.
  4. This allows you to take some ownership of your own reviews and diversify from some of the more dominant review websites like Tripadvisor or Flipkey (for vacation rentals)

Visit our Facebook How-To page for the easy instructions. Naturally, you will have to like us before we “reveal” the easy instructions to you.

It will look like this when you are done:

Google Plus – What’s the Big Whoop?

Google Plus (or Google + if you like to use  mathematical symbols to confuse others, which is what I less than 3 to do) is Google’s equivalent to Facebook.

Google Plus gives you the ability to share photos, links, chat, email and…I can’t really tell what other cool things it does yet that Facebook does not, and almost everyone I know is already on Facebook.

Anyway, when you start making connections in Google Plus, it prompts you to add people into defined “circles” including family, friends, acquaintances, and following (stalking?).

So far I’m not popular on Google Plus, but I don’t really see what the big deal is.

The stream of info pretty much looks like Facebook but not as fun.

If I wanted to chat with someone, there are 5 other ways to do that, so that’s nothing new.

I also don’t like putting people I know into categories that someone (Google) can see, or use for not evil purposes.

This is could also be a way for Google to follow us, know exactly what sites we are on, what we look like, who we hang out with, etc.  (All other paranoid people are urged to see my article, Opt Out of Facebook’s Facial Recognition).

Have you tried it Google Plus yet? What do you think?