Managing Advertiser Commitments

In the beginning it should be easy to keep up with your advertising commitments. You won’t have very many and they may select one of your smaller packages so it’s pretty easy to keep up with.

Pretty soon, however, you’ll realize that each advertiser needs a little something different and keeping up with it all can start to feel overwhelming. When this happens, it’s time to take control. I am NOT an organizational expert, but this is what works for me.

Create a Google spreadsheet. List all of your advertisers on the sheet. Underneath each name list every action you will have to take as part of their campaign. Do you need to do a social mention twice a month for three months? You’ll need to list “social mention” underneath six times. Do the same for newsletter ads, sponsored posts, dedicated emails, and anything else that goes with the campaign.

As you fulfill these requirements, list the date of fulfillment in the next column, and next to that leave a link to the content.

Some site managers might wish to put each advertiser on their own sheet–that would work too. I copy and paste my progress into a new sheet and attach it to my billing documents so clients can see the progress.

It’s important to review these documents regularly–once a week at a minimum. As you’re looking at your commitments you can schedule your ads for Facebook and Twitter, taking one more thing off your to-do list.

Below is a portion of the spreadsheet that I use to track advertising commitments.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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Reach is Dead. Long Live TAB.

I’ll confess that I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about post reach. So much so that I’ve done a lot of things to get that number up–adding my link in the comments, uploading a FB-friendly image rather than letting the image pull from the post, and avoiding the image entirely. I’ve had varying level of success with these methods, but the other day I realized that by focusing on reach, I’m letting FB point me right where it wants to.

I’ve been suckered.

A couple of years ago you could post something on FB and depend on it to stay in the news feed for a good long while–those times have changed. There are more people on Facebook and more businesses, and events, and groups, and who knows what else and all of these things are vying for a piece of the newsfeed. It’s a crowded landscape and more people are jumping in every day.

So reach is going to go down. And it’s going to keep going down. The truth is that as more people join any social network, the more the reach of an individual post will go down. In fact, the real problem isn’t that reach is going down–it’s that we’ve gotten lazy. When talking to businesses I would always advise them to start with Facebook because it’s easier. Posts on Facebook used to hang for a good long while and if you get good interaction, they’ll stay up even longer. The problem with networks like Twitter and Instagram is that new things quickly bump old things out of the way. You have to post multiple times a day to keep up with people. You need to interact and comment–you can’t just leave something up and wait for other people to see it. Do you have any idea what the “reach” of your Twitter posts are? I’m guessing not terribly high. Twitter doesn’t bother telling us that, though. Facebook does. Why? So we can freak out and start buying boosts to make sure we’re getting enough “reach.”

Reach is pointless though. Well, the reach of individual posts is pointless. You need to focus on Talking About (or TAB).

Why TAB?

TAB is a count of all the people who have interacted with your page in the last 7 days–a much more meaningful number than the people that saw an individual post. Looking is great, but interaction is what drives a page’s community and what helps get your posts in front of more people.  There are added benefits to focusing on interaction as well. For example, I can ask a discussion question on Facebook with no links and I WILL see an uptick in traffic at the same time. Being in people’s minds in enough. People will also come over to your page and like other things that they missed before. Interaction is key.

You should still share links. You might need to share them more than once, though. You also want to ask questions and share photos and do things that drive interaction. Talking About is the only metric about your page that’s public–other people can see it. And most importantly, it gives you a much larger picture than staring at one metric for one post. If you want to know how effective an individual post is, take the number of people that it “reached” and divide it by the number of times the direct page was viewed. That lets you know if you have something people want to read and Facebook doesn’t share that metric at all (or seem to care about it).

As I focus on TAB I find that my reach on individual has improved as well. TAB is more work, but that’s where social is heading–best get on board now.

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The Deal With Google Plus

The big mistake that people make with Google Plus is that they expect it to be another Facebook. Whatever their intention, I can assure you that Google Plus is NOT another Facebook, but it should be an integral part of your blogging efforts. I know. Big sigh. Another network. The good news is that Google Plus doesn’t eat up hours of your time and can be very effective in helping you gain search traffic and expand your online presence.

So if it’s not Facebook, what is it? To put it simply, Google Plus is how Google adds a human touch to search results. They know a computer with an algorithm can only do so much, and now they’re using Plus to bridge the gap between what a computer can do and what a human can.

Hopefully this description is helping you feel a little more excited about Google Plus because basically it’s your chance to show Google search just how great your content is.

Here’s the easiest breakdown I’ve heard someone give G+:

  • Submitting you post to G+ gives it a small boost in the search rankings–this is much higher is someone is connected to your page, but either way the submission is helpful.
  • If the post on G+ is given a +1 you get even more of a boost.
  • If the post on G+ is commented on the boost is even bigger.

Sounds pretty good, huh? All of this works even better if you are able to get some G+ buddies together and you can all +1, comment and re-post each other’s stories.

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