Monday, November 17, 2014

Facebook Organic Reach - Nearly Dead?

On Google, you have "organic" reach via SEO and you have paid reach via "AdWords." While they don't always place nicey-nice with each other, you have to give Google some credit: there is such a thing as organic reach, as getting to the top of Google for free.  It takes work, yes, but it opens opportunities for small, hard-working companies with little or no budget.


Facebook Organic Reach
Not so with Facebook, or hardly so, or it used to be so.  Facebook is slowly but surely grinding away on the "pages" of corporations, clubs, and businesses.  Facebook is becoming a social media site in which "friends" and "family" can communicate with each other, for free... but "Brands" aka businesses can't.


Bye Bye Facebook Organic Reach


Is that fair? I can't really say.  But it is really more and more a reality.  Which means for many of us to abandon any hope of using Facebook for "organic" reach, and perhaps using it ONLY as an advertising vehicle. You can put a LOT of effort into a Facebook page, and yet it has little to no organic reach.

Here is a New York Times article on the subject, reflecting a whole mass of articles on the blogosphere on the decline of "Facebook for Free."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wanting, Learning, Planning, Doing: SEO & SMM Success Paths

Yesterday, I finished my two-day workshop at Stanford on "Personal Branding." Many of the participants came up, thanked me, and used the "fire hose" reference. I had given them a "fire hose" of information on SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing).


SEO and SMM from the Fire Hose of Learning
Yes, I had. There is soooooooo much to learn.  Soooooooo much to know.


Some advice in terms of success in SEO and SMM



  1. Wanting. You gotta WANT to learn.  Attitude is everything, and certainly the first step towards success.
  2. Learning. You gotta realize SEO and SMM are GAMES. Games with rules, games with competitors, games with judges, and games with winners and losers.  You gotta learn the rules.
  3. Planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail. You gotta "make a plan" - step #1, step #2 and so on and so forth.
  4. Doing. You gotta DO it.  You can't just "think about it."  You gotta do it.  Know your keywords. Implement them on page. Build links. Get social mentions.  Tweet (if it makes sense). Instagram (if it makes sense).  Just like Nike says, "Do it."

You can succeed, fire hose or no fire hose.  You just gotta "do it."  Good luck!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

LinkedIn Reference Search & Your Digital Footprint: Be Careful!

Here's a feature on LinkedIn I didn't know about: reference search. Available only to premium (a.k.a. paying members), it allows them to find contacts who
LinkedIn Reference Search
have worked at the same companies at you. So the scenario is -

  1. You are applying for a job at Company X.
  2. The recruiter at or for Company X is a LinkedIn premium subscriber; he can "research" who works or worked at your current company, Company Y.
  3. He can reach out to those people and ask about you, "as a reference," even without your knowledge. So these are references, but ones you do NOT select or put forward. Yikes! If Coworker A at Company Y does not like you, he can give you a bad "reference" and wreck your job prospects.

Reference Search Exists Whether You Like It, Or Not


Many people - myself included - didn't even know this feature existed. And now there's a lawsuit about it on privacy grounds. The thing about Internet privacy in general is that, pretty much, you should go on the assumption that there is no privacy. Be careful about your "digital footprint," and be careful about being nicey-nice with everyone these days. You never know.

For the New York Times article about the lawsuit, click here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics!

I majored in Russian Studies at Harvard, after originally wanting to be a Spanish Literature major. Numbers were not exactly, "in my blood," though I was good with math. Well, in the circuitous route that is life itself, here I am spending 99% of my time with SEO, AdWords, and Social Media. And increasingly on metrics.

Marketing and Metrics


Metrics and Marketing
Marketing and metrics, metrics and marketing. The old sage, "I know half of my advertising dollars are wasted... I just don't know which half" still haunts many of us. But we live in an age of metrics - clicks, impressions, click thru rates, placements, conversions, etc., etc. Metrics matter!

I had the (mis)fortune of interacting with a San Francisco Ad Agency (that shall remain nameless), who attempted to feed one of our mutual clients a bunch of baloney. Branding and RTB (real time bidding and this hocus and that pocus). But... refusing to give any data - about placements, about impressions, about clicks.

To be so insane as to argue that people "don't click on ads," they just get an "impression" in their mind and then Google the company name, or call them out of the blue (even if the ads do not have a telephone number). Then when the mutual client asked for some metrics...

Ain't Gonna Give You No Metrics


Nope, nada, not gonna give you. We don't "give" metrics to our clients.

Wow, I thought to myself. The unwillingness to give data speaks volumes about how strong the advertising is.

I'm not saying that everything can be measured.  I don't worship clicks or even conversion data. I believe in branding!  I believe in advertising!

But a complete unwillingness to share any meaningful data - that speaks volumes about what's really going on here.


People who have facts on their side are usually quite willing to discuss facts; people who don't have the facts... not so much.

Questions about Metrics & Marketing


So, questions for you my dear readers -

  • Is your ad agency, SEO firm, consulting or whoever willing to provide metrics?
  • Do you have an idea of what metrics are meaningful?
  • Do you have a healthy skepticism of both "too much faith in metrics," and "too little?"
Metrics, metrics, metrics.  They're not everything. But they are something!