Saturday, June 27, 2015

Facebook Place Tips: An Exciting New Page Innovation To Drive Local Business

In recent times we have heard from all the major social media platforms including Facebook and Pinterest that at least 80percent of all the users are signing on through a mobile device. This fact coupled with the fact that smart phones are becoming more powerful and functional with each new release, helps to explain why so many people are starting to use their mobile phones more and more and in may ways to replace their desk top or lap top computers in terms of how they work, how they buy, how they socialise and how they research and plan their activities.

With this trend firmly established there is a real opportunity for businesses to connect with customers online while they are in the store itself.  Consequently Facebook have over the last few months been refining a package called: Place Tips that helps people to understand more about and connect with the businesses they are involved with.

Although still in its testing phase, Facebook reports that those initial businesses that have been trialling the new system have consistently reported an increase in page traffic based on those people who are in store wanting to connect on the page.

How Does Facebook Place Tips Work

In may ways Facebook Place Tips does for Facebook pages what Google rich snippets do for Google business listings in that it allows the business to provide the customer additional valuable information about the business and its products and services.  This information can include: new products currently available, soon to arrive products, testimonials, product reviews and check ins all appearing at the very top of the business page news feed and visible to in store customers.

For each business the page operator may include any number of practical, value added pieces of information including for example for a consultant, may include: A listing of key services or provided training courses, location information, existing client recommendations, operating hours and physical location, upcoming new events and full location and contact details.

 Every business wants to improve customer engagement for example and this new tool will allow businesses to personalise special messages that can be delivered to different segments of your audience and in so doing not only deliver a more tailored message but also help drive a more efficient search engine optimisation (SEO) for your off site Facebook platform.

Facebook Place Tips as mentioned earlier are visible to those at your business or store and that have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone. As well the information can also be shown to anyone that chooses to enter the business on Facebook.

Facebook have also made it clear that they will only display these Place Tips when in their estimation the amount and quality of the content is sufficient enough and of a good enough standard to add real value to the store visitor, ensuring a great level of user engagement and satisfaction.

How Do You Get Place Tips For Your Business

 The most reliable way for businesses to serve Place Tips is with a Facebook Bluetooth® beacon which is done by requesting the device from Facebook. These beacons operate by using Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones to show them the right Place Tips at the specified time and place.

Facebook are now starting to expand the number of free beacons to additional businesses from within the USA at this stage.

Understandably Facebook will prioritise this distribution to those pages that are already active and offering a superior user experience with higher quality content, graphics and rich media as well as useful processes such as check-ins and status updates. 

To learn more about any aspect of Facebook marketing, digital & Social media, or other business course, you can attend any of the Road Scholars nationally accredited courses found at:

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Daniele Lima.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

SMART Goals And Why All Criteria Need To Always Be Met

No First Amongst Equals

I was asked an interesting question this week by a student who wanted to know if in setting business objectives that were challenging, if it was OK to only be able to define those that meet only three or perhaps four of the five criteria.As I mentioned it's certainly an intriguing question and one that I have personally paid the price for from personal experience in my professional career when others have failed to set the objectives properly.

If like me, you have been around long enough you know that there is certainly at times a proverbial, 'first amongst equals' but in the case of the globally renowned: SMART Goals model I can assure everyone there really isn't. Put simply these five criteria they live or die as a collective of five. You either meet all five criteria in full when you set your objectives or in the alternative, you suffer the inevitable consequences of not achieving your specified goal.
So let us begin the discussion with a look at the five criteria that make up S.M.A.R.T.


Specifically what is it that I want the organisation, department, team or individual to achieve and why.
For example the business will generate increasing sales of twenty percent in dollars his financial year compared to last financial year.


Is the objective being formulated measurable under normal conditions or is it abstract and open to opinion and subjective interpretation? if so it has no place in a SMART goal. For the test example  above which attempts to raise the income being generated by the business the answer is most definitely yes and the funds are calculated at the time of each transaction and therefore this second criteria is met.


My personal favourite because it is here most often that businesses create a cross to bear by making the objective not only not achievable but totally unrealistic and again doomed for failure. A commonsense tip here is to look at what the market is doing and also the performance of your own brand within that market and from those two key data sets, extrapolate an achievable target will motivate, challenge and unite people to achieve a common goal.


Sometimes erroneously listed as 'Realistic', this forth criteria of relevance asks that the goal being considered is relevant to the big picture and is fundamental to the group achieving that important aim. For example that a sales representative spends at least 180 full days in the field seeing customers is certainly relevant in achieving any goal centered around the desired number of face to face calls. Where the representative will eat lunch each day whilst in the field is not.



And finally each goal should have a definitive time limit around it to ensure that the success of that goal can be properly assessed against this allocation of time.
So in looking again at the example provided earlier during the discussion of the 'specific' criteria, you see that it does in fact meet all five criteria and is is also therefore a good example of a corporate SMART goal.  So what does a bad example like like?

 A Not So SMART Goal

Some years ago whilst working in a sales role I found myself at a national planning meeting for a major pharmaceutical firm that was announcing its objectives to all its staff and in particular to its sales teams.
The goal in question related to a specific product that had grown in the previous year by 20% (in dollars) and in a market that had by 10%. Against this background, the then product manager calmly announced that our objective for the year was to:
" Grow Product X by 80 per cent over lasts years dollar sales within this calendar year.  Now does this example meet four of the five criteria in: Specificity, Measure-ability, Relevance and Timeliness? Yes it does. But is it also reasonable in terms of being achievable. Answer, certainly not.

So What Happened To That Objective

Now let me preempt that I genuinely believe in goals that are challenging and compel people to work together for the common good but that was not the case here. In this case the entire sales force knew instantly that the goal would not be achieved and lost interest immediately.  For the record I am proud that that year I was the number one performer nationally with a yearly growth of 40% which was double last years figure and four times that of the market rate. Despite this there were no bonuses, no pay  increases or congratulations. only incrimination and layoffs.

Key Take Out


 So in the final analysis this very real cautionary tale should act as a stark reminder to set all your goals carefully and reasonably so that all stakeholders involved can more fully find shared rewards for a job well done.

Further Training


Naturally should you require and marketing, sales, digital media or other business training, please feel free to contact is for a discussion at any stage to discuss how Roads Scholars Training full suite of training courses can further augment your organisations performance by clicking on:

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.
Daniele Lima.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pinterest's Soon To Be Released: Buyable Pins

Perennial Request

Perhaps the most requested  update that is made of the Pinterest management team is for good old fashion 'BUY' buttons that will allow businesses to be able to directly drive qualified leads back to their website payment gateway, where a sought after purchase can be easily made.

 The welcomed news came down recently from Pinterest that within the next few weeks this ability to sell directly from your pin board will be introduced by way of a: Buyable Pin for all users in the United States and hopefully to all other users soon after.  

Blue Buttons

At that stage when you see a blue button you will instantly know that that product is able to be purchased. Pinterest have also revealed that by the end of June 2015, US users will have access to over two million products through Buyable Pins through Apple mobile devices. For Android or PC  users these will be available in the future. 

Initial trial retail partners such as: Macy's Department stores, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom will already be offering their products whereas thousands of additional online sellers will also soon add to this list through partnering e-commerce platforms such as: Shopify.

Secure Checkout That Is Quick And Easy

Currently it is believed that around eighty percent of Pinterest users go on through mobile devices and not traditional desk tops or lap tops and so these Buyable Pins will have the effect of simplifying the process to facilitate a quicker more efficient sale. 

A Cost Free Sales Avenue

Pinterst have also said that they will not be charging sellers for the service and that shipping and customer service will still be actioned in the normal way by the vendor as well.

How to get Buyable Pins
For those businesses that use Shopify, simply log into your account and add the Pinterest channel.  You can enable the Buyable Pins quickly using a small number of steps.

For businesses using Demandware as a shop front, you will also have access to Buyable Pins within the next few weeks. Just contact your Demandware customer service manager and inquire.

After the business sets up the Buyable Pins, you will then also see that the Pins on Pinterest will also  have buy pins, driving the potential for additional sales even further.

Businesses will now continue to thrive in this target market rich environment with the fairy tale win-win scenario where the customer creates their ideal future, the business succeeds and Pinterest continue their record of unmatched growth grow.

To learn more about Pinterest or any other aspect of Social Media and Digital Marketing, simply click on:
an inquire about the one day, nationally accredited business training workshop.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Seven Steps To Social Media Marketing Excellence

Social media marketing has become mainstream and offers medical practices the potential to become more relevant to their patients.

Many companies are now transitioning from the 4Ps of outbound marketing world (product, price, place and promotion) to the 7Cs of the evolving world of inbound marketing and it makes sense that doctors now also explore the opportunities offered by social media marketing.

The following seven simple steps are vital to positioning you or your practice within your targeted community and enhancing your ability to consistently deliver value.  

Step 1: Commit

Many consultants will agree how frustrating it is that our clients want to share in the success that social media promises, but often resent and resist the commitment required making it happen.
It is important to remember that social media is not a quick fix...quite the opposite. Unlike more traditional forms of marketing, such as advertising and direct mailing, its effects are built slowly and with great purpose. It is not for the impatient.
Social media marketing requires the commitment of time, resources and personnel to drive the mechanics of the process. If you can’t or don’t want to, walk away now before a half-baked attempt actually hurts your standing in the community.


Step 2: Connect

The next step is to find and connect with your target audience/s. Who are they, where do they live, what distinguishes them from other non-targeted individuals and, most importantly, what platforms do they use to communicate, learn, ask, laugh, cry, complain and share?
All of the major networking sites contain powerful search facilities to help find those groups of people. They might be disease-state or category specific, such as those within your area who have diabetes or allergies, or others more interested in, say, improved convenience and service offerings.
Examples of these include: Twitter Search; Technorati Search; and search.
When you find these preferred platforms, you will also have found the podium from which your communication will eventually flow.

Step 3: Comprehend

Critically, through active listening we aim to gain real insight into: peoples’ true and often unmet needs; the reasons why they have these needs; the costs they incur by not having these needs met; and ultimately how they would benefit if these issues, problems, concerns and desires were adequately met.
Doctors typically ask their patients ‘where does it hurt?’
Now modern marketers turn to social media to ask and answer that same question.

Step 4: Care

People who provide additional care for their patients stand out like a beacon in the dark.
At this point ask yourself: do I really care about what my patients are thinking or is it mainly just about business.  If it’s just business, rethink your position.
Marketing and ultimately selling are about serving people and their needs. As a by-product of this quality – sustained and caring service – good businesses make good money.
Don’t try to put the cart before the horse. Social media will highlight and hurt those who continue to make this mistake.

Step 5: Communicate

Only when you fully understand the landscape and listened to your audience in terms of challenges, fears, concerns, existing and future issues, can you start to communicate with authority.
The first golden rule here is: Start low and go slow.
Earn the right to advance gradually with time and ongoing engagement of people within the various close-knit communities. Wherever possible contribute your expertise to help solve problems and answer questions as they arise.
The second golden rule: Give first to get.
Many, unfamiliar with the etiquette and expectations of this medium, have jumped in with a strategy of carpet bombing their community targets with a plethora of information, broken up with only special pricing offers. Surprisingly this has not produced good results. You need to communicate intelligently and generously.

Step 6: Control

As you begin to connect, interact and contribute to the discussion, it’s important to to monitor (as a means of controlling) how your brand, business and messages are being perceived by your audience.
As social media technology grows, so too the number and sophistication of the tools available to social media marketers to measure and monitor activity and campaign effectiveness.
These products measure everything from traffic and activity on your website and blogs (with products such as Google Analytics), to the positioning, reputation and effectiveness of message (with monitoring tools such as Trackur and Radian 6).
Given that many clinics will not have the expertise to set up such platforms, and having been asked many times about this point I’m happy to proactively mention leading Australian firms such as Southern Pacific Digital, who are able to help with the set up quickly and cost effectively.

Step 7: Conquer

Selling your practice, its brand and attributes happens gradually. At this stage, provide solutions that deliver a memorable and very satisfying experience. In doing so, it is likely that a positive message will be freely shared within the community.
While few things are guaranteed in fiercely competitive markets, by following this process local practices can strategically align their marketing efforts and help optimise their ability to listen, learn and deliver in a meaningful way to their target audience.

So until next time, good luck and good marketing. 

* Daniele Lima, Director Road Scholars, Strategic Marketing and Business Training Consultancy.
Daniele Lima is a recognised authority in SME strategic planning, social media marketing and nationally accredited business coaching. He is the author of Marketing Works: Unlocking Big Company Strategies for Small Business and course designer and presenter of social media marketing courses for VECCI including:

Phone: (03) 9576 8486 or 0413 297617