Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Can Businesses Do on Facebook?

“Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.”
--Putt’s Law

It’s here: the new age of social media. By now you probably know that you can use Facebook to reconnect with old friends from high school, post photos and catch up on what your friends are doing, but did you know there are a lot of business goals you can accomplish on Facebook as well?

Here are my top four things businesses can do on Facebook:

1. Prospect for clients – People can be searched and segmented by narrow topic areas on social media, making it efficient to prospect for clients who may already have an interest in your product or service. Because in social media people opt in to join your group or become a fan of your company, you also have the benefit of a more motivated, interested audience than you might have in the offline world.

2. Listen to what people are saying/thinking about your company, industry and brand – You can use that information to develop new products and services that will appeal to your customers or to refine the products and services you currently have.

3. Develop better customer relations – By engaging more frequently with your customers in a way they enjoy and prefer, you strengthen the bonds between you.

4. Build your credibility and expertise – By being visible and active on social media, you increase the likelihood that when people think of your industry they think of you first.

Notice one thing I didn’t say was SELL, SELL, SELL. Social media has the potential to reach a huge potential market, but that doesn’t mean you immediately should sell to everyone in your network. That can be a real turn off and lead to people disconnecting from you online because it is so self-serving.

It’s like if you went to a party or networking event and you met some new people. You wouldn’t immediately whip out your product and ask them to buy it, right? Instead you might chat with them to get a better idea of their areas of interest and their needs, and if there seemed to be an overlap with what you were offering, you might give them your card and suggest they visit your company. It’s the same thing online. You need to build the relationships before people want to buy from you.

Facebook is great for building the know, like and trust factor that is so important for long-term success. Because since social media is so new there are people out there pushing their products in a very aggressive way, and it might make you think that’s an appropriate strategy. It’s not.

That doesn’t mean social media won’t help you sell your services, you just need to think of it with a longer timeline and in a more subtle way, compared to, “Okay I’ve set up my Facebook page so now I expect to see a 20% boost in sales this month.”

Facebook can be an important marketing tool for businesses when it is used effectively with reasonable goals.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Smartest Thing I Did Last Year

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.” --John Ruskin

The rugged individualist, bravely doing it all by himself – it’s a familiar theme from Hollywood but not the best way to run a business. The smartest thing I did last year was make a commitment to get help and support in many different forms.

In addition to a crack team of web designers and programmers, a graphic artist, accountant, IT specialist, lawyer, assistant and virtual assistant, Team BlueTree also includes mentors and a board of advisors. You may be surprised to learn that some of my advisors I have never met. Some are not even living.

This is an idea I picked up from self-help author Napoleon Hill. He created an imaginary board of personal advisors made from great figures of history. He chose people like Napoleon, Lincoln, Jesus and Alexander the Great and held imaginary conversations with them whenever he had an important decision to make. Because he had studied their lives, he gained new viewpoints into the insights, observations and advice his advisors would give.

This is habit that anyone can do – identify and learn from the best in your industry, your hobby, in politics, culture or the arts. My imaginary board of advisors includes many successful women entrepreneurs who have blazed a trail for me to follow. Just because I don’t happen to personally know them doesn’t stop me from following in their footsteps and being inspired by them every day.

• TIP: Make a list of people you especially admire. The next time you have a decision to make or you’re just ruminating on some initial thoughts, ask yourself, what would so-and-so say about this situation? Note what new insights and observations come to your mind.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two Reasons To Be On Twitter

By now I'm sure you're hearing about Twitter every time you turn around. My second "Two For Tuesday" video shares my top two reasons why you might want to participate in this new social media trend.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mission (Not Impossible) Statements

I'm working on mission statements for a client today and it has me thinking about how we summarize our company's mission. Can you state why your company exists in just one sentence? The best mission statements are short, clear and powerful. Nelson Mandela's is "End Apartheid." Abraham Lincoln's was "Preserve the Union." A great mission statement has a certain energy to it - it draws you in and makes you almost want to be a part of what the company is trying to do. I can say I sit at a desk and write about PR, but that doesn't exactly fire anyone up. But if I focus on the outcome of what I do, I might say something like "my mission is to empower entrepreneurs to share their companies' stories with power and grace." Better.

If your mission statement is too lengthy to be memorable, or if you don't have a mission statement, consider scheduling some time to play around with it. When you hit the right combination of words that makes you feel excited, you're on to something.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oprah Called

“What I know for sure is what you give comes back to you.”
--Oprah Winfrey

I guess it’s inevitable when working in PR to find yourself in a room with clients who ask you to get them or their products on Oprah. Nationally, 7.4 million people watch Oprah every day. Her support of a product, service or even political candidate can translate into huge results. Naturally people are interested in getting onto that set, sitting beside Oprah on that leather couch, and basking in her seemingly Midas touch.

Now, in addition to getting on Oprah, you could also win the lottery, take a rocket to the moon and lose 30 pounds in 30 days without doing a lick of exercise. I’m not saying these things can’t happen. I’m just saying they are extreme long shots. Oprah’s staff does not sit and wait for people to call them and pitch story ideas. They actively search for hot trends or ideas and then research the top findings that fit their areas of interest.

The energy entrepreneurs hold captive in the vague goal of “get on Oprah” can detract them from doing things that can help them build their brand awareness in a more practical way, such as “send out at least six newsworthy press releases a year,” “invite my local business editor to lunch,” or “review a year’s worth of my industry trade journals and come up with at least three story ideas to suggest to them that relate to my product or service.”

If you want to get on Oprah, perhaps the best way to go about it is to focus on becoming so spectacular in your niche, and do something that impacts people so deeply or helps their lives so much that you become a magnet for not only Oprah, but many national media outlets. In the meantime, consider other potential outlets you may be overlooking, that could be a perfect way to tell your unique story.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Business Card Tips

To increase the value for my readers (and now viewers), I am creating a "Two for Tuesday" marketing/PR program. This will be a 2 minute video that will give concise and easily executable tips to impact your business. My first in this series is Two Tips for Better Business Cards:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Advanced Twitter Tips and Tools

So in my last post I told you how you can upload multiple Twitter posts at one time using and how you can use Tweetdeck to keep track of what people are tweeting about you or about specific topics that interest you.

Well, now I've learned and applied some additional Twitter tools for you to know about.

One is Your Twitter Karma at It doesn't load well in Internet Explorer, so be sure to use a different browser, like Firefox for example. What it does it allow you to see all your Twitter followers and see who you are following and who is following you back by category. Twitter itself makes you look up each individual person, which is a big pain once you have hundreds of followers. But with Your Twitter Karma you can sort in bulk. It's a great tool to help you quickly decide who you want to continue to follow.

Grader is another really interesting Twitter application. You'll find it at Put in your user name and grader will give you a grade at how well you're using Twitter. That's fun to know, but what is really cool about Grader is it will show you who has the highest grades by subject. So if you're interested in photography, input "photography" and Grader's top 100 top photography users will pop up. Now you can choose to follow some of those folks to see what's considered state-of-the-art in that subject area. Maybe you'll even learn of some cool new photography experts you didn't know.

Lastly, once you've been on Twitter a while you'll want to think about customizing your background wallpaper. You can do it in Photoshop if you're a graphic arts whiz, or you can go to Twitter backgrounds must be an image, so you cannot load active clickable links, but you can still post your company's sales messages, logos, photos or other contact information. I just had a custom twitter background done by and I must say I'm delighted with how it turned out. You can see it at @barbarawayman.

Happy Tweeting everyone!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 Tips To Name That Firm

"Build your reputation by helping other people build theirs."
--Anthony J. D'Angelo

If you were going to run a marathon, you wouldn't do it with a knapsack full of rocks on your back, right? Yet many businesses are saddled with names that are misleading, out of date, hard to pronounce or just plain bad. That makes their marketing extra difficult. If you've decided that a new name is needed for your business, here are five tips to help you find a great one.

1. Start with what's unique - Begin by making a list of the main traits you want to get across to people about your firm. Is it quality, edginess, experience, creativity? Think about what it is about you that your customers most value. When you list a range or words and word combinations, you'll want to gravitate toward those that reflect that particular quality.

2. Narrow down with a story - A story is a powerful way to help people connect your name to what you do. For example, when people ask me why my company is named Bluetree Media, I explain it's because a lot of what I do is help my clients stand out and get noticed, like a single blue tree in a forest of green. I can literally see the light bulb appear in their eyes when I say this. Think about what story can help tie the names you've chosen to your firm's unique quality.

3. Get reactions - Test out your top few names with a variety of audiences to see what they think. Do people make associations that tie back to your core brand identity? Do they find the name easy to say and spell? Listen for themes that crop up. If the themes connect to your desired positioning, you may have found a winner.

4. Check URL availability
- A firm without an online presence is a firm with no presence these days. Nabbing a website that ends in dot com is critical to being perceived as legitimate. Visit webhosting services (I like to see which of the names on your list are available for purchase.

5. Lock up all the URLs - Once you've selected your final name, don't just buy the .com URL, make sure you lock up .net, .org, .biz and .edu. Domain names usually cost less than $15 a year, and can help make sure everyone who is looking for you online can easily find you, not someone else.

© 2009 BlueTree Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twitter Tools to Save You Time

Twittering, tweeting, tweeple....we're at the start of a whole new dictionary that starts with "tw"! Some of you may be heavy into Twitter already and others may not even have signed up. I'm a recent adopter myself, but I've learned a few neat tricks that make my Twittering much more user friendly.

* is a great resource that allows you to input multiple updates at one time, to post at future times of your choosing. So instead of needing to log on and update all day long, you can just go to TweetLater, post a day's, week's or month's worth of updates, and they'll all go up with no further effort on your part. Now sometimes you'll want to post instant updates, like that you're sitting at a cafe in Paris or something. You can still go to Twitter direct to do that, or, even better go to:

*, where you can link up all your social networking sites, so that one post goes up instantly across them all. No more logging into FaceBook, updating a message, then going to Twitter, then to LinkedIn, etc. You can do it all at one time on

*Also in your Twitter arsenal should be This super handy application loads onto your computer and it will tell you anytime someone is tweeting about you, recommending you or re-tweeting what you post. How cool is that?! And if you click the little magnifying glass at the top of Tweetdeck, you can input the names of other topics you'd like to follow. I my case, I used the little magnifying glass to follow any tweets with the words "public relations." Now they pop up automatically.

Experiment and try some of these timesaving tools to make your time online more productive and fun!

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.
©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inexpensive Ways To Attract Visitors To Your Website

Wouldn't it be great if once we finished all the work of creating a website, people flocked there of their own accord? I wish it worked that way, but alas, we have to get them to visit.

Here are some quick tips on increasing your traffic:

• Make sure your web URL is on every, and I mean EVERY source of information you send out. (Your URL is the address people type to get to your website, like That includes your business card, email signature, letterhead, footer of your invoices, direct mail materials, brochures, etc. Gather up all the materials you mail, email and send out in other ways and check to see you haven't missed anything.

• When posting comments online, write your website like this:, not just When you include the http stuff it makes your URL a link so people can easily just click and visit you, rather than having to retype or cut and paste.

• Don't have a flash website, have an .html one. You can ask your web programmers to see what kind you have. Flash sites have lots of cool graphics and movement but they are notoriously hard for search engines to find. If you have a flash, start thinking about changing it over to .html in future so that people who are searching for your type of product or service can more easily find you.

• Use Google Analytics. It's a fantastic FREE service Google offers that lets you track and measure your site traffic in amazing detail. I would be lost without it. You can get it at Once you start driving more traffic to your site you'll want to see how you're doing. Google Analytics will tell you.

• Consider authoring articles and posting them to online article aggregators like and You can draft a piece of around 450 words about your area of expertise and provide a little bio of you and link to your site. It creates more avenues for people to find you.

• Give people a reason to go to your website. Offer something free for them to claim and then put that offer on your business card
and email signature. I created a 5 part e-course on how to make reporters sit up, say "Wow!" and cover your story. What can you offer that makes use of your expertise?

Implement these tips and watch your web traffic climb upwards.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Susan Boyle - Lessons in Authenticity, Timing and Technology

“What we’re all striving for is authenticity, a spirit-to-spirit connection.”
--Oprah Winfrey

It's official: British singing phenom Susan Boyle's video clip is the most downloaded in a single week in the history of the Internet. She's made fans of Oprah, Jay Leno, Elaine Paige, Simon Cowell, Demi Moore and millions of people who have watched her sing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. With a three minute performance, Susan Boyle rocketed from the depths of obscurity to the heights of fame in a matter of days. What can Susan’s experience teach business owners?

Authenticity -- As a culture we've become so cynical and jaded. Susan seems like the real deal and it is so refreshing. It's a reminder that you don't have to try to make your company appear bigger, faster or better than it really is. You only need to discover what your unique talents are and give them voice.

Timing - I read online that Susan tried out for Britain's Got Talent many times but until this year she never progressed to the final round. Was her voice any different in prior years? Probably not. Perhaps in those years the gatekeepers couldn't see beyond her age or appearance to give her a chance.

Timing plays a huge role in success and persistence pays. If your brand’s story isn't being heard the way you'd like, consider Susan's example to inspire you to keep trying. You never know when the stars align and your story fits a perfect need of the moment. The only guarantee is if you don't try, it will never happen.

Technology - The people have crowned Susan Boyle a winner, not the media. From YouTube to, to email, blogging and Twitter, tens of millions of ordinary folks got on the computer and turned this woman into a global superstar almost overnight. It's a great example of the power of the online world. There's no reason why your brand cannot capture people's attention online too, if you're savvy and give them a reason to care. If you haven't made your company's online presence a key factor in your marketing strategy, let Susan Boyle be your wake-up call.

© Barbara Wayman, APR, BlueTree Media, all rights reserved

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Three Secrets of Marketing

In over 15 years of doing marketing communications work, I’ve picked up quite a few tips on how to best get the job done. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, my three marketing secrets make a significant difference.

1. Consistency Is Key

If I had only one piece of marketing advice to offer, this would be it: The secret to effective marketing is consistency, plain and simple. A press release here, an ad buy there, a brochure that looks one way and a website that looks another … these hit-or-miss efforts are doomed to failure and are just a waste of your money.

TIP: Don’t dabble at marketing.

If your budget is limited, invest in a good, solid marketing plan and then consistently execute just one part of it until you can afford to do more. Don’t let it fall down on your list of priorities. If you think marketing can be of value to your company, start doing it, even in a small way. And then don’t stop. You’ll see results.

2. Amplify What Makes You Different

As teenagers we desperately want to blend in with our peers, never imagining we’ll one day embrace the very things we worked so hard to hide. In business, marketing yourself and your brand is much easier if you have memorable qualities that stick in people’s minds.

Don’t be afraid to be distinctive. Barbra Streisand’s strong nose, Warren Buffett’s frugality, Cary Grant’s elegance – these qualities are entirely authentic but hard to duplicate.

TIP: Take a moment to think about your business persona or company. What do you have that others don’t? If you’re not sure, do a quick review of competitor websites or think about comments you’ve received from others. Now how can you amplify those qualities?

3. It’s All About Third-Party Credibility

Okay, now I am going to tell you some gossip.

Did your ears just perk up? Would you have had the same response if I had said, “Now I am going to tell you all about me.” Probably not. What someone else says about you will always carry more weight than what you say about yourself. When thinking about your company’s marketing, look for ways to build your reputation with others.

Reporters, editors, bloggers, customers, business and government leaders are all examples of influential audiences who could be spreading your message. It’s your job to make sure they know and understand what makes you special.

As an illustration, one of my clients, a luxury motor coach modification company, proactively invited the Mayor and City Administrator to come take a plant tour and learn about the company. Later when the firm was ready to expand into a new building and needed help with zoning permits and the like, those key relationships were already forged.

TIP: Take a look at the marketing you’re doing. Are you missing any important audiences? What one thing can you do to reach out to them?

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, a free ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.