Marketing For Kids, Part 6: Social Media

Social media used for business is different than social media used for our personal lives. While it’s great fun to chat with friends, share photos, and discover new things, that’s not how our potential customers will necessarily interact with us. Instead, they’ll use social media as a kind of search engine – so we must ensure our products and services are there.

Ground Rules

Before we begin, set some ground rules with your parents/guardians. What is and is not permitted in your home for social media usage? As a parent, I’m very strict about what information my child is permitted to share (nothing true) in order to protect them from less than nice people online. You can still be truthful about your products and services without disclosing your identity, location, age, and other personal information. For example, my child’s online store is in my name and identity. The customer still deals with a real person, just not a minor.

The Network: Pinterest

As we mentioned in part 4, our social network of choice for helping share what we’re making is Pinterest. Set up your profile with an appropriate biography and details about what you have to share.


If we use the example of the white chocolate candy horses, we might have a profile that mentions our love of candy-making and horses. Add a link to your store website.


Photos, Photos, Photos

Before we post anything, we need things to post. This is a great time to take photos of our products – lots of photos! Be as creative as you can; take some clean product shots on a white or neutral background. Place your product in a variety of backdrops and settings. Think of ways people will use your product and shoot photos with that in mind.

You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera; any smartphone camera and good lighting will do to start. Take lots of pictures; with the digital camera built into your smartphone, you can simply delete the ones that don’t look as good.

Your First Pin

To see how it works, choose a product photo, then click the plus button on your Pinterest profile page. Choose upload from your computer, then your photo.


Once uploaded, Pinterest will ask you to create a board for your photo. Name it something appropriate; refer back to the list of words we discussed in part 2 on the unique selling proposition.


Congratulations! You’ve now posted your first pin. Of course, we’ve tackled the media part. We still haven’t tackled the social part.

Interact with Others

Social media works best when we follow a rule called Giver’s Gain. We help others in some small way, and a portion of those people will return the favor in time. We can take four actions to show our support for others, for people who might like what we have to sell: follow, like, comment, and share.

Start by searching for people interested in what we’re doing. I did a search for white chocolate:


From here, what actions could we take?


See someone sharing things that we’d enjoy as customers? Follow those people! Follow 5-10 new people each day.


See a pin that really inspires you? Like it by clicking on the heart button:



Tell someone what you liked about their pin. Leave them a brief, polite comment. Don’t sell your stuff or promote yourself, just honestly share what caught your eye and thank them for sharing it.


Like a pin enough that you’d share it with your friends? Hit the Pin It button to re-share that pin to your boards. Create a series of boards for other people’s stuff and pin new things to them.

Establish a Daily Routine

The goal with these social activities is to draw attention to your profile, and then your website. To do this, we give first – and we must give often. Set up a daily routine to follow, like, comment, and share every day. I recommend starting with fives – 5 people to follow, 5 likes, 5 comments, 5 shares. Do that every day- it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

Over time, we’ll build our community, our relationships, and will find natural, normal opportunities to mention what we do that would be appropriate for any conversation.

In the next post in this series, we’ll tackle what to put in your email newsletter.

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89% of social media marketers are bad at analytics

During the Social Media Marketing World 2016 keynote yesterday, Michael Stelzner revealed the fairly startling statistic:


89% of marketers believe that exposure is the top benefit of social media. This tells me 89% of social media marketers are bad at analytics. Consider the statement we make when we say exposure is a top benefit. Exposure must lead to something else. Exposure must lead to website visitors, to new subscribers, to leads generated, and ultimately to sales made. The top benefit of social media shouldn’t be exposure. The top benefit should be revenue.

Why do marketers believe this incredible fallacy? Consider how we report social media marketing to our stakeholders. We use metrics like impressions or followers. These are important numbers, to be sure: if impressions equal zero and followers equal zero, our social media efforts would be completely ineffective. However, if we stop our measurement process at the very top of the funnel or at the very beginning of the customer journey, we have no idea how our company benefits from our work.

We have an analytics crisis in social media marketing. We have a measurement crisis in digital marketing. The worst part is the crisis is completely unnecessary. Chances are we have all the tools we need to make a legitimate analysis of how social media accelerates our sales pipeline, or how social media attracts new audiences.

Except for Snapchat (which provides no analytics), most popular social media platforms have decent top of funnel analytics we can export.

Every marketer should have access to a great web analytics package like Google Analytics.

Every marketer should have access to a marketing automation platform and/or CRM, even if it’s just a Mailchimp account.

With these tools, we can develop a real, data-driven analysis of social media’s impact on our company. The measurement crisis should have been over years ago. Instead, it seems as though social media marketers have two feet firmly planted in the past.

We can measure social media.

We can judge its impact on our overall marketing.

We can understand how social media contributes to business goals like revenue.

How do we start? In our companies, we need an executive sponsor to commit to measurement. Commit time. Commit budget. Commit people. With the right tools, knowledge, and people, we can measure social media well.

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How to spot social media fakers, bots, and dummy accounts

Ever wonder if a LinkedIn profile is legitimate or not? Ever questioned whether a Twitter account retweeting you is a real person? Bots have always plagued social media, but as developers become more sophisticated, it’s easier than ever to create a real-looking social media account. I’ve certainly gotten invites and connection requests from people I didn’t know, but whose titles or employers piqued my interest.

We don’t want to waste our time trying to connect with machines; worse, we don’t want to accept a machine connection because of the inevitable flood of spammy content that will ensue. The hidden cost of connecting with a bot is the enormous time suck it imposes on you, filtering and cleaning out inboxes.

We have a useful detection method to help us: Google Image Search. Why? Spammers and bots tend to use stock photos or stolen images on multiple accounts. They’re lazy, and automated tools make it easy to set up thousands of fake accounts with the same profile picture.

Use a browser with Google Image Search enable, such as Chrome. Right click and search the profile image on Google Image Search:


If you see this in the search results, it’s probably a bot account:



In contrast, let’s look at what a legitimate profile appears as:

spot a social media bot

Most people tend to use the same image on many different social networks, so a quick scan of the search results should reveal whether this LinkedIn profile is the real deal. In this case, it is:


Richard is the real deal. He’s got accounts on multiple networks with the same profile picture.

If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of a connection request or a follower, using Google Image Search is an easy way to tell. It’s not foolproof – after all, spammers and scammers can easily lift a profile picture from anywhere. But generally speaking, it is reliable, especially since scammers and spammers won’t go to the effort of making matching accounts on multiple networks.

This brings up an important point: from time to time, search your own profile image. Find out if someone else has hijacked your identity, and if they have, report them to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the social network’s abuse department. Protect your own image!

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