Ask Mandy Q&A: All About Social Advertising

Ask Mandy Q&A: All About Social Advertising

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

I love advertising. It was the one Maymester class I took in college, partly because if I was going to sit in a class for 3 hours everyday for one month, it had to be a fun, interesting one. I spent 5 years in print advertising before moving into more full-service marketing duties. I learned A LOT in those 5 years and to think, it was all before social media!

Now that I work with clients on their social accounts, I’ve dived into social advertising on every platform it’s available. I’ve found it’s not that much different than print advertising, other than the fact it’s online and you can actually measure it.

Recently, my friend Sara Nickelberry with Social with Sara interviewed me about social advertising. In this week’s Q&A post, I wanted to share some excerpts from that interview and hopefully answer some of the questions you’ve had.

Should social media advertising be part of your social media marketing strategy? Why?

Social advertising should definitely be a part of your strategy – in fact, it’s a ‘requirement’, more like extremely strongly suggested, for my clients. No other advertising option out there can tell you how many people clicked on your ad or how many conversions you received. Social advertising is the only form of advertising that can give you a true measurement of ROI. Broadcast media and print can guesstimate how many people saw it based on subscribers or Nielsen ratings. Social advertising can get you a specific number. Try asking your TV or newspaper sales rep for that on your traditional ad :)

How effective are ads on Facebook and Twitter?

If used and targeted correctly, they can be effective. If you do a Facebook ad for the heck of it and target all 1 billion+ users, it’s like throwing darts blindly at a target. If you put in your exact targeting and use the right message, you’ll be effective in your efforts. Crafting the right message is key – you want something that is going to hook them when they read it.

For example, “Sign up for our emails!” is not going to get as many clicks as “Want a FREE iPad? Sign Up and You Could Win!” It’s all about getting their attention. Another example would be instead of using “Social Media Help” as your headline or tweet, use “Can’t figure out why Facebook isn’t working?” or “Did you really just tweet that?” You get the idea…

Do you think promoted posts/boost posts are effective?

If used correctly, yes. The promoted posts cause the post to show up more in your fans’ newsfeeds. Promote posts too often and you’ll get unliked or hidden. I once saw a social media “expert” promote a post asking how everyone’s day was. Seriously. In my opinion, that was a waste of money and I unliked the page. As a rule of thumb I only use promoted posts for specials, events, important news or epic sales. I save these for something really special. If it’s the right message, they will be effective. Just don’t promote a post asking how someone’s day was. That post didn’t do so hot.

What are some best practices for ad creation?

I’ve mentioned a lot of them already – know who you want to target, have a catchy headline and use promoted posts on Facebook sparingly. Another best practice is to use multiple photos with your Facebook ads. Use this as a test to see what images get the best response. For example, an author client of mine ran the same ad in Canada and the US with the same 2 images – one of the book and the other of him talking with an elderly woman. In Canada, the book cover image was our winner… in the US it was the picture with the elderly woman. The targeting was the same for countries. Use this option to see what really resonates with the ones viewing your ad. A new option (and best practice) for Twitter is to use a Twitter card with your ad. They now allow you to attach a lead generation card to a tweet and people can click and enter their name and email and Twitter will send it to you. Talk about gold! This is an awesome new option that I’m seeing good results with.

To read the entire interview, please click here.

Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

How to Find Success Using Social Media

Ask Mandy Q&A: How to Find Success Using Social Media

In the somewhat modified words of Forrest Gump…

Using social media for your business is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Contrary to what some may say, social media success does not happen overnight. Yes, something may go viral, but that doesn’t mean you are going to be successful for more than 15 minutes. Having success using social media for your business is hard. With platforms’ ever-changing algorithms, it can be a lot to take in.

So that leads me to this week’s question…

How can I find success using social media for my business?

Success will come to anyone who works hard enough for it. This is not something that you can go into blindly. I am convinced there are eight major attributes to having success on social media.

Find your voice.

This is one of the important keys to success. You have to know who you are what you stand for. Crafting your own voice among the chorus of millions will help set you apart. What are your strong points? What makes you different?

Blog and do so consistently.

You will build your authority through your writing. The more you write (for your site and others), the more visible you will be online. As long as you are publishing quality content, you will see your following grow. Start small – one post each week and build from there. Don’t bite off more than you can handle.

Network on and offline.

You would think with social media, there would be no need for any offline interaction. Wrong. I networked offline for the first year of my business. Almost all of my clients were local, but as time went on the non-local stuff came in. Especially if your business can service non-local clients, you need to have a good balance of online and offline activities. Which leads me to…

Start local.

Start where you live and branch out from there. Yes, the clients may be smaller and not pay as much, but everyone has to start somewhere. Seek out those within 50 miles of you that may need your product or service. Start local. Start small. Then grow.

Make your business your first client.

I cannot stress how important this is. I see so many social media pros with hardly any following and activity on their accounts who make the excuse that they are “too busy with their clients to manage their own accounts.”  COP OUT. When someone is looking to hire you, they want to see what you are doing. If they don’t take care of themselves, how are they going to take care of you?? Think on that.

Continue to learn.

Social media is always changing. It’s important to attend webinars, read articles and continue to educate yourself. If you don’t keep up, your competitor will and you’ll see the migration of your clients to them. This is like any other job. Things change and update and so must you. Being on top of all of the latest happenings will show your clients you know what you’re doing.

Follow influencers.

I’ve been told to mimic the actions of those I admire and respect – my influencers. You can learn so much from watching what these guys are doing. Subscribe to their blogs, become active in their community – doors can and will open.

Suggestions: Mark Schaefer, Brian Fanzo, Neal Schaffer, Peg Fitzpatrick to name a few.

Have faith and believe in yourself.

Success doesn’t come easy. You will fail at times. I’m not going to lie. Just have faith in yourself that you can do this – believe that you have the ability and you will see success happen right before your eyes.

Success can be measured in a wide array of terms – clients, money, retweets, impressions. Only you know what defines success to you. If you do just a few of the things I mentioned above, you’ll see the success. It may be small at first, but everyone starts somewhere.

Did I leave anything out? What advice would you give?

How to Be More YOU in Your Business

Ask Mandy Q&A – How to Be More YOU in Your Business

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.

When thinking about how to be more myself, I am reminded of a scene from my favorite Disney movie, Aladdin, where the Genie (voiced by the late Robin Williams) is giving Aladdin advice about Jasmine and morphs into a bumblebee and says, “just beeee yourself.”

Many times we can get caught up being someone we’re not to put on a certain facade for business-sake. We all want to appear to be that smart, innovative executive who can handle anything. It’s not about faking who you are, it’s more like being scared to be who you are.

This week’s question was one I’ve been asking myself and have fielded more questions about in recent months –

How can I be more ‘me’, who I am, in my business?

Businesses are built on relationships and personal touches. With the evolution of digital and social media marketing, businesses are more vulnerable than ever. There’s an air of transparency that hasn’t been seen since the Middle Ages. Mark Schaefer recently put together a Slideshare that makes 5 points about that exact topic.

He points out that…

  1. Business was person to person.
  2. There was transparency.
  3. There was immediacy.
  4. Success depended on word of mouth.
  5. There was a primal need to connect.

Before the first radio advertisement aired in 1920, that is how business was done. There were no ads yelling at you on the side of a bus, during your favorite TV program or after your favorite song. I am seeing a trend that goes back to what Mark wrote about – being yourself in your business.

So why should you be yourself in your business?

  • You allow your community to get to know you.

    By being ‘real’ and letting the community in on yourself, you’ll find more personal & meaningful connections will be made.

  • It shows your true personality.

    Show your funny, entertaining side. If you’re a sports fanatic, like me, share it! No one wants to follow a boring robot. Showing your true personality will show the world you are a real person.

  • Being yourself in your business allows you to relate and be empathetic.

    When you can relate to someone, a common bond is made fostering a relationship that could lead to a new client or a new business partner.

The reasons aren’t that complicated. Being yourself in your business should be second nature. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may feel a little constrained in doing so but it’s still okay to be yourself.

So now, how??

You can be more of yourself in your business by –

  • Writing from the heart.

    If you blog, write like you are talking to your best friend (just exclude the gossip!). Write what’s on your mind and heart – you’re wanting to form that bond while being yourself and there’s no better way to do it that to just write from your heart.

  • Interact with your community.

    This should be a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many people who claim to be social media “experts” simply do not respond and interact!! Respond to comments, make funny jokes where it’s appropriate, even make fun of yourself! In business, communication is a two-way street.

  • Be honest.

    Like interacting, this should be a no-brainer, but there are many people who hide behind their computer screen and portray a persona that is not them. Being honest also applies to plagurism. Do not EVER pass off work (no matter the industry) that you did not do. Honesty is part of your character.

  • Show your failures…and successes.

    Nothing shows how real a person is is when they admit their failure. Every person has them (including me) in their professional lives. CEOs, CFOs, the mail clerk – everyone has failed at something at sometime. It’s okay to admit them. I did – it was hard, but I found a great support system by doing so. On the flip side, it’s okay to show your successes as well. Just don’t become a braggart and alienate everyone.

  • Give away free advice – to an extent.

    Yes, I did just tell you to give away free advice. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than going to someone you respect to ask a question and being told that you have to pay a certain amount of money for them to answer it. Giving away free advice shows your community you value them and want to help them. The more complicated stuff? That’s what you would need to charge for. Being very aware of your time.

  • Share parts of your personal, non-work life.

    I love it when people share bits of their life outside work. You really get to know a person when they let you in on what’s going on outside of the professional world. For example, here’s a few pictures from my life!

how to be yourself in business

My daughters cooking with my 91 year old grandmother.

how to be yourself in business

Heading back home to Missouri for a week.

how to be yourself in business

My 3 favorite people 🙂











See? It’s not that hard to be yourself in your business.

What are some ways that you be yourself in your business? Share with me below!


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

4 Ways to Use Twitter Lists

Ask Mandy Q&A – 4 Ways to Use Twitter Lists

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.
Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.


Whether you are using social media for business or for personal use, there is a need for organization. Google Plus has circles. Facebook has Interest Lists. Pinterest has boards. Twitter has Twitter Lists.

There are many ways you can use Twitter Lists – it’s really the only way I can use the platform. That leads me to this week’s question…


How Can I Use Twitter Lists?


It doesn’t matter if you are following 100 or 10,000 people, using Twitter Lists will help you use the fast-moving platform. Here’s how –

1. You can segment who you are following.

Lists make it easy to know who you are following for what purpose. You can set up a list of your influencers so you don’t miss their tweets or you can set up a list for potential clients you are following to build that relationship. These lists can be public or private, so if it’s competition you’re following, the world doesn’t have to know.

2. You can organize who you really want to follow.

When you add someone onto a list, you will see all of their tweets. I know there are some people you follow just to follow or you followed back out of obligation. For example, I have a private list of people who I want to keep up with and never miss out on. People on this list are industry leaders, celebrities and friends. Another example – I have a client who’s a professional athlete. We have lists set up to follow his college teammates and pro teammates along with one for media outlet. Lists are a great way to keep up with the follows you love most.

3. You can use lists as a lead generation tool.

As I mentioned above, your lists can be public. If they are, other people can subscribe to them, meaning they can follow that list as well. This is a GREAT opportunity to generate leads. Here is one way you could do this – create a list of industry-related people who put out quality content. Share it with the message “Love my content? Subscribe to my _________ list & see who influences me!” As people subscribe, add THEM to a private list of people who appreciate obviously appreciate your work and start communicating with them. Build that relationship. Answer their questions. You’re generating a lead as you go.

4. You can keep up with people that you don’t necessarily want to follow.

Yes, that is right. You can add people to a list without actually following them. Until you hit Twitter’s magic number (which is around 2,000 followers), you have to watch your follower/following ratio. If it gets too out of whack, then Twitter will not let you follow anymore people until a certain number of people follow you back. This is a great way to follow people who you know will not follow you back. For example, celebrities. I would LOVE for Jimmy Fallon or Aaron Murray to follow me, but I know they won’t. There are on a list for me to keep up with but not actually follow.


You can get super creative with Twitter Lists. How are you using them?


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

How to Keep an Eye on your Competition Online

Ask Mandy Q&A – How to Keep an Eye on your Competition Online

Ask Mandy is a weekly Q&A blog series. To ask your question about social media, please click here.
Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

Competition. It’s what makes the world go ‘round. Without competition, you wouldn’t have many of the large companies we see today. Or a space program. Or the internet.

Healthy competition makes a better business owner, even if they fail.

The question posed to me this week was –

How do I keep a watch on my competition’s online activities?

Aside from sending a spy to work for them, there are several ways you can keep up with what your competition is doing online and in the process, learn more about your business.

1. Follow them everywhere.

I’m not talking about stalking, but like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter or even circle them on Google Plus. If you follow their posts, you’ll likely see what they are planning and if you’re smart enough, figure out their strategy.

2. Add them to your Facebook “Pages to Watch.”

This is a neat little feature Facebook brought out a year or so ago. You can have your page list your competition’s page as a “Page to Watch.” The page will get a notification, but luckily, they will never know it’s you. Once you add them, you can see how their like are increasing (or decreasing), how their engagement levels are and even see their top posts.

3. Social Mentions

You can sign up for a really cool site, and have an alert anytime your competition is mentioned on the social web. They have free and paid plans. You can actually create an alert for more than just your competition – create you one yourself while you’re there.

4. Google Alerts

Love them or hate them, Google Alerts are a great way to keep up with how you and/or your competition is being mentioned online. You can receive daily notifications or weekly ones and it will tell you everywhere your (or your competition’s) name popped up online.


Once you are keeping an eye on your competition, start taking a look at your business.

Here’s what you can learn –

  • Are you effectively using CTAs (Calls-to-Action)? Is your competition using them and if so, what results do you see?
  • Are you posting content that resonates with your community or are you being too sales-y?
  • Is there something you are having more success with than your competition?
  • Do you see a continual increase in engagement and community?

I could go on and on, but you get the point. See what your competition is or isn’t doing will show you a lot about your business by how you are conducting your own.

So, share with me – what ways do you keep watch on your competition?


Do YOU have a question about social media for businesses? Simply click here to ask!

Don’t miss out on our weekly Q&A! You can subscribe to receive these via email here.

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