Front Porch Metaphor for Social Media Marketing

Front Porch Metaphor for Social Media Marketing

I got into Facebook advertising by way of Google SEO and AdWords.

I learned AdWords from Perry Marshall.

Therefore when I decided to learn Facebook Advertising, I liked him so much, I picked up his book on the subject.

His book mentioned this metaphor, called the front porch metaphor.

Since first reading about it, it’s always been my go-to metaphor for for social selling.

Everything Old is New Again

Maybe it’s also because I grew up in an older neighborhood with hundred-year-old homes.

Those old homes had front porches and I remember sitting in front of my grandparents house on the front porch in the evening.

My grandparents would interact with their neighbors as they walked by.

As they were sitting there talking to us kids and having a conversation among themselves, when a neighbor came by, they would wave.

If they were little friendlier they would chit chat about something going on in the neighborhood or the weather.

Then every once in awhile there was a particularly friendly person and that person would come up and join the conversation on the front porch.

That’s the whole concept right there!

Social Media is the Front Porch for Your Business

You imagine that there’s a front porch in front of your business and there are people out there conversing in plain sight of the people walking past.

As the passers by get curious about what’s going on, they realize that it’s about something that they’re interested in.

Eventually, the ones that are going to be interested are drawn up onto the front porch to engage and interact.

This is all to the benefit of your business.

Obviously on Facebook there’s nobody walking past our business, instead our post moves past as they scroll through their Newsfeed.

Our front porch for the day whizzes past in the form of a post. And if that post is engaging, which means that it’s funny, helpful, inspirational, or invokes some emotion, it makes them stop.

Maybe they hit the like button, the equivalent to a friendly wave.

Maybe they leave a comment, the equivalent to a little chat.

But maybe they get into a conversation with either the business owner or with other people conversing in the comments on the post.

This is an uncommon thing on pages that are not run very well.

But on well run pages, it’s a common thing.

Moreover, they share that post, the equivalent of inviting their friends to join the party on the front porch.

That’s what we want. That’s the opportunity that exists on Facebook.

There’s Nothing New About Social Selling

There are businesses today that still use social selling offline.

Think about barber shops, salons, bars, coffee shops, or restaurants.

These are all places that encourage socializing at their establishment for the benefit of the establishment.

If you like to B.S. with the guys down at the barbershop, you’re going to get your haircut more often because it’s fun! It’s an experience that you enjoy

It’s the same tactic employed in the old days by a General Store.

The General Stores literally had a front porches in front of the store.

They will put benches and chairs. They would actively encourage people to be out there socializing.

But while socializing, patrons are seeing that there’s a special on on this type of drink or a special on some item in the store.

Then they maybe they buy a drink because they’re out there talking.

It makes it an easy excuse to go to the store because you know that there’s something interesting happening down there.

This is exactly the opportunity nearly every business has with on Facebook.

So keep this metaphor in mind in regards to everything you do on Facebook.

What Not To Do

From this point of view, you can see where the worst thing you can do is to do a hard sale from your Facebook page.

There are other places in Facebook to make offers. Namely, advertising.

The great thing is when you get ready to make a direct offer you can choose to deliver it to people with whom you’ve already built up a relationship.

On your page you’re going to stay funny, engaging, and socializing.

You’re not going to stand up on your porch with the big bull horn and yell at the people in the street to come up.

It’s just not the right place for it.

That’s my take on the metaphor.

If you want to chat with other marketers who embrace this approach, join us at the Front Porch Marketing Club, a private group on Facebook.

If you’d like to see how to execute a Facebook advertising campaign that will grow your business and make you the celebrity in the area, learn more about my Local Social Ads course.

6 Overlooked Ways a Facebook Page Can Help Your Business

6 Overlooked Ways a Facebook Page Can Help Your Business

Are you getting the most out of your business Facebook page?

While most businesses understand they can draw traffic and referrals from Facebook, there are actually dozens of different ways that you can benefit from your page, provided you know how.

Below you can learn about seven of the most effective ways to get your Facebook page working for your business, often in as little as 30 minutes.

1. Capturing Reviews and Testimonials

If your page is categorized as a local business, it’s a little known fact that Facebook allows your page to collect both reviews and testimonials.

Although their terms of services do not allow you to explicitly incentivize your customers to do this, you are permitted to let your fans know they can leave you reviews on your page.

After you’ve received a few good reviews, you can add some of the more noteworthy ones directly to your site to serve as testimonials.

To do this, click on the timestamp section of the post, select the drop-down box, and then choose “Embed Post.” This will allow you to embed that positive review directly on your site, which helps demonstrate its authenticity.

2. Engage with Fans

More than a hub for posting content, Facebook is a platform for connecting with fans and creating conversations.

Your fan base is composed of at least four different groups: current, potential, former customers, and fans of your content.

Understanding this, you should create content that can help you engage with all of these groups. To do this, you can follow the age-old rule for engagement known as the 80-20 rule.

This rule means that 80% of your content should be designed to appeal to your audience, and the remaining 20% should be shameless self-promotion.

In short, the vast majority of your posts should be designed to help get your fans to interact with your page.

This can be done by actively encouraging them to participate and share at every possible opportunity.

When a majority of your posted content follows these guidelines, you’ll almost inevitably form an audience that will be more receptive to the self-promotional content that follows.

3. Request Feedback

If you can make use of insight from potential, current, or former customers, consider surveying them with your Facebook page.

A survey will encourage your fans to engage with you, and may also provide you with invaluable feedback regarding the kinds of services they’re seeking.

You can poll your audience for free with the use of Facebook polling apps, and choose an app depending on how you want the data complied.

You can also use this as an opportunity to collect fan information, including email addresses, or other types of information you can’t collect through a public Facebook page.

4. Capturing Blog Comments

Drawing posts from your Facebook page can be a very effective alternative to using a comment section on your blog.

Just post a link to your Facebook at the end of any blog post, and then ask your fans to head there to discuss things further.

This enables you to disable comments on your blog, avoid the problem of dealing with automated spam, and promote engagement at the same time.

Additionally, anyone who sees the discussion on your page is apt to click on to read the post that everyone is talking about!

5. Share the Views of your Business

If you find yourself posting comments on a blog within your business niche, post as your own Facebook business page rather than your personal profile.

When you use your Facebook page to comment, you set up an open invitation for people to connect with your page.

Apart from a small increase in traffic from relevant and highly targeted users, this also can create backlinks to your page, and any user that is an administrator or moderator for your page can post this way.

You can post as your business by clicking on the drop-down menu next to the “comment” button, and selecting the page that you want to post as.

6. Fight Negative Search Results

If you end up getting negative results in a prominent position in a search engine page, you can push them to the bottom with only a little Facebook maneuvering.

This is because Facebook is a very potent domain that enables you to easily rank well in a search results page.

While your Facebook page probably won’t rank as high as your website overnight, an active page can help you get in the top ten results in a SERP in only a few weeks, which can help you push negative results lower down the page.

Getting Started

As you’ve seen, many of these tips can be implemented by doing very little additional work.

Taking actions as simple as posting comments under your business name, or even embedding testimonials, can prove invaluable to your business. There’s no reason for you not to get started right away!

Adding Instagram Photos Increases Checkouts by 24%

Adding Instagram Photos Increases Checkouts by 24%


This case study shows how adding social proof in the form of user generated content from Instagram increased checkouts on an ecommerce product page.

eCommerce site, Vanity Planet had a product page with a good checkout rate, approximately 6%.

They installed a plugin produced by YOTPO (I mispronounce the name of the video – apologies to the fine folks at YOTPO), called Social Curation.

I use a YOTPO plugin for reviews on an ecommerce shopify site I run and I love it. I think they have great software.

Using the plugin, they put the user-generated Instagram photos at the bottom of the product page with the end result being an increase in the checkout rate of 24%. (See video below for visuals.)

Obviously Vanity Planent encouraged these Instagram users to take photos on Instagram and then add the hashtag #VPBeauty.

Once the community had tagged their images, Vanity Planet used the Social Curation plug-in to add those photos to the bottom of the product page.

This a great example of how to use a user-generated content to provide social proof at the time of checkout.

It gives people who would normally say, “well I don’t know Vanity Planet, so I’m not going to buy online” to see all of the other users who bought the exact product from the very same store.

They receive proof that there are numerous people who have successfully bought this item and we’re so happy about it, they posted it on Instagram.

I love this case study and hope this sparked some ideas for your business.

5 Simple Social Media Mistakes That Make You Look Like An Amateur Blogger

5 Simple Social Media Mistakes That Make You Look Like An Amateur Blogger

The following is a guest post full of great tips by Hank Coleman, publisher of the popular personal finance blog, Money Q&A.

Many brand new bloggers often look like amateurs on social media because they make simple mistakes. Don’t fall into that trap. Want to look like a professional blogger or brand? You can’t make the simple mistakes then.

There are a few of what I would call “no brainers” tips and techniques for social media that all aspiring pro bloggers and web professionals should follow. Not a pro blogger? You should fake it until you make it! Strive to be like the big guys.

After meeting up with other bloggers, following them on social media, and looking through profiles, I guess there are a few social media basics that may not be so basic after all.

But, these simple mistakes are costing you not only in credibility but also traffic and revenue. You have worked hard to develop a plan with your social media marking. Make sure you capitalize on that plan. Stop leaving money and potential followers on the table.

Here are a few easy mistakes on social media that you can quickly fix to increase your blog’s traffic and revenue and look like a pro.

Your Instagram Profile Is Set to Private

If you are trying to drive traffic and awareness to your blog or business through Instagram, why are you making it harder for your readers to see your work? No one should have his or her Instagram account set to private. If you want to protect your privacy, you should have a second Instagram account that is strictly personal and private.

In fact, you should only focus on business, marketing, and your niche on your professional Instagram account. Save all of your family pictures, dog photos, and vacation shots for your personal Instagram account. Don’t mix the two.

Also, when people with private profiles tag posts, they won’t appear publicly on hashtag pages. If you want new followers to find you, you have tag your photos and get on the hashtag pages.

Unprofessional Logo or Image on Twitter and Instagram

Branding is important. It’s also important that you are consistent across all of your social media accounts. Do you have a logo for your business or blog? Is it on all of your social media accounts? It should be.

Far too many bloggers, both professional and hobbyist looking to earn a side income, still have the plain Twitter egg showing instead of a logo. Or, they don’t have a bio or a cover picture on Twitter or Facebook.

You can easily create these simple fixes that add to your professional look on social media platforms. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can find many great sources for logos and cover pictures on the internet for under $100. Or, you can create your own through pre-made templates on sites like Canva.

Posting Irrelevant Things on Social Media

I don’t care about what you had for breakfast this morning….unless you’re food blogger of course. And, if you’re in my niche, personal finance, I really don’t care about your personal life, family pictures, food preferences, vacation pictures, and the like. I care about learning about investing, retirement, and money matters.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. You should have two accounts on your social media, Twitter and Instagram, one for personal and one for your website. You also need to have a page dedicated to your business or blog on Facebook. Don’t use your personal page. The same goes for Pinterest too!

You shouldn’t post personal pictures and articles on your business account. The same can be said for liking pictures and following accounts as well. The social media platforms’ algorithms are watching what you like, retweet, follow, and share.

Do you want to see more irrelevant posts and pictures in your feed? Then, continue liking and retweeting off topic pictures and articles. Big brother and the algorithms are watching.

The best thing that you can do from your blog account on social media is to stay on topic and on message. What’s your website about? Make sure that you are posting, liking, and commenting on other accounts, articles, and pictures in your niche.

Posting Too Often

The number one reason for people to unfollow someone is that they post too much. Find the sweet spot for your audience and stick to it. Do you only need to post once a day to Instagram? Twice a day? Maybe! Find what works for you and what your audience wants.

But, if you want to loose followers fast, post back to back to back pictures. More is not always better on social media. I have seen new personal finance bloggers recently posting multiple pictures of their vacation in the Mojave Desert right in a row. What does that have to do with investing and finance? Stay on topic with your niche and only post once a day – or twice at most until you have a huge following.

You also have to be mindful of automatic posting, retweeting, and the like based on your RSS feed. When bloggers post a new article on their site, it goes out on their RSS feed automatically.

I once had multiple automation tools tweeting based on my RSS feed. I started to get friends complaining that my email newsletter service, Facebook, and a Twitter automation plugins tweeted the same article headline and link three times in a row in rapid succession. The same can also be said for multiple pictures of the same image posting in your Pinterest feed.

Keep the automated posting to a minimum and monitor your social media feeds to ensure that you’re not posting back-to-back tweets, pictures, or comments in rapid succession.

404 Errors and Broken Links

Most professional and hobbyist bloggers are on social media in order to drive traffic back to their website or blogs. One of the fastest ways to thwart that effort is to have a broken link that doesn’t point back to your website.

When you’ve only got one link in your bio on Instagram to make an impression on your followers, you must ensure that it points back to your site and doesn’t give them a 404 Error. Double and triple check your links to make sure that they are working correctly and landing back on the page of your site that you intended.

Social media is fun. But, it’s also big business. Most bloggers, professional or not, depend on social media to drive traffic to their sites, which ultimately translates into income.

But, far too often new bloggers are making simple mistakes on social media. That doesn’t have to be you though. With a little work and attention to detail, you can stand out amongst your peers and look like a professional blogger on social media.

Did I miss any other simple errors that you’ve seen on social media or that you’ve made early on in your blogging career? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Hank Coleman is the publisher of the popular personal finance blog, Money Q&A, where he writes about retirement, investing, and other personal finance topics. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram as well.

5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Social Media

5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Social Media

With all the hype surrounding social media, many small business owners think of it as a waste of time. But this could not be further from the truth.

This article presents five ways your small business can benefit from social media marketing, and why you should make it a part of your ongoing strategy for success.

1. Branding

One of the biggest advantages of using social media is that it allows you to improve your online brand awareness.

Let’s face it: unless you’re in an industry with an extremely techno-phobic clientele, your customers are on social media site.

By building your presence on these sites, you put your brand in front of potential customers.

2. Managing Feedback

The open nature of social media allows you to track what your customers say about your products and services.

An added benefit is that it allows you to interact with them to delve deeper into their opinions.

Since this effectively makes social media a free market research tool, it’s an incredibly powerful benefit.

By tracking and responding to your clients’ likes and dislikes, you can improve your support response time.

The only investment required is time.

3. Viral Marketing

The term is overused these days, but viral marketing only exists because of social media.

Voluntary sharing of great advertising that makes a campaign “go viral”.

So if your business has no social media presence, your chances of it happening are very close to zero.

People love to share great content with their friends.

If they love your product or service, chances are that they will be willing to share a positive comment within their social circle.

This is an extremely powerful form of marketing and can really help drive your business forward.

The important thing is to make sure that you have quality content that is worth sharing.

Be on watch for negative comments: they have a higher propensity to go viral than positive feedback!

4. Support Channel

We live in an age where consumers are more and more demanding.

You can use it to offer after-sales services. It allows you to provide direct support to your customers.

The flip-side of this is that people can interact directly with your business, and so feel that they are being taken care of.

In order to make the most of this strategy and avoid damaging mistakes, it is essential that your support staff is well-trained in social media, .

5. Cost

If there is a single reason why you should be using social media for your business, it is this: it’s cheap.

Virtually all the popular social media sites allow you to create a profile for free and use the system for business purposes without paying.

You only need to allow for a time investment — either yourself or paying a professional to take care of it — to answer your clients and create useful content for your followers.

Social media marketing is a useful addition to any small business marketing plan.

There are many benefits are associated with this form of marketing and, if done correctly, it can generate enormous impact on your revenue and brand awareness.

4 Simple Tactics for Successful Social Media Marketing

4 Simple Tactics for Successful Social Media Marketing

If you want to be great at basketball, you need to practice the game, stay in shape, and perfect your ability to work as a member of a team.

Similarly, if you want to be successful at social media marketing, you need to practice all the skills and habits of a successful Internet marketer.

Below you’ll learn about four simple tactics you can use to hone your own skills, give your campaigns an edge, and ultimately take your game to the next level.

1. Understand Customer Desires

To be a marketer is to be in the business of customer information.

That means whether you succeed or fail often depends on how close you’re able to pay attention to the constantly changing wants and needs of your target audience.

To stay in the loop with this kind of information, you should use tools like Facebook’s Audience Insights to collect vital consumer data.

Audience Insights can help you gain insight into the way that customers interact with your business.

After you’ve compiled the necessary data, analyze it to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Then incorporate the delivery of the successful bits back into your daily routine.

2. Building Relationships

The fuel of social media success is relationships. If you want to keep your pages working for you, then you need to work on building meaningful relationships with consumers and fellow business owners alike.

Getting involved in building these types of relationships is simple.

You can begin by compiling a list of some of the relationships you’ve developed, and how they matter to your business.

Set up a list of your top 100 contacts, including prospective members.

That list will give you a concrete idea of where to begin each week.

Schedule 30 minutes or to an hour each week to connect with the people on that list, whether through email or social networks.

Above all, make sure that your time, experience, and resources are available to help these people whenever possible.

By repeating these steps weekly, you can be sure to gradually build strong and lasting relationships.

3. Passion and Purpose

If you want your customers to become advocates for your brand, you need to appeal to both their heads and their hearts.

The former can be done by offering useful services, but the latter isn’t as simple.

One of the best ways to manufacture those emotional connections is to try giving back to your community, whether local or online.

For example, Toms Shoes has honored a commitment to donate one pair of shoes for every pair that a customer purchases.

To date, they’ve donated nearly forty million pairs.

The end result isn’t just a better world through philanthropy, but a stronger brand as Toms’ customers grow loyal.

Start by creating a calendar that incorporates ways you to give back to your fans.

Identify any means that you already provide for your customers and community, whether through donations, volunteering, or the like.

From there, you can begin to think about what other opportunities you might begin to pursue.

You could also set up a day to give back each week. It could be one post every Friday on Facebook, or one blog article each month highlighting your contributions.

4. Collaboration and Teamwork

Master marketers are only masters because they never stop being students. When it comes to your industry, you need to be a sponge for new information, trends, and studies.

One of the best ways to stay on the bleeding edge of your niche is to network with other professionals like yourself.

Establishing this habit is easy. You can begin by using social media tools like Sprout Social to help you engage with peers that have the same goals as yourself.

You can get started by researching the hashtags that you and your peers are using most. Then monitor them in order to join in on the ongoing conversations occurring online surrounding your industry.

With the advent of hashtags, this process is incredibly simple.

While you’re at it, it’s often worth keeping tabs on the conversation of the most influential people in your niche.

Preparing for Action

The difference between being fit or out of shape is often just the accumulation of daily habits.

Likewise, it’s your day-to-day activity as a marketer is what ultimately accounts for your successes and failures.

Spend a few minutes considering which of these skills and habits would be most beneficial to your effort. Then make a concrete plan to incorporate them into your schedule.

Although it may take time and diligence to implement these tactics into your own routine, after a few weeks time, you should be more than pleased with the results.