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My Journey

11 years ago I started out using Facebook to build a direct sales business I was in and couldn’t believe how quickly I could grow that business.  It was kinda crazy to be honest, as I never believed that I could sit on a social site and talk to people and then have them become customers and/or new consultants.  People told me I was wasting my time, I was not doing anything productive.

I was playing in FB and trying to figure out how I could build a business, I mean why couldn’t this be about me finding customers, right?  I started creeping around FB to see what was available to me and noticed that there were all these “fan” pages that were for the different towns and cities.  I thought “why can’t I have a fan page too?”  So, I create a fan page for my direct sales business (A Finishing Touch).  Well, this was great BUT who the heck was going to see my fan page?

As, I continued to creep FB, I came upon the different groups however, these groups were really about bringing different hobbyist together.  Well, of course, I decided to create my own group called “Home Based Businesses”.  I loved the idea that I could bring different business owners together where we could network online.  Now, at this point, I had to laugh to myself because I didn’t know any other business owners (I came from the corporate world, then a stay-at-home mom, so didn’t really know what an entrepreneur was or even running my own business).  So, what I thought I would do is a post on the different City Fan Pages, calling all other business owners to join me in my group.  I created a post and copied and pasted it onto a TON of different Fan Pages and guess what happened?  I went into FB Jail lol, yep, I was considered a spammer, my first real FB lesson.

Fast forward a couple of years and I built a very successful group where we brought 5,000 business owners together to network, to learn, to be inspired (I had different questions and topics I would post every day to get people talking), to promote their business (I have since closed down the group).  It was really awesome and it led me to building a successful direct sales business until the doors of the company were closed 6 years later.

Throughout this journey, one of the things that was happening was the different business owners I was meeting, started reaching out and asking me to teach them what I was doing on FB to build my business.  Funny, as I had never really thought about what I was doing, I was just using my time on FB to talk to people.  I launched my FB business “I was a FB Nobody” 6 years ago.

I started out doing group training sessions, traveling from one city to another, and teaching business owners the importance of privacy, their news feed, their personal timeline, groups and of course, their business page.  I absolutely LOVED doing this, LOVED teaching others, LOVED watching them grow their business.

As I did more and more training sessions (I trained over 600 different business owners), and overwhelmed some owners, I was now receiving requests to manage their business pages for them.  My next step was now adding Business Page Management to my growing Facebook business.

I continued to grow from many different aspects, which allowed me to add more elements to my business, including speaking engagements (one of my all time favourite things to do).  It also taught me about understanding my true value, that I was worth something, that I had knowledge that people wanted to learn from, to absorb, to be mentored.

I decided to rebrand and launch my NEW business as Tammy Hudgin – Creating Your Presence.  This was so perfect as I had been creating my presence since I started working FB way back when.  It is ultimately what I have been teaching other business owners to do for themselves.

These past 6 years have seen me take different steps BUT always steps forward.  I continue to add more to what I can offer based on all my own personal experience, because if I don’t do the work myself, then how can I ask others to do it?

I have learned many things about myself and FINALLY give myself the credit that I deserve.  I have worked very hard to get where I am and can honestly say, that I am truly happy with where my business is.  I am always looking to grow and will continue to do so, because I am not ready to say “sorry I can’t take anymore clients.”

 

Facebook Groups

With the algorithm change to our Facebook Business Page and not getting the reach we once got, it is time for you to think about creating a group that you can build up to a hot market.

There are a couple of ways to get a group started:

  1. Offer a FREE challenge and use the group to run the challenge and then build from there
  2. Reach out to your existing clients and ask them to join your groups for additional information, specials, relationships building
  3. Post on your timeline, business page and other groups, telling people the benefits of joining your group

Within this group, you want to focus on building relationships, getting people talking and upselling yourself.  Make the group interactive with a variety of mini challenges, education, and questions.  Don’t focus on always trying to sell a product/service, otherwise people will leave the group.  It is really about taking this market and continuing to build and educate so that they do purchase additional products/services as well as refer you to their friends.

Facebook has upped the game with groups, so now is the time to take advantage.  They have added a “topics” element that you can use for each post, making it easier for people to find a group of posts around a specific topic.  They have also introduced the option to have 10 announcements pinned to the top of the wall (this can be a very strategic move on your part on what you put into these announcements, so think long and hard about it).  Take advantage of the “welcome” style option that allows you to create a post whenever any new members join the group (this shows the other members that there is growth but also makes the new members feel welcomed).

Groups can be a fantastic compliment to your business page, so take some time and work out a marketing plan on how you are going to develop this group, content, mission, goals and get building those relationships.

P.S.  I do have a FREE download on “The Why and How to for Creating Groups”, so start with that 🙂      Sign Up Here!!

 

Be responsible!!

I have to admit, that I feel frustrated with this whole Facebook issue and how far it has escalated.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not siding with anyone on this, BUT seeing posts in Facebook by the users and those complaining about “how dare Facebook”, has hit a sore spot with me.

Some of you may have read a previous blog I wrote about us having to take some responsibility too and I really can’t stress this enough.  Read BLOG HERE

If you are angry with what has happened, then REMOVE your Facebook account and stop complaining.

  • Did you know that everything you do on the Internet is tracked?
  • Have you read the policies and procedures of every single social site you have joined?
  • Have you checked the settings as to what you are releasing everytime you download an App?

Check these policies out:

LinkedIn

Twitter

SnapChat

Instagram

Google

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These are just a few examples of sites that most people use and the reality is that very few actually read the Policies.

We gave up our rights to complete privacy and the information that we willing share, the minute we started using the Internet.

Everything you type, every message you send, every game you play, is all tracked.

You have hidden settings on your phone, have you gone through them to see what information you are releasing?

What do you think is happening with every single email you are sending?

Do you believe that the Government isn’t tracking absolutely everything you are doing on the internet?

Your Internet Service Provider, do you not realize they are tracking everything you are doing?

I agree, we shouldn’t have to give up our rights however, the reality is that we don’t have that choice IF we want to continue using the Internet.

IF we want to continue using FREE sites/Apps, then we have to accept the risk, otherwise don’t use it.

This is my only personal thoughts and I acknowledge that I am giving up my rights with everything I choose to do on the Internet and within Apps.  However, I will continue to check settings, policies, so I am aware of the risk I am taking.

 

 

 

Facebook Targeting Ads – News Feed

Have you ever wondered why you see certain Ads in your Facebook News Feed?

Everything you do on Facebook is tracked, even when you “like” a Business Page.  They take your information and place it into categories of “interests”, anything you viewed on Google will show up in your News Feed, all the different information you input into your personal profile “about” section is also targeted.

The GREAT news is that you can clean this up so that certain Ads won’t be targeted towards you!!

Here’s how:

  • From your desktop/laptop, log into your Facebook account (if you are going to do this from your phone App, you will find it under your “account settings” option)
  • Click on the drop down arrow at the top right corner of Facebook
  • Click on the tab “settings”
  • Click on the tab “Ads” down the left
  • Once you are in here, you want to go through each category and remove anything that you do not want them to target you with
    • Your interests (this is the information they gathered based on the pages you have liked)
    • Advertisers you’ve interacted with (specific companies you have interacted with)
    • Your information (this is the information you have put into your “about” section, you can turn off any of them you did not wish to receive Ads based on this criteria)
    • Ad settings (in here you can turn “off” the elements you do not want targeted to you)
    • Hide ad topics (you can choose to hide for a certain time frame or even permanently)

I would encourage you to go through this exercise as you really don’t know what you have made available to those who are doing Sponsored Ads.  When businesses create their Sponsored Ads, they choose a very specific target market and if you have any of the criteria they are targeting, then it will come into your news feed.

Clean it up!

 

Do you take responsibility?

I feel there is a need to write this blog BUT I know that some may be offended by what I have to say.

The day the internet was created, we were ALL opening up ourselves to releasing any privacy we thought we could keep.  There is much scandal going on right now with the world of Facebook in regards to the Russians having a hand in the Trump election and people are upset that Facebook would have it set up that people could get access to our information.

HERE IS THE REALITY!!  We ALL need to take some responsibility for this as well.  WE all need to understand that when you sign up for any social media platforms, when we play games, when we do quizzes, when we use Google (this is just a very small portion of what I am talking about, this goes so much bigger), WE open ourselves up to releasing our information.

YES, you need to read the terms, the policies!  YES, you need to check in the background settings of Apps and see what you have allowed them to take from you!  YES, you need to take responsibility for what YOU are doing in the internet world.

Did you know that if you use Google Maps on your phone, you accept the option for them to access your location?  Once you have done this, did you know that if you go to Google Maps on the computer, you will see a list of all the places you have visited?  Most people don’t realize this BUT you have to take the responsibility and find out.  For me, I do Google Reviews, so I have my location turned on BUT I do this for more visibility to my Google Account for my business.

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For the games and quizzes you do on Facebook, do you check the information that you are releasing to that specific App?

apps

When you get a Friend request on Facebook, are you taking the time to go through their profile and determine if it is a real person or a fake account?

Have you gone through your privacy settings on each of your Social Media platforms and made sure to set it up for what works for you?  P.S.  Get my FREE Privacy Settings for Facebook HERE

Do you believe those contests that are giving away something that is too good to be true?  Entering those contests are opening you up to hackers, spyware, releasing of your information to a 3rd party.

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Are you falling for the “click bait” type posts that shock you when you see the headline?  Read this article to understand fake news, HERE.

I think you are getting my message here.  Even though platforms, like Facebook, need to take responsibility for the information they are gathering about us, WE also need to take ownership.  WE need to check everything, read all the terms, understand what information we are releasing.

For me, personally, I am aware of what I am releasing and accept it.  I know that there are elements that are not in my control BUT that is a risk I have to take if I choose to use the internet, to turn on my locations, to use platforms like Facebook.  I accept that I have opened myself up to a world that I ultimately can’t control BUT use because I choose to use it.

GUEST BLOGGER: 3 Ways to Respond to Negative PR on Social Media (With Examples)

It is often said that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But in today’s world of viral social media posts, that may not be the case. A simple negative comment about your brand could snowball into a massive controversy that can paralyze your business and can hamper lead generation.

Bad PR is something that happens to all businesses, especially the big ones. In fact, many companies that have become popular were able to do so by experiencing a massive PR crisis and turning it around on its head to eventually benefit from it.

That said, spinning negative PR on social media is like playing with fire—if you’re not careful enough, you risk getting burnt in front of a public audience and tarnishing your brand reputation.

While responding to negative comments on social media is risky, it’s a hazard you have to take if you want to improve your business. According to Warren Whitlock, one of Forbes top 10 social media influencers, complaints often come from people who actually care about your company and want you to succeed. Ignoring complaints may be a safer move, but you could hurt yourself more by losing potential life-long customers.

Here are some approaches you can use, along with examples, on how to respond to negative publicity on social media.

(1) The Normal Way

What’s the simplest way of addressing negative feedback on social media?

  1. Acknowledge.
  2. Apologize.
  3. Advise on a solution.

 

First, you have to indicate that you acknowledge the feedback and accept that you have shortcomings on your end. Once you’ve acknowledged that, offer a sincere apology, quickly followed up with a suggestion on how you can resolve the issue.

A good example of this is KitchenAid’s response to its Twitter crisis back in 2012, which nailed all three steps in addressing this issue.

kitchen

Cynthia Soledad, who was head of marketing at the time, went the extra mile by issuing the apology not as a brand entity, but as herself. This made the apology more sincere, and helped KitchenAid get back on its feet more easily than if it was done otherwise.

(2) The Swift Response

Due to its on-demand nature, Twitter is a favorite platform for sharing negative reviews about brands. While many businesses usually just ignore these (which isn’t a good idea), Elon Musk turned it into a weapon of his own.

Musk, founder and CEO of two of the most popular tech companies in the world, showed the world how to use Twitter as a customer service-slash-marketing tool when he directly responded to complaints about Tesla and resolved the issue in LESS THAN AN HOUR.

mark

Like the first example, Musk’s approach was also sincere because the response came from his personal account, not from Tesla’s.

What’s more is that Musk’s sincere apology served as a clever marketing tactic, which caused more good than harm for his company. Proof that feedback often comes from customers who actually care.

(3) Sprinkle A Little Bit of Humor

When it comes to handling customer complaints like a pro, we can all learn a lot from Tesco.

(Notice the rhyme in there? There’s more of that in our next example 😉)

Back in 2016, a Tesco customer shared a Facebook photo when he found out that the cucumber he bought had a worm in it. Tesco cleverly responded with a poem or an “ode to William” which made the post viral.

tesco

This approach is harder to pull off than the others since you’ll need someone really good at telling great stories. It also depends if you think your customers can take a little laugh. But if you do pull this off, you can potentially pivot bad PR into a golden one that could even go viral.

Key Takeaway

Whatever approach you take, there’s one thing that should stay the same when responding to bad PR on social media: always maintain a tone of empathy.

In the end, what your customers really want is someone to listen to their story and help them with a solution.

 

Johanna drives the product and data strategies at PureB2B. She’s a two-decade veteran of the online publishing, B2B demand generation, and technology media markets. When not in the office, Johanna enjoys her family, fitness routines and reading self-help books.

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How are you “creating your presence”?

My tagline is “Creating your Presence” and what this means is that YOU need to be seen on Social Media, YOU need to sell YOU!

When we have made the decision to start using Social Media to build our business, there are many aspects that you need to consider:

  • How do I want to be seen?
  • How do I want my business to be seen?
  • What are my values?
  • Who am I?
  • Who are my potential clients?
  • Which Social Media platforms are they using?
  • What is my marketing strategy?
  • What message am I sending?

You need to take the time and answer these questions, in great detail, so that you can determine which Social Media sites you are going to focus on, what is the content you will be providing and how much time do you need to dedicate to it.

The mistake that many people make is that they believe they need to be working ALL Social Media sites and it is leading to being very time consuming.  Which in turn, causes people to give up or not get the growth they expected.

I encourage you to find your primary and secondary Social Media sites to focus on (based on where your target market is sitting) and make a marketing plan for both based on the above questions you answered.  From there, you need to schedule time on your calendar to focus on these platforms DAILY.  You can’t build a presence, you can’t build a business, without committing to it every single day.  Popping in and out will not help you to reach the goals you have set out to obtain.  It is a HUGE commitment and don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t.

There are more elements that need to be considered when building your online presence.  You need to look at blogging, free opt-ins, networking on and off the computer, doing speaking engagements.  We live in a very competitive online world and you have to stand out above the rest.  This is why it is important to understand the value of selling yourself.  People buy/support because of the like/know/trust factor.  It is NOT going to happen overnight, I wish I could tell you that, BUT the reality is that it will take time, lots of time, to build your presence and see a return in your hard work.

When thinking about your marketing plan, I want you to go beyond your business.  I want you to look at the other elements that are available on these platforms and take advantage of them.  Look at groups, look at your personal profiles, how can you use them to create your presence?  Schedule the time needed to focus on the other elements that are available to you and go a step beyond in creating your presence.

When you commit the time to creating your presence, you will see a growth in your business BUT it takes time, don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t fall into the trap of the “get rich quick schemes”.

Go out there and “sell you”!