Why Speaker Agreements Are a TERRIBLE Idea

Why Speaker Agreements Are a TERRIBLE Idea
Business and marketing strategist Lynn Serafinn explains why asking your webinar or telesummit guests to sign a contract can do much more damage than good.

Webinars. Teleseminars. Telesummits.

Whatever you call them, they’re all fundamentally the same in that they are online events used as promotional tools for products offered by the event organiser. Typically, the public can listen to these events for free, but there is inevitably some kind of ‘upsell’ (i.e. a sales pitch) during the broadcast for the product being promoted.

Sometimes they take the form of teaching or training sessions delivered by the event host. Other times, the event is comprised of a series of interviews with various experts on a specific topic. Over the past decade, I have organised dozens of these kinds of events, for my clients as well as for my own business. I also get asked regularly to be a guest speaker on other people’s online events. On average, I’d say I get about 20 requests a year.

It’s in that capacity that I wanted to share some thoughts I penned this week when writing Chapter 17 of my upcoming book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging . This chapter is about using your blog for marketing campaigns. In writing it, I found myself getting really involved in the subject, as I was expressing all my thoughts and feelings about product/book launch campaigns – both as an organiser and a participant in other people’s launches.

While writing it, one of the things I realised I REALLY hated about being asked to be a guest speaker on other people’s events is being asked to sign a…

SPEAKER AGREEMENT

Speaker agreements are essentially disclaimers, where the speaker agrees to participate in promotions and acknowledges that they waive any rights to the recordings of their interview.

When it comes to marketing, I’m a big believer in the Golden Rule: I don’t do to others what I hate being done to me. I loathe it when an event organiser asks me to sign a contract to speak on their online event. Hence, I never ask speakers to sign a contract for an event I am organising. You might disagree and think it looks more ‘professional’ to have such a contract. But if you look beneath the surface and consider its impact on the relationship you have (and are building) with your speakers, you’ll see how pointless and potentially damaging it can be to ask your speakers to sign an agreement.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

    • It’s unnecessary. No experienced guest speaker is going to ‘steal’ your recordings. Conversely, just because someone signs a contract saying they’ll promote your event, this doesn’t mean they’ll actually do it.
    • It’s nonsense. There is nothing legal about such an agreement because it’s completely unenforceable. In the unlikely event that someone doesn’t abide by the terms of the contract, to whom are you going to report it? How would you receive compensation? Even if there were a way to take them to court, what are you trying to receive as compensation? What are the actual damages? Would they even come close to covering the legal fees of taking someone to court?
    • It is incongruent with the relationship you have with your speakers. Your speakers are not your employees. They are your PEERS. In fact, they might even have a much more established profession reputation than you. Requiring them to sign a contract suggests you are taking a superior position.
    • It shows a lack of respect and trust. The reason you invited your speakers is that they are revered in their field. Some of them might have done many more such events than you have. Asking them to sign a contract is kind of an insult, and shows you don’t trust them to do their bit.
    • It shows a lack of gratitude. Always remember this: by agreeing to speak on your event, your speakers are doing you a favour! Chances are you have much more to gain from their appearance than they do. Asking them to sign a contract implies they should be grateful to YOU.
    • It is a sure-fire way to sabotage your event. Ironically, asking your guests to sign a contract agreeing to promote your event is more likely to have the opposite People only promote other people’s launches when they feel motivated. Taking a superior attitude, and showing a lack of respect, trust and gratitude, will only demotivate your speakers, and they will be less likely to put much energy or authenticity into your promotions.

I think, rather than asking your guests to sign a contract, simply explain all the details clearly and transparently in an email. Don’t make it too wordy – and do NOT make it demanding! For these kinds of events, their written email confirmation to you is all the ‘contract’ you should need. It is never their responsibility to support you, and if you take this attitude with your speakers, you are bound to destroy whatever relationship you might have had with them. Rather, it is your responsibility to ensure they have all the information and motivation they need to make it easy – and pleasant – for them to support your promotions.

To me, it’s all about the bigger picture. Whether we’re talking about business or life in general, people are always more important than ‘things’. Losing the friendship and rapport with your speakers is, in the long-term, a much greater loss to you, your business and your reputation than a few paltry sales you might make in the shorter timeframe.

Ok. I’ve shared my two pence worth on the topic. Now, what’s your view? I look forward to hearing your comments below.

Stay warm and close to those your love during the upcoming holidays. And feel free to drop me a line via the contact form on this site if you’d like to talk about how our business and marketing services at the 7 Graces of Marketing can help you deepen your relationships with your audience, your colleagues and your business in 2016.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
18 December 2015

P.S.: Don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog for more practical business and marketing tips, and inspirational ideas for how you can make a difference in the world through your ethical business.

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

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Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media . eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project .


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Graces, 7 Key Relationships, Blogging, Book, Business Tips, Collaboration, Events, Invasion, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, New Paradigm, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Our Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Set Up Twitter ‘Follow Rules’ in ManageFlitter

How to Set Up Twitter Follow Rules in ManageFlitter

Social media strategist Lynn Serafinn shares her strategies for finding followers on Twitter, using ManageFlitter’s Remote Account Management feature. Pt 2 of 2.

Part 1 of this 2-part series on using ManageFlitter was entitled ‘How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter’. If you haven’t read it, you can catch up by clicking HERE.

In that article, I explained that the best way to gain new Twitter followers is to find your ideal follower and follow them first. I introduced a programme I use called ManageFlitter, which has a range of search filters that enable you to set up complex rules for locating and selecting the people you want to follow or unfollow. I talked about how Twitter no longer allow automated following and unfollowing, and how a feature called ‘Remote Account Management’, or ‘RAM’, (where you can hire the people at ManageFlitter to follow/unfollow on your behalf, using the parameters you have selected) is a viable and time-saving alternative to having to do it all yourself.

Finally, I explained how setting up your rules is a 3-step process, where you define:

  1. Which people you want to unfollow
  2. Which of your followers you want to follow back
  3. Which new people you want to follow

In Part 1, we looked at how to set up your rules for people you want to unfollow.

Today, we’ll complete our tour of ManageFlitter by looking at the remaining two sets of rules: your follow-back rules and your rules for following new people. We’ll also look at the very useful ‘copy rule’ feature on ManageFlitter, as well as the very important topic of setting up your follow/unfollow RATE.

TRANSPARENCY: In this article, I am using my affiliate link (https://manageflitter.com/try/8Pxtwc6z) to ManageFlitter. This means I will earn a small commission if you happen to purchase their services after clicking my link. However, I am not an ‘affiliate marketer’ and I only ever use affiliate links for products I personally use and recommend without any ethical reservations.

STEP 2: Set Up Your Follow-Backs

Before you start looking for new followers, it’s important to ensure you are following BACK legitimate Twitter users who are already following you. In fact, if you don’t make this a regular practice, your followers are apt to unfollow you over time. If you haven’t gone through your followers recently, you might discover hundreds (or even thousands!) of people who are following you whom you have never followed back.

Depending upon how long ago they followed you, some of your followers may no longer be ON Twitter. Also, it is important to ensure you’re not following back irrelevant accounts. Thus, to organise your follow backs, I recommend setting up a ‘follow back’ rule that incorporates all of these filters:

Follow back rule on ManageFlitter

(NOTE: The screenshots in this article are taken directly from ManageFlitter’s dashboard. They contain some errors in spelling and grammar, so forgive the awkward wording!).

  • They are already following you.
  • They have a profile image (as opposed to the generic Twitter icon).
  • They post primarily in English (if you do NOT normally Tweet in English, choose the filter that says ‘Non-English’).
  • Their account is ‘unprotected’ (this is just my personal preference; you might choose not to check that box).
  • They are unlikely to be offensive (i.e. not likely to be porn).
  • You’ve never followed them before (this prevents you from inadvertently following back people you’ve unfollowed in the past).
  • They have Tweeted in the past three weeks (you can make this number smaller if you want; this prevents you from following inactive accounts).
  • They have a ‘spam probability’ of less than 12% (this figure is a bit arbitrary; I tend to set it to above 10%, as some newer accounts might show up as probable spam when they are not).

NOTE: The other two filter parameters (‘no pending follow request’ and ‘not saved for processing’) are standard filters that prevent ManageFlitter from processing redundant or conflicting commands on the same account. In other words, they won’t do things like try to follow back someone you’ve rejected in the past, or follow and then unfollow the same person, etc. It’s a good idea to keep the boxes for these parameters checked.

If you have set up your follow-backs before, it might take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for ManageFlitter to go through your list. Once they have all been sorted, however, you should see only a handful of new, pending follow-backs every day. This tells you your account is on its way to being fresh and current.

STEP 3: Set Up New People to Follow

Once you’ve sorted out your rules for unfollows and follow-backs, it’s time to give your attention to looking for NEW people to follow. Of course, the key to identifying people you want to follow is KNOWING who your audience is. This is something I work on intensively with my clients – it is an ever-evolving process that is beyond the scope of this article. However, assuming you do have a good grasp on who you want to reach on social media, there are some basic guidelines on how to use ManageFlitter to find them.

The first guideline is to have more than one rule for finding new people. Each rule you create should focus on a different angle. For example, you might have rules that focus on one of the following key parameters:

  • People with certain keywords in their Twitter bio
  • People who have Tweeted on a certain topic
  • People who follow a specific Twitter user
  • People followed by a specific Twitter user

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Following People with Certain Keywords in Their Twitter Bio

Typically, if someone has a certain word in their Twitter bio, it means they have either a professional link to or a long-term interest in (or connection with) the topic. For example, if someone has the word ‘writer’ in their bio, it’s likely they will be a writer of some kind. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a professional writer or published author, but it means that they identify with being a writer in some way.

The problem with terms like ‘writer’, ‘entrepreneur’ or ‘marketer’ is that searches could potentially produce tens of thousands of results, few of which are viable leads. That is why it’s important to utilise more than one filter when setting up your ‘follow’ rule in ManageFlitter. Here’s a screen shot of how I set up ManageFlitter’s search parameters to find people with the word ‘entrepreneur’ in their Twitter bio:

Follow people with word 'entrepreneur' in their Twitter bio
The first few and the last two filters in the list above are similar to the ones we set up in the follow-back settings. However, if you look at the fourth line, you’ll notice these settings:

  • Have more than 525 followers
  • Have 100,000 or less followers (it should say ‘fewer’, but grammar isn’t always perfect in software!)
  • Have 525 or more friends
  • Listed 5 or more times

Notice I’ve specified the range of followers and people they follow, i.e. Twitter ‘friends’. The number 525 might seem odd, but it was the closest to 500 I could get when I was using the sliding tool on ManageFlitter’s dashboard. The reason I have chosen all these settings is it increases the likelihood that I will find real people (as opposed to spammers) who might engage with me and follow me back. The reason I choose 100,000 or fewer followers is to eliminate the ‘celebrity’ accounts. By ‘celebrities’ I don’t only mean famous people, but also large companies/organisations, media, newspapers, magazines, publishers, etc. There is no harm in following these kinds of accounts if you are interested in what they are Tweeting about, but they are highly unlikely to follow you back or engage with you. The ‘real’ people (for me and for most of my clients) lie in the middle range, being neither too small nor too large.

Following People Who Have Tweeted on a Certain Topic

It is also possible to set up people who have Tweeted on a specific topic. However, it’s important to remember that just because they use a word in their Tweets, this does NOT mean they are particularly interested in the subject matter, or that they even used the word in the way you might use it. Thus, when setting up rules using this kind of filter, you’ll get better results if you use either a hashtag OR a multi-word phrase rather than a single word.

As an example of what I mean, here is a rule I set up, one for the hashtag #SocEnt (Twitter shorthand for ‘social enterprise’):

How to follow people who have Tweeted about #SocEnt on Twitter

Notice I have set the frequency to ‘Tweeted less than 1 week ago’. I’m not sure whether this means that the actual TWEET containing the search term is less than a week old, or that they mentioned it SOMETIME in the past. It would be nice if it were the former, as the more RECENTLY someone has Tweeted a relevant term, the more likely they will be interested in that subject matter. I will have to ask ManageFlitter which of these is the case.

Following People Who Follow or Are Followed by Other Twitter Users

Some of you might query the logic of setting up a filter to follow people who follow or are followed by other Twitter users. While you might think it’s just too easy – and not very ethical – to ‘poach’ someone else’s contacts, from experience it’s not nearly as effective a strategy as you might think. People on Twitter have no real control over who follows them, and unless they are judicious (as you will become) about whom they follow, this list can end up looking quite random. You might also discover a large percentage of their followers are inactive accounts or spammers.

Still, if you start by saying you want to follow the followers of (or those followed by) a specific user, and then qualify it with some of the other filters, you might end up with a list of good leads. On this topic, one thing you might not have thought of is following people who follow one of your other Twitter accounts (if you have more than one). For example, recently I set up my @7GracesMarketng account to follow some of the people I follow on my @LynnSerafinn account. Here’s a screenshot of the settings I used:

How to follow the followers of another Twitter user.
Even though I have close to 58,000 followers on my @LynnSerafinn account, this search resulted in only a few hundred people. One possible reason for this is that I may already be following them (or have unfollowed them) on my other account. The other reason is that my filters here are very strict, narrowing down the results to only the most active accounts.

You might ask WHY I would want to follow some of the same people on more than one of my accounts (I also have a third account @SpiritAuthors, which is ONLY for things related to writing, publishing, book marketing). Am I not being redundant here? To understand my reasoning, bear in mind that I don’t Tweet exactly the same content on my accounts; nor do I Tweet at the same time on all three accounts. This means if people follow one or more of my accounts, they will be more likely to see something I’ve posted. Furthermore, they are more likely to see something of interest to them. Of course, this only worse if I’ve got a lot of diverse content (otherwise I’ll drive my followers crazy with too much repetition).

If you do set up a rule to follow the followers of one of your own accounts, or the followers of someone else in your niche, be strict with your filters. Otherwise, you’ll end up following thousands of accounts that will serve no purpose, and you’ll only end up unfollowing them next month.

Using the ‘Copy Rule’ Feature on ManageFlitter

As you use ManageFlitter over time, you’ll probably find that you tend to use the same (or similar) filter settings over and over again. Fortunately, ManageFlitter has a very useful option to copy a rule you have set up, eliminating the need to set up all your parameters from scratch when you want to create a new rule. Once you’ve copied the rule, you can tweak the parameters as needed and save it as a new rule. This is a tremendous time-saver that helps ensure you don’t leave out an important setting.

Setting Your Follow/Unfollow Rate

One of the most important things to set up when using RAM in ManageFlitter is your follow/unfollow RATE LIMITS. These numbers will determine the MAXIMUM number of actions applied to your account per day. Here’s a screenshot of the rate limits for one of the larger accounts I manage:

how to set your daily follow and unfollow rate on ManageFlitter

These numbers are completely customisable. Also, if you haven’t set up any actual rules for muting, blocking, etc., the limit numbers will be irrelevant. That’s the case for the account shown above; I’ve only set up follow and unfollow rules for it, so the other limit numbers won’t be used. That means there will be a MAXIMUM number of 200 RAM actions on this account per day (6,000 per month). The actual number is likely to be lower, as I probably won’t need 100 unfollows per day.

How do you decide which numbers to put in these boxes? Well, it depends on two factors:

  • Your budget
  • The number of followers you CURRENTLY have on Twitter

Budget is easy to talk about. If you have the potential to rack up 6,000 RAM actions per month, you need to make sure you have accounted for them in your marketing budget. If you feel the return you are getting is not validating the expense, you either need to lower your rate OR you need to rethink how you’re using Twitter!

The next factor – the number of followers you currently have on Twitter – is more complex. The particular account from which this screenshot was taken currently has about 38,000 followers. Thus, following 100 new people a day is not particularly abnormal. However, if you’re just starting out and you only have 100 or so followers, you should NOT be following 100 new people a day. A better figure would be between 10 and 20. Even if you have between 3,000 and 5,000 followers, following 100 new people a day could flag up Twitter’s ‘aggressive account’ warning bells and put a limiter on your account (meaning you can’t follow more people for a while). In fact:

Twitter rules state that
you cannot follow more than 5,000 people
until at least 5,000 follow you.*

* NOTE: This limit used to be 2,000 followers, but has recently been increased. See Twitter’s article at https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885# for their latest information on following limits.

That is why it’s crucial for you to monitor your follows and unfollows, so your account is balanced. Ideally, you want to end up with slightly more people following you than you follow. You can only do this by regularly unfollowing inactive accounts, and ensuring you only follow the most relevant and active people.

How You Can Help Yourself – And How We Can Help You

I hope you found this 2-part article series on using ManageFlitter to be useful. If you have any QUESTIONS or COMMENTS, I welcome you to share them in the comments below. Bear in mind that using a programme like ManageFlitter to help grow your following is only part of the formula for business success on Twitter. True success comes not only from having a clear idea of how to reach your intended audience, but also on having high-quality, relevant content that your followers will WANT to read. If you want to help yourself grow on Twitter, work on both of these aspects of your business: Twitter growth AND quality content creation.

If you’re at a stage in your business where you feel the need for support in either of these areas, we at the 7 Graces Project can help you. We offer a 13-week Platform Building Package where we help you with your blogging AND your Twitter growth. In that package, we help you identify your audience, choose the perfect blog topics, optimise your WordPress blog, edit/proofread and publish your blog articles, write your Tweets, distribute your Tweets to your social networks AND continuously grow your Twitter following. And, yes, we use ManageFlitter (and other software apps) to help facilitate that (you don’t have to do anything or learn anything, as we do it all for you). To read about our Platform Building Package, see our ‘Work With Us’ page here on the 7 Graces site.

For those who don’t feel the need for all the blogging support, we also have a standalone Twitter Growth Package where we manage your following/unfollowing, as well as your Tweet posting. I haven’t yet set up the information page for this package, but you can write directly to me if you’d like to know more. To set up a free 30-minute Skype chat to discuss how either of these packages could help your business, drop us a line via the contact form on this website.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
11 November 2015

P.S.: Don’t forget to subscribe to the 7 Graces blog for more practical business and marketing tips, and inspirational ideas for how you can make a difference in the world through your ethical business.

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Social Media, Tech Tips, Tweep-e-licious, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter

How to Use ManageFlitter to Get New Followers on Twitter

Social media strategist Lynn Serafinn shares her top tips on how to grow your audience on Twitter using ManageFlitter’s Remote Account Management feature. Part 1 of 2.

In my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious! I talked about a programme I used called Tweet Adder, which gave users the ability to set up queues of people they wanted to follow on Twitter. However, some months ago, due to repeated violations of Twitter’s terms of service, Tweet Adder went out of business. To say I was disappointed with the way the folks at Skootle (the company that owned Tweet Adder) communicated with their customers during these events would be a gross understatement. In fact, their lack of care for their customers made me sorry I had ever recommended them in the first place.

Since the demise of Tweet Adder, many of my clients and blog readers have written to me asking whether I’ve found an alternative software programme that can help them grow their Twitter audience. I am happy to say that I have. It’s called ManageFlitter.

I’ve been using ManageFlitter for all my clients’ Twitter accounts for almost a year now, and I have been extremely happy with the results. Every day, my clients’ followers are growing steadily at a healthy rate (i.e. one that is compliant with Twitter’s API). I am also impressed with the level of responsiveness ManageFlitter offers their customers (which, after my experiences with Tweet Adder, counts for a LOT). For these reasons, I now feel confident about recommending it as a product/service here.

Setting up ManageFlitter so it yields the results you want might be a bit of a challenge for some people. This article will provide you with a short tutorial on how to get the best from this programme, so you will see your Twitter account blossom with relevant, responsive new followers.

TRANSPARENCY: In this article, I am using my affiliate link (https://manageflitter.com/try/8Pxtwc6z) to ManageFlitter. This means I will earn a small commission if you happen to purchase their services after clicking my link. However, I am not an ‘affiliate marketer’ and I only ever use affiliate links for products I personally use and recommend without any ethical reservations.

The Logic Behind Finding Twitter Followers

Attracting and keeping the right kind of followers on Twitter happens as a result of four actions on your part:

  • You find and follow your ideal followers before they follow you.
  • You Tweet regularly.
  • Your Tweets share high-quality content (i.e. your blog articles) that are relevant to the interests of your followers.
  • You engage with your followers on a regular basis.

In this 2-part article series, we’ll be focusing on the first of these four actions. The reason for following your ideal followers before they follow you is simple:

Most active Twitter users are likely to follow you back if you follow them first.

Because we tend to follow back those who follow us, several software programmes in the past would follow back new followers for you automatically. However, over time, automated follow-backs became a nightmare as many of us found ourselves unintentionally following spammers, porn sites and all kinds of undesirables. That is why Twitter banned the use of automated following and unfollowing systems in 2012. The upside to this is that we now have greater control over who we want to follow, resulting in higher quality Twitter followers overall.

However, the DOWNSIDE is that manually following and unfollowing on Twitter takes time…a LOT of time…time that few busy business owners have. It also requires the ability to identify and filter exactly who you want to follow and unfollow without having to sift through hundreds of thousands of Twitter user profiles.

This is where ManageFlitter can help you.

Overview of Search Filters on ManageFlitter

ManageFlitter is essentially a highly sophisticated search engine. It enables you to search for people on Twitter that meet specific, detailed criteria. You define these criteria using ‘filters’. Once you have set the filters the way you want them, you save them as a ‘rule’. These rules can specify which people you want to follow on Twitter as well as those you want to stop following (‘unfollow’).

Some of the many filters you can specify on ManageFlitter include:

  • How recently someone has Tweeted
  • Whether or not the person is already following you, or has unfollowed or mentioned you
  • Their number of followers and/or people they are following
  • People who follow a specific person (or are followed by a specific person) on Twitter
  • Words appearing in a person’s Twitter bio
  • Words people have used in their Tweets
  • Whether they have a profile image or protected account
  • Whether they Tweet primarily in English
  • Whether they are likely to be offensive (i.e. porn) or have a high spam probability
  • The age of their account (i.e. how long they’ve been on Twitter)

The thing that makes ManageFlitter’s filters so powerful is the fact that they can be used in combination with each other. You can also set up multiple follow/unfollow rules, using different combinations of filters. This enables you to create extremely precise sets of rules for who you want to follow and/or unfollow on Twitter.

SIDENOTE: The one filter ManageFlitter does not yet have (but they told me it is something they are working on) is the ability to identify people on specific Twitter user lists. I anxiously await news of them including this in their search parameters in the near future.

Power Mode vs. Remote Account Management

The filters on ManageFlitter can be used two ways: via ‘Power Mode’ or ‘Remote Account Management’. The difference between these two options is simple, and depends on:

  • how much time YOU want to spend following/unfollowing people, and
  • how much money you are willing to pay someone else (i.e. ManageFlitter) to follow and unfollow people for you.

Power Mode is where you use ManageFlitter to set up your filters/rules and then click, click, click to ‘follow’ or ‘unfollow’ yourself. You can take advantage of this (with some limits on the number of actions you can perform) even with their free plan (click ‘Plans’ on their home page, and you can compare them).

However, if you’re like me and you really, really, REALLY don’t want to click all day (and your virtual assistant isn’t really that keen on it either), you can purchase what ManageFlitter calls ‘Remote Account Management’ or ‘RAM’. RAM is when you purchase a bundle of actions that ManageFlitter will perform for you.

Simply put, a ‘RAM action’ is a follow or unfollow applied to one of your Twitter accounts. For example, if you have one Twitter account and you want to follow 50 people a day, and unfollow up to 50 people a day, that would be up to 100 actions per day. I say ‘up to’ 100 actions because your ‘unfollow’ queue might not always contain 50 people you want to unfollow, while it is likely your ‘follow’ queue will (we’ll look at how to set these up in a minute). Over a 30-day month, you would need to pay for a maximum of 3,000 RAM actions on your account. Of course, if you have more than one account or require more actions, the number would be higher.

You could buy bundles of RAM actions ad hoc on one of ManageFlitter’s Pro account options, OR as a monthly subscription on their Business account options. For example, depending on my client load, I use either their Business Plan that enables me to manage 10 Twitter accounts with up to 40,000 RAM actions each month, or the one that allows me to have 20 Twitter accounts with 70,000 monthly RAM actions.

The good thing about the paid accounts on ManageFlitter is that they have no long-term contracts. They are pay-as-you-go and you may cancel at any time. You can also upgrade or downgrade your account between plans at any stage. This flexibility has proven to be handy for me whenever my client numbers increase or dip throughout the year.

IMPORTANT: Once you purchase RAM actions, they have to be used up within the next month and do not accumulate over time. So, it’s a good idea to log into your account every month and make sure you’re actually using all your purchased actions. We’ll look at this later in the article when we discuss how to set up your ‘follow/unfollow rate’.

Setting Up Your Rules – A 3-Step Process

Setting up your rules on ManageFlitter is a strategy. It requires some care and forethought in order to produce beneficial effects for your business. There are three fundamental sets of rules you will need to set up:

  1. Your rules for ‘unfollowing’ people you currently follow
  2. Your rules for ‘following back’ people who already follow you
  3. Your rules for following new people

Each of these sets of rules is a contributing factor in the efficacy of your Twitter. Today, we’ll look only at the first of these – your unfollow rules. Next time, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the second two sets of rules, which define who you want to follow on Twitter.

SIDENOTE: It is also possible to set up rules for ‘blocking’ certain kinds of accounts from ever accidentally getting followed. I don’t tend to use this (I had one client who requested it), but it’s there if you need it.

STEP 1: Set Up Your ‘Unfollow’ Rules

To keep a nice, clean account, knowing who to STOP following on Twitter is just as important as knowing who to follow. For example, let’s say you want to declutter your account by unfollowing people who aren’t contributing much to your Twitter experience. You might set up various ‘unfollow’ rules that say you should unfollow everyone who:

  • has unfollowed you,
  • hasn’t Tweeted recently (e.g. in the past month), or
  • is someone you’ve been following for some time (e.g. one or two months), but who hasn’t followed you back.

Here’s a screen shot of THREE different follow rules I’ve set up on one of my client’s accounts:

Example of 'unfollow rules' on ManageFlitter
Each of these rules refreshes on a daily basis, thus keeping the information current (you will see the current numbers to the right of each rule when you log into your account). You then can either click on a rule, go through the results and manually unfollow all those who appear on that list, or you can purchase RAM actions from ManageFlitter so they can do this for you.

TIP: When you use RAM actions, ManageFlitter will go through each of your rules in the order in which they appear on your screen (you can easily move them up and down to reorder them). This way, you can prioritise the way you want the rules to be applied.

Coming Up Next Time

In Part 2 of this 2-part series on using ManageFlitter to grow your Twitter following, we’ll be looking at how (and why!) to set up your follow-back rules, as well as various ways to find relevant new people to follow on Twitter. I’ll share my best tips for finding potential followers through bio searches and Tweet searches, and show you how to ensure you don’t end up following ‘dead’ accounts or those that do not have the potential to follow you back. We’ll also be looking at using the ‘copy rule’ feature on ManageFlitter, and how to set up your rate limit, so it complies both with Twitter policy AND your marketing budget.

To be sure you find out about that article when it comes out in a few days, I invite to you subscribe to this blog via the form on the upper right side of this page (you can also subscribe by clicking this link).

Until then, if you are using (or trying to use) Twitter for your business, and feel you could use a little help, I encourage you to check out my free 90-minute Twitter audio class (based on ideas from my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious!), which you can find at http://tweepelicious.com.

If you feel you need a more personal level of support, we at the 7 Graces Project offer a 13-week Platform Building Package where we help you with your blogging AND your Twitter growth. We also have a stand-alone Twitter Growth Package where we manage your following/unfollowing as well as your Tweet posting. To read about our services, see our ‘Work With Us’ page here on the 7 Graces site. Then, when you’re ready, feel free to request a free 30-minute Skype chat to discuss how either of these packages could help your business by dropping us a short message via the contact form on this website.

Happy Tweeting!

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
6 November 2015

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Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing in 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

 

 

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Social Media, Tech Tips, Tweep-e-licious, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog Visitors – Just HOW Engaged Are Your Top 10%?

Blog Visitors - Just HOW Engaged Are Your Top 10%?

Pt 2 of ‘Blog Statistics – A Guide for Small Business Owners’. Lynn Serafinn shows how statistics can shed light on whether our readers like our blog content.

In Part 1 of this 2-part series on blog statistics, we looked at a few of the most fundamental types of statistics that can help you understand more about your blog, your content and your readers. If you missed Part 1, you can read it by clicking here.

In that article, we defined ‘visits’ (or ‘visitors’) vs. ‘unique visitors’, and took a look at page views and bounce rate. We discussed how it is not uncommon for the majority of your visits to be ‘bounces’, i.e. visits that resulted in only one page view before the visitor clicked away. Finally, we performed a few calculations and came to the conclusion that only 10-20% of your reading audience are likely to be engaged with your online content.

An ‘engaged’ reader is someone whose behaviour demonstrates a genuine interest in what they find on your blog. While there is no way to peer into people’s minds, what we can do is measure the amount of time people spend on our site and how many pages they read while they are there. Thus, in Part 2, we’ll be looking at the parameter ‘Time Spent on Site’ to see how the information it give us, in combination with the other statistics we’ve already explored, can provide us with a much more accurate picture of the success and breadth of our blog marketing efforts.

As in Part 1, the ideas in Part 2 are taken from a much more detailed discussion you’ll find in Chapter 16 of my book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging (coming January 2016).

Time Spent on Site

As the term implies, this parameter measures the average time your readers spend on your website. This statistic can be one of the most informative, if not occasionally disconcerting! Why? Because studies have shown that, in this information-saturated world, people don’t tend to spend a particularly long time on a website – ever. Somewhat depressingly, one study looked at 2 billion visits across the web over the course of a month and found 55% of visitors spent fewer than 15 seconds on a page.1, 2, 3

If that makes you want to throw in the towel, it might be a consolation to know that this study mainly examined news sites, rather than content-driven blogs like yours. The point made, however, is valid:

Human beings tend to make snap judgements.

This truism does not merely apply to web browsing, but to our behaviour in general. In fact, author Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire book, entitled Blink, on this very topic. While we might like to tell ourselves we are considerate and thoughtful entities, all human beings evaluate what is happening around them within seconds (or micro-seconds) of its occurrence. It doesn’t mean they won’t rethink their evaluation later; that’s where being ‘considerate and thoughtful’ enters the picture. But long before we reach that thoughtful stage, we’ve already made many measurements and judgements. This doesn’t mean humans are inevitably prone to bigotry, prejudice and close-mindedness; to the contrary, it means we are adaptable. The ability to make snap judgments has been vital to our survival as a species.

This is why I have always stressed the importance of having an effective blog title and including a ‘teaser’, summarising the article, at the beginning of every blog post. These two elements help your readers make a more accurate snap judgement. Without these elements, people might dismiss (and click away from) your article within those crucial first few seconds, solely on the basis that they cannot evaluate it. Rather than complain about this human tendency to judge, we have to learn how to work with it and make it easier for our readers to come to their own conclusions.

Different analytic tools will provide different levels of detail regarding the amount of time your readers have spent on your site. For example:

  • Alexa and Google Analytics give you only the average visit duration of all your visitors.
  • Piwik gives you the average visit duration, as well as the total time your visitors have spent on your site.
  • AWSTATS gives you the average visit duration time plus a detailed breakdown of how much time your visitors spent on your site. I have found this to be a fantastic resource that can provide you with a much better picture of how engaged your readers actually are.

Here is an example of an AWSTATS ‘visits duration’ table for this site back in 2014:

Number of visits: 476,576 – Average: 707 s Number of visits Percent
0s-30s 328,537 68.90%
30s-2mn 10,690 2.20%
2mn-5mn 8,864 1.80%
5mn-15mn 16,367 3.40%
15mn-30mn 20,360 4.20%
30mn-1h 42,112 8.80%
1h+ 49,517 10.30%
Unknown 129 0%

The ‘bounce rate’ for the site during this period was about 70%. That is consistent with the information we see in the first two rows, and possibly a portion of the third row. Things start to turn around in rows 4-7, as people who stay on the site for more than 5 minutes are likely to have viewed more than one page.

While the ‘bounce’ figures might seem really high, take a look at the people who stayed on the site for 30 minutes to an hour or more. You can safely assume that 20-25% of the visitors to this site do read the content. Not only do they read it, but they really read it. Clearly, these people are actively engaged.

The Shape of Our Stats

What I find so fascinating about these statistics is that they form an inverted curve:

Chart - Time Visitors Spent on Site

While perhaps not a true bell curve, it’s a curve nonetheless, with a dip after a sharp decline, and then a significant rise at the end. What is interesting is to see how the largest percentage of visitors are those whose opinion of the site is clearly obvious:

  • 70% are definitely disinterested (leaving the site within 30 seconds)
  • 25% are definitely interested (staying on the site for 15 minutes or longer)
  • Only about 5% could be classified as ambiguous or undecided, (staying on the site between 2 and 15 minutes)

To me, this demonstrates something I would call the ‘Marmite Factor’: most people either LOVE or HATE the site when they come to it.

Let’s look at these figures another way. If we ignore the 70% who are definitely disinterested – who are either spammers or people who are clearly disinterested and unlikely to return another day – and subtract them from our monthly total, we are left with a total of 137,349 visits. Of those 137,349 visits, 111,989 of them (about 82%) are comprised of people who stayed on the site for 15 minutes to over an hour. This shows that an overwhelming majority of people who actually READ our content are very engaged. In fact, among those engaged people, the LARGEST percentage of spent over an hour on the site.

In my eyes, if you’re a small business owner, WHO CARES if you have a 70% bounce rate when nearly 50,000 of your readers spend over an hour per visit to your site, and over 100,000 stay more than 15 minutes (and obviously read multiple articles while they are there)? The important thing is to maintain this level of high engagement, while steadily increasing your overall traffic.

Always remember:

Statistics aren’t just about quantity.
Their ultimate purpose is to help us understand the quality of your audience’s experience.

The Bigger Picture

I say this many times in Chapter 16 of The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: to understand your statistics in context, you have to watch how they change over time. Look for improvements in how they work together. For example, since these stats were taken, the bounce rate on our site has decreased by 4% and the average time on the site has increased to 2.33 minutes. Even if the quantity of visitors had not increased (which it did), it shows a significant improvement in the quality of audience engagement. Better engagement is a sign that we are reaching the right audience with the right content.

I hope these two articles have given you a new perspective on the value of statistics when it comes to blogging success. If you liked them, I invite you to register for a reminder for when The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging comes out in January 2016. When you do so, you’ll also get instant access to a free 5-page blog article template, with many tips to help you structure your blog articles so they become effective marketing pieces without actually marketing.

As always, I value your comments and questions about this article below, and invite you to drop me a line via the contact form on this site if you’re interested in working with us on any aspect of online marketing for your ethical business.

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
2 October 2015

References

  1. Haile, Tony. 2014. ‘What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong’. Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://time.com/12933/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-web-is-wrong/
  2. Soskey, Ginny. 2014. ‘55% of Visitors Spend Fewer Than 15 Seconds on Your Website. Should You Care?’ Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/chartbeat-website-engagement-data-nj
  3. Haden, Jeff. 2014. ‘2 Web Metrics You Should Be Watching All the Time. What’s more important: average session length or repeat visitor ratio?’ Accessed 22 September 2015 from http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/web-metrics-average-session-length-vs-repeat-visitor-ratio.html

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing Jan 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Blog, Blogging, Business Tips, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Statistics – A Guide for Small Business Owners (Part 1)

Blog Statistics – A Guide for Small Business Owners (Part 1)
Lynn Serafinn explains how a deep analysis of your visitors, page views and bounce rate can help you understand the effectiveness of your blog marketing.

One of the business and marketing services we offer our clients is blogging support. As part of that service, we review their blog statistics every six weeks, to get a better idea of how well our marketing efforts are working. While just the WORD statistics can make many business owners’ eyes glaze over, I find them fascinating. I like to look at them from different angles, and try to understand the underlying picture they are painting.

For statistics to be genuinely useful business tools, they cannot be examined solely on a quantitative level. You have to know how to get the ‘juice’ out of them, and how to turn numbers into qualitative information that speaks about how your audience is engaging with your brand. So, in the next two articles, I’ll be taking you on a whistle-stop tour of some of the basic statistics for your blog, and what they can tell you.

The ideas I’ll be sharing are taken from ‘Chapter 16: Pay Attention to Stats’ of my upcoming book The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging, which I am aiming to launch in January 2016 (you can get a sneak peek of it if you click the link). While abridged from what I share in the book, these two articles will hopefully provide some useful tips and insights.

Analytic Tools

To monitor and review your blog statistics, you have to start by choosing the right analytic tools. While I talk about these in the book, for the purpose of these articles, I don’t want to launch into a comparison of the various tools available. Rather, for those of you who do not have one in place, below are three free analytic tools that can perform the functions we’ll be examining. Of course, there are many others from which to choose.

Visits (or Visitors)

Depending on which analytic tool you use, this parameter is called either ‘visits’ or ‘visitors’. This refers to the number of times people have come to your website (per day, month or year), regardless of how many unique/individual people it represents. For example, if one person comes to your site four times over the course of a month, it counts as four visits. Simply landing on your website qualifies as a ‘visit’, regardless of how much time they spent on it.

For this figure to have any meaning, it has to be evaluated in conjunction with the next four parameters – unique visitors, page views, bounce rate and average time on site.

Unique Visitors

The ‘unique visitors’ parameter is the number of individual people who visit your site during the selected time period. Well, technically, it is the number of IP addresses (individual computers or mobile devices) that have accessed your site. ‘Unique visitors’ differs from ‘visits’ because one person/computer might log into your website multiple times on the same day/month. Conversely, one person might log into the same website from multiple computers or mobile devices. Here are two examples demonstrating how these two possibilities might show up in a site’s statistics:

  • A public computer at a cybercafé counts as one IP address. If 100 people a month view The New York Times online every day for a month on the same public computer, it would count as one unique visitor, but 3,000 monthly visits.
  • Let’s say you regularly read a specific blog once every week, sometimes on your home PC and sometimes on your mobile phone. On that site’s stats, it would show up as two unique visitors, but four monthly visits.

Page Views

As the term implies, pages views represents the number of pages people opened during a selected time period (per day, month or year). Notice that I said ‘opened’, not ‘read’. Just because someone clicked on a link does not mean they actually read the content. (We’ll come back to this very important point in Part 2 of this article series.)

The ratio between page views, visits and unique visitors can tell us a lot about how our readers are consuming our content. For example, if your stats reveal you have had 1,000 unique visitors, 4,000 visits and 8,000 page views over the past month, it would tell you that – on average – each of your readers comes to your site four times a month, and reads two articles every time they are there. Of course, averages never tell the actual story. What is more likely true is that about 70% of your 1,000 unique visitors viewed your site for less than a minute and then clicked away without returning, and a small percentage (10% or less) consumed several articles in one sitting, or perhaps bookmarked an article to reread it later that month.

The only way to get a clearer picture of what might actually be happening is to look at this ratio in the context of two more parameters – bounce rate and time spent on site.

Bounce Rate

Years ago when I first heard the term ‘bounce rate’, it scared me. I thought it meant something was wrong with my site, causing people to receive an error page. Fortunately, ‘bounce rate’ doesn’t mean your site is broken; but a consistently high bounce rate is still not something you want to see in your stats.

‘Bounce rate’ refers to the percentage of your blog visits in which only a single page was viewed. In other words, if someone comes to your site, looks at one page and then leaves without checking out anything else on your site, that’s called a ‘bounce’.

Analysts frequently make a big deal about bounce rate, saying that a high bounce rate is always a sign that visitors are not interested in your content. But, again, without context a bounce in and of itself doesn’t tell us much. Here are a few different scenarios, ALL of which would show up as a ‘bounce’:

  • A visitor landed on your site, took one look at it and clicked away without bothering to read your article.
  • A new visitor read one of your articles from beginning to end. They didn’t feel the need to read anything else during that visit, but they liked the article so much they ended up subscribing to your blog so they could get future updates.
  • One of your regular blog visitors came to read your latest article. They didn’t read anything else because they’ve already read it all!
  • A new or returning visitor checked out one of your blog posts. They were on their way to work and didn’t have time to read it, so they bookmarked it to come back to later.

As you can see, not all ‘bounces’ are created equal. In my opinion, only the first of these examples is an actual ‘bounce’. While, as a rule of thumb, you want to see your bounce rate go DOWN over time, you cannot really evaluate the impact of this figure without considering the other statistics, including ‘average time spent on site’, which we’ll look at in the next article.

SOMETHING TO BEAR IN MIND: There is another possible cause for pages to ‘bounce’ – comment spammers. Most comment spammers use robots that simply land on your site, leave a spam comment and leave. While that might be a relief to know, you should also bear in mind that comment spammers are probably also responsible for a certain percentage of your other statistics, e.g. unique visitors, visits and page views. While many analytic tools are able to tell the different between a legitimate viewer and a robot, your stats may include visits from these insidious invaders.

A Few Calculations

All of these statistics must be looked at collectively to get a feel for their possible meaning. For example, let’s say your stats for last month looked like this:

  • Unique visitors = 5,000
  • Visits = 10,000
  • Page views = 20,000
  • Bounce rate = 75%

Now let’s see how these stats work together to form a clearer picture of what’s going on:

  • How many times did our visitors come to our site last month? Statistically, we can see that on average, each of our unique visitors visits our site twice a month (10,000 divided by 5,000) and views a total of four pages per month (20,000 page views divided by 5,000). Most analytic tools will calculate this figure for you. However, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
  • How many times did our visitors REALLY come to our site last month? Going deeper requires looking at the bounce rate. A bounce rate of 75% means that only 25% of our 10,000 visits resulted in more than one page been accessed. 25% of 10,000 is 2,500. Thus 2,500 visits resulted in more than one page view.
  • How much content did our visitors REALLY look at when they came to our site? To get a better idea of what that means, we could then subtract all the visits that contained only ONE page view (7,500) from the total page views (20,000), giving us a remainder of 12,500. That figure represents the number of pages accessed on those 2,500 visits where more than one page was accessed. If we then divide 12,500 by 2,500, we can estimate that an average of five pages were accessed on each of these visits.
  • How many people does this REALLY represent? The answer to that question is more difficult to pin down. As we said earlier, due to fact that people access our webpages from so many different points of origin these days, the ‘unique visitors’ figure probably does not give us an accurate picture of how many people are actually viewing our site. But if we were to ignore those inevitable discrepancies and take them at face value, I would be inclined to subtract the 75% bounce rate from the unique visitor total, leaving us with a figure of 1,250 unique visitors who viewed more than one page that month.

Putting all that together, we might estimate that about 1,250 individual visitors each came to our site on two separate occasions last month, during which time they accessed a total of about ten pages.

In real life, however, it is far more likely that a small percentage of these 1,250 individuals were significantly more engaged than the others. And as we said, many of those ‘unique’ individuals are likely to be the same person, accessing your site from different locations. Thus, your 5,000 unique visitors might actually boil down to about 500 – 1000 (5% – 10%) actively engaged readers.

Admittedly, I am being intentionally conservative with those figures. Many modern marketers talk about an ’80/20 principle’, meaning that the top 20% of your audience are the most likely to be the most engaged.

So that leads us to the next logical question:

Just HOW engaged are our visitors in that top 10% to 20%?

To answer that question, we’d need to look at another set of statistics, measuring the amount of time our readers spend on our site.

That’s what we’ll be looking at in Part 2 of this short guide to blog statistics. I think you’ll be fascinated by what the actual numbers reveal. I know I was…but I confess I’m geeky that way.

If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, I invite you to do so, so you will be sure to receive Part 2 via email when it comes out in a few days’ time. I promise it will give you a real feeling for that ‘juiciness’ of your blog stats, which I mentioned at the top of this article.

And, hey, you just might learn to love statistics.

Update 6 October 2015: Here’s the link to Part 2: “Blog Visitors – Just HOW Engaged Are Your Top 10%?”

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
24 September 2015

P.S.: If you’re thinking you’d like to get some help in creating a blogging strategy that can help grow your socially-conscious, independent business, have a look at our Platform Building package and other services on our ‘Work With Us’ page. Then, drop us a line via the CONTACT form on this site to request a free 30-minute Skype consultation.

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Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing Jan 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, an independent marketing consultancy created to support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their businesses ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Key Relationships, Blog, Blogging, Business Tips, Lynn Serafinn, Marketing Tips, Platform Building Programme, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Our Audience, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Ways Technology Can Create and Grow Better Relationships

10 Ways Technology Grows Relationships
Lynn Serafinn looks at how modern technologies have helped businesses grow, reconnected families and enabled many to express themselves who otherwise could not.

This week I read an interesting article by blogger Bryan Kramer entitled ‘How Technology Affects Human Relationships’.1 Kramer’s main point was that ‘it’s great that we have the technology to connect with people across the globe instantly, but there’s also a sense of disconnection’. He went on to cite many ways in which technology often fails us in our relationships. Among other things, he talks about how difficult it is to bring tone of voice into our online communications, and how technology can lead to ‘cocooning’, which can develop into social isolation where we don’t actually make an effort to meet with people face-to-face or speak with them in ‘real time’ (such as over the phone or Skype). Kramer’s concluding thoughts were: ‘I guess the best approach is to make yourself available through technology only when appropriate, so that it supplements our relationships rather than replacing them.’

For the most part, I agree with Kramer’s points. I confess that I am prone to being a real ‘cocooner’, and his point about how people can misinterpret ‘tone’ in online communication is spot on. However, as someone who grew up around technology and who has used it to express herself (and help others do the same) since the late 1980s, I see things a little differently. I believe, like any other human innovation, communication technology is what you make of it. In other words, it has as much potential to CREATE and/or RECONNECT relationships as it does to destroy or disconnection them.

Here are some of my own thoughts on the subject. I’d really love to hear some of your own, so please DO add to the discussion in the comments thread at the bottom of the page.

Ways I Have Seen Technology Help Connect People

ANGLE 1: Many of my relationships with both colleagues and closest friends started out – either directly or indirectly – through my blog, Twitter or Facebook. We started our communications online, and then gradually moved them to a real-time environment (e.g. speaking on Skype or the phone). Eventually, if we lived close enough to each other, we arranged to meet in person for coffee or lunch. Over time, we became friends and now we just like to hang out.

ANGLE 2: Since the ‘economic downturn’ of the mid 2000s, more and more people have turned to self-employment as a means of supporting themselves. Many of those businesses are operated from their own homes, often with an online presence. These factors can create a ‘cocoon-like’ existence. Going to work is not like a day at the office. For me, if not for technology, I probably wouldn’t communicate with anyone during the day (nor would I have the business that is keeping me alive!).

ANGLE 3: I was born in America but now live in England. Social media and Skype have increased the frequency with which I communicate with friends and family back in the US. They have also helped me find and reconnect with dozens of people with whom I grew up but had lost touch.

ANGLE 4: I am the daughter of an immigrant father and a 1st generation American mother. For decades since my parents died I have felt a massive gap in the fact that I had no knowledge of, or family connections to, my ancestral home. A plethora of technological resources have not only enabled me to trace my ancestry, but also to FIND, meet and build deep, meaningful relationships with my long-lost cousins, both in Europe and in the United States. I cannot tell you how much that has done for me. My life would be empty without this. (As a side note: a former client of mine was recently reconnected with her long-lost father within 48 hours of posting her search on social media).

ANGLE 5: Technology has also enabled me to GIVE something to my extended family. Using Facebook, Ancestry and YouTube, I can share facts, old photos, videos, etc. Sometimes, through Ancestry, complete strangers contact me via my online resources, thanking me profusely for the media of their great-grandmother or long-lost aunt, or whomever we happen to be mutually related to. Thus, technology has enabled me to help other people establish relationships with their family – past and present.

ANGLE 6: In 1965, when I was 10 years old, my dad Ralph Serafinn (born Romeo Serafini), an electronics engineer for Bell Telephone in New York, invented the very first telephone device for the deaf and deaf-blind. Called the ‘Sensicall’, it was very simple compared to today’s technology and was eventually surpassed by personal computer systems. However, at the time, we received many letters from grateful people around the world who said my father’s invention had changed their lives completely, as it enabled them to connect directly with their friends and loved ones like everyone else could.

ANGLE 7: As a parent and educator, over the past 15 years I have repeatedly witnessed how technology (first with chat rooms and forums; later with social media) can often provide a means of communicating for naturally ‘introverted’ people who otherwise find it difficult to express themselves and connect with people in social settings. Some might misinterpret this behaviour as ‘hiding away’, but sometimes, it is the very thing that draws people out of their shell.

ANGLE 8: Back in the 1980s and ’90s, I was an electronic dance musician – composing, recording, etc. Technology enabled me to create, perform and sell music in ways that were never open to me before those technologies existed. It also enabled me to experiment with ideas that were more ‘outside the box’ compared to any other musical mode I had utilised in the past. While technology helped me build relationships with my listening audience and my retail network, it also helped me build the most valuable relationship there is – the one within myself.

ANGLE 9: From 1999 to 2007, I taught music technology to hundreds of students in Britain. For most of them, technology was the only way they could find their voice and express their creativity, as they weren’t all performers, or even ‘musicians’ in the traditional sense of the term. Again, I have personally witnessed the power of technology as a means of connecting with oneself, but also with the wider world.

ANGLE 10: Over the past decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of small business owners to develop their businesses – and their business relationships – through technology. I have done this primarily by helping them learn how to express and market themselves through blogging and social media. I’ve also helped dozens of authors launch their books by building a network of allied business colleagues. Many of these connections evolve into friendships and/or ongoing business collaborations.

Closing Thoughts

I confess that some days I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I especially get annoyed when software gets a glitch or my Internet goes down. But even if technology can sometimes feel like the ‘lemon’ of modern existence, I always think it’s better to make lemonade than simply have a sour face.

It’s true that technology might, in some ways, distance us. But it also has great potential to help us connect, express ourselves and grow together collectively. That’s the world I’m trying to create through my work.

I guess I inherited that gene from my dad.

I’d love to hear your thoughts below. What are YOUR thoughts and stories about technology and human relationships?

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn
17th September 2015

P.S. If you’d like to explore how to use technology to create better relationships in your business, take a minute to read my article Deepening Our Relationships with Clients – An Invitation, and then drop me a line via the contact form on this site.

REFERENCE

  1. Kramer, Bryan. 2015. ‘How Technology Affects Human Relationships’. Accessed 15 September 2015 from http://bryankramer.com/how-technology-affects-human-relationships/

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles to your inbox.

OR… US and UK readers can get this blog delivered DIRECTLY to your tablet, smartphone or Kindle device for $0.99 a month. Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1LWU95X
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1NhOmJU

Looking for a Tribe?

Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook.  This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.

Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sellby Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing. Brit Writers Awards Finalist eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media. eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

The Social Entrepreneur's Guide to Successful BloggingComing Jan 2016

The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Successful Blogging: An Effective, Creative & Ethical Way of Marketing for Visionaries & New Paradigm Business Leaders. To receive an update when that book is available, just click here. As a thank-you gift for showing your interest, you’ll get instant access to an exclusive, free 5-page PDF revealing the exact same blogging template we use with our clients and we teach to participants on the ethical marketing training courses at the 7 Graces Project.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCCLYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales. Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

7 Graces Project CIC7 Graces on Twitter: http://twitter.com/7GracesMarketng

Lynn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

7 Graces Group on Facebook: http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden

Posted in 7 Graces, 7 Key Relationships, Business Tips, Connection, Invitation, Lynn Serafinn, Relationship with Audience, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Our Audience, Relationship with Self, Social Media, Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments