You have decided that you want to start promoting your business/product on Facebook by using Facebook Ads but you’re not sure where to start. Below are 5 questions you need to answer before starting your Facebook ad campaigns.

1/ What are you trying to accomplish for your business?
Before you start doing anything you need to understand what it is you want to achieve for your business. Do you want to get more visibility for your business, more visitors to your website, promote a product or get more business from Facebook ads?

2/ What is the goal of your Facebook Ad?
Do you want to boost your post, promote your page, drive people to your website, get views for your video, or get sign ups to your event?

3/ Who you are trying to reach?
Knowing who you are trying to reach will enable you to utilize Facebook’s advanced targeting features to drive more meaningful results from you ad. Some key targeting features include: location, interest and demographic. You can even choose to target your current fans or only those that are not your fans.

You can also take advantage of Facebook’s Custom Audience to target a list of email contacts you have that you want to reach on Facebook. You can even take it a step further and use Facebook’s Look Alike Audience to reach a list of people with similar interests as those on your list.

4/ What action do you want people to take?
This could be one of two groups of actions. Actions within Facebook include: clicks, post engagement, page likes, or video views. Actions outside of Facebook include: sign up for an event, sign up for a service, call or make a purchase. Once you identify what it is you want achieve, you can craft your ad to lead people to take that action.

5/ How much do you want to spend?
One of the most common misconceptions people have is that you need to spend a lot on Facebook Ads to get the results you want. Facebook can help you get the results you need on a budget that works for you. When starting out you might decide to limit your spend to $5-$10 per day or $50-$100 total spend. You can even get more targeted by choosing to advertise only at certain times of the day when you know your target audience is on Facebook the most.

Once you’ve answered the 5 questions above it will provide you with a good sense of what you need to make your first ad successful for you. Got questions, post them below and I’d be happy to help answer them.


A great video that visually explains how to use QR codes in general and also socially on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Learn what QR codes can do for your business in under 4 minutes.


Flickr allows you to easily upload photos that you can share publicly or just with friends or family. All you need is a free Yahoo account and you can use this service.

Step 1: Go to to sign up
Click the “Create Your Account” button as shown below.


You will be redirected to Yahoo to sign in with your Yahoo account. If you don’t have one, you’ll be able to create one there.
Assuming you have an account, enter your username, password and click “Sign In”.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be asked to create a screen name. Enter a name of your choosing and click “CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT”.
Once you’re logged in, you have a few options. Let’s begin by personalizing your profile.
Step 2: Personalize Your Profile
Click “Personalize your profile” and you’ll see a few options. We’re going to start by changing the “buddy icon”. Just click “Browse” and choose the photo you want as your icon…aka avatar.
Click “UPLOAD” when you’re done.
Next you can “Choose your customr Flickr URL”. Enter a name that you’d like and is easy-to-remember, so your friends can find it.
Once you’ve clicked “PREVIEW”, review the following screen:
If you’re happy with it, click “OK, LOCK IT IN AND CONTINUE”. You’ll then automatically be taken to personalize your profile. You can add whatever information you’d like and skip whatever you’d like.
Click “NEXT” when you’re done.
You’ll then be taken to a screen where you can start uploading your photos.
Step 3: Upload Photos
Once your profile has been updated, you’ll see this screen. Click “Upload your first photos”.
You’ll then see a screen that shows the upload steps. Click “Choose photos and videos”.

Once you click that, you’ll be able to choose the photos from your hard drive. You can choose multiple photos by left clicking your mouse and holding down the “Ctrl” key at the same time. Click “Open” once you’ve selected your photo(s).
You’ll then see a screen that looks like the one below. You can choose to delete any files and choose your privacy settings. In this case, the setting is to allow anyone in the public to see the photos. Once you’ve chosen your settings, click “Upload Photos and Videos”.
Once the photos have loaded (it may take a while), you’ll see a link that says:
Click it if you want to add a description.
If you click it, on the next screen, you can add a description and tags for your photos to make them searchable. Click “SAVE” when you’re done.
That’s it. Then your photos have been added to your photostream and you can edit them anytime.

One of the reasons you may not have tried Twitter yet, or been successful with it is because you just don’t have time to sit and tweet all day. As a business owner, your day is filled with running a business, so the last thing you have time for is keeping up with the latest conversations on Twitter. Fortunately, smart programmers have developed tools that you can use to automate some processes and maximize your time with others.

Here are 10 favorite tools for businesses to get the most from their Twitter usage:

SocialOomph – This one’s a doozy. Not only can you schedule tweets for the future, must like you can schedule blog posts in WordPress, but you can also track keywords, vet potential followers and more.

TweetBeep – This tool will help you keep track of your @replies and @mentions so you don’t miss out on a conversation. Even better, it will email you the conversations that mention you, your product or your company.

Twibs – Add your business to this site so people searching for your products or services can easily find you. Naturally, you can find relevant Twitter users as well. You can even tweet from this site directly.

TwitterCounter – Are you more comfortable using email than any of this new-fangled social media stuff? With this service, you can send tweets by sending an email to an address the service sets up for you. They’ll forward the email to Twitter. Now, that’s just nifty.

TwitPic – This service enables you to upload photographs from your computer or your phone and share them on Twitter. This is perfect for a physical product seller who might want to show images of new inventory, a customer making use of a product or a demonstration of a product feature.

Mr. Tweet – This is a must-have if you’re trying to build your following. Mr. Tweet helps you find relevant followers, recommends you to others, computes your Twitter usages statistics and cleans your kitchen sink. (Just kidding on the last part)

TweetKarma – Started at the suggestion of a friend, this service enables you to get an overview of your friends, followers and those who you just follow.

Remember The Milk – If you live on Twitter and are having trouble remembering to go run your business, this service can be a great task reminder.

StrawPoll – There’s nothing like a good poll to help you understand your customers, the state of your industry or just have a little fun with your followers.

twtQpon – If you’d like to offer a discount code to Twitter users, this is a perfect solution. Not only can you fill out a simple form to create your coupon to send to Twitter (naturally, you have to have it setup in your shopping cart…) you can also use the site to search for coupons from other companies.

Twittertise – This service blends scheduled tweets with tracking so that you can measure your return on investment with each promotional tweet.

So, there’s an extra one to grow on. This list of tools will help you connect with the right people, manage your network of colleagues and customers and track the effectiveness of your messages.

In our next post we will discuss how to use Twitter for market research.

If you’ve been on Twitter for any length of time, you probably fit into one of two schools of thought regarding social media automation.

Automation is BAD!
The first school of thought is that Twitter is strictly for genuine relationships. If you can’t show up in person, then you’re wasting everyone’s time.

Twitter is for engaging conversations with people who think like us and creating dialogues with people who don’t. Twitter is about sharing ideas and building credibility. There is no room for sales or automation on Twitter.

Automation is GREAT!
The second point of view – the one held by the owners of millions of pages promoting Twitter automation – is that a business can earn millions of dollars by fully automating a Twitter profile. This means that follows, unfollows, direct messages upon following, and even tweets throughout the day are automated. In some cases, a human being rarely, if ever contributes to the profile.

All that said, as true in many other aspects of business, often the middle ground is where reason lies.

The Middle Ground

While fully automated Twitter profiles really do defeat the purpose of Twitter, it’s completely unreasonable to expect a successful and busy entrepreneur to spend 10 hours a day researching, following and posting on Twitter. While it’s true that businesses can hire someone to handle their Twitter profiles, this can sometimes cause an even bigger mess.

The compromise: Automate some tasks, but make sure you participate as well.

Here are some tips for balancing automation verses human interaction in your profile:

1. Automatically DM those who follow you – but not with a sales message. Ask them a question, simply welcome them to your Twitter universe – but don’t sell!

2. Automatically tweet a great blog post, an inspirational quote, or a survey question – but only a 2 or 3 times in one day. And balance that with 5 to 10 spontaneous tweets.

3. Use software or assistants to “listen” for mentions of you, your company or your product, but always respond to comments or inquiries personally. This will show your followers that you care.

4. Plug your blog into your Twitter feed, but blog about topics of interest that provide value to your followers.

Why the middle ground?

People on Twitter tend to be socially savvy – at least online. They can sniff out a spammer or automated profile from a mile away. When you attach inauthentic profiles to your company name, you immediately tell potential followers something about your business. You’re sending a message that you care more about numbers or money than about what they think or feel.

On the other hand, spontaneous interactions with your followers will build your credibility and show them that you are interested in who they are, not just what they can do for you. This goes a long way, especially on the Internet where everyone’s guard is up automatically.

While excessive automation can damage your businesses’ credibility, no automation at all can leave your potential connections on the table. It’s best to take the middle ground and balance your automation with spontaneous interactions to get the most out of your Twitter experience.

Now that we’ve discussed Twitter and you know why it’s a good thing for your business, it’s time to put what you’ve just read into action.

When used correctly, Twitter can be a HUGE advertising venue, but it’s so much more than just a way to advertise your business. You can literally interact with your customers and other businesses in ways that even just a few short years ago you probably would have never thought possible. 

Action is what will get you where you need to be. It’s time to start taking action on the things you’ve just read!

Market research used to involve direct mail, focus groups, surveys and tons of money. Researching your competition meant hiring friends to scope them out or attending tradeshows to see what they’re up to. Finding employees meant running an ad in the classifieds and spending weeks going through resumes. While there is still a place for those methods, small business owners can now make use of a more grassroots and budget friendly research tool: Twitter.

You can use Twitter to learn about your market, your competitors and even find employees or subcontractors. Here's how!

Researching Your Customers

The key to using twitter to research your customers is conversation. Yes, you can research keywords and find people who are already conversing. But it’s even better to start or jump into the conversation your self. Ask questions, take informal polls and tweet topics that will inspire your followers to respond.

While you’re at it, find total strangers in your market and ask them questions. Chances are, they’ll respond and you’ll be amazed at the kind of information and candor you can get this way.

These techniques will help you dig into your market and find out what your customers really think, what they’re struggling with and ultimately, what you can offer to help them.

Researching Your Competition

Finding out what the competition is doing is often a step small, online business owners leave out. The competition isn’t in the shop across the street, so it’s easy to forget about them – until one of our customers decides to use their service or product instead.

Before social media, finding out what our competition was doing, so we could do it better or cheaper, meant bringing in friends to be our undercover shoppers, buying expensive research or sleuthing at tradeshows.

With Twitter though, it’s like we have a window into the competitor’s customer service department. By searching for the competitor’s name or product name, we can instantly see what people are saying about them. We can also see how the competitors are responding to their customers and how they are interacting with them. We’re a fly on their wall.

Finding Employees or Subcontractors

Once we know what our customers want and how to give it to them better than our competitors, we’ll need to hire employees or subcontractors. Before Twitter, we had to pay for ads in the newspaper or bargain papers, or hire staffing services. Or hope someone we know can help up.

Once you have a following in Twitter that is interested in your industry, you can tap that pool for potential workers. What better person to provide virtual customer service for your company than someone who already loves what you do?

Twitter has revolutionized not only our social world, but also our market research world. We can now do in a few hours what used to take weeks, and tons of money.

In the next post we will discuss some Twitter automation tips.