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How to Become a Facebook Power User - Cindy Ratzlaff

Take Your Facebook Marketing Efforts to the Next Level and Beyond!

Cindty Ratzlaff Facebook expert-TotalPicture Radio interviewCindy Ratzlaff

It's not very often I attend a conference presentation and am blown away by the amount of actionable information I can personally benefit from, and use immediately. That happened at the recent BEA (BookExpo America Conference) in New York. Titled Advance Facebook Marketing for Authors and Publishing Professionals, the presenter, Cindy Ratzlaff shared the exact tools, tactics and strategies she's used to grow Facebook communities of 100,000, 200,000 and more.

Although her presentation was geared toward published authors, most of what Cindy presented is directly applicable to serious bloggers, recruiters -- anyone trying to increase their influence, reach, connections, and professional profile on Facebook.

Welcome to a Career Strategy Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio, this is Peter Clayton reporting. In today's interview, we're going to spend most of our time with Cindy discussing Facebook, but we'll get into Twitter and LinkedIn as well.

Before we get started, here's a brief background:

Cindy Ratzlaff was named to the Forbes "20 Best Branded Women on Twitter" list and Forbes Woman called her one of the "Most Influential Women On Entrepreneurship." A contributor to Business Insider, writing on social media marketing strategy, her essays on happiness have appeared on Oprah.com, CNN.com and Wowowow.com. As Vice President of Brand Marketing at Rodale, Cindy pioneered a marketing methodology called The Marketing 360, now widely emulated throughout the industry. Her signature Marketing 360 campaign for the launch The South Beach Diet garnered her a spot on the prestigious Advertising Age Marketing 50 List. Her firm, Brand New Brand You, specializes in digital branding and content marketing. She co-authored two bestselling books on happiness and boundaries; Queen of Your Own Life and Queenisms: 101 Jolts of Inspiration. Cindy tweets, posts and pins with her more than 275,000 friends, fans, followers and subscribers daily on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Cindy Ratzlaff TotalPicture Radio Interview Transcript:


Hi, this is Peter Clayton. We'll get to our interview with Cindy Ratzlaff in just a minute. First, if you need to hire great people and retain the high-performing future leaders of your company, here's a triple play, jobsinpods.com. Jobs in Pods is a totally unique form of employment advertising, employer branding and employee recognition. Our jobcasts feature hiring managers, recruiters, senior executives and top performing employees talking about their jobs and how and why to get them. These are real voices, authentic conversations with real results. Visit jobsinpods.com for a free demo. Mention TotalPicture Radio and we'll give you a 20% discount on your first jobcast on jobsinpods.com.

And now, here's Cindy Ratzlaff.

Peter: It's not very often that I attend a conference presentation and been completely blown away by the amount of actionable information I can personally benefit from and use immediately. And that happened at the recent BEA, which is the Book Expo America Conference which was at the Javits Center in New York, titled Advanced Facebook Marketing for Authors and Publishing Professionals.

The presenter, Cindy Ratzlaff, shared the exact tools, tactics and strategies she's used to grow Facebook communities of over 100,000 and 200,000 and more. Although her presentation was geared towards authors, most of what Cindy presented is directly applicable to serious bloggers, recruiters, anyone trying to increase their influence, reach, connections and professional profile on Facebook.

Welcome to Career Strategy Channel video podcast here on TotalPicture Radio. This is Peter Clayton reporting. In today's interview, we're going to spend most of our time with Cindy discussing Facebook, but we'll get into a little bit of Twitter and LinkedIn as well. Be sure to visit Cindy's show page on TotalPicture Radio, that's totalpicture.com, for a complete background of her and resource links. Cindy tweets, posts and pins with her more than 275,000 (that's right, thousand) friends, fans, followers and subscribers daily on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Cindy, welcome to TotalPicture Radio.

Cindy: Thank you so much, Peter. Thanks for having me.

Peter: So before we dive into Facebook, one issue many of us active on social media struggle with is how to allocate your time between Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter and where your efforts are really going to pay off, and now of course, Google+. So how do you do this Cindy; how do you allocate your time between all of these social networks?

Cindy: I like to think about social media in more of an advertising, so it's content and relationship advertising. So I think to myself, where would I put my marketing dollars if I wanted to reach my ideal client. Now I would probably put my marketing dollars into Facebook because of the billion or so people who use Facebook, the majority of my clients, authors and book readers and publishers are on Facebook.

So I'm going to send 80% of my time on Facebook. I'm going to spend about 10% of my time on LinkedIn because I used LinkedIn to bring new clients into my funnel from outside the publishing industry and then I might allocate another 10% between Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and probably Instagram. So I decide where would I spend my advertising dollars because dollars and time are the exact same thing to me. So I want to make sure that where I'm spending my time is where I would have put dollars because when I spend time, I'm really spending dollars. So that's how I decide.

Peter: I have to ask you about Pinterest because it seems Pinterest is mainly women and recipes and cats.

Cindy: It may seem that way at first glance. But if you dig a little deeper into Pinterest, you will find massive communities of people who are talking about antique tools and car parts and racecar driving. So whatever niche, hobby or passion there is, there is a Pinterest community around actively talking about it already.

The way that you can find that out is say you're most excited about gardening, gardening tips to save you money and time. So you would say, where do I usually go for those things? If I go to Mel Bartholomew's square foot gardening site because he's a very hands-on, time-saving gardener, and I want to know who else is like him on Pinterest so I can follow them and I can get those tips. I would go to pinterest.com/source/, and then I would put in Mel Bartholomew's URL. Up will pop all the pins that have pinned from Mel Bartholomew's website.

Then I'll be able to follow those pins and see, oh my goodness, here's a Pinterest community called Great Garden Tips. Here's another Facebook community that pinned from his site, pinned an idea from his site to a board that a million people are following called Cheap Garden Tricks.

So when you think you want to find out more, you want to decide there are naturally built communities around a topic, go to your favorite blog on that topic, copy the URL and you use that little trick, pinterest.com/source/, that URL. And you will be able to see who else shares your passions. You'll be able to find 20, 30, 50, 100 other people with great big communities that are talking about those cheap garden tips.

The more niche your audience, the more likely there is to be a Pinterest passion around that and I'm telling you, the things that men love are up there too. You'd be shocked. At first glance, yes Pinterest is recipes. Yes, Pinterest is fashion. Pinterest is also terrariums. Pinterest is also gardening. Pinterest is also - I'm telling you, automobiles and antique tools are really hot on Pinterest and those are both traditionally male-oriented passions. So there's something for everybody.

Peter: Yeah, that's a really good advice. I'm going to absolutely do that because I do need some cheap gardening tips.

Cindy: There you go.

Peter: So you recommend that everything you post on Facebook needs to elicit an emotional response. Cindy, so much of what I see on Facebook is personal. It's pictures of kids and pets. So how do you distinguish between a personal presence on Facebook and a professional or business page?

Cindy: So I think most - I'm going to say most, not every - businesses, business people need two presence on Facebook. They need their personal profile, so that's your name and in that spot you can post about things like, I just had an amazing bike ride and hit my personal best. The grandkids came to visit or the kids came to visit for Father's Day and it was simply a wonderful day. Here's the barbecue we had. Those things tell anyone who's watching and following that you're a real person with a real family and someone that they can trust, and they feel like they have a little bit in common with you.

So marketing-wise, it's a good thing to share some personal things on your personal profile and let people see that you're a real human being and not a bot that is following them and trying to sell something and considers them to be only part of a funnel.

On your business page, I would expect that you would be a little more business-oriented. So on your business page, you're always answering the question, what's in it for me, for your ideal follower? So you're giving them tips and strategies and techniques and tools and links to things that maybe even you didn't create. You're sharing resources and you're becoming a valued resource for your followers.

And every now and then, you can post something on that business page that's slightly more personal. You decided that you needed a dog because you're a fitness pro and you like to go on much longer hikes and you think a dog might be motivational, plus you've always had a dog and you just want a dog.

And you share a picture of that dog and millions of people have an emotional response to the fact that you are a pet owner. And they have an instant feeling of intimacy with you because you share something personal. Again, if you were a cyclist and you've got a brand new bike and you were absolutely giddy about it, you might post something like, "This costs way too much and I shouldn't have purchased it. But I had to and I'm not sorry." And all those people who have invested in their personal passions would identify with you and again, feel like they might want to do business with you because you're more like them than they ever thought before.

So that's how I do it. I have a business page where the majority of my posts are very business-oriented. I have a personal profile where the majority of my posts are more personal and caveat to that, I am always aware that I am living in public, that I have made my personal profile public. So I'm never going to post anything like, "I hate that politician. I wish somebody would run him down."

I would never post anything like that because even though I'm sharing some personal things, I am sharing it because I am on Facebook to do business. So I'm creating intimacy but I'm living as though I'm at a big public cocktail party. Does that make sense?

Peter: Yeah and that's some really good advice. It really bothers me the people who get on Facebook and rant about politics.

Cindy: For me, it's not the place to do it. Now if they're using Facebook and politics is their passion and that's why they're there, to have those discussions, that's okay. I may not follow them because that's not why I'm there. But I won't engage in it because I want to be extremely inclusive in the number of people who can hear my message and engage with it on a business level if they want to.

Peter: At your presentation at BEA, you started with the three As of Brand You, which are articulate, attract and amplify. So can you expand on those for us a little bit?

Cindy: Sure. I think that so many people think creating a personal brand is difficult. But I want to make it really simple, and it certainly is an oversimplification but if you do these three things, you'll be in a very good stead for your brand.

So articulate just means telling people who you are very succinctly, who you are, what you offer. So you want to, with articulation, let people know your value, your vision, your voice and your variation. And we can talk a little bit more about those later, but that's articulate, crystal clear, what's in it for me.

If I give you my like, what you get is my time to read your posts. I've made, for me, a financial interaction with you. I may not have given you any money, but I've given you time and time is my money to everyone now. Time is almost more valuable than money. So I've given you my time by my like so I expect you to deliver what you promised. So articulate exactly what it is that you promise if people follow you.

And then you want to attract your ideal tribe. So when you're doing some advertising and with the content you post, you want to make sure that you are posting the kinds of words, phrases, tips, techniques, strategies, solutions that you want your ideal reader to desire.

For example, if you run a dry cleaning store and all of your posts are about the beautiful outdoors, but they never tie back into why it's so important to look fresh, look sharp, be ready for any opportunity, etc., then you may attract a large group of people who are outdoor enthusiasts but may not use dry cleaning services. So you will have a big healthy page that has 10,000 followers on it, but not one of them will ever come into your store and use your services because you've attracted the wrong crowd.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: But if you are a dry cleaner, you're going to be talking about tips for removing stains at home. You're going to talk about the best fabrics for long term career wardrobe building. You're going to be talking about business tips for an interview. You're going to be talking about things that a professional, who might use dry cleaning services, would really want to know so that you'll attract professionals.

So then your 10,000 people, the majority of them are professionals and they live where you have your dry cleaning store. So you're going to be using posts about Seattle - say you're in Seattle, you'll talk about things that are happening in the community in Seattle and how the professional might want to take advantage of those. So that your fan base is mostly in Seattle, a fan base that can drive by your shop and drop off their dry cleaning and become your customers.

You might even start to talk about discounts and special customer loyalty programs for your Facebook fan following, and in that sense, you're going to attract to you the ideal tribe, the tribe that can take advantage of what you offer and do business with you because that is the reason that you are on Facebook.

And then the final thing is amplify. So once you are there, you've articulated your offer, you are attracting your ideal tribe, now you want to amplify your footprint. And that simply means that when someone types Seattle-based dry cleaners into their Google search bar, your name pops up, because your Facebook fan page is Google indexable. All your tweets are individual URLs and everything on your website is search-optimized.

So you want to make sure that when people are searching for you, and people search on Facebook, they search on Twitter, they search in Google and YouTube and Google+, so you want to make sure you're using the right SEO terms and that's even - SEO seems a little bit outdated even. So you're just talking search terms, what would you type into Google to find you? Those are the words you always want to use.

So you're amplifying this little bit, this little digital footprint that leads back to your home base, which is most likely your website. Everything you do needs to articulate what it is that you do, attract your ideal tribe and then leave a footprint, amplify this footprint and lead it back to the home base where they can find out the name of your store, your address, your phone number, what it is you offer, your prices, etc.

So that's for a local brand, but it's the same if you're an online brand. It's the same if you're a speaker. It's the same if you're the CEO of a major corporation, creating a digital footprint about you means making sure that when people enter what you offer into a Google search, your name pops up on the first page.

Peter: Right, right. So for instance, if I'm a recruiter who specializes in recruiting tech professionals...

Cindy: Yes.

Peter: Everything that I would do on Facebook, would somehow relate to that and I would use keywords and terms that would be of interest to tech professionals who are on Facebook.

Cindy: Exactly. You would even share things that, first you would create original content, thoughts from yourself to position yourself as a thought leader in the tech industry. But then you would always share great articles from the journals that you and your ideal clients read. You would share them and say, this is a great article and here's what I particularly liked about it. So you share and you add.

You add information to position yourself as someone who is now a valued resource to people in the tech industry. They're always going to check you before they check everything else because you already have read the posts all morning and you'll have shared great stuff. So you train them to come back to you on a daily basis and then they share what you shared and all of that juice comes back to you.

Peter: So Cindy, let's get into some Facebook specifics. At BEA, you mentioned that Facebook has just undergone some very significant design changes. So what should people do and be actively doing on their Facebook page to respond to these changes?

Cindy: Most people panic when there's change and we don't like change. And when we log on and everything looks different, we're frightened. But I want to reassure people that this is simply a design change and not a function change.

So the first thing you'll notice is that the little app boxes, the customizable boxes below our cover photo that we used to have saying our Photos and our About section. And we used to be able to create on that would be a little bit about me or mirror to your website. Those are no longer below your picture. In fact, they are on the left-hand side of your page and your page has gone from being - and this is your business page, not your personal profile.

Your business page has gone from being a 2-column page to a 1-column page with all of your details and information on the left-hand side. So don't worry, your apps did not disappear and they still all function exactly the way that you wanted them to, but the top 3 that you've placed in order will appear on your left-hand side and the top one will appear under your cover photo, along with your timeline, your about and your photos.

Your timeline, about and photos can never be moved and your number 1 app is right next to them. And then every other app that you've created is under a dropdown menu called More. For me, no one ever goes under that, ever. People are using - first of all, the majority of people are using Facebook on their mobile devices and your apps are not even visible on a mobile device.

This is only for people who are on desktop and that would be sort of during the day. A lot of tech people are on desktop, so they will see your apps now on the left-hand side of your page, your number 1, 2 and 3. And you can change that order. You could simply go into your settings and change the order that your apps appear in.

If you want to run a contest and you have a contest app, you could put that right up top. All those beautiful images that we were using to show our apps are still available to us. So nothing has changed except the location.

The next thing that has - this is kind of a big change. Your cover photo is still 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high. But your name and the type of page you have used to be below that cover photo. Now it is superimposed over your cover photo in a knockout white type. You cannot change the type. You cannot change the color. You cannot change the location of that knockout white type.

So people have to be careful, especially people who had a very copy-heavy cover photo, have to be careful now to move all of the copy slightly up and to the right so that that knockout white name of your page and the type of page that you have is visible.

And again that's just making sure the majority of the things that you want people to really see are in the right-hand 50% of that 851x315 and that you're keeping about 78 pixels from the bottom of your cover photo free for your name and the name of your page.

Peter: And since it's a knockout white, you wouldn't want a very bright thing at the bottom of that thing because then it would just wash out.

Cindy: Right. I mean if your background was white with some knockout black type, your cover photo will make sure that no one sees the name of your page. It has to be a darker or at least a contrast color. And you can experiment with that and you don't have to make that public. You can experiment and try to upload different pages to look and see how they are before, and then just not upload them if you don't like the look of it.

There's a really nice tool, and I know we'll talk about tools later, but there's a nice tool called Pic Monkey, picmonkey.com. And on Pic Monkey, you can create a cover photo. It's a free tool. You just go there and upload the picture that you want to create and then you'll be able to size it for Facebook. So you'll automatically be able to create that 851-wide by 315-tall. And then you can add your type to it and experiment there before you upload a cover photo, so that you know you have the exact right size that you need.

Peter: That's some great advice.

Cindy: Yeah.

Peter: There is confusion out there in the Facebook community. There are community pages. There's your personal page. There are groups. There's fan pages. So deconstruct this for us Cindy, how does this all work? And there's been some movement with Facebook trying to get people to become communities. Should they do that? What is all this about?

Cindy: The answer to all of those is it depends on what your goals are with Facebook. But on the whole, if you are a brand and I want you to consider yourself to be a personal brand, and the services that you offer to be your brand extension. If that is the case, on the whole I do not want you to have a community page, and here's why.

Facebook believes that community pages are pages around a passion or a topic or a celebrity or an event that are not necessarily owned by the owner but just are a page for everybody to come in and comment. So when you become a community page, you can ultimately lose control over it. You might have created it, but you're not the only content provider to a community page.

So when Facebook offers you the opportunity when it says - when you're so successful that there's so much action going on on your page, that Facebook suddenly believes you're a community, make sure that when they offer you the opportunity to convert to community, you say no. And then they'll give you another little message that says, "Are you the owner of this page," and you say yes.

You want to make sure that you let Facebook know that you have a successful business page and not a community page. And if you have already accidentally accepted that offer and converted your page to a community page, you can change that. There's a very long URL and I can tell it to you. It's facebook.com/help/, and then a very long string of numbers which are, 249601088403018. The other good way is to Google, how do I change my Facebook page to a community back to a page. And then you will get this exact URL right at the top of your Google search.

So you want to make sure that you - you know what, I just gave you the information for how to merge two pages. Ignore that entirely. Just Google the question. Facebook has been so good about making sure that all of their search problems are Google indexable, that if you simply Google how to do this, you will come to that long string of numbers that leads you to how to undo the damage that you've already done making yourself a community.

So do not be a community because then Facebook thinks that you're not the owner, that you're sort of like the president of a fan club. That's really how it all started. Justin Beiber lovers, that's a community. You are more than likely not creating a community. You are more than likely creating a business page for your business and the brand of you.

So when you become a community, you lose some of the authority that we want you to have on Facebook. So don't become a community.

Peter: Alright. Thank you so much for that URL on how to merge two things because I stupidly created two TotalPicture Radio groups.

Cindy: Don't worry because it's so easy. Obviously, everybody else did too because Facebook created an entire set of instructions on how to merger two pages. So you go to the top where it says Settings and under settings, you'll find Merge pages and then you'll click Merge duplicate pages and then you'll check the box next to the page that you want to be the primary page. Then you just click merge pages.

Peter: Excellent.

Cindy: That's all you have to do. The only caveat there is that you need to know that if you have created a custom URL for one of those pages, you can't transfer that if you choose the other page. But if you haven't created custom URLs for either one of them, don't worry. And people should know about custom URLs too. Can we just talk about that for a second?

Peter: Sure, absolutely.

Cindy: If you named your page Tech Guy Bob and you are known, you blog under the name Tech Guy Bob and you blog all about using open-source code and you really are well-known, and that's the name you want to go by. And you've set up a Facebook page and it's called Tech Guy Bob, but when you look in the URL, it says facebook.com/techguybob, and then a big string of numbers. That means that you have not created your unique URL.

So go up to your URL bar while you are logged in as Tech Guy Bob and type in facebook.com/username. You'll go to a page that - actually not as Tech Guy Bob. You have to just log in as Bob Dembrowsky or whatever your name is. And then because you have created your page under your original profile, you'll go to that facebook.com/username and Facebook will give you a little dropdown menu in case you have multiple pages, and will let you choose the page you want to set a username for.

Once you've set the page, Tech Guy Bob's page, then at the bottom it'll say what username do you want to use. And you'll type in facebook.com/techguybob, and they will search and tell you whether or not that is available. And if it is available, you can set that as your URL.

So now in all of your promotion and advertising, instead of a long string of numbers, you can say facebook.com/techguybob. It looks a lot better on sales pages and a lot better in your email signature and all the other places that you will be using your Facebook name.

Peter: In addition to - I'm going to get personal here - in addition to TotalPicture Radio, I want to set up a TotalPicture Media page because TotalPicture Media is sort of the umbrella that I do TotalPicture Radio and I do videos and podcasts and things with. But I don't want it to be a group. Should it be a fan page? I mean this has always been confusing. What's the difference between a group and a fan page, and how do you go about setting exactly what you want?

Cindy: Groups are ways for people who are likeminded and have the same interests to gather just on a curated page where you might be the leader and talk about stuff. Now you can have a group, say you wanted to have a group of people study with you and you were going to charge them each $19 a month. They could sign up on your website, pay you $19 a month then you can create a private group on Facebook that is cheaper because it's completely free for you than to create a membership site.

So you just say, once you pay your $19 a month, I will add you to the group...

Peter: That's really cool.

Cindy: And then now on the group, you've got a private membership club and you can keep it private, no one can see it except the people that are in the group and you can talk very candidly about business that people can talk about the things that they don't know that they wouldn't want to talk about in public because they don't want people to know they don't know, and you guys can all help each other. That's a good use of a private group.

A public group might be a group of people who want to support a charity and so they want to publicly state that they love this charity and this charity does good work and it's touched their lives, and so you want to keep that public so people can see it and ask to join it if they want to. So that's a good use of a public group.

But in terms of business, I think that you want to have a Facebook business page, what used to be called a fan page. Those two names are really interchangeable. A business page means this is my spot. This is my business and here's what I'm going to talk about and I would love you to follow me so that we can have conversations about this and I can make sure that you see everything that I'm passing on. But business page, not group.

The groups are around affinity and passion and some are private and some are public and the choice is yours. And it's a good tool and I can't believe Facebook gives it to us for free. Shhhh, don't even talk about that.

Peter: Yeah. I think this private group thing is - what a phenomenal tool for consultants. Like my friend Shally Steckerl who's a total wizard when it comes to sourcing, he could have his own private group and charge people $25 a month to be part of it and put out a few tips every month.

Cindy: I belong to a group on Facebook that I pay $49 a month for.

Peter: Really?

Cindy: Because it helps me - it's almost like for me, it's as though I were subscribing to a business journal. It is very specifically and niche focused on exactly what I need to know to make sure that all my clients are up-to-date on the rapidly changing world of social marketing.

Peter: Interesting.

Cindy: It's a private group. I pay on the webpage and I have access to the private group which I visit every single day.

Peter: What apps do you recommend professionals use with their Facebook fan page or business page? It's called a business page now, right?

Cindy: It's called a business page, yeah. But if you say fan page, everyone still knows what you are.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: It depends on what your business is. Say your business is you consult in a very specific area in tech and you want people to understand how to use a certain kind of technology that is very visual, and you want people to understand how to use it and why it will impact their business in a positive way, and you want to position yourself as a leader in that industry.

You would want to be using Facebook for sure. You'd want to be using LinkedIn. But you also might want to use one of the very social networks like Instagram. You might want to be taking pictures of yourself from the speaker's stage at big conferences. You might want to be taking photos of yourself and leaders in the industry when you are interviewing them. You want to be taking pictures of new tech that you are reviewing, new tools and new pieces of equipment that you are reviewing because Instagram makes you look like a genius in terms of photography because you can change all of the lenses, etc.

You'll want to have that app on your Facebook page so that you are pulling your Instagram feed into Facebook, and therefore it's doing double-duty for you. You're hitting two platforms at once.

One of my favorite tools for pulling in Instagram feed in, there's two that I really like. I like woobox.com. And you just go to woobox.com and pick the Instagram feed and click it and it'll automatically populate onto your Facebook page, connect the two and it's just nifty as heck and it's free.

Peter: You mentioned something else that was really cool at the BEA conference which is an app that allows you to take if you have a Google Hangout and put it into your Facebook, right?

Cindy: Yes, yes. This is wonderful. This is called 22social.com and this is an application that allows you to run your Google+ Hangout live on your Facebook page. It'll be under a custom tab app and people can watch you - if they like G+ and they have a G+ account and they enjoy watching Google Hangouts there, they can do it there. And as you know, if you're doing a Google+ Hangout, you can automatically record it and pop it up onto your YouTube channel so they can watch it later on YouTube.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: Or they can watch it directly from Facebook, and again when you have a billion people using a platform and they don't really like to go anyplace else, it is a big bonus for your brand to be able to show them what you're doing off the platform, live on the platform.

So 22social.com, it is a subscription-based application but everything is very easy to set up, and just for a small monthly fee and I want to say that it is - I can't remember because I've been using it for a long time. But I would say it's under $25 a month, if I recall. If you're doing a lot of video and a lot of interviewing, that's a really nice application for you to use on your Facebook page.

Peter: Yeah, that's a great tool, absolutely.

Cindy: And I'm sorry, a couple of TabSite is also one of the application providers and I haven't researched this yet but I just heard that they are going to institute a similar kind of product to 22 Social. So watch for there to be some price undercutting there, hopefully. The brand wins when there's more competition.

Peter: Absolutely. So you recommend posting a graphic with almost everything you put out there on Facebook. Why?

Cindy: Facebook announced, actually they rarely tell you what their algorithm is doing and why, but they announced this because they really want us to pay attention. And they said their research over the period of two years tells them that people do not want to get text-only updates from brands, that they want only text-only updates from their friends. They do not want it from the brands that they follow. So the businesses they follow who do text-only updates, if you were to say, "Hey meet me at the Google offices on Friday where I'll be doing a talk. And you can get in using this code for 50% off", Facebook is going to show that to fewer of your fans than if you put a big photo of the Google office and then that update. So photos get you more juice in the Google algorithm than text-only updates.

Peter: On your Facebook page Cindy, which is Cindy Ratzlaff Brand New, Brand You, you recently wrote about the importance of having a brand map. What is that and can you explain that to us please?

Cindy: One of my little secrets and it's not a secret to people who are successful in business, is that when you create language that's just unique to yourself, you're able to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. So brand map is really just my language for a plan. You need a plan for rolling out your brand message and for me, that manifests in what I call a brand map.

And in a brand map, I just say that you need to articulate, attract and amplify and that is a brand map. So whatever your goal is, you put that on the right-hand side and wherever you're starting right now, you put that on the left-hand side and then you're going to draw a road map to exactly there. How do I articulate? I'm going to articulate by May 31st and I'm going to say I'm going to let people know that I have three authors. And I'm going to be spending my first two weeks of the month articulating those three authors so that everyone knows what I offer.

Then the next step is I'm going to do a $1500 advertising campaign on Facebook so that I can attract men and women from 25 to 45 who live in Cincinnati because that's where I'm going to be doing my next event. So I'm only going to advertise to Cincinnati and I'm going to advertise using my articulation exactly what it is that I offer. I'm going to advertise during the next two weeks. So that's the next step on that little road map.

And then finally in the end, you're going to amplify. So my road map is going to take me off of Facebook and onto Twitter, onto Pinterest, onto LinkedIn, onto YouTube, onto Instagram. And I'm going to articulate that message on all of those other brand extensions that I have and I'm going to drive everybody back to my website where they can sign up for my event in Cincinnati.

So that's the brand map for the launch of the product which is my talk in Cincinnati. And you need a brand map for every single final goal that you want. It's simply a matter - really for me, it's literally, I take a sheet of paper and I put an X over here where I'm at, and I put a Y over here where it is I want to go. And then I map out the steps it will take to get to the goal with my ideal outcome. And then I put dates to them and then I execute.

Peter: On the topic of advertising, you had mentioned in your presentation that you can spend $10 a day on Facebook and create some real traction doing that. So can you give us some tips and advice on exactly how to use Facebook as an advertising medium and how you set that up.

Cindy: Sure. When you're first beginning, so say you have a brand new page that's relatively small but you know that you have some impactful information. And you know, there's a pretty sizeable audience out there for what it is you offer because you can see who your competitors are and you know that it's information that you were attracted to, which is why you started your business.

So you've done your market research, you know that there's a pretty decent market. You know what your search terms are and you know basically the demographics of your ideal audience. When you create an ad, in the beginning I want you to create ads that are only designed to help people like your page.

So you would set up an advertising campaign for $10 a day and in the creation of your ad, you're going to tell Facebook, this is a like ad. I want people to like my page. That's my ideal outcome from this advertising campaign.

Then I am going to advertise only to people who are between 25 and 40 who live in the Continental United States, who are - say your audience is primarily male, who are male. And then here's the kind of secret sauce of all this. You want to choose a few other attributes. So you might say, who went to Comic Con, who have engaged with the South by Southwest brand, who read Mashable but not read Mashable social, they read Mashable Tech. Then you might think two or three other either television shows or large national events or technical magazines that these people might read.

In addition to that, do they watch Survivor? You want some quirky things in that advertising set. Do they like steak? Are they vegans? Do they like classical guitar? I see your guitar back there. Do they like acoustic guitar? Are they - do they like heavy metal music?

Try to imagine and almost always, your audience is very similar to you. So try to think a little bit outside of the box of other things you do. Do they want to go on a Scotch tasting tour in Scotland? Is there some quirky, out-of-the-box thing that they all follow? Do they watch Penny Dreadful on HBO?

So you choose that and people self-identify. People tell Facebook exactly what TV shows, books, recordings, all of their passions, they've already told Facebook that, about what they like. And you can hone in and advertise just to those people, which vastly increases the possibility that you're going to attract you, your ideal client.

There's some more detailed things you can do. You can upload your own database. Your own email list that people have subscribed to and Facebook can create for you a lookalike audience so they can say of all the people that signed up for your newsletter, which is your passion group, and of those people who use that same email address to sign up for their personal profile, Facebook knows a whole bunch about those people.

It can create a lookalike group for you, people who do not know you, did not sign up for your list but are very similar to the people who did sign up for your list.

Peter: That's fantastic. Wow.

Cindy: And you can advertise directly to them. So of course the bigger your list, the more ideal that scenario is because some of the people who signed up for your mailing list will not have used that same email on Facebook, but you'll be stunned how many do.

And so in order to do that, you have to be using Google Chrome as your browser when you log onto Facebook, and you have to use something in Facebook advertising called the Power Editor. So that's a little bit more complex but it is available to you. And it used to only be available to the likes of Nike and Coca-Cola and big movie companies. But now it's available to you. It's a pretty impressive tool and again, it's free.

Peter: We like free.

Cindy: We like free. All you're paying for is your ad dollars.

Peter: That's remarkable, Cindy. That is really remarkable.

Cindy: It is really leveling the playing field between big corporations and the entrepreneur. And it's such a powerful tool to be using Facebook as an entrepreneur. I can't recommend it enough.

Peter: We've talked about some of the cool tools that you use and mentioned at BEA. One was Pic Monkey. Tell us about a couple more.

Cindy: I love to use a little tool called Animoto and it's animoto.com. Again, there's a free version and a very modestly priced paid version. I used the free version for almost a year before I finally used the paid version. And the paid version by the way, it's $249 for an entire year.

Animoto is a way for you to create marketing videos without ever appearing on video. You can upload your digital photos then you can create little text block posts. So you might be able to say, show three pieces of equipment that you're reviewing, put up the pictures one at a time, and then a text that says, "Guess which one I think is best" and then you might do some video construction that you might have created a PowerPoint presentation and screencaptured a slide that shows the Nikon X50 billion or whatever it is. And then you're saying, "This is the best".

And you'll be able to upload those things and in the free version, you can create a 30-second commercial basically for your blog post. You will be able to use a template that they've already created for you. There are about 40 templates in the free version. You will be able to choose some music that kind of underscores the energy that you want for this, something that's lucky-themed. It will be music that is free for you to use that is already licensed by Animoto, and you don't have to pay additional for.

And then you press a button that says Mix. And then they will mix this video together with the music for you and in about 30 seconds, spit out a high-definition, 30-second commercial for your blog post that you can upload to YouTube. You can share on Facebook along with a little message that says, "I just reviewed three of the top cameras in the industry. You won't believe which one I recommend." And then you just show that little video and a link back to your blog, and you've created this amazing kind of engaging, interesting, energy-filled content that leads right back to your home base.

Peter: That's fantastic.

Cindy: Free.

Peter: We like that. Yeah, you also talked about an app called Canva.

Cindy: Canva is new. Canva is a competitor to Pic Monkey and one of the things I like about Canva is they have some pre-populated templates for PowerPoint. If you're tired of going and giving presentations on the same old PowerPoint backgrounds that everybody else on the planet is using with the little blue curve that looks like air coming through, and you want yours to be a little bit more zippy, you can go to Canva and create a backdrop for yourself and then use it as your - it'll be perfectly sized for PowerPoint and you can do that with just a few clicks.

You can put a little button on the top that says "Awesome me" or whatever your brand name is and download it to your desktop and use it. You can create perfectly-sized photos for Facebook. They have templates for exact sizes for Pinterest. They have things that would look really good as a Twitter cover, that changed recently.

Peter: Yeah.

Cindy: And it's just fresh. It's brand new. It launched less than 3 months ago. So canva.com is a really nice way for you to be kind of a forward-thinking leader in design and use something that nobody else is using yet, or very few people yet are using and you can stake some claim as somebody who's creating visuals that are more interesting than what everybody else out there is creating with Canva. Then again, totally free. I don't know how these people make a living. But I love it.

Peter: No kidding. Alright, before you go, I know you're also a Twitter expert. A lot of my audience is very, very active on Twitter as well as I am. So give us a couple of quick tips on things we can do to really increase our exposure and value on Twitter.

Cindy: Sure. I have about I think maybe 46,000 people that are following me and in the beginning, I followed everybody back. So I'm following about 45,000. I cannot possibly pay attention to and see all of the updates from 45,000 people or I would have no life.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: And I would not be of value to anyone. So I use Twitter lists, which is honestly my secret weapon in making Twitter function for me. Every time I follow somebody, I now add them to a list. There's a little dropdown menu when you follow someone which says Add to list. And I create lists around exactly why I follow this person.

So I have a list of about 25 to 30 top leaders in my industry, the kinds of people that I would kill to be on stage with or be in a strategic partnership with or do something in my business with. I want to make sure that every day, I see what they say and that I talk to them so that they see what I say and we form a digital relationship that hopefully someday can become a real relationship.

So I will put them in my list called Top 30 Social Media leaders. Every morning when I get on Twitter, I will click on that list so that my 45,000-person stream becomes a 30-person stream. And now, while I'm clicked on that list, I only see the recent updates from the 30 people in that list. And then I can go right down the list and respond to, add to or comment to those leaders that I want my name in front of.

So I will thank them. I will amplify what they said by retweeting. I will add to their comment by saying things like, "Great idea and..." then I will add some information on my own so that they see I have something valuable to bring to the table as well.

In that way, I've created relationships that turned out to be business relationships with big people in the industry simply by making sure that I filter the stream and use a list to see only who I want to see. And I have 20 lists. You can create up to 20 lists. I have 20 lists in all different arenas. Some of them are in books and publishing. Some of them are in social marketing. Some of them are in technical marketing.

People can subscribe to my lists, so I always put my own name in every single list that I create. If the list is called A-list Movers and Shakers, I have one of those lists, I'm on it. If someone subscribes to it. I am now in their stream every time they click on that list. So lists are just a great way for you to get the most out of Twitter that is at all possible.

The second tip I will give you is to use a Twitter pre-scheduling tool. There's a tool called Hootsuite, hootsuite.com. I use Hootsuite. It gives me a dashboard of my Twitter streams, what I've tweeted, my lists, my A-list Movers and Shakers, my Forbes' Top 30 People to Follow kind of thing. And at a glance, every morning I can open up that dashboard and I can find things to share, and then I can schedule them so I can put them up into the window that will allow me to tweet. Instead of tweeting it now, there's a little dropdown menu that will let me tweet it in 2 hours or in 4 hours or next month.

I can schedule up to 6 months in advance. I would not recommend that because the world changes in 6 months. But I can pre-schedule a day or two in advance so that I have - I'd like to have 5 tweets per day, every single day, spread out throughout the business day. So I am more likely to appear in the stream of other Twitter users than if I did all of my tweeting in the morning when I'm really on Twitter.

Peter: Is there an ideal time of day to get recognized on Twitter?

Cindy: There's an ideal time of day for every single business. In my business, I'm really talking to entrepreneurs and people who are trying to start their own businesses and authors, and those people are operating under a traditional business day. I tweet at 7 in the morning when they've just gotten up and they're having their first cup of coffee and they're ready to leave for work pretty soon. So they're sitting down and they have a little discretionary time and they're checking their Twitter.

I do a 7 o'clock. I do 9:30, they've just gotten to the office and they have to start and they know what their business day is going to look like. They want to clear their heads so they get on Twitter. I tweet again at 12:30 when they're just taking a break for lunch. Then I tweet again at 4 when their energy is ebbed and they've gone for their last cup of coffee and they're checking in on social as they wrap up their day. And I tweet again at 8 at night when they've put the kids to bed and they're sitting down and they're just about to watch primetime, but they're checking Twitter again.

So I already have this little cycle graphic in my head of who these people are and when they have discretionary time and that's when I tweet. And I do that all east coast because I'm east coast and because I know that the west coast operates on east coast time too. So they know that the bulk of us live on the east coast. That's where our population is in the US.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: They're used to operating their own business day around our time zone.

Peter: Yeah, that's true. I used to live in Santa Monica and I started my day at 5 o'clock in the morning.

Cindy: Correct.

Peter: Because I needed to match - because my clients were all east coast-based.

Cindy: Yeah. And you know by 3 o'clock, we're not online anymore.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: Your time, yeah.

Peter: Back to the lists thing.

Cindy: Yeah.

Peter: Is there an app that you use to do that or you do that within Twitter? How do you create a list?

Cindy: You can do it in Hootsuite. I do it on the Twitter platform. When I'm on Twitter - and for those of us who have kind of a nice hearty following and if you didn't already start lists, there's a little bit of retrofitting to do. You can click on anybody.

So for the next month, you can say to yourself, every time I see somebody in my Twitter stream that I wish I would see more from this person, I'm going to click on their name, go to the little dropdown menu next to the fact that I've liked them, and I'm going to say Add to list and I'm going to add them to a list that's appropriately named.

Peter: Got it.

Cindy: I'm going to do that now for a month until I get the majority of the people I really care about into lists so I can use those to filter the stream of noise and just see those people that I really want to see.

Peter: Right.

Cindy: And then going forward, every time I follow someone new, I'm going to put them on a list that tells me why I followed them.

Peter: Cindy, thank you so much for taking time to speak with me today here on TotalPicture Radio. How can my listeners engage with you?

Cindy: If they're on Facebook, they can go to Brand New, Brand You, that's the name of my page. You'll see my smiley face there and I talk exclusively about social marketing and personal branding. If you're on Twitter, you can go to @brandyou, and I'm on Twitter every single day and I'll put you on one of my lists.

Peter: Great. Again, thank you so much for speaking with me today here on TotalPicture Radio.

Cindy: Thank you Peter.

Peter: You'll find this podcast in the Career Strategy Channel of TotalPicture Radio. That's totalpicture.com. And remember, there's a video version of this interview on Cindy's show page where you'll find a complete transcript as well.

While there, sign up for our newsletter. It's free, easy and fast. Connect with our TotalPicture Radio group on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @peterclayton and @totalpicture. I'm happy to connect on LinkedIn with TotalPicture Radio listeners. Please be sure to include in your invite that you listened to TPR when sending the invitation.

Thanks for tuning in.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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