Developing Eye Catching Content for Twitter with Sasha Tweel from Adobe Spark

#TwitterSmarter Chat Recap: 8-31-17

Here’s a recap of our fave tweets from this week’s informative and insightful chat. We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below and share your two cents on these questions.

Ask @hootsuite:

We invited our friends from Hootsuite to come on the chat and kick it off by answering one pressing question about Twitter marketing.

#TwitterSmarter Chat

For more tips, advice and resources to help you master Twitter and grow your business be sure to follow me at @MadalynSklar. I’m also available for one-on-one and group coaching and consulting. Get details here.

Be sure to join us every Thursday on Twitter at 1pm ET at hashtag #TwitterSmarter.

Madalyn Sklar, Twitter Advisor

Talent Born Or Made?

Introduction: Talent Born Or Made?

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody ElseTalent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

Talent born or made? That’s an interesting question. This  post was inspired by a fascinating story I read in The Skinny on Success: Why Not You? by Jim Randel. The author relates a story in Geoff Covin’s book, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else.

In the book, Hungarian psychologist Laszlo Polgar wanted to test if talent was born or made. He ran an ad for a wife, but the twist is that their children would be raised to be champions in a field unrelated to their parents’ that neither had an aptitude for.

Schoolteacher Klara responded to the ad and agreed to the terms. Laszlo and Klara decided they would attempt to create chess champions since neither were accomplished in the game. They had three girls, Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit and at that time it was the general belief that women didn’t  have what it took to excel at chess. The couple home schooled their daughters,  immersing them in intensive chess training.

Talent Born Or Made

In no time, the girls were competing in the game. The first daughter became the first chess grand master ever. The second daughter became the youngest grand master ever, male or female. And the third daughter is currently the number 1 ranked female player. According to Wikipedia, “Only 11 out of the world’s about 950 grandmasters [are female].”

Is this conclusive evidence that talent is made, not born? What are your thoughts? Is talent overrated?

Have you read?

Review – Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
The Skinny on Success by Jim Randel: A Book Review


Here is an excerpt from Did Malcolm Gladwell Rip Me Off? By Michael Masterson in Early to Rise Ezine.

“There are four levels of proficiency in any valuable skill – incompetence, competence, mastery, and virtuosity.

  • To get past incompetence, you must spend about 1,000 hours practicing the skill you eventually want to master.
  • After putting in about 1,000 hours, you will be competent. To achieve mastery, you will have to continue to practice that skill for a total of 5,000 hours.
  • Virtuosity is extremely rare. You can’t get it simply by practicing. You must also have a natural gift. Even then, you must practice at least 10,000 hours to achieve it.

Michael Jordan was a virtuoso basketball player. Mozart was a virtuoso composer. Warren Buffett has been a virtuoso investor. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you must become a virtuoso. You can achieve greatness and make a fortune by becoming a master of your chosen skill.”

Final Thoughts: Talent Born Or Made?

If talent is made and not born, what are the implications for you? Are you interested in mastering a skill? Are you prepared to practice deliberately? Please chime in by commenting. Keep the conversation flowing.

UPDATE: First published in February 2010

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The Grandmaster Experiment

Home-Grown Grandmasters; Laszlo Polgar’s Daughters Were Pawns in an Experiment That Changed the Chess World

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The post Talent Born Or Made? appeared first on The Invisible Mentor.

WeChat Stores May Change the E-Commerce in China

WeChat Stores May Change the E-Commerce in China

Wechat is challenging Taobao the digital mall for E-Commerce in China. And the new Wechat Store may change the game for Alibaba.

The Craze for Social Commerce in China

The emergence of new technology has transformed our consumption environment in an impressive way in China. Brands and influencers have quickly succeeded in penetrating the Chinese market and society by using tools that intertwine into the everyday lives of individuals. (Read Guide to Understand KOL in China)

It is a fact; online commerce takes a prominent place in China. It has become a complete ecosystem that interweaves into all the components of the digital landscape. It connects a multitude of Internet users and no longer dissociates from the physical experience.

The development of social networks has made it possible to change the behaviors and habits of Internet users and offers more freedom and power to consumers.

Continue reading "WeChat Stores May Change the E-Commerce in China" at Maximize Social Business by clicking here.

How to Leverage Behavioral Analytics In Your Growth Strategy

If you’re obsessed with growth, you know how important it is to have a super detailed growth strategy. You and data are BFFs, right? Great, but you also need to understand the context that surrounds that data.

I know that sounds a little dense, but bear with me. What I mean is that information alone isn’t enough. Yes, in data we trust. Sure, lots of metrics are all well and good, but if you can’t leverage that data, there’s no point to it. Think about it. Who makes the growth happen? You might think it’s you, but in the end, it’s actually your audience.

How your users respond to your tactics will decide how successful your growth strategy is. So take a step back and look at your audience. Do you really understand them? Be honest with yourself. Most growth hackers think they understand their customer base, but they only know raw data. Knowing demographics doesn’t mean you understand your audience.

This is where I drop my bomb of a topic. Behavioral analytics, folks.

Understanding and applying behavioral analytics can be incredibly useful for growth strategies. In fact, it could be the energy and edge that your brand has been missing.

Want viral growth? Say hello to behavioral analytics. These analytics give you a look into the minds of your users so you can put yourself in their shoes. You’ll be able to build targeted campaigns that better suit your audience, create messages that reach the right users at the right time, and attract entirely new user bases.

I realize that “behavioral analytics” doesn’t sound all that sexy, but you’re going to discover just how powerful it is. Let’s take a look at some fundamental concepts of behavioral analytics that you absolutely need to know and then explore some actionable strategies you can use.

If you’ve been sleeping on behavioral analytics, it’s not too late. Read this article. Do what it says, and your brand will grow.

What Psychographics Are (and how you get them)

When it comes to behavioral analytics, psychographics are vital.

Psychographics provide a foundational understanding of why your customers behave the way they do.

Demographics are the who. Psychographics are the why.

Each psychographic is a data point that tells you something about your users’ behavior.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of psychographics:

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These go way above and beyond demographics to give you a fuller picture of your audience.

Psychographics clue you in to your users’ behaviors. For example, if you know that most of your audience is composed of parents of 5-11 year olds, you’ll understand why those kid-sized T-shirts are flying off the shelves.

Although you can’t get any super specific data like number of clicks, you still need psychographics to get a general idea of how your audience acts and why they do what they do.

Psychographics will often reveal what’s important to your users.

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Do you understand now why psychographics are so important? They help you see your customers as people and not just information from your analytics software.

Speaking of analytics software, you can find some basic psychographic information in GA by heading over to Audience > Interests > Overview.

You’ll see three categories: Affinity Category, In-Market Segment, and Other Category.

The Affinity Category shows you different lifestyle categories. Google compares these groups to TV audiences.

This category points to specific interests that your users have. Even if you just look at this section of GA, you can get a pretty good understanding of what your audience likes.

The In-Market Segment shows you what types of products your users have shown interest in.

Basically, your customers are looking to buy products or services within these categories.

The Other Category offers a narrower view of your audience.

demographics category google analytics

If you want to go even deeper, Google has a handy guide on using this psychographic info in conjunction with other analytics.

There are many other ways to grab psychographics, from surveys to focus groups. Use as many of these methods as you want. Too much psychographic data is never a bad thing.

Still, psychographics are just that––data. You need to use them in a creative way.

With that in mind, let’s look at some growth techniques that depend on psychographics and other behavioral data.

Data-Driven Customer Personas

Creating an imaginary friend might sound a little childish to you, but that’s essentially what you need to do with psychographics.

Right, I know, it’s not exactly an “imaginary friend.”

I’m talking about creating a fictional person who is a representative of your audience base and not just some creature you made up. These representatives are otherwise known as customer personas.

You’re probably familiar with the idea of the customer persona, but if you’re not, don’t worry. Here’s a brief rundown.

A customer persona (also called user or buyer persona) takes aggregate data and uses it to create a fake person. This person is your average customer.

His or her demographic and psychographic information is representative or your audience (or a segment of your audience).

Here’s what an example customer persona might look like:

customer persona

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As you can see, you can get really detailed with personas. The more detailed they are, the better you’ll understand your users.

By definition, a customer persona is chock full of behavioral analytics. They help you describe the persona in detail.

Once you have all of your behavioral analytics together, you can take a couple of different approaches to creating a persona.

The approach you take will depend on what you want to accomplish with your personas.

Do you want to create better email sequences? Do you want to improve your Facebook ads? Think about your objectives as you create your personas.

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Specifically, you can use certain analytics based on the results you’re after. Let’s look at some examples of this idea in action.

Let’s say you want to redesign your CRM software to attract more leads. In terms of analytics, you’d want to look for business-related psychographics.

These might include the user’s role at work, how much time they spend at their job, or even the search terms they use to get to your site.

So an example persona for that would look like this one (the one on the right side):

This persona is great for SaaS because it uses analytics that relate to work. There’s little personal information here, but there’s enough to give you an idea of who the persona is.

But that type of persona isn’t ideal for every sort of situation.

Another example: Say you’re the head of growth at an ecommerce apparel startup.

You’d be more concerned with personal behavioral analytics and not so many work-related data. So a persona for you might look something like this:

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The types of analytics you use should all depend on your goals and the kind of product or service you’re selling.

It doesn’t hurt to get as many data points as possible, but you’ll want to refine them to zoom in on your average customer.

Creating a persona doesn’t take much time, but it can change how you see growth. That said, you have to make sure your personas are as accurate as possible.

If you get the wrong analytics, well, your entire customer journey might just go down the drain.

But if you get it right, your customers will feel like you really know them.

This is a perfect example of how behavioral analytics can make all the difference in your growth strategy.

Remember, you’re not simply looking at a bunch of random numbers. This information has real uses that you can take advantage of starting today.

Let’s take a look at another one of those advantages.

Customer Segmentation

You’re segmenting your users…right?

Okay, maybe you’re not. That’s okay. But you totally need to be.

Some marketers and growth hackers see their audience as one big mass, so every campaign gets sent out to everyone.

But not everyone has the same needs and wants. Your customers are all different.

So if you group people into similar segments, you can deliver more accurate, targeted messages and have better results.

That’s why segmentation is part of every good marketer’s (and growth hacker’s) playbook.

And––you guessed it––behavioral analytics can help you segment better.

The basic idea is to create segments using one or more behavioral attributes.

If you group generally according to behavior, you’ll get an inside look into what different types of customers are looking for.

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Just this basic behavioral segmentation already gives you a much better understanding of the different kinds of users you have.

All you need to do is a little behavioral research to get started with this. In GA, you can go to Behavior > Behavior Flow to see an overview of the average user path on your site.

While this isn’t incredibly comprehensive, it can prep you for actual segmentation later on. Odds are the trends you see on Behavior Flow will reflect your audience as a whole.

This type of segmentation is flexible and can be used in a variety of ways.

Take email marketing. You can see what emails people open, which people almost never open your emails, and maybe even how long a user spends reading your email.

You probably look at data like this all the time:

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But have you considered that you can use this information to tap into your subscribers’ brains?

All of those are behavioral analytics in their own right, and they’re great for segmentation.

There’s a lot you can do with these analytics. You can send a special discount email to the loyal subscribers who regularly open your emails, or you can send more targeted emails to people who tend to open one type of email.

And your results are almost guaranteed to improve.

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The possibilities are endless.

And if you’re using Kissmetrics, you don’t have to worry about any of this because the behavior-based delivery feature does it for you.


Still in doubt? I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, and it can pay off big time.

MailChimp found that segmenting subscribers by interest made every metric soar:

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If you’re willing to get even crazier with segmentation, get ready.

You can also use behavioral analytics to group your customers by their place in the customer journey.

This concept is a little more advanced than the techniques we’ve gone over, but it packs a serious punch.

The typical customer journey is more or less like this:

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By using behavioral analytics, you can find out what stage of the customer journey a user is going through.

Behavior Flow can often show this. If someone has checked out lots of your product pages but hasn’t made it to the checkout, he or she is in the consideration stage.

Once you’ve found out where someone is in the customer journey, you can place him or her into an appropriate segment.

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This approach is a growth hacker’s dream. Not only can you segment your customers, but you can also get a better grip on the customer lifecycle.

It’s awesome, isn’t it?

If you’re serious about converting and growth, you should strongly consider this advanced tactic. It’s one of the best ways to hyper-focus your messages, and you’ll reach the right users at the right time.


Growth is all about people.

And by people, I mean your users.

A good growth strategy has to be centered around your customers. Otherwise, your strategy will fall flat on its face.

If you’re focused on sheer volume and ignore your customers in the process, you’re going to get nowhere fast.

Analyzing and leveraging your users’ behavior is one way to enhance your current strategy.

If you understand your users’ behavior, you can more easily determine what kind of content they want and what kind of messages are best to send to them.

Like I said, it’s all about people. We want to be understood, and we want our needs to be taken care of.

As a growth nut, it’s your job to make sure that happens.

So if you need to step up your game, behavioral analytics can give you a fresh perspective and boost your results.

About the Author: Daniel Threlfall is an Internet entrepreneur and content marketing strategist. As a writer and marketing strategist, Daniel has helped brands including Merck, Fiji Water, Little Tikes, and MGA Entertainment. Daniel is co-founding Your Success Rocket, a resource for Internet entrepreneurs. He and his wife Keren have four children, and occasionally enjoy adventures in remote corners of the globe (kids included). You can follow Daniel on Twitter or see pictures of his adventures on Instagram.

How to Get a Return on Authenticity in Social Media – @veriate

It’s a tale as old as time. For as far back as you can remember when you were a kid, you made friends by forming a connection with someone whether it be a shared interest or some other common or relatable trait.  In business it’s very similar. When you’ve earned trust then you’ve earned business, and that’s laying the groundwork for a sustainable business.

When a business or brand relates authentically to prospective customers, it’s generally because they trust them and more importantly they share a common interest or even pain point. If you manage to get a group of these fans, then it’s like you’ve cultivated your very own cheering section that will virally tell their friends and family, and so on. It’s learning how to mix today’s social media with the “old school” way of going out and making personal connections.  

Rich: Want a profitable return from all those posts, pins, and tweets? Melinda Wittstock has innovated a predictive social intelligence platform that generates and measures your return on authenticity (ROA), so you can genuinely connect with fickle consumers and put a viral multiplier effect on customer growth, loyalty, and brand buzz.

A serial entrepreneur, award-winning journalist, and content marketer, Melinda thinks ahead of the curve and loves to change the game with disruptively innovative solutions. She’s writing a book on female entrepreneurship, and she somehow manages to juggle her third business – raising two kids and golden retriever as a single mom – writing her book, great friendships, and a new relationship, while somehow finding time to meditate, exercise, and sleep. Melinda, welcome to the show. 


Melinda: Hey welcome. I’m really happy to be here with you. It’s funny, when I hear all that back to myself I think, “Oh my god, who is this woman?”


Rich: Are there five women, actually?


Melinda: It makes it sound a good deal easier than actually it is. But yeah, I am a bit of a juggler. Sometimes balls drop because I’m an entrepreneur, and that’s kind of just part of how we all roll. But if I don’t meditate, it’s even worse.


Rich: I am trying to meditate more often, I’m using Head Space, and I was just talking to a friend of mine and he showed me he has 272 days in a row. My all-time record is 2 days, and I’m currently at 2 days right now.


Melinda: It’s really interesting. I think once you get in the habit of doing it, it becomes a necessity. At first it’s so hard. I was one of these Type A people that just couldn’t do it to save my life when I began. And then it just became , like anything, you just get better and better at it. I find now that I just get real inspiration and so many ideas, I have so many insights, and I’m more likely to be in flow in my life and able to prioritize a lot better. It’s very helpful, it’s worth doing for sure.


Rich: I’m going to try again. Alright, so one thing that we didn’t mention in your bio  but I know about you is that you interviewed Steve Jobs, and he said you asked the best questions.


Melinda: He did, I was blown away by that. Way back I was a correspondent on the London Times and I somehow joined that newspaper when I was only 22 years old. I wrote about business, and finance, and mergers and acquisitions, and all sorts of stuff. I got to interview Steve Jobs when he was at NeXT. It was a really interesting time in his life, he had been pushed out of Apple and coming back. And I was this brash upstart, I must have been insufferable. I tended to ask pretty tough questions that get to the heart of that matter, and I think that’s one of the things that makes the algorithms we use right now so good, is being able to interrogate some of the social data and get to the point of what’s actually important.

But yeah, he told me I asked the best questions because most of the questions he was being asked were pretty superficial ones and he thought I had some depth. So that was a nice little feather in my cap. I think I should get the t-shirt made, “Steve Jobs Says I Ask The Best Questions”.


Rich: That would be a good t-shirt, absolutely. So let’s get back to this idea of “return on authenticity”. Now we hear the term “authentic” and “be authentic” all the time, but what does that really mean and how do we ultimately get some sort of return on it?


Melinda: That’s a great question. I mean, first of all “authenticity” has become a little bit of a buzzword – which is unfortunate – because it is really a predictor and an enabler of the best marketing. If there’s no authentic connection between someone who’s selling a product and the person who’s buying it, there’s less likely to be a sale, and moreover there’s less likely to be a loyal fan or repeat buyer let alone an influencer. 

So I want to back up a little bit, because authenticity is part of the puzzle of what really works, especially when you’re marketing on social media. To me it’s the ingredient that allows you to have meaningful connections with your customers. And if you can get that meaningful connection or relationship with your customers, there are so many great things that come to you as a result. Just the loyalty of your fans and customers, potentially viral word of mouth where your happiest customers can bring more people like them to the table just by way of referral. And it’s more likely you have repeat buyers and it drives your customer acquisition much more lower.

I think a good way to think about it is – and obviously all those things result in what you want to see in your bottom line. You asked about the return on authenticity, so it’s this meaningful connection and all the things from that, increased traffic, better conversion rates, lower cost of customer acquisition, increased revenue, increased earnings, increased profit, even company valuation.

So it’s a bit of a process for how you get there, but the formula is pretty simple. Know your “why” and your unique voice, what are you selling and why is it important, why is it different, walk your talk in alignment with that, and develop relationships with your customers. And to do that it’s honestly more than just being authentic, it’s showing that you authentically care about their needs and desires, and their interests and their tastes, and you show up authentically wanting to create value for them and help them.


Rich: Of course. And I don’t mean to belittle the point, but this requires us to actually authentically care about our clients. And I know that everybody says that of course they do, but we’ve all gone through experiences where we do not feel like we are cared for or there’s any sort of connection there.

And there are obviously times – you’re an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur – when you’re stressed out because you need to make payroll or there’s something looming on the horizon that can be tough. Sometimes our authentic selves are not exactly our best selves. How do we balance being 100% authentic, and really doing what might be best for the company?


Melinda: Well that’s a really interesting question. So I’m going to unpack that in a couple of different ways. I think the most important thing – especially if you’re an entrepreneur – is to remember why you do it. So authenticity doesn’t mean that you have to not say you’re having a bad day, but you do need to connect meaningfully with your customers. And here’s why. I just kind of want to back up and lay the landscape now and how the landscape has changed, so we can contextualize the concept.

Consumers are now in control. It used to be that businesses were in control, that businesses dictated, that businesses would advertise and the consumer would choose whether to buy or not. And that’s sort of B2C selling. Now of you can imagine, it’s completely flipped around. It’s C2B. Consumers are sitting back and waiting for brands and businesses and coaches and consultants and solopreneurs and freelancers to “wow” them. They’re just going to sit back and see who comes to them, they have all the power and they expect concierge service. You can blame millennials for this, but this is what is happening.

So if you don’t put the relationship with them first, they telegraph that to all their friends. So when I think of our customers I think of the average business owner. I think of myself in the early stages of my companies and what a tough time that is. You’re really tempted to go fast because you need revenue, you’ve got to close sales, you’ve got to go for it. The temptation is to take the shortest possible route from A to B to close those deals. That leads to a very transactional sale that doesn’t necessarily get you repeat business, it doesn’t really grow your brand, and it doesn’t really set you up for longer term sustainable success.

It’s very tempting, I’ve been there. And you’ve got to do a little bit of that hustle for sure, but you also can go often much faster by going slower. If you actually take the time to really understand who your customers are, get to know them, you will have a much better idea of what their pain points actually are and a much better chance of being able to compete in the crowded marketplace by being truly different. Because at the end of the day if something goes wrong or you have a competitor or a new entrant that comes into the market, if you’ve developed that loyalty with your customers, they’re going to be there for you and they’re going to bring all their friends.

So it’s kind of a more longer term or a longer view, but it’s much more sustainable. And when you walk over that tripwire where suddenly your customers are so happy they’re bringing others customers in on your behalf, you’re not doing the selling anymore, your customers are doing the selling for you. Which is much more powerful to the point of we’re 12 times more likely these days to believe someone that’s not a company, that’s just a third party non-interested referrer. We’re going to believe them more than we’re going to believe you during a sale. So there are so many reasons why it’s really important to do this.


Rich: I’ve heard you mention the word “connection” a few times, and it’s interesting because I see some of these social media consultants on Facebook – for example – and they’re complaining. There are a few people that I see and they seem to do nothing but complain, and I’m guessing that’s their authentic self.

But obviously that’s not necessarily going to be serving any of their customers, so I’m guessing it’s some sort of fine line that you have to walk where you need to be authentic, but at the same time you’re not going to complain about every little thing or share every last bit of information. There’s still a little bit of polish. We live in an Instagram filter world, we still need to put some sort of filter on if I’m understanding you correctly.


Melinda: Let’s go back and really define what we mean by authenticity. What we mean by authenticity is a number of things. First of all, “ROA” is kind of a cute term, so it’s kind of like saying I’ll be authentic and say that’s a marketing term. It’s turning ROI on it’s head. But while we’re talking about what is being authentic for a brand or a business, in the old days before there was social media and a lot of technology, sales were all driven by relationship always.

Imagine you had a bunch of salespeople, they dusted off their best suits and shined their shoes, got into their car and drove someplace, and spent a lot of time, money and investment in developing relationships with customers. So technology comes along and disrupts all of that. And the proverbial “baby out with the bathwater”, people want to forget that selling is still about a relationship. People buy people, they don’t buy from brands, they buy from people where they feel an emotional connection. People buy from people they know, that they like, and that they trust. So the only reason to really be authentic is to find that true, emotional connection with somebody.

So think about how you make a friend in real life. In real life you find something you have in common, and often it’s a shared vulnerability or a shared challenge. It doesn’t mean you have to hang out all your dirty laundry, but it does mean you have to find something in common with that person where you resonate.

So when you go on social media as a brand or business, my first thing we always do with all our clients is ask what’s your “why”. Why do you even do what you do? What inspires you? We were working with a client who sells a barbell on Amazon where their are a million barbells, so how was he going to stand any chance of standing out. We took a couple hours of deep diving into his story and it turns out he’s a cancer survivor, and he used this particular barbell as part of his workout routine and swears it was a really big part of his recovery. But the main reason he wanted to sell it was it was part of an early suite of products that he wants to sell to help people prevent and recover from cancer.

So that’s a mission, that’s something that’s really part of his personal story or his reason why he wants to sell barbells. So when you talk about your own personal story or your journey or why you’re there, people can connect with you and see you, you’re not just some faceless person. So that’s just a really big part of how we connect emotionally. But you’re right, I do see a lot of people going on Facebook and thinking that authenticity means that you have to bore everyone to death with everything that went wrong and the person in the line at Starbucks that pissed you off, and that’s not really all that inspiring.

You’re just really looking to get in touch with your own “why” and understand and listen to your customers so that they will listen to you.


Rich: Right. So authenticity is not necessarily about being naked in front of the crowd. What it really is – if I’m hearing what you’re saying – is that you need to understand your “why”, why are you doing what you’re doing. Because otherwise, you are a commodity.

And then, what are your customers suffering from so that you can really understand them, and does your product or service help them in some way, that can become a connection and so they might care about your product once they know that they care about you and you care about them.


Melinda: Yeah. And because they have all of the power, they’re only going to buy from someone that they know truly and genuinely cares about them.


Rich: So you mentioned this gentleman who had the barbell that he was bringing to market, so let’s bring it down to ground levels. So I’ve got my “why”, I know definitely why I’m doing this, I understand what my customers are looking for, how do I actually use some of the social media platforms that are there to tell my story? Do you have any strategic or tactical things that you can share with us that maybe you’ve done with other clients about how you put together a Facebook campaign, or what kind of things should you be doing on Instagram to share your story and reach those people that you’re trying to help?


Melinda: So it’s a mix of things. This is a great question, thank you for asking that. So it’s a mix of things and it’s not necessarily one size fits all, but there are some best practices. A lot of it is just not being “salesy”. And what I mean by that is not going on social media all the time and saying “Me, me, me, me, look at me, look at me, buy this, buy this”. If you’re just entirely one sided about yourself, it’s seen as spam.

Now you have to do that some of the time, but not all of the time. So think about why people are there and understand the context of what people are doing when they are on social media. It’s not Amazon or eBay or a Shopify site, it’s social media. They’re there to talk with each other, find friends, and meet with their friends.

However, 92% of all purchasing decisions are actually made as a result of social conversations, so there’s a bit of a conundrum there.  So it means that you have to go into this as a conversation on being really helpful and  sharing content that other people care about, asking people questions, sparking conversation, being in the conversation, being helpful, getting to know your customers, showing up and just being interesting, creating content that’s interesting to them, and that sort of thing. When you develop or cultivate people, there’s a certain point where you say, “Hey, can I do business with you?” And maybe you tell them you have a special offer that they may be interested in, and you do that in a really non-pushy, salesy way.

So it’s just a different way of doing it. There’s a great book about thsi by Gary Vaynerchuk where he writes exactly about this. It’s kind if like, “give, give, give, give, give, give, ask.”


Rich: Right.


Melinda: And now I can almost hear everyone who’s listening to this now saying this sounds like a lot of work. And it is, so this is a reason why we have a whole bunch of hacks around this so it’s not much work.

If you have to personalize conversations to hundreds of thousands of people, there’s no way you’re going to be able to do that, especially as a small business owner. You just don’t have the time, there’s no way. Not everyone can be Gary Vaynerchuk and be living and breathing 24/7 on social media.

So what we do is we help people find who are their prequalified most likely leads by virtue of what they’re sharing with each other on social media. So we’ll actually find and qualify customers and use our technology to do that, but there’s also hacks and ways you do that with the naked eye and just using search functionality on all the different social networks to find people like the types of people you think are going to be receptive to what you do. Or you can use a tech solution like us that just gets you there really much faster. 

So you have all your target lists, you have who they are on Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat or Facebook or wherever, and you start interacting with them. Now the other thing that we do that’s really important is within that we pick the most influential of those people. So say you had 100,000 prequalified people, let’s go back to the barbell client. And maybe these people are cancer survivors or they know someone who survived cancer or they’re fighting cancer – we know a lot from their social conversations – or they’re just really into preventative medicine, or they just really like to work out and don’t have time to go to the gym. You think of all the differnet things that may qualify somebody.

Now of all those people, say we find  100,000 people and you segment that down into why they would want to buy that barbell. And you start to think about what your campaign is going to be, how are you going to engage those people around what they’ve already said interests them. Moreover, you pick the ones that are the most influential by virtue of how they show up on social. So some people are real connectors, they’re real viral and sharing and retweeting and commenting, and they have this really kind of amplification that we score and track so we can tell how influential they are.

So imagine this, we once found 10 women that drove more than 9 million other women to an Amazon shopping cart in 4 weeks of Twitter conversations.


Rich: That’s pretty impressive. And I’m sure we’ve all seen result like that, maybe not that dramatic, but we’ve definitely seen that some of the people in our circles seem to be able to really engage and motivate a community. 


Melinda: Exactly, but here’s the thing. When they do engage and motivate the community, you have to really show up and thank them. You want to keep those people really close to you, they’re really valuable. So for all the people who are listening to this thinking it’s overwhelming, not really, you pick a couple of people a week. Say you’re a small business and you’re just starting out or your product is new, pick 5-10 people a week that you’re going to get to know on social media, and really go at it as if you are making friends.

Maybe it’s like if you’re doing consultant sales like enterprise software that are longer term sales, this is kind of similar, I guess. So really work with those people, make them feel really special, make them feel publicly special by really rewarding them on social media, and then from there they’re going to start to do the work for you. They’re going to say you made them feel so good and everyone is going to think you’re a nice guy, and it’s literally that. It works, it works over and over again for all our clients.


Rich: Very cool. And I’ve definitely seen that, even without the software. You definitely notice people in your community that seem to be going above and beyond. And thanking them either verbally or in some other way goes a long way and it becomes a virtuous circle.


Melinda: Yeah. And also one of the things that really is effective too, is really giving people the surprise of just over delivering or just delivering a ridiculous amount of value to a few people. And then everyone is like, “Wow, that company is really awesome.” So you may make one person super happy, but that person is going to be so happy they’re going to telegraph that out to 1,000 other people. So you just now in essence made 1,000 people happy and showed 1,000 people that you really care.


Rich: That makes a lot of sense.


Melinda: So if you’re an entrepreneur you know about leverage. So all this is is leverage. You want every action to a multiplicity of impact so you’re not just going one on one. And that’s the beauty of social media, because you can really scale. So it takes a little bit of time to lay the groundwork, but again it’s like going slower and you’ll go much faster in the end and really lay the groundwork for a sustaining business.


So like if you had a product – say for Amazon sellers – and you’re planning more products and you need to grow your brand, you need to do social because of the algorithm with Google because they’re also taking that into account.


Rich: That makes sense. Melinda this has been great and I’m sure a lot of people would like to dig a little bit deeper to understand who you are, where can we send them?


Melinda: You can always just grab me. So if anyone emails me at, I will get those emails. Also just on our homepage at, anyone who really wants to sign up for a really quick consult with me and see if we can help you in any way or has any follow up questions, we’re happy to do that as well. And then of course you can find me on Facebook, melinda.wittstock on Facebook, and Verifeed is up there as well. On Twitter there’s a squatter on the Verifeed name, so you can get me at @veriate. So you can find me, I’m all over the place. It’s pretty hard not to find me, actually.


Rich: Sounds great. And I hope you get access to the Twitter feed and get rid of that squatter.


Melinda: I know, right? It’s funny, I spend so much time on all our client’s Twitter that I realized I’m not doing enough if it for myself. So funnily enough – especially with female entrepreneurs – we put everyone else ahead of ourselves. I just finally got to the point where I said, “Wait a minute, I should be using my own thing on me.” So everybody who follows me will be seeing me doing a lot more of that because I really want to get a lot of women entrepreneurs in particular engaged in my book. I’ve already interviewed 100 women and I’m writing this book that I wish I had when I was starting out.     

So any female entrepreneurs who are listening, by all means get in touch with me because I’m creating a whole movement around that. We’re going to totally change the way business is played. 


Rich: Sounds great. Melinda, thank you very much for your time today, I appreciate it.


Melinda: It was great, I had a good time. Thank you, I hope it was helpful.


Show Notes:

Check out Melinda’s website to see more of what she’s doing to help businesses be authentic with their audience. And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, creator of the Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference (get your tickets now!), and author of a new book, The Lead Machine. He loves helping businesses fine tune their strategies for digital marketing in the areas of search, social and mobile.

The post How to Get a Return on Authenticity in Social Media – @veriate appeared first on Agents Of Change Conference.

What No One Tells You About Running a Sweepstakes

What No One Tells You About Running a Sweepstakes

When I was 18, my dad gave me my first business book. He said, “If I can teach you at 18 what I learned at 36 you will be way ahead of me.” He was right, but what he didn’t anticipate was the speed at which business and marketing would change. It’s no longer enough to read business books. I subscribe to a wide variety of blogs and newsletters so I can keep abreast of the latest ideas and trends. There are a lot of great articles giving you social sweepstakes marketing ideas, but as I have combined my business background with my hobby, I spot pitfalls in giveaways most marketers miss. Here is what you don’t know about running a sweepstakes via any social media channel.

Everyone Else is Doing it.
PITFALL #1 Not adding giveaways into your annual marketing plan.

Sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways that are tied to your brand, product, local or national event, or milestone is a fun and dynamic way to engage with your customers, fans, and followers.

Continue reading "What No One Tells You About Running a Sweepstakes" at Maximize Social Business by clicking here.

Learn While You Sleep: 10 Steps to Remember Facts

Introduction: Learn While You Sleep: 10 Steps to Remember Facts

For those who frequently read this blog, you know that I have an interest in learning and memory. Learning and memory specialist James D. Weinland developed 10 steps to remember a particular fact. In the 1960 book, Learn While You Sleep: The Theory and Practice of Sleep-Learning, the author David Curtis reported:

“In defining memory, James D. Weinland writes that there is no sharp dividing line between learning and memory, since all learning is based on memory. He makes time the one distinction, in that memory is learning that persists. A memory so ingrained that it requires no effort at all is a habit. Memory is a function of the mind, and greater intelligence and better memory usually occur together.”

In previous blog posts I have stressed the importance of learning for a reason and not for the sake of learning. I have also emphasized that when you learn you shouldn’t do so in a vacuum, but connect it to what you already know. This is paramount, especially when you are working toward becoming an expert in a particular field.

When you read the 10 steps for remembering facts, you will also notice that the information applies to when you are reading books. To thrive in workplace today, employees have to constantly update skills. Frequent readers of this blog are learning the 10 skills needed for future jobs, as reported by the World Economic Forum. These steps are useful in learning those key skills.

Have you read?

Summary: Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave
Future Jobs Demand: Skill Up, the Future is Here


Learn While You Sleep

Learn While You Sleep: 10 steps to remember a particular fact:

  • What’s the value in remembering the fact? How will it benefit you? Try to see its significance, try to be interested in it.
  • Focus on the fact, be sure you have it right.
  • Be sure you fully understand it.
  • Intend to remember it.
  • Be confident you can remember it.
  • Involve the ego if possible.
  • Associate it with other related facts. What do you already know that you can relate to this new piece of information?
  • File it in its proper place in your memory system.
  • Nothing exists in a vacuum, see the fact as a part of a larger whole.
  • If there is a basis for doing so, learn it as part of a small group of related facts.

(Source: Learn While You Sleep; The Theory and Practice of Sleep Learning, David Curtis, 1960)

The 10 steps are simple, yet profound. I have added to some of the steps based on my experience and what I know. To learn and retain any information, you stand a better chance if you are motivated and have an interest in learning the new information. It’s also good to evaluate, interpret and analyze the information, all critical steps in problem solving.

Update: First Published September 2010

Have you read?

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

The Art of Invention

Creative Problem Solving

How to Read to Problem Solve

Do You Have This Critical Workplace Skill?


Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 DaysMind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 DaysLearn While You SleepLearn While You SleepLearning and MemoryLearning and MemoryLearning and Memory: From Brain to BehaviorLearning and Memory: From Brain to BehaviorLearning & MemoryLearning & MemoryUnlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More ProductiveUnlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive

The post Learn While You Sleep: 10 Steps to Remember Facts appeared first on The Invisible Mentor.

Hipperson takes on chairman role at Immedia Group

HippersonImmedia Group, the AIM-listed digital audio content company headed by DJ Bruno Brookes, has appointed former DM agency chief Tim Hipperson as non-executive chairman to boost its leadership team.
Hipperson, who has been working for the company in a consultancy role since April and has carried out a strategic review of the business, succeeds Geoff Howard-Spink, the former co-founder of advertising agency Lowe Howard-Spink.
In a statement on the London Stock Exchange, Immedia described Hipperson as an “innovative and award-winning business leader with specialist knowledge in digital technology, data, content development, media and mobile”.
The group added: “He has a proven track record of helping companies develop and deliver innovative business plans, mergers, acquisitions, business change programmes and significant growth having held CEO positions within WPP, Interpublic Group and Publicis Groupe and more recently as Interim CEO at Weve, the jointly funded mobile venture invested in by O2, EE and Vodafone.”
Hipperson started his career at the Database Group in 1990, then in 1995 became data planning director at Tequila. He went on to hold senior roles at McCann Relationship Marketing, DraftFCB, RMG and G2 Joshua and ZenithOptimedia.
He now has his own consultancy business, Morph Management, running strategic business reviews, business change and M&A projects. He also has a number of non-exec and investor roles in marketing-related businesses, and is also chairman of Fearlessly Frank.
Chief executive Bruno Brookes said: “I would like to welcome Tim as Immedia’s new chairman; he brings with him extensive experience and will provide strategic leadership as we continue to develop and grow our business.
“I would also like to thank Geoff for his valuable contribution to the business over many years and wish him well for the future.”
On LinkedIn, Hipperson said: “I am very pleased to be joining Bruno and the team at Immedia to deliver the future growth plans we have defined for the company, and to welcoming Immedia to the Morph portfolio of businesses.”

Related stories
Adland courts yet another DM chief
Hipperson to net Weve interim job
Hipperson exits ZenithOptimedia role
Hipperson to join ZenithOptimedia
Hipperson exits G2, and WPP again

The post Hipperson takes on chairman role at Immedia Group appeared first on DecisionMarketing.

Setting Your Customer Engagement Emails on Automation Using Kissmetrics

Human attention spans are embarrassingly bad.

I’d have to be lucky to get just 5% of people to read this entire post. Most probably won’t get past the intro, so I’ll get to the point:

In this age of infinite distraction, brands that can keep their customers engaged with the product are bound for long-term success.

Fads come and go (by definition) and companies have short lifespans. Here one day, closed (or acquired) the next.

Brands that will succeed are the ones that keep customers engaged and re-purchasing.

Companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon succeed, in part, because they keep users engaged. Netflix keeps producing great content, which keeps people coming back. Facebook has a great, addictive product that billions of people use everyday, and Amazon has made billions off keeping customers to come back and make more (and more) purchases.

To keep customers engaged, they’ll need to be informed on what they’re missing without you. To do that, you can send behaviorally-targeted emails towards the relevant group of users.

Here’s how to spot your unengaged users, and get them re-engaged. And this is all done with Kissmetrics.

Just What the Heck is an Unengaged User?

Before we dive into the hows, we’ll first need to know what an unengaged user looks like.

There are active users and there are engaged users.

Active means they have logged in. Even if they login, stare the screen for a few minutes, and leave they can be considered active.

An engaged user is one who uses the product in a meaningful way. They use features, comment on statuses, send messages, and share photos.

Each product will have different conditions of what makes an engaged user, but one thing is for sure – they need to be using the product and interacting with it, not just logging in.

We’ll use a SaaS company as an example in this post. And we’ll set our definitions of unengaged and engaged customers:

  • Engaged – Has used at least 3 features 4 different times in the last 7 days.
  • Unengaged – Has not used any feature the past 14 days.

Now that we have our definitions, we’ll monitor our unengaged users using Kissmetrics Populations and then target them using Kissmetrics Campaigns.

Monitoring With Populations

Populations was created for growth/marketing and product teams to help them keep track of their growth cycle. With just a few clicks you’ll be able to monitor the KPIs that matter to your company.

For this post, we have to goal of shrinking our unengaged user base. So we’ll create Population that tracks the users that have not used any feature in the last 14 days.

Let’s see how many users are in this Population:

So we have our Population in place. Since these are our unengaged users, we’ll want to reduce the number of people in this Population. Let’s take our first step by creating a Campaign.

Send Behavior-Based Email Messages Using Campaigns

Campaigns is one of my favorite features in Kissmetrics. Once you find a segment of users that need to be nudged – whether it’s toward conversion, using features, logging in, etc. – you pull up Campaigns and create the perfect email to nudge them.

There are a number of things you can use Campaigns for. In this case, we’re using it to get our unengaged users in the product and using the features.

In Campaigns, we’ll create a new email message:

And we’ll target the people in the Population we previously created:

We’ll then set our conversion goal. This means that we determine if the Campaign is successful if the users do a specified event. For us, that event will be Used Feature.

We’ll then track the results in Campaigns, where it’ll say how effective the Campaign has been. Here are the results from a different Campaign:

And we can’t forget about Populations. Once we have our Campaign running, we’ll check the Population to see if it’s growing (bad) or shrinking (good).

Minor Interruption

Prefer to just watch our promo videos for Campaigns and Populations? Just hit play below – let’s start with Populations:


And Campaigns:



No matter how sticky your product, there will always be a group of unengaged users.

Even the ultra-addicting Facebook gets unengaged users.

And how do they bring them back?

Through emails.

Don’t believe me? Just get off Facebook for a few days (if you can) and you’ll eventually receive the barrage of emails that come like clockwork.

New friend suggestions, did you see person’s comment person’s status, person added a new photo, and you have 99 notifications, 5 pokes, and 3 new friend requests.

All designed to get you sucked into back and using Facebook once again.

Facebook (and countless other companies) send these emails because they work. Everyone has email, no one ignores their inbox, and well-written emails convert.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

How to Add an Email Subscription Form to Facebook

How to Add an Email Subscription Form to Facebook

Having a website and social media accounts are both necessary to get your business noticed. To stay in touch with potential clients email blasts and newsletters are your best avenue of communication. You have a sign-up form on your website, but where else can you add your subscription form to stay in touch and generate leads via email? Social Media!

Making it easy for Facebook visitors to sign up for your website email list. People like easy.

Giving people an easy way to subscribe to your email list on Facebook, dramality increases the likelihood they will subscribe. I’m going to walk you through the steps of where and how to add subscription forms to each of those accounts.

Tip: If you open a window with your social media account and keep this window open, you can view them side-by-side. It will be easy to follow along and accomplish this task.

Continue reading "How to Add an Email Subscription Form to Facebook" at Maximize Social Business by clicking here.