BlueBird Dictionary Posts

Every day we use certain terms over and over, often without being able to explain what they mean. As a Social Media coach I am often in situations where I have to explain terms that seem common to me but are not clear to others.

I started a series of blog posts explaining some of these words.

I call this project the BlueBird Dictionary

In the list below I share the posts I have already created and some of the words I am planning to write about. Help me out!

Suggest a new word
Vote for your favourite post
Add a note, a resource or a picture

Thanks!

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BlueBird Dictionary

List of blog posts in the BlueBird Dictionary series. Here you can find the words that I explained already and the ones I am planning to write about. Feel free to leave me a note with a link or a resource. I would be trilled if you could suggest a word for me to define and it would be great if you would vote the words up that you are most interested in.

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BlueBird Dictionary Archives – BlueBird Business Consulting

BlueBird Dictionary | BlueBird Dictionary Archives - BlueBird Business Consulting

Even the definition of “viral” in the dictionary shows the two main areas the word is used: […]

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The Day Dexter The Rat Went Viral

BlueBird Dictionary | The Day Dexter The Rat Went Viral

We all have heard the words Viral video/ Viral content / Make something go viral / The _____ went viral

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Algotrithm – BlueBird Dictionary

BlueBird Dictionary | Algotrithm – BlueBird Dictionary

Algorithm is a word that is used widely – but what does it mean?

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Organic Reach

BlueBird Dictionary | Organic Reach

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Blog

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Podcast

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URL / Domain

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Millenial

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BlueBird

My Interview with Sean Smith

The digital media space is full of all kinds of people. This blog series celebrates those that stand out. Those that do things differently, those that reinvent “the box”.

On the blog today is Sean Smith also known as ThatSocialMediaGuy @SeanSmithCR. He is a Social Media Coach based in Campbell River on Vancouver Island BC, Canada.

To some Sean is better known as the head behind the Dear BC Ferries accounts. Sean is also chief Coach wrangler for the Social Media Camp conference in Victoria and many other things.

Sean does something few of us social media people focus on.


He teaches high school programs.

Here are some highlights of what we talked about:

[2:30] Let’s start with your definition of “Social Media Coach” – fair warning, I might use it for one of my BlueBird Dictionary posts 🙂

Sean is actually changing his focus to Social Media Educator because of the high school program he is teaching. We also talked about our definition of “coach”.

[5:35] You go to high schools and have great success with your programs. Please tell us some of your experiences.

Sean reports that the use of Social Media by teenagers is much different than we think. He says that the way the tools are used varies from school to school and is influenced by the socio-economic makeup of the student population.

Sean is also teaching the teachers. He has met some incredible youngsters including one that is already running a successful business.

[8:52] “Helping kids get a grasp of what their social footprint is and how to use it. And then watching them grow and understand how that works and how to be successful with it”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Watching the first kids get jobs because of a really good @LinkedIn profile was awesome [email protected]” quote=”Watching the first kids get jobs because of a really good LinkedIn profile was awesome “]

[9:35] Having an active social media presence is increasingly important for job seekers. Do you think your students are aware of this?

Even most adults don’t realize how the social footprint is important and visible. Even for scholarships, jobs, and university admissions. The social footprint is replacing “the first interview”.

[12:09] I see many being so scared of posting the wrong thing that they stay away from social media altogether. Do you see that trend?

This is where Sean sees some of the eye openers in people. People don’t understand that the workforce is looking at the social footprint. If they see no profile it’s no longer the case of “oh they are very cognizant of their reputation” it’s “Either they have something to hide” or “They are technically inept”. Now this reputation protection has turned into a detrimental thing.

[14:03] Sean’s own use of Social Media has changed now that he is more aware of the impact of his actions on social media.

[15:52] “I fixed bullying because I got these kids thinking about the impact of their actions online”

[20:40] Sean meets parents that have been careful that their kids have no online presence. Their eyes are opened when they see that their kids are online if they like it or not.

[22:00] Sean is writing a book called “The Digital Playground” to help educators to carry his message to more places.

Over to you: Please leave a comment if….

  • You have a question for either Sean or myself
  • You want to suggest the next person for an interview
  • You just want to tell me what you think about this 🙂

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Viral – BlueBird Dictionary

Even the definition of “viral” in the dictionary shows the two main areas the word is used:

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In this BlueBird Dictionary post, I want to look at the online for of the word.

We all have heard the words

  • Viral video
  • Viral content
  • Make something go viral
  • The _____ went viral

[clickToTweet tweet=”The day Dexter the rat went viral: ” quote=”The Day Dexter the rat went viral:”]

Let’s see what that means and if we can make something “go viral”

viral marketing imageA piece of content goes viral when it is shared over multiple layers. For example, you create a Facebook post that is so engaging that someone shares it to their own timeline. Their friends see it and some share it with their friends and so on. In some cases, this can go on over many levels and reach millions of people.

This result is obviously very desirable. We should always aim to create content that gets shared to expose it to as many readers as possible. But there are people that claim the can “make” something go viral. How does that work?

Can you make content go viral?

Viral content needs several ingredients:

good content + great presentation + an interested audience + perfect timing = chance of going viral.

Let me tell you the story of Dexter the Rat to explain

My Friend Jayne has a very big heart. She volunteers for our local animal shelter and regularly fosters pets until they can go to a new home or while they recover from medical problems. She has become an expert in caring for pet rats. She is actively involved in rat-related Facebook groups and other sites.

One of her first rats was Dexter. The late Dexter was quite precocious and would not eat Broccoli. One day Jayne  took her smartphone and filmed her attempts to feed him Broccoli.

Here is the video – it will put a smile on your face:

By the time I’m writing this article this version of the “Dexter the rat hat hates broccoli” has already been viewed 1.7 Million times.

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Jayne posted the video to her personal Facebook profile. The next morning the video had already been seen by thousands of people.

Jayne called me to tell me about this and ask my advice on how to monetize this success in order to raise money for animal rescue charities. She ended up uploading the video to YouTube where it became a sensation as well. She was contacted by a media company that helped her monetize the video and she raised more money for the charities than she hoped for.

But the success of the Dexter video was not an accident!

While Jayne did not produce the video with the thought of producing an amazing video she had done everything right:

  1. The video was short (30 seconds) and very funny
  2. You never see the whole rat so people that don’t like rats aren’t offended
  3. The video is authentic and not over-produced. We feel like we are standing right there watching.
  4. Jayne had built a network of influencers. Her friends in the support groups had become Facebook friends and had shared the video with their friends who likely consisted partly of other rat lovers that are not connected with Jayne directly.

Every one of these factors contributed to the sensational result of the video. Sometimes content seems to take off by accident. Most of the time it’s a result of long-term planning and influencer programs.

“Making something go viral” is hard work that requires a lot of preparation and a long-term strategy. Or…. you are just lucky 😀 .

Have you ever have content go viral?

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featured image licensed at Depositphotos

What is an Algorithm? BlueBird Dictionary

Algorithm is a word that is used widely – but what does it mean?

Webster’s Dictionary defines it like this:

Full Definition of algorithm

  1. :  a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation; broadly:  a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer

algorithmicˌal-gə-ˈrith-mik\adjective
algorithmically \-mi-k(ə-)lē\adverb
[clickToTweet tweet=”An algorithm is like a recipe [email protected]” quote=”An algorithm is like a recipe [email protected]”]
At WhatIs.com I also found an interesting piece of history:

An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word derives from the name of the mathematician, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, who was part of the royal court in Baghdad and who lived from about 780 to 850. Al-Khwarizmi’s work is the likely source for the word algebra as well.

A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.

If you would like to learn more about algorithms and their importance for computing I suggest watching this video:

[clickToTweet tweet=”This is certainly not a math blog 🙂 ” quote=”This is certainly not a math blog :-)”]

What do algorithms have to do with content marketing?

Aside from the obvious use in computing, algorithms are playing an increasingly important role in sorting the flood of information that is shared on social networks.

The most important one is used by Facebook to sort the posts by our friends and pages – sometimes called Edgerank. But more recently other social networking sites have followed suit with similar models. Even Instagram and Twitter have joined the algorithm game, much to the dismay of many users.

Before I explain algorithms further, let’s talk about why we need them:

Social Media has enabled us all to be broadcasters. In the beginning this was great and we could easily scan and sort the information that was shared with us.

Then came a time when we started to feel stressed by the number of new updates that flooded in. I remember teaching my Facebook students not to post more than once or twice a day in order not to overwhelm followers. When we did our Twitter chat #okchat we regularly got complaints from followers that our updates were all they could see.

In this current phase the typical Social Media user simply gets offered too many updates to comfortably sort out the noise. This matters because Social Media platforms (like search engines) are in competition. We will tend to use the platform that is the most comfortable to use.

But in this effort to sort the social web for us, the platforms and their algorithms are less than perfect. A mathematical formula can not totally replace the human mind. We get frustrated by updates we missed and often it seems like our updates get either drowned out by too much noise or suppressed by algorithms.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Algorithms are also manipulated to make more money but that’s a topic for another post.” quote=”Yes, algorithms are also manipulated to make more money but that’s a topic for another post.”]

Edgerank – the Facebook algorithm

Facebook was one of the first popular social networks that introduced an algorithm to sort the flood of information and they called it Edgerank.

[box]I wrote a post about Edgerank in 2012 that is still relevant[/box]

EDGERANK CONCEPT handwritten with chalk on a blackboardThere are many factors in today’s algorithms that help sort out what we are supposed to see. And of course some of these are quite clearly geared to reach the social media company’s monetary goals.

Everything we do online can be tracked and analyzed. Facebook looks at your last 50 activities. If you have liked an update, if you commented, how long you spent on reading a post or if you scrolled past it right away. From this user-profile the algorithm calculates what content to show you next.

If you write a post on your profile or your page Facebook looks at your audiences preferences (weight), the topic of your post, if it’s a picture, video, link…(affinity) and when it was posted. New updates tend to be more up-to-date and will be shown more.

Other examples of the use of algorithms:

Search results on Google are based on algorithms in order to give us the best search result possible. This algorithm is tweaked on a regular basis in order to improve, change with user behavior and be harder to guess. The actual Google search is a bigger secret than the Coke recipe 🙂 .

Another one is Netflix – the algorithm that suggests your next movie to watch is one of the biggest factors of the success of the streaming network.

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What is Clickbait? – BlueBird Dictionary

It seems unclear when the word “clickbait” was first used. It was officially recognized by Webster’s Dictionary in 2015. Webster’s claims it was first used in 2010 but Gizmodo traces the practice back to 1888.

Language is a living and evolving organism and new words enter our daily vocabulary all the time. Often we use words that we might not fully understand but because they are used so often we are too shy to ask.

Clickbait is such a term.

NOUN

informal

(On the Internet) content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page:  these recent reports of the show’s imminent demise are hyperbolic clickbait [AS MODIFIER]: a clickbait article
On Wikipedia I found this definition:
Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines or eye-catching thumbnail pictures to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
I see clickbait as “false advertising” because the title or headline of a piece of online content promises one thing and what you get is something else.
Often we see this in headlines and Social Media posts that seem really interesting. When we click on the associated link it turns out the content is about something totally different.

Clickbait is not to be confused with awesome headlines

Some clickbait can be unintentional and caused by someone’s attempt to write an awesome headline. You could argue there is a grey area – some headlines are a little sensationalist and the content you are seeing has some relevance to it. This is a danger in writing headlines and in today’s flood of content it is almost understandable that some people go overboard. Similar to spam there might be cases where we see differences of opinion.

Clickbait can be dangerous

The motivation behind clickbait is mostly greed. Unscrupulous advertisers want to seduce us and will lead us to a website we would never have visited to sell us something we certainly don’t need.
But often these websites also include nasty malware. Malware is a piece of software that can get into your computer and do damage or even spy out personal information. Check out my friend Cate’s column about how to protect yourself.
I still fall for it 🙂 every once in a while I click a headline that sounds too good to be true and get caught on a spammy website. Fortunately I regularly scan for viruses and malware so nothing bad has ever happened.
If you are ever wondering if a story you see on Facebook is clickbait you can check Snopes or Hoaxslayer.
Have you ever fallen for clickbait? How did it feel?
Would you like to learn more about a term you see or hear all the time?

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Introducing Facebook Live and Instant Articles

We has so much fun with the first BlueBird Happy Hour Facebook Live session. If you missed, it you can watch it here or on my Facebook Page.

I talked about two relatively new Facebook features and how to set them up.

Disclaimer: These features are “rolling out” meaning that they might not be available to you yet.

Facebook Live

After rolling out to celebrities and public figures at first, Facebook Live is rolling out to everyone now. I currently have it on my Facebook Page but not on my Profile yet.

We have seen a lot of development with live video tools in the last year making live streaming video one of the most exciting features in the social media world right now. I think the best thing about this trend is that it gives us the ability to add live video on the fly. I’m sure some of you will read this and cringe. Because any time we get these tools there are bound to be people that don’t manage to produce excellent videos. Let’s give it a chance and I’m sure we will learn with whom we want to spend our time.

I decided to relax and just dive into Facebook live – I hope you follow along and tell me what you like!

[clickToTweet tweet=”I decided to relax and just dive into #Facebook live. @BlueBirdBC” quote=”I decided to relax and just dive into Facebook live”]

How to get on Facebook live:

As mentioned, the tool is rolling out meaning that you might not have it yet. If you do, you will see this in your apps post options:

Facebook Live Screenshot

The other option is to use the stand alone Facebook Live “Mentions app” – you can download it here:

You will have to verify your Page and/or Profile before you can broadcast but the Mentions app helps with the process. In my experience it takes a while to process the verification this way but I’ll be patient. Right now I’m happy I can broadcast from the Pages app.

As you can see Facebook Live is designed to work with your mobile device. This has the advantage that you don’t need any extra camera or audio equipment. You can just take out your phone and start broadcasting. I did this last week when I had a spontaneous idea and it worked great.

Please keep in mind that video is using a lot of data so you should be on wifi or have a generous data plan.

How to use Facebook Live:

As mentioned above, as soon as you have the option, you can start broadcasting.

The app asks you to set a title for your session and off you go. The people that liked your Facebook page will get a notification and can tune in, comment or leave one of the new reactions.

My Tip: Practice makes perfect. Think about a few things you want to talk about if you are not a natural speaker and play around with it. You don’t have to fill an hour – this is no webinar.

But at the end you have a recording of your video you can share on your Facebook Page or even on your blog.

What I learned in my first Facebook live session:

  1. You can’t edit a video on Facebook. Beyond changing the title, description and thumbnail image you can’t edit a video once it is on your page. And since you can’t download the video and upload the edited version without using tricks I could not edit out the first few minutes. I realize that being able to edit the video would take away the spontaneity of live video. I just need to be better prepared next time.
  2. Light and background. Like with every video having proper light and a clean background is crucial.
  3. Remember to hold your camera in portrait format or you will be a sideways talking head!

 

Facebook Instant Articles:

As Facebook is working on dominating the time we spend on the internet it discovered that many articles we users like to read load rather slowly. This is especially important considering that over 80% of users access Facebook from their mobile device. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a standard that would allow for faster and more reliable delivery of these articles?

Voilà – Facebook Instant Articles was born 🙂 .

Fortunately, Facebook worked with Automattic, the makers of WordPress, on a Plugin that helps with the setup. You have to add a open graph tag in your header, connect a working Facebook app and verify your RSS stream. If this sounds really intimidating to you it might be a good idea to contact your favourite web developer (check if they have done it before) or check out our WordPress Garage to get a quote.

However, there is lots of help available on the Facebook side and with a little bit of patience, you can do it even without programming skills.

Here are some advantages – please feel free to add more:

 

Social Media Adoption, Challenges for Organizations

When English is your second language and you are writing a blog with an international audience based in Canada, do you spell it “Organization” or “Organisation”? I checked several resources and discovered that “partly as a result of our historical links with Britain and our proximity to the United States, Canadian spelling has tended to waver between the forms used in these two countries, so that, to this day, there is no clearly established Canadian standard.” Public Works and Government Services Canada.


While more and more businesses have realized that Social Media networks are important places to connect with their customers, many organizations are still struggling with the question of how to handle it, whether they are non profit organizations, franchises or even organizations serving members of regulated professions.

In the last few years I have personally observed organizations doing heavy damage to the local efforts of their local volunteer efforts by implementing generic social media methods. In other cases I have been able to help by developing strategies that fit the structure, goals and budget of the organization.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Sadly the most common approach we still see is the ‘Ostrich approach’ to #SocialMedia” @BlueBirdBC quote=”Sadly the most common approach we still see is the ‘Ostrich approach’ of not doing anything and hoping the whole question of Social Media use will go away.”]

 

 

social media penetration Canada 2015
http://www.statista.com/statistics/284426/canada-social-network-penetration/

World wide there are more mobile devices than toothbrushes.
96% of Canadians have access to the Internet.
Of these Internet users over 60% are regular users of Social Media networks, meaning we log in more than once a month.

Given these numbers there is no question that our societies have shifted towards interacting and connecting online.

There is no organization that can ignore this shift.

 

social media growth by age
http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/

It is easy to assume that Social Media activities would be largely directed at the younger generation. If you look at this historic growth chart you can easily see that the fastest growing group of users is the age group of 65+ Seniors. And it is safe to assume that this use is not limited to catching up with grandchildren.

Social Networking has replaced porn in time spent on the Internet.

Different Social Media tools serve different audiences. Worldwide Facebook is the largest Social network but Instagram is the fastest growing network under younger users.

The time spent on social networks is rapidly growing. And over 80% of users are accessing social media sites on mobile devices.

Social media users are cultivating social connections online. Contrary to common perception the number of people we are connecting with on a regular basis is also increasing.

Just like email revolutionized business communications, mobile devices and social media tools are now becoming the preferred communication channels between customers and organizations.

[clickToTweet tweet=”To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach [email protected]” quote=”To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach ~ Brian Solis”]

Along with the fact that social networking has become an integral part of our lives, the role of social media tools has also changed. Customer service and information functions have risen in importance while marketing messages are getting less attention.

To succeed in reaching this connected audience we have to become part of it.

The Future of Social Media.

Consider the changes in society related to technology over the last 20 years.  There is no indication that this trend will slow down any time soon. Technology and social networking will continue to become more integral to our lives. The next wave of this revolution is already beginning with networked devices appearing in our houses and businesses.

For business and organizations the next logical step is a further dismantling of traditional silos and a change to much more intense “customer-centric” business models.

The Challenges for Organizations are:

  • Added communication channels
  • Increased demand on staff or volunteer hours
  • Reputation management
  • Changed requirements for branding and messaging
  • Supplying content and guidance to local branches
  • Training needs

The most common mistakes made are:

  1. No coherent strategy
  2. No consistent presence
  3. Only broadcasting without engagement
  4. Leaving local subsidiaries without guidance

How we can help:

  • Developing a digital media strategy for the organization
  • Developing a useful social media policy that considers all stakeholders
  • Outsourced social media community management if desired
  • Customized social media training programs in person and through our new BlueBird Academy

I would love to talk to you about the specific needs of your organization. [button link=”mailto:[email protected]” color=”green” window=”yes”]Drop Me A Line[/button]

 

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The Three Faces of Facebook

To those that use Facebook on a regular basis it might seem like a no-brainer but to others that are just starting to market their business online it is an important question:

What is best for my business; a Facebook Profile, a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group?

There are different answers to this question depending on your online and business strategy.

[clickToTweet tweet=”What #Facebook face to use depends on your #socialmedia strategy [email protected]” quote=”What Facebook face to use depends on your Social Media strategy”]

For some the right answer might even be to use a combination of two or all of the options.

Let me explain what I call

The Three Faces Of Facebook

Facebook Profiles are reserved for your private conversations. You can set the privacy of your posts to “public” but in general only those people you have connected with via a “friend request” can see and interact with you on your profile. Because these pages are designed for private conversations, search engines do not index the content.

Actually Facebook’s Terms Of Service specify that profiles are not to be used to promote your business or cause. For various reasons marketers have ignored this and a number of them have had their profiles suspended. This does not mean that there are not some that get away with it but losing the contacts and community you built up over a long time can be devastating to a business. I continue to discourage most business owners from using a Facebook Profile. I find it totally ok to share some of your outstanding posts from your page to your profile for your friends but that should not be your primary focus.

Facebook Groups have developed into an important tool to nurture an existing following or even use them in place of private forums. I have published several posts about groups on my blog:

How To Set Up A Facebook Group

Start Your Facebook Group With a Solid Strategy

Groups can be public, by invitation or even secret. As with profiles, groups are used only for communication with registered members.
Choose groups for exclusive content and to nurture your brand ambassadors. Facebook Groups are also great places to create dedicated focus groups where you can ask questions or test a new program.
Because of the private nature of groups the content is not indexed by search engines.

The first choice for promoting your business is always the Facebook Page, also called “Fan Page”or “Brand Page” or “Like Page”because you subscribe to a page by “liking it”.

Facebook Page InfographicFacebook Pages are great for promoting your business or cause:

  1. The content is public and searchable with Google or other search engines
  2. All internet users can find and access your content even from outside of Facebook
  3. You can (and should) make you content more visible by paying Facebook to show it to a broader audience you can define
  4. Facebook specifically allows you to use your Facebook Page to promote your business or cause

Do you use Facebook for Business?

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Featured image licensed at Depositphotos

How To Write a Good Testimonial

Testimonials are important statements that should not be missing from any website or LinkedIn profile! Careful, though – if you fake testimonials or buy them you will eventually get caught and will lose all trust of your prospective customers.

To prevent any suspicion I always link to the original source of the recommendation – usually a LinkedIn recommendation.

But how do you write a good testimonial for someone? Below I’m sharing a few guidelines and a link to a great template.

I am very excited! Last week I got this testimonial from a client of mine:

 

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Core Elements of Testimonials

Testimonials are, in many ways, a lot like case studies. A case study is designed to present a problem or challenge, to demonstrate how the problem was resolved, and then to highlight the results. Good testimonials also contain those three elements. Let’s take a look at them individually.

The Challenge

What problem was the person facing and why hadn’t they solved their problem?

Here’s an example of a problem for a weight loss supplement testimonial. “I was 100 pounds overweight and struggling to lose weight. Though I’d tried more than a dozen diets, I’d been unsuccessful. I actually gained weight!”

The Resolution

The resolution is where the client simply states how your product or service changed their life. How did it solve their problem? This is also a great place to quantify the results. Results are always more powerful when they can be quantified.

Here’s an example of a resolution or the middle part of your testimonial.

ABC Supplement changed it all. One simple natural remedy and my metabolism started picking up. It affects trace minerals in your body – minerals essential for optimal health and a fired-up metabolism. Once I started losing weight, dieting and exercise began to work more quickly. I lost more than ten pounds a month and over 110 pounds in total.

Conclusion

In the conclusion you’ll use emotion to truly persuade the reader. How has this success made your life better or easier? How did this success make you feel?

With ABC supplement, losing weight was no longer a battle. I lost 110 pounds and I feel better than ever. My doctor says I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I wish I’d known about ABC years ago but I’m glad I found it when I did.

Motivating Your Clients to Write Testimonials Like These

In Colin’s case above he sent the testimonial without me prompting him. Mostly you have to ask 🙂  .

It’s easy to see why testimonials with these three core elements are successful. But how do you motivate your clients to write their testimonials in this powerful format? It’s difficult. Many clients don’t understand how to write an effective testimonial. They probably want to write one for you but chances are they just don’t know how.

So what can you do?

Write it for them! One of the easiest ways to make your client’s life easier and to ensure you get the testimonial you need is to write one for them. For example, you might create a folder with three to five different testimonials in it. Your client can choose the one they want, make any changes they desire, and sign it. You might be surprised how many clients appreciate this convenience.

Create a template. Another way to accomplish the same thing is to create a template testimonial. Your client can fill in the blanks and make changes to the template as they see fit. It gives them a little more control over the testimonial but still helps ensure you get the content you need.

Finally, if you receive a testimonial from a client and it doesn’t quite fit your needs, you can ask a few questions like, “Could you tell me how you were dealing with the problem before you came to me?” and “How did you feel once you’d tried our product/service?” You can then simply ask if you can add that information to the testimonial. Be sure to get their approval before you publish it.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Testimonials are essential tools to help persuade, build credibility, and strengthen your brand.” quote=”Testimonials are essential tools to help persuade, build credibility, and strengthen your brand.”] Make your testimonials strong ones with these three core elements.

Mashable just published a post that includes a list of helpful templates, including one for testimonials

Testimonials are cause for celebration! Please share your favourite testimonial in the comments and tell us how it made you feel.

 

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Image licensed at Depositphotos

Some Words Have More Power Than Others

[clickToTweet tweet=”A word after a word after a word is power [email protected]” quote=”A word after a word after a word is power ~ Margaret Atwood”]

Words are part of us – words have the power to heal or to hurt. Words can build us up or destroy us, they can entertain and inform. Mostly we take words for granted. It’s only after if we get into a situation where we are “at a loss of words” that we notice how much we need them.

My friend Larry calls himself a “Wordsmith” and I always imagine him shaping words into tools on his imaginary anvil.

Hmmm, how do I get from the philosophical to the use of words in communication and content marketing now? 🙂

Some words have more power than others.

They can inspire, incite action, arouse curiosity and of course persuade or motivate a purchase. Knowing these words and phrases and understanding how to use them can make a significant difference in the power of your copy and content.

You might wonder why it’s important to persuade in your content. It’s because content is what the majority of your audience will read or watch. And if you can persuade in your content, then your click-through and conversion rate will be much more successful.

Let’s take a look at a few powerful and persuasive words and phrases which you can start including in your content.

Common Power Words

You – “You” is one of the most important words you can use in your content. It immediately bonds the reader to you. It creates a connection. Consider the following example:

Business owners benefit when they use persuasive words in their content
You benefit when you use persuasive words in your content

The first sentence is clear but it separates the reader from the page. It talks about “business owners” as a group rather than talking to the individual.

Because – Whenever you ask someone for a favour, do you simply ask or do you give a reason? If you give a reason for asking the favour, you’re more likely to receive a positive response. Consider using “because” occasionally when you’re pointing out features and benefits of a product or service.

New – “New” is a word people like because many people want to stay on the cutting edge. They’re seeking “new” online and when it’s used in your headline and in the body of your content, it helps grab attention and persuade action. For example, “new” information, “new” changes, “new” benefits, a “new” price, product or service.

Emotional Words and Phrases Persuade

When words incite emotion, they can be extremely persuasive. This is particularly true when they’re used in the opening paragraph and later in an explanation or list of benefits. Here are a few powerful emotional words to consider when writing your content. Keep in mind that they should match the tone and purpose of your content.

  • Paralyzedpersuasive words
  • Surrender
  • Rave
  • Deadline
  • Limited
  • Easy
  • Boost
  • Energize
  • Destiny
  • Empower
  • Overcome
  • Had Enough?
  • Never Again…
  • Conspiracy
  • Swindle
  • Controversial
  • Exposed
  • Insider
  • Helpless

And of course let’s not forget the words, “Free,” “Guaranteed,” and “Convenient.” When you’re using persuasive words, use them sparingly and strategically. Too many and your content will sound like a forced sales page. Just the right amount of persuasive words in tactical locations and you can see your content’s click-through rate improve.

What word holds a special power for you?

Let us know in the comments!