Relationships Drive Business

Strengthening Customer Engagement to Propel Your Business

For Facebook Admins Only – Invite Friends Button Returns July 22, 2011

Filed under: Learnings,Resources — Carla Bobka @ 8:18 am
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Invite Friends to your Page


The Invite Friends button has reappeared on Facebook Pages. (only admins can see it)


  • What it does -helps you spread the word about your Page to people you know.


  • How it works – it sends an invite to the friends you select.


  • Who’s it for – especially handy for new Pages, or those who started a personal profile for their business and now want to convert over to a Page.


  • What it doesn’t do – your buddies still have to hit the Like button when they get to your Page.
  • What I don’t know – if each Admin on a page can invite their own friends or if it defaults to the friend list of the page creator. (The old button worked this way.)


Is it showing on your view? And if you have multiple admins, can they each invite their own friends? Drop me a note in Comments if you experiment.




7 types of QR Codes and 5 Ideas for Using Them July 14, 2011

Filed under: Ideas — Carla Bobka @ 9:47 pm
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Today’s post is another in a series on mobile access for your business from Bob Watson of Digital Eye.


QR codes (short for quick response) are one of the newest ways to share information quickly with people’s smart phones or tablets. If this is your first encounter with them, here’s a little more on how to use them.

We’ve just scratched the surface on how to use them. Here are some ideas.

7 Types of QR code access:

  1. Access a URL
  2. Prepare a pre-loaded SMS text message to be sent to a specific number
  3. Download a vCard into your phone’s address book
  4. Initiate a phone call to a given number
  5. Prepare an email
  6. Insert an event into the calendar
  7. Deliver text or GPS coordinates


5 ways to make use of them to grow your business.

Collect more Fans — Put a QR Code window slick on your storefront to send passers-by to your Facebook page.
Make your business card interactive — try a code with your web address, LinkedIn profile or some of your contact information in vCard format.
Here’s how to find us — print a code containing the URL for a Google Maps page to your business on your brochure. They can get instant directions to get to you from their present location.
How are we doing? — A table tent at a restaurant linking a diner’s smartphone to a feedback site is a great way to gather more and accurate information on customer satisfaction. New research has found that mobile network activity spikes at lunchtime when we get out of the office and take a break from the grind.
Scan here for more — Does your product compete with others on the same shelf at retailers? Get noticed with a QR Code on your in-store display that sends shoppers to get more information on why they should buy yours.

Get yourself a reader app for your smartphone, like ScanLife, i-nigma or BeeTagg. With this on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll find the QR Code to be one of the fastest and most convenient means of accessing information and interacting with your device.

Where the code takes people is vital. You want them to have a good experience.

The most common form of the QR Code links to a website, so it’s extremely important that your content displays properly on a mobile device


  • Graphics and text should be large enough to view in a single column, and any scrolling required should be up-and-down only.
  • Buttons and links should be large enough and far apart from one another to ensure easy touch navigation
  • Flash presentations should be eliminated or converted to mobile-friendly formats like javascript.


Sending your customers to a page that they have to zoom in to see with small buttons and missing content can turn your good intentions into inconvenienced customers.


Start off by getting familiar with QR Codes from the user’s perspective — download an app (or several) and experiment with the ones you find everywhere today, and think about how you can take advantage of them to grow your business.


In the meantime, scan this one to show how much you like Social Pie on Facebook!

What ideas do you have on how to make use of one of these things? Leave a note in comments.


One Wild Year April 29, 2011


Tomorrow, April 30, 2011, is SocialPie’s anniversary. Thanks to all of you for coming along for the ride.

Lots has happened in the last year. Not just with SocialPie, but in every part of life. Here’s a look at handful of milestones:

1. I’ve written 52 newsletters and 142 blog posts.
2. I’ve built 29 Facebook Pages, given 8 speeches and tweeted a bazillion times.
3. SocialPie was hired by real customers to write social media strategies, and I love doing it.
4. I became a Great Aunt.
5. My husband got a job after 18 months of unemployment. He loves it, despite the commute.
6. Our dear friends,Jay and Doreen celebrated their 20st Anniversary. The pic above is from the surprise party we threw them.

Share your story. What happened to you in the last 12 months?




Homeland Security: Your Facebook Friend April 23, 2011

Terrorist threats will now be posted to Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes. When appropriate.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that one way they will inform the public of terror alerts is by using social media. They will only bother with the biggies – Facebook and Twitter.

Take the word to the people, where the people spend their time. What do you think? Read more from the Associated Press article here.

Personally, I have a lot of questions.

Overall, I think it is potentially a good idea. AND it needs to be carefully planned. Otherwise it will nuts. Or invisible.

First question:  How? Here’s what I mean. On Facebook I get updates from friends in my newsfeed. Do I need to be a friend of Homeland Security to get that update? (I’d hope they would consider me a friend without my opting in.)

Maybe there will be an update window pop open as soon as I log into Facebook:

“Please read this important message from the Dept. of Homeland Security:  Terror Alert Elevated. Travelers through U.S. airports are asked to be extra vigilant from May 5-6. Click here to tell your friends.”

Do you suppose it will pop up on my phone when I open my Facebook mobile app? Hmm…

Now Twitter. Do I need to follow @HomelandSecurity so I get the tweet? Problem #1 – That user name doesn’t exist. People use it; they just type it in. But it isn’t anyone’s account.

@DHSJournal exists, and it is a verified account for Department of Homeland Security. The account has 32,698 followers. But honestly, if I saw a tweet like “@DHSJournal Travelers be cautious in US airports May 2-4” I don’t think it would register with me as a terror alert. Maybe they could let @LadyGaga know. She has 9,489,232 followers. That way her people could talk to the people.

The other thing is, we’ve seen hoaxes on Twitter. Big ones. Remember the boy who supposedly floated away in a homemade aircraft. The one that looked like a Jiffy Pop pan? I sure hope Twitter execs are in on how this is going to work.

So far I haven’t seen any details about how it will work. I’ve got my fingers crossed they are working on that.

Do you have any ideas on how to do this in an effective way?  Drop me a note in the comments section.




Finding Needles in Haystacks April 18, 2011

Filed under: Resources — Carla Bobka @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Have you ever wished your kids came with instructions? Check YouTube.
Whatever you’re stuck on, there’s probably a video on YouTube to help. It has become life’s instruction manual. And it’s just gotten easier to use so you can find gems.
Next time you go to YouTube’s search box notice the other suggested topics across the top of the screen (the green, above.) And the “Filter & Explore” (red, above) button opens a box that gives you more options to narrow your search.
“Filter” lets you select what types of videos you look for.
  • HD
  • Playlists
  • Music
  • Stuff uploaded today or this week.
“Explore” offers suggestions on other key words you might want to explore or search for in conjunction with your original search word. They are all based on Google’s vast array of information on topics.
So, in the example above for “Bruce Springsteen” you can easily get only the music videos or only the newest stuff.

Do you have any helpful tips for seaching through YouTube?




7 Steps to Regular, Dread-free Newsletters March 24, 2011

Nearly a year ago I started sending out SocialPie’s weekly newsletter. When I started planning it, my friend Russ said, “Weekly? That’s a big commitment.” It made me step back, rethink and plunge forward anyway. Weekly, smeekly. I could handle it.

Fast forward, rubber hits the road. Weekly was a big commitment. Were there week’s I wished I’d bitten off something smaller? Yes. Have I missed a week? No (knock wood.)

At first the weekly churn from idea to article was a drag, it took so much time. Coming up with a topic, finding the resources, getting it down on the screen, editing. It all seemed to drag out and I found myself dreading it. Some week’s I was up until midnight finishing for a 5:00 AM post time. There was even one Friday morning I sprang out of bed realizing I hadn’t finished. It was discouraging.

Fast forward some more, now I have it down to a science, and that’s what I want to share with you, the process that’s evolved. With process and practice I’ve increased the speed it gets done, and that has been encouraging.

Here’s my 7 steps to regular newslettering:

  1. Bookmark an interesting article or comment.
  2. Capture random thoughts on the topic right in Emma (my newsletter platform), save the draft.
  3. Turn those thought fragments into sentences and edit.
  4. Walk away.
  5. Spell check and edit again
  6. Read aloud, edit again.
  7. Final formatting and scheduling.

This process came together over time. I can’t emphasis enough that weekly deadline I gave myself helped me hone a process. Now I turn out newsletters in 3-4 sittings, totally about 90 minutes of my time. Are they perfect, gosh no. But they ship.

Another thing that’s really helped is an editorial calendar. Within my calendar I created another “Newsletter Topics” calendar. That’s where ideas get dumped. Some week’s I get 3 ideas, but I only use 1 topic per newsletter. With the calendar I can dump the extra ideas and links to what triggered them in a convenient place. When I’m ready to write I go to the calendar to grab the ideas. It has made things much easier.

Have you struggled with the same thing? How have you handled it?


Party Planning March 23, 2011

Filed under: Ideas,Life in General,Successes — Carla Bobka @ 11:55 pm
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SocialPie is approaching our 1st Anniversary.

How should we celebrate?