Top 5 Reasons YOU should be using Social Media to promote your company

Social media has been popular since the early 2000s, but there are plenty of businesses that have not taken advantage of this online power tool. The over-arching question is normally “How can social media really benefit my business?”

Here are the top five reasons that social media can benefit your company and enhance your online visibility:

> Enhancing consumer engagement

You know those customer service advertisements where the customer expects a voice machine to respond, but is then startled when they hear an actual person on the other side? Customers appreciate personal interaction with businesses, not a robot. They feel good knowing that your business is willing to listen to their feedback. Social media, especially, gives them another option to share their thoughts, and for your business to respond instantaneously. The more your audience connects with your business, the more they will want to work with you. “How will you engage your customers?”

> Promoting your business and products in a cost-effective manner

Spending money on paper and commercial advertisements shouldn’t be your only option. Social media platforms allow you to easily and quickly disseminate information about your business. This, too, enhances consumer engagement. Social media can help you continually interact with your consumers and make sure your business is sharing the right information out to your target audience. “What do you want your customers to understand more thoroughly?”

> Taking advantage of current news trends

Social media platforms give you easy access to the latest industry trends. For example, Twitter has a search box where you can easily look up industry news. Using hashtags to search such as “#manufacturing” will give you the relevant conversations happening on Twitter. “What trends will you discover via online searches?”

> Driving website traffic and encourage recommendations

The best PR tactic is receiving third-party endorsements. As more subscribers follow your social media pages, the more likely they’ll visit your website and refer your business to a colleague. Facebook features a recommendation comment box for your page where customers can publicly display their positive feedback. “How will you encourage and reward positive feedback and bask in the glow of happy customers?”

> Measuring return on investment

Here’s the bottom line: Implementing social media to your business strategy measures your return on investment. There are social media measurement tools where you can analyze and measure your return. For example, if you implement an online advertising campaign that offers a promo code or link to a landing page on your website, you can absolutely attribute the resultant revenue from the campaign and calculate ROI. “What gets measured gets done; what will you measure?”

We can help deliver all of these social media essentials to your business. Take a look at our publicity checklist and we will help you sort through the maze of social media tactics and tools.

Cultivate the March Madness hoopla into your business strategy

Businesspeople can learn a lot from March Madness, whether you’re a basketball fan or not.  To put it simply, March Madness is when “the small guys face the giants to see how good they really are.” Diane Hurd, guest writer for PR Daily, wrote an article providing five lessons from March Madness that PR professionals can learn from. Using the same key points, here’s my take for businesspeople:

>> Preparation is KEY.

It’s important to do your research. Coaches are always seeking reports on their opponents to be ahead of the game. Research your industry’s news and latest trends, as well as your competitors. You never know what you may find that may get you ahead of your industry. Our best PR campaigns start with industry, publication and even individual reporter profiles.

>> Each player has to be on the same page.

It’s important to make sure all contributing staff/employees are on the same page. It’s hard executing a strategy if your message is lost or if there is conflicting ideas among the team. For example, the goal for both sales and marketing is to increase revenue for their company. So, it’s absolutely necessary for them to be on the same page in order to integrate their tactics smoothly to achieve the main goal. The best way to find compromising ideas is to brainstorm and make yourself open and available for any new ideas, questions or concerns your team may have.

>> Adjustments can be made throughout the game. 

Sometimes plans don’t pan out. In a game, if a certain play isn’t working out as planned, the coach and team will make adjustments accordingly. Likewise, have a backup plan if your initial one isn’t delivering the results you expected.  This advice reiterates both #1 and #2: Be prepared, make sure everyone is on the same page and be open for new ideas.

>> Two lay-ups are still better than one three-point shot.

When a team begins to fall behind, players are tempted to go after more difficult shots to raise their team’s score. On top of that, the term “go big or go home” is not the type of mindset any businessperson should ever have. Both of these factors cause chaos. For example, it would not be savvy for any businessperson to spend thousands of dollars on neon lights for their exhibit at a tradeshow and ignore opportunities to pre-show promote, create interesting booth content and have a post-show plan in place. As Hurd said, be sure to “pace yourself to ensure that the momentum continues.”

>> Stay hungry.

UCLA has won more National Championship titles for the NCAA Men’s Division I than any other team. One taste just wasn’t enough for them, and it shouldn’t be for you and your business partners. It’s important for each contributor to stay motivated and passionate about what they do, which allows them to feel confident enough to take on risks. Risk-taking is a good to technique that allows you to learn from mistakes and improve on successes for the future. Being a risk taker can certainly shape you into becoming a stronger competitor in the market.

To see some of our client-partner risk takers, click here.

Is there such a thing as social media etiquette?

A few months ago, we sent out a tweet briefly describing our services. A twitter user replied a few hours later describing their similar services along with our post. Rude. Has that ever happened to you?  Have people hijacked and/or spammed your posts before? Although it is not explicitly written as “social media law,” there is such a thing as social media etiquette.

Imagine that you’re a door-to-door salesperson posting flyers that describe your services and you are personally answering any questions along the way. Another salesperson, who offers the same services as you, drops by the same neighborhood and places their flyer over yours. The competition may be “fair game,” but it is not a fair game when they place their ad over yours.

To avoid potential negative press, here are nine golden rules of social media etiquette (list provided by Charlotte Varela’s Virally Blog):

  1. Don’t “air your dirty laundry” – Be professional when you write. Don’t post grievances about colleagues, acquaintances and clients for everyone to see. No one wants to see/hear that.
  2. Don’t be ignorant – Self-explanatory.
  3. Don’t constantly push sales – No one likes it when salesmen follow and hover around you offering their help. This concept applies to social media too. Keep it at a minimum.
  4. Don’t let your page go stale – Visitors can “permanently tune out” if you have nothing to offer. Think about the window shoppers. Imagine what they’d like to see at first glance.
  5. Don’t spam people – As mentioned before, don’t hijack someone’s post to deliver the same message, but for your own benefit. You have your own social media platform.
  6. Don’t link inappropriately – Varela says it best: “Posting social media updates that only link back to your homepage will only serve to infuriate your following and make your brand look hopelessly unprofessional.”
  7. Don’t use bots to gain followers – Manually follow people to ensure that every follow would be interested in your content. Besides, this technique is more personal.
  8. Don’t run competitions that clash with guidelines – In general, make sure you are aware of social media rules and guidelines!
  9. Don’t stuff with keywords – “Keyword stuffing is considered as web spam. Keep it real and just write.”

Want to make sure you’ve got the hang of it? Here are some other great resources to watch what you write and how you write:

The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.3)

In part two of this series, we discussed meeting with new prospects to build referrals. But how do we go about looking for those referrals?

As mentioned before, it’s important not to come off as desperate. It takes time for prospects to get to know you and be comfortable with you. According to Bob, you can sense if people like you and it’s possible that you may not get that delightful feeling for a while. He describes the relationship building as a funnel.

The AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) funnel acts as good representation for this scenario. The first step, of course, is to get the prospect to acknowledge you (i.e. Hello, my name is…). The second step is to get their interest by making conversation, which we mentioned in part one. The third step is to create ‘desire’ in to do business with you or help you in some fashion, which I touched lightly on and will now expand.

After a few lunch meetings and some generous phone calls, lets say you and your prospect have bonded. It is now time to ask for a referral. Whether you meet with them in person or call them, here’s how you could  “pop the question”:

“[Name], I’m in the process of expanding my business/referrals. I find it helpful to partner with colleagues, such as yourself. Can we take a few minutes to run past names of people I might be able to help?”

It is likely that if your prospect knows you, likes you, trusts you and wants to see you succeed. If this happens, then you have yourself a “walking ambassador” for you and your business. Note, initially this may be an overwhelming process for them, so be sure to help “funnel down their world” to narrow down their group of people to ask. You can frame your questions by creating visuals for your colleague. For example, have them think about who they socialize with, play golf or associations they participate in such as Rotary, professional groups or even their children’s’ activities.  Your newly acquired prospects are absolutely important during this stage, so be sure to guide them into finding potential referrals. They don’t have to do this favor for you though, so remember to always give them an out. You can always preface, “John, as long as you are comfortable, can we run through a few groups that you are involved in?” A variation of this approach that we at Felber PR & Marketing have found helpful is to create lists of companies you would like an introduction.

Once they trust and like you, you can provide a short list of companies in your target market. This works especially well, since the company names trigger your colleague’s memory on who they may know at that company. Simply providing a “type of company” without a specific name often draws a blank. How many people can come up with names of contacts when you say “know anyone at a 10-100 million dollar, privately held business-to-business manufacturer?” We know, sounds precise, but it just does not generate referrals.

After you and your partner have finished the list, it is then time to contact these potential clients and/or new set of influencers! So in the next section, I will explain how to effectively communicate with this new group by emphasizing what value you can provide for to them.

The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.2)


In part one of this series, I mentioned that we should always seek and build more relationships with potential prospects in order to increase our business. And when we do, we should never seek in desperation.

We live an increasingly connected world, so there’s always a chance in finding that one special prospect who would be willing to help out.

When you meet potential prospects, briefly introduce yourself. Ask them “feel good” questions such as, “How did you get started in your business/field?” or “What do you enjoy most about your job?” Questions such as these bring value to his or her life and give them the opportunity to shine. You want “F.O.R.M.” questions that revolve around family, occupation, recreation and message in order to seal the deal with this prospect. But do not be pushy about it and always give them an “out” by saying, for example, “If you can’t do it, I understand.” As Bob puts it, giving them an out is “a way of letting a person feel comfortable with you and the situation by providing them an ‘emotional escape route’”, which removes any pressure they may feel whether from you or themselves. You have limitless opportunities out there. One less prospect will not hurt.

When you have connected with this prospect, send them a nice letter on a notecard (see Bob’s examples at that link, as well as ours below this paragraph) and perhaps, a small gift such as a scratch pad, pen and/or a information booklet on a business topic. Alternatively, you could include an article they might be interested in or a topic related to your conversation.  Doing this will absolutely make them feel valued. Since you have just built this relationship, be patient. Contact them when you are ready, not desperate, to ask for a referral. Lastly, don’t forget to include your new contact on your newsletter database. This increases familiarly with you and your organization and is yet another positive “touch” in the relationship. Want to receive our newsletter, Manufacturing Matters? Click here.

Do you have some favorite networking tips? Share your thoughts and insights in the comment box below!

The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.1)

Rob Felber, president of Felber PR & Marketing, has been following Bob’s principles for over two decades. Rob may be one of the most networked guys in Cleveland and has cultivated over 1900 connections, as well as endless referrals…

Run out of prospects? It’s time to find new connections

"Each of us has a personal sphere of influence of about 250 people. People will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust." - Bob Burg

Bob Burg, speaker and bestselling author of The Go-Giver and Endless Referrals, spoke in Cleveland about how to “build a prospecting and referral ‘machine’ to continuously create more sales than you ever dreamed possible.”

Who do I talk to now that my list of prospects has run out? Whether or not you have any existing contacts, it is always best to search for new prospects to help increase business, and make those lasting business and personal relationships. Bob said when we try to find someone new, we tend to seek in “desperation.” We lose our posture, which is interpreted as “we care [about our new prospects], but not that much.” So, how do we go about having good posture?


  • As long as you do your best then you can let go and begin to find new prospects.
    • Your existing clients are satisfied with the way things are going. So, it’s probably time to find new prospects. Why? Well, why not? This gives you more reason to expand your business.
  • Go to the people who want help – don’t branch out.
    • Not everyone needs help. In the meantime, just make conversation and eventually someone will turn to you. Getting a new prospect does not need to be done immediately, it’s all about the building relationship first in order for them to want to do business with you, which I couldn’t agree more.
  • Know that you’re responsible to the people, but not for the people in making decisions.
    • As a businessman or businesswoman, you’re responsible for pitching yourself to the potential prospects, but not to force them to make a decision. I will further discuss this in the next paragraph.

When we network for connections, we want win-win relationships that are generally caring for their wants and desires. They do not always have to like us in order to do business, but we want prospects who can say “yes” and are qualified to do business with you. Bob introduced president of Influence At Work (IAW) Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence to explain why people take certain actions. Most of us can agree that we live in a low trust society. But if you can communicate well with your prospects, you will gain their trust.

We live in an increasingly connected world. With apps on our phones that allow instant access to our entire sphere of influence. With every new person we meet or we have increased our connection to 250 people or more. OK, 249 if you discount Kevin Bacon. That right there is your ticket to a network of endless referral business.

In my next post, we’ll discuss additional strategies for building a relationship from the very first meeting.


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To get the attention of the media, think like them. Where their hat for a while

Are you resigned to just sit back and wait for the onslaught of reporters, eager to speak with you?

Here’s what most reporters will tell you: “If we’re interested, we’ll call you.” Here’s what they have told me off the record. “Seriously, I get hundreds of emails a day. If I don’t expect the email, I may not read it. If the subject is boring or off topic, I may delete it. If you really want my attention, you better follow up via phone.”

So, editor and reporter generalizations aside, simply posting your release to an online service is not enough. Yes, you may get search engine optimization (SEO) benefit from the online services. They do a great job with their website affiliates. They report several website postings within the first hour. But, if there is no one looking at that forest when your tree falls, you are out of luck. Like website traffic, it’s all about conversion. Campaign effectiveness can and should, ultimately be measured by conversion. Conversion is anything from inbound phone calls, requests for information, actually sales, etc. The measurements are the same for tradeshows, SEO, direct mail marketing and yes, even sales calls in person.

Let’s rewind and discuss goals. If you are trying to influence a target market and you have identified the publications they read, visit and engage with, then you are 25% there. Start with the publication’s media kit, editorial calendar and audit statement. Study the research and see if your news, product or story fits their editorial guidelines. Each publication has a certain style, editorial direction and differentiating factors. Not sure what they are? Call the editor and they will be happy to explain. See, no one takes the time to ask them. This alone will separate you from the pack. We’ll dive deeper into publication research in a subsequent post. You are closer now, 50% of the way there.

But, you now need to present that news in a way that they will both understand its importance AND see a fit with their readers. This is a tough hurdle but will get you 75% of the way to your goal. You’ve studied the editorial direction. Look closely at the stories the magazine has run over the last two years. Make special note of specific writers and their style and try to align your story with one that is closest to your topic. Not every writer covers the same beat. Consider using graphics, videos, social media infographics; anything that will simply and succinctly convey your message.

What’s the final push needed to move your project to 100% acceptance? It’s the relationship. If the editor has never heard of your company, met anyone at a trade conference or even received news in the past, you have a tough final step. Not insurmountably, just tough. Like sales, the media/company interaction is all about relationships. Remember the professional call asking about their editorial guidelines? That is the step in the right direction. Be a resource and selfless supporter first.

In my next post, I’ll discuss the top five ways to build closer media relations and become their go-to person.



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Stu Kaplan (Makuta) and Michelle Willmott (Felber PR) enjoy hands on learning

We need to be reminded, from time to time, that we’re humans. Every one of our five senses is important. As one of our favorite clients, Makuta Technics reminds us, there is nothing like “eyes on.” Michelle and I just returned from a two day trip to visit with them in their Indiana factory. When you meet in person, there is a tremendous benefit.

Skype and conference calls are great, but think about what you are missing. Your sense of hearing and sight is much more in tune when you sit across the table, face to face. Add sharing a meal or actually touching product and your firsthand knowledge of how your client manufactures their product is dramatically improved. Now, you are well on your way to deeper relationships through better understanding.

Admittedly, I have been at this for a while, but here’s a short bit of advice:

Next time you start to send an e-mail, reach for the phone.

When reaching for the phone, consider setting up a meeting in person.

Technology is great, but we’re too easily distracted during conference calls, “windshield time” chats to save precious time and video meetings that can be sabotaged by one errant glance away from the camera….connect in person. You will be rewarded.

Rob Felber (Call me and let’s do lunch!)

How to Get the Media to Pay Attention and What to Do Once They Do

I recently got the opportunity to see president Rob Felber speak at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland on how to get the media to pay attention and what to do once they do.

Every business should be transparent and showcase any newsworthy content to its key publics. But deciding what is newsworthy can be hard to determine, as well as deciding whether or not you need PR help.

So, ask yourself. Does your business need PR help? Felber makes some points and tips that can help your business make a wise decision.

Recognizing the need for PR

Recognizing the need for PR should always be the first step for anyone looking into getting his or her business out to the public. Needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Being transparent
  • Removing any rumors that might exist
  • How your product is unique/different

Felber defines PR as “a company announcement, an attempt to mitigate a problem (crisis), activities to improve an image, a recruitment tool, a method to drive sales inquiries, etc.”  PR is also the best tool to keep long-term relationships with clients and potentially gaining more.


What is considered newsworthy for your audience? Some things you should think about are “why should the editors care” and “what do I want to happen when the public reads our news?” In the following entries, decide which are newsworthy content:

  1. Company A nominated as 2013 top Fortune 500 company
  2. Company A revamps website into modern look
  3. Company A gives back to the community
  4. Company A President and CEO steps down after 55 years

Hopefully you did not pick the second headline. Why? Here are some of my explanations for each one of them:

  1. When a business is nominated as a Fortune 500 company, that’s good PR. What business does not want to be ranked as one of the top 500 corporations in America? Not only should your company be proud of that, but also the employees and consumers will feel special and continue to support your business.
  2. It’s not news when your company revamps its website. It could have been just a basic HTML format turned into this modern sleek look, but no one else will care for it as much as you and maybe some of your employees. It’s cool, sure, but when it comes to catering news to your key publics, make sure you consider what all of your stakeholders want to know.
  3. When a company gives back to the community, the community acknowledges your transparency and sincerity. This is the type of news that will touch people’s hearts and can influence them to respect your company.
  4. In August 2011, Steve Jobs stepped down from his CEO position due to health complications. He was always transparent before and after his health issues and still managed to do as much as he could. Besides the fact that he has a long legacy with Apple, he was the face of Apple and everyone – both stakeholders and shareholders – was updated on a regular basis.

And sometimes even the smallest news, such as a spotlight on an employee, may be much bigger than you think. Ellen Burts-Cooper, Senior Managing Partner of Improve, said she never would have thought the media, specifically by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, would pick up a story about a high school girl, whose book is sold on Amazon. She began to think about what else may be newsworthy for her organization.

Think about it. What news do you have for your audience that they will care about?

What to do now?

What’s nice about PR is that there are many ways to grab the media’s attention. Your business could pitch letters, send out make media alerts and/or hold a press conference. Although press releases seem to be the most popular tool, Felber likes to describe it as the “least sexiest way” because the format does not allow for “colorful language” and sticks more to the facts.

And when the media is ready to listen, make sure you’re confident and ready to pitch your story. Michael Obi, president & CEO of Spectrum Global Solutions, said to always keep up with what is going on in the news because one story that you may have on file could be significant around an event that may be happening.

Felber added to make sure your company has something ready to go for when the media is looking for some content. Have some of your staff seek media training in order to have graphics or video on file, as well as keeping your internal communications up to date about the story.

There are many things that PR can offer to help your business reach out to your key publics. So, ask yourself again. Does your business need PR help?

Cindy Deng is a PR & marketing intern at Felber PR & Marketing and a public relations student at Kent State University. She is also the Intercampus Liaison for the Public Relations Student Society of America, KSU chapter and a mentor for the Provost’s Leadership Academy.