Daily Tanka: Birdbath

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 9:20pm

Entropy afflicts
Our birdbath, which attracts filth
Arboreal and
Avian but is cleaned out
By a summer thunderstorm

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Liberal Arts Sounds

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:20pm

Liberal Arts Sounds
Backhoes groan, scraping
Songbirds whistle, flickering
Crows shriek, circling
Locomotives blast, blocking
Work trucks beep, esrevering

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Plein Air

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 11:15pm

Plein Air
A hole in the clouds
Lets dusklight paint the cornfield
A tassle yellow
The hole closes and the field
Turns back to a husky green

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: New Bike Race 

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 9:50pm

New Bike Race
Let’s race the new bike
Bang out a solid five laps
When my legs blow up,
Cruise the last lap, enjoying
The trees, the trail, and the bike

Categories: Citizens

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Running a Facebook Ad Campaign

Brand Yourself Consulting - Tami Enfield - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 4:29pm

Oh sure, anyone who is anyone with a business is running Facebook Ads these days but most are just “winging” it and paying for it… literally. Running an ad campaign on Facebook and/or Instagram (or other social media platforms) can be highly effective when you put a little time and effort into your planning. Below are a few tips for you to consider before you run your next ad campaign.

Every business has a unique ideal client. Today, let’s pretend that we are developing an ad campaign to get someone to shop at a local women’s clothing boutique. However, these steps can be fine-tuned to your business and ideal client, even in you are an online B2B retailer who ships products worldwide!

1)      Trust the process.

Your ideal client fast forwards through commercials. He quickly flips by the ads in his monthly magazine subscription. She is a bit distracted behind the wheel and doesn’t see the billboard with the expensive ad on it (thanks kids in the back seat!). But he DOES spend time on social media every day. In fact, there are 1.23 billion daily active users on Facebook and guess what?!… they chose to be there and actively engage!

2)      Know your ideal client.

You have the ability to target precise audiences on Facebook and Instagram. Knowing precisely who your ideal client is will help you effectively build an audience for your ads. Our example ad might focus their efforts on reaching women age 22-45 who like to shop at boutiques, have a household income of $50,000 or more, work full-time, have an interest in the latest fashion trends, and live within 25 miles of our store.

3)      Have a goal in mind.

Write down your goals followed by the steps your ideal customer would follow to get there. Now build your campaign with the end in mind. For our local boutique, our goal would be to get a customer in the door to purchase a trendy dress, jewelry and shoes for an upcoming wedding she will be attending. Let’s develop the process on how she might end up walking through the front door. First, they need to HEAR about you (Facebook ad, testimonial from a friend, or by driving by the shop). Next, they need to have an incentive or a reason to click on your ad (she has a wedding she is attending this weekend as a guest and needs a cute dress that all of her friends will want and she needs it ASAP). Your incentive may be 15% off your first purchase at the boutique. And lastly, you want to create urgency, so consider putting an expiration on the incentive. Other campaign examples you may want to consider are increasing “likes” to your page where you are actively posting and engaging with your followers, or boosting a post to your current fans and others like them in the area, having new customers download your app, or gaining attendees to an upcoming event you are hosting. Regardless, know your end goal and then build the campaign around this specific goal you have set. The interface for building your campaign will guide you through these steps.

4)      Set your budget and timeframe.

You can spend as little or as much as you want. The more you spend, the more your ad is placed in front of your custom audience. You can choose a daily amount to spend or an overall campaign amount. We typically set our budget for the entire campaign and choose our start and end time for the campaign. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to optimize the spending of your ads meaning that your ad may not be shown as often on a Monday early morning as it would on a Thursday afternoon or evening. Your budget can range from as little as $1 per day to thousands of dollars per day (our local boutique will likely not spend thousands per day but more like $10-$15 per day). A suggested place to start for a small business is to spend $300 run the ad for a month (average $10 a day). After watching your ad’s performance for 5 days and learning more about your audience, you may want to increase your budget so your ad is shown to your ideal client a few times over the course of your campaign. Your client may not see your ad the first time, so presenting it in front of her a few times will help increase your ad’s effectiveness.

5)      Split test multiple ads simultaneously.

You will want to create more than one ad to run at a time. We suggest split testing one change in your ad at a time. For example, our local boutique may run an ad to the same custom audience and offer the same discount, but split test a video ad against a carousel of 3 product images. After choosing what you will split test, run your campaign for a minimum of 5 days to watch the performance of each. After 5-7 days, take the ad that performed better and create another split test. This time, consider split testing your offer. Maybe you run an ad offering buy 2 get 1 free against the 15% off offer. Run this ad for 5 days and again watch its performance. Continue split testing over time so you can really hone in on what is working best for your business! Other examples of split testing may include (for the sake of time and space, know that there are hundreds of items that you can split test, we’ve listed just a handful of ideas here): location, age, gender, interests, those who recently visited your area, education, those who follow leaders in an industry, connections, and even behaviors. Some professional agencies, such as ours, are capable of split testing numerous ads at one time resulting in desired results more quickly as we can analyze as many as 100+ slight changes within your ads each week.

6)      Choose your photos and/or videos wisely.

Most ads do not need professional and highly staged photos or videos (this isn’t always the case… photographers or videographers might want to consider really pretty photos and Instagram ads perform better with stylized photos). Consider this, Facebook is a place where people go to often just take a mental break. They scroll through their newsfeed and images or videos that their friends posted from their smart phone catch their eye and they stop to comment. Stock-like photos and videos tend to trigger the response in their mind that says, “warning, advertisement!” and they scroll past quickly. Those images and videos that feel like real life tend to perform better in most circumstances. Try using your smart phone to capture your ad images or videos and split test them against other photos or videos that you may have had professionally taken and gauge which performs better. One thing to note, if you are placing text on an image or video, it cannot cover more than 20% of the image per Facebook guidelines.

7)      Write good ad copy.

Good images or videos will capture the attention of your ideal client. But good copy will encourage your customers to take action. Headlines are the most important part of the copy – spend some time creating attention-grabbing headlines. Also make sure to split test (as mentioned above) different headlines to see how each performs. For the rest of your ad copy, be sure to tell your custom audience why its important for them to take action. Ideas to help you build your copy include: Why should they buy from you? Why is it important for them to have your product? Why should they trust you? Why should they buy now versus later? Etc.

8)      Include a Call-to-Action.

This can be “Learn More”, “Sign Up”, “Like Page”, etc. Think about your end goal and choose your call-to-action accordingly. You don’t want to say “Shop Now” if you don’t have the ability to shop online. You might choose, “Sign Up” if you want your target customer to visit your landing page and sign up to receive your newsletters. This is another item that you can split test as you move along throughout your campaign.

9)      Choose your placement.

Do you want to run the ads in the newsfeed of Facebook or perhaps the right column, in a group, or in Messenger? Or maybe you want to have your ad only show on the Instagram newsfeed or even in Instagram stories. Developing the strategy for your ad campaign should cover where your ideal clients are spending their time so you can place the ads in in front of them. You also have other options like Audience Network which extends your ads beyond Facebook or Instagram to reach audiences on mobile apps and websites. You have the option to choose where to manually place your ads, or you can allow Facebook to choose for you based on where your ad will likely perform best. And once again, you can split test placement as an option! Our little local boutique may want to run ads everywhere that Facebook believes they will likely perform best and simultaneously split test against just Instagram newsfeed only.

10)      If feeling overwhelmed, hire a professional.

Hey, that’s us! If all of this is a little overwhelming to you, know that we are here to help. We can build, manage and run your entire ad campaign or we can sit and chat over a cup of coffee in the local coffee shop (or for those out of state, in each of our own offices, with a cup of joe in hand) to develop a strategy for you and your team to implement right away. Either way, we would love to help jump start a successful social media ad campaign for your business!

So. Many. Options. We get it, its overwhelming! However, its all of these options that make your ads so effective. There are 3 million advertisers on Facebook but most have no idea what they are doing! Following these simple steps and analyzing your data will help your ideal clients find you.

Be sure to follow us on social media to learn more tips and tricks to help increase business for your business (social buttons below).

The post Top 10 Things to Consider Before Running a Facebook Ad Campaign appeared first on Brand Yourself Consulting.

Categories: Businesses


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Mon, 06/26/2017 - 5:44am

The time [Sports Illustrated editor Andre Laguerre] gave me advice was when I wondered whether writing about sports was really substantial. Laguerre simply said, “Frankie, it doesn’t matter what you write about. All that matters is how well you write.” I suppose that has helped sustain me all these years.

-Frank Deford, “Confessions of a Sportswriter,” Sports Illustrated, 6-5-2017

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 1:05pm

Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher: “We’ve always talked about adversity as you have a choice. It’s going to destroy you or it’s going to build you, but we strongly believe that it’s a choice.”

-Ken Campbell, “The Ties That Bind,” The Hockey News, June 19, 2017

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Lower Upper Midwest

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 10:09pm

Lower Upper Midwest
A cool, steady breeze
Betrays the high summer sun
Northfield, not da Yoop
A green lawn, not a stone beach
A corn sea, not the Big Lake

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 7:15am

I don’t even want to know someone who isn’t barely hanging on by a thread.

-Amy Schumer, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (2016)


Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Construction Season II

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:00pm

Construction Season II
Without the chatter
Of the strolling customers,
Campus resounds with
The cheerfully annoying
Chirps of trucks going backwards 

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 8:14pm

The second time [Golden State Warriors coach Steve] Kerr and I talked happened to be roughly the day his symptoms — which include headaches and neck pain — began worsening. Yet, being Kerr, he still ran practice that morning and showed for our lunch interview.

As we walked through downtown Oakland, a disheveled man across the street hollered, Steeeeve! Kerr said what he would say later to the hotel security guard and a street vendor: “Hey, man. What’s going on?”

The man hurried over, holding a battered piece of artwork, and related a tale of temporary homelessness, a run-in with the police. Kerr listened, nodding and asking questions — “Did you paint that? It’s cool.” Then he said, “Good luck to you,” and handed the man $20 for art supplies.

Later, at lunch, Kerry said, “Think about the life that guy’s had, you know?” For Kerr, seeing the big picture is paramount. “[Some people] are just so tunnel vision all the time and ‘I’m going to succeed and kick ass in life,’ and they just trample over everyone. The people to me who are the most powerful leaders are the ones who have great talent in whatever their field is, great conviction in their ability to teach it and act it, but an awareness and a humility and compassion for others.

-Chris Ballard, “No Coach, No Problem,” Sports Illustrated, 5-29-2017

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 5:42am

I’ll tell you what class is. When you step out of the shower to take a leak — that’s class.

-Rodney Dangerfield

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: Construction Season I

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 9:50pm

Construction Season
The school year over,
Orange safety fencing now walls
The vacant sidewalks
And construction vehicles
Invade the empty green quads

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 6:44am

In trying to please other people, we find ourselves misdirected toward what lies outside our sphere of influence. In doing so we lose our hold on our life’s purpose.

Content yourself with being a love of wisdom, a seeker of truth. Return and return again to what is essential and worthy.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens

Daily Tanka: No Email

Blowing and Drifting - Christopher Tassava - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:40pm

No Email
If I receive no
Email all day, have I worked?
I’ve checked off many
To-dos, so I think I’ll keep
My knowledge-worker license

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 6:14pm

Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.

-Salvador Dali

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 2:12pm

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

-Bruce Lee

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 8:09am

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

-Mary Tyler Moore

Categories: Citizens


Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 5:36am

Spiritual progress requires us to highlight what is essential and to disregard everything else as trivial pursuits unworthy of our attention. Moreover, it is actually a good thing to be thought foolish and simple with regard to matters that don’t concern us. Don’t be concerned with other’s people’s impressions of you. They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence.

Refrain from trying to win other people’s approval and admiration. You are taking a higher road. Don’t long for others to see you as sophisticated, unique, or wise. In fact, be suspicious if you appear to others as someone special. Be on your guard against a false sense of self-importance.

Keeping your will in harmony with truth and concerning yourself with what is beyond your control are mutually exclusive. While you are absorbed in one, you will neglect the other.

-Epictetus, Manual for Living (1994, Sharon Lebell translation)

Categories: Citizens
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