August Event Recap – Social Media Advice with Neal Schaffer

AZIMA Neal Schaffer Meeting

The August AZIMA event featured guest speaker Neal Schaffer of WindMill Networking and author of Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales & Social Media Marketing, who spoke about the power of social media, and in particular LinkedIn, to drive results for your company and your career. Neal reinforced the importance of businesses needing to not only participate in social media, but embrace it throughout their organization. A few years ago, social media was viewed as a fad – but now its here to stay. According to Neal, more time is spent online than watching TV, especially among 45-54 year olds, so it’s critical we shift our marketing focus there accordingly.

Neal broke down social media strategy into something easy to understand and act upon. According to Neal, the average marketer or company goes through three stages of understanding social media:

  • It’s scary and has no ROI – let’s ignore it.
  • Maybe we should consider it – after all, other companies are doing it, maybe even our competitors!
  • How can we do more social media? Social is great, lets do more!

Once marketers move to third stage and have fully embraced social media, Neal recommends the PDCA approach. What’s that, you ask?

  • Plan – plan your strategy & define your goals
  • Do – execute your plan
  • Check – monitor your results
  • Act – revise your plan based on the results you checked

In the end, you’ll realize just how critical the role of a social media marketer is. Neal believes its so important a community manager should truly be a 6 figure job!

Neal also shared some tips for LinkedIn with the audience – Neal was one of the earliest adopters of LinkedIn and known as one of the original “LinkedIn Lions.” He was part of the open networking movement and built his connections to be as large as possible, generating tons of business leads, consulting gigs and job prospects. Neal encourages marketers to be open & connect with each other on LinkedIn as a great way to generate leads and connect with others.

Arnie Kuenn

In addition to the presentation and usual networking hour, we gave away a free Kindle to one lucky attendee, as well as a few copies of Arnie Kuenn’s new book, Accelerate!, which just debuted recently on Amazon and can be purchased here.

Thanks to all that attended!

July Event Recap: Getting the Dish on Social Media for Restaurants!

The AZIMA Panel Discusses Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

The AZIMA Panel Discusses Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

July’s AZIMA event “Serving it Up with Social Media” was full of delicious stories about what it’s like to do social media marketing for restaurants. We got to hear from the perspective of national chains like Chipotle and PF Chang’s & Pei Wei, as well as from a local perspective of the acclaimed Phoenix restaurant Beckett’s Table. The discussion was moderated by Ty Largo, a food blogger & marketer of restaurants & hospitality at UP Agency, so we really got to enjoy a discussion full of expertise & knowledge! We also demoed an exciting new app called Chatterplug during the presentation, which allowed attendees to review the event in real time – which tied in nicely to our discussion of online review sites & getting feedback from guests!

What ensued was a great discussion where the three panelists shared stories on what they’ve found works well – and what doesn’t – to connect with their customers with social media. While all panelists agreed that social media can’t replace the importance of one on one interaction, and social media metrics can’t track mojo or the ROI on a smile, they all found social media to be incredibly effective & important to connect with their guests and spread the word about their latest dishes & promotions.

Chef Justin Beckett (@BeckettsTable) is not only a chef, but also the social media voice of Beckett’s Table, creating all of the Tweets & Facebook shares his guests enjoy himself. He finds that people react most favorably to pictures of the food, and he often posts pictures of the daily special, or even before and after pictures of the ingredients and the final dish. He joked that “Every time I post a picture of heirloom tomatoes, people go crazy!” in response to learning what kind of posts get the best interaction.

Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) connects with their local branch managers to ask questions like: Who are your customers? What do you want to do to connect with them better?  to help identify new marketing initiatives that will help them connect better with their various local markets. They also try to identify brand ambassadors and reach out to them for ideas & inspiration (in exchange for burritos, of course!), and are launching a new program where the local staff & managers can invite loyal customers to receive special perks & rewards. Making local connections is a big part of their social media approach.

PF Chang’s (@PFChangs) & Pei Wei (@PeiWei) reply to every tweet and try to connect with as many of their fans as possible, which is impressive for a national chain with over 20,000 followers on Twitter and almost 250,000 fans on Facebook! They find that coupons, such as the free lettuce wraps coupon that is currently on their Facebook page, are very effective at driving people to the stores through social media. They find that “one page, one message” is best when it comes to managing multiple locations so that they can control the voice and make sure no well-intentioned but perhaps less-skilled restaurants are posting updates like “nom nom nom nom nom.”

What was interesting was that all three restaurants  – PF Chang’s, Chipotle & Beckett’s Table – had just one person who was doing the heavy lifting of social media, and they all admit it’s no easy task and still playing catch-up on some social media fronts! Despite the challenges, you could tell that all three panelists really enjoyed their job and had a lot of passion for what they do, which was inspiring to restaurateurs and marketers alike.

And of course, all of that talk about food sure made the crowd hungry, but not to worry as Chipotle & PF Chang’s handed out coupons for free burritos & lettuce wraps, respectively, to everyone in attendance!

Event Photo Credit: Mark Goldstein

Is Your Baby Ugly??

Tim Ash Presenting at AZIMA Jan. 11, 2011 - Photo By Arnie Kuenn

You have spent months developing your new website having brainstorming sessions with upper management, your graphics artists, content developers and finally you’ve put this all together and right after your launch you realize no one is clicking on your special offers, your bounce rate is over 80{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} and your people are calling in complaints that they can’t figure out how to navigate your website.

Then the panic sets in, you realize that your baby is UGLY and you have created a landing page that SUCKS!

The reality in today’s interactive marketing is that we are bombarded with over 3000 marketing messages each day and unless we have taken some time to understand the psychology of our users, have an understanding of usability, how to use triggers in our copywriting and we have a firm grasp of who our perfect customer is we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Last night AZIMA (Arizona Interactive Marketing Association) featured landing page optimization expert Tim Ash who is the co founder of SiteTuners and author of “Landing Page Optimization” who gave a one hour presentation titled “Your Baby is Ugly” and discussed the “Seven Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design”

Sin #1 – Unclear Call to Action

“What am I suppose to do now?” This is the last question that you want to have a potential customer say when they arrive on your your website. From the perspective of your visitor you should have a clear and obvious path that they can follow to get them closer to their goal. If your visitors have to think and spend time of what to do next they will leave.

Tim further explained that “visitors to your website has an attention span of a lit match” and you have less then 1/20th of a second to make a first impression. If they are not instantly impressed with what they see, they will leave your site to find one that is better.


  • Focus on What Matters Most: Turn down the noise on your landing page by eliminating flashy visual elements that are distracting.
  • Apply the Obvious Standard: If your call to action is not obvious, you’re losing money.
  • Call to Action should be above the fold

Sin #2 – Too Many Choices

When we overwhelm a visitor with too many choices they will become confused. To have a successful landing page we need to be able to lead the visitor to their goal with a limited amount of choices.

People process images 400x faster then text so consider using imagery in a fashion to enable your visitors to process important call to actions on your site and to aid in navigation.

Your home page only has one purpose, to move your visitors off it as quickly as possible to the more important sales pages of your website. Your home page is in effect the “kitchen sink” of your website that will guide your visitors toward their goal.


  • Use a visual grid and shortcuts to reduce the reading scan
  • Categorize choices into small groups

Sin #3 – Asking for Too Much Information

We as Internet Marketers have become greedy in that we ask for too much information.

Imagine walking into a brick and mortar store and the clerk at the door asks you if they may hold onto your credit card while you shop, what would your reaction be?

But yet many of us in Internet Marketing do this same thing today when we ask for a mailing address, telephone number, and other personal information just to be able to download a free e-book.

Consider giving away this free E-book away for really free by not asking for any information at all. If they find the information contained in your book interesting they will follow-up with you with your contact info within the book and your not burdened with an email list of worthless prospects.


  • Only ask for information that is required to complete the transaction
  • If you can, collect the email address early to follow-up if the client abandons the process
  • Collect additional information from the client during a later stage of the process

Sin #4- Too Much Text

Remember as children when we watched the Charlie Brown cartoons and all when any of the adults spoke all we heard was “blah blabbla, blablba”?

This is the same thing our customers hear when we overload them with sales information and they will respond by hitting the back button and go someplace else.


1.      Use headlines, headings and well positioned links

2.      Use bulleted lists to cover key areas

3.      Remove all the subjective claims that you cannot support without factual evidence

Sin #5 – Not Keeping Promises

Search for information about the “Best Digital Camera” and in the number one position of Google’s Adwords you see this ad;

You think to yourself “I know Consumer Reports, I can trust them” and you click on their ad

However when you arrive on their site you see this and find out that you see that you have to “join today” to read the results!

Do you feel that you have been lied to? Will you ever trust Consumer Reports again?

This could be called a “profit prevention system” because you have failed to deliver what you promised and your visitors will leave frustrated and angry.


  • Be clear in your advertising and links of what you’re promising
  • Repeat the text and/or keywords on the destination page to reaffirm their decision
  • Don’t make false claims on what you will deliver

Sin #6 – Visual Distractions

Things that flash, flicker or move around is annoying and graphic designers are often frustrated artists, they often want to think outside the box and express their creativity on your website.

Also how many other websites have you seen that same girl with the headset for the customer service representative and those same group of guys in suits that are your management team?


  • Remove the chrome, the flashy blinky things that compete with your call to action
  • Replace those generic stock images on your site with professional photography that will enhance communication and trust

Sin #7 – Lack of Creditability or Trust

Unless you work for Coke, Red Bull or some Fortune 500 company chances are no one has ever heard of you or your company but yet you’re faced with making a positive first impression in under 1/20th of a second.

Building trust can be one of the most difficult tasks in development of your landing page.


  • Use well known trust symbols on your website above the fold and in prominent locations
  • Create a “butterfly collection” by using logos of your clients on your website
  • Feature your relevant policies, guarantees and other “points of difference” so they can be seen and understood when the visitor first comes to your website

From Ugly Baby to Superstar Marketer

Seems all so simple right? Well it is if you take it one step at a time.

You can easily start changing your “Ugly Baby” website right now by finding just one thing on Tim’s list and start the transformation to Superstar Marketer today!

Guest Post By: Roy Reyer is the president of SEOtrainingSW.com a provider of SEO and Internet Marketing training and consulting and an associate of the Search Engine Academy offering Certification in basic and advanced SEO through partnership with the University of Mississippi. Sign up for Roy’s free weekly SEO tips on his website today.

Help Support the Chandler Food Bank and Enter to Win an iPad!

Did you hear the buzz around the valley? Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief at Search Engine Land and founder of Sphinn, will be presenting at the Tuesday October 12th AZIMA event. Be sure to register soon, tickets are going fast!

At the Tuesday event, we’ll be accepting canned food donations in a joint effort with Gangplank to support the Chandler Foodbank. Help end hunger in our state, and show your support for the residents of the greater Chandler area.

But that’s not all folks: Donate your canned food or nonperishable items and receive a raffle ticket to win a brand new iPad donated by our sponsor Incentive Logic, based in Scottsdale. Each canned food item or nonperishable item equals one raffle ticket, so attendees have multiple chances to win.

This is the mother of all food drives, and with no limit on the number of raffle tickets you better be sure to bring TONS of donations for more chances to win! One catch: you must be present to win. We’ll announce the winner after Danny’s presentation, so make sure you don’t leave early.

Empty out your cupboards and help feed the hungry while learning about search from one of the industry’s top SEO-ers. See you Tuesday, I’ll be at the reg desk waiting for your donations!