Social Media Day San Diego

Social Media Day San Diego 2013

Lynette Young was excited at the opportunity to not only attend but be one of the select speakers at Social Media Day San Diego held at San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. Along with her panel speakers Stacy Donovan Zapar (LinkedIn) and Claudia Sandoval (Instagram), this “Getting Started” session was moderated by the event coordinator Tyler J. Anderson from Casual Fridays Interactive. Lynette gave the audience of almost 1,600 #SMDaySD attendees tips and tricks on using Google+ for professionals and businesses.

Other powerhouse speakers included Mari SmithAmy Porterfield, and Kimberly Hunt. A full list of speakers can be found on the Social Media San Diego speakers page.

Highlights from the event can be seen in the video below:

Purple Stripe Logo

Social Media Success and Profit for Your Business

What’s in your wallet? Thinking of your business as a wallet – one you would like filled I assume…what do you want it filled with?

Would you rather have 500 ‘Likes’ or 5 new customers? Would you rather have 1,000 online ‘friends’ or $1,000? Would you rather have more ‘fans’ or more ‘profits’?

Yes, it’s a bit of a play off of the Capital One commercials, but the ‘punchline’ works in my discussion here. Social media success and profit is not something you reach by collecting more followers, but by collecting more clients!

Social Media Day San Diego Lynette Young

Photo: Social Media Day San Diego

So many times businesses seem to think the ‘goal’ of participating in digital communications and social media is to collect as many “friends, followers or fans” as they can. If your business could earn income off of popularity then the “Triple F” formula would serve you well. If you are looking to make money or grow a profitable business, then those three items don’t mean anything without the knowledge and expertise to turn the Triple F into money.

Because I am a highly followed person on Google+ with over 1.5 million followers, it is often assumed that followers = fortune & success and that if they could just get more followers they would have social media success and make more money for their business. Nothing can be further from the truth.

I can also tell you there are many other people that have double or triple the followers that I do that have not been able to either use that audience to improve their business bottom line. (There are also people that have a much smaller following on the Internet and social media that make a boatload more cash than I do…) What you really need is for YOU achieve social media success and turn your audience into profits without becoming a sellout or hack.

Just this week I spoke at Geek Girl Camp San Diego and Social Media Day San Diego (in fact I haven’t even flown home yet) and I encounter a few responses to what I talk and teach about that are pretty standard for the conferences I attend around the country.

The first question is (always) that people don’t “get” what Google+ is for – or that they have tried it but it didn’t work. I always answer with questions:

  1. Are you currently attracting and retaining clients via your digital media outreach?
  2. Have you defined what social media success looks like to your business?
  3. Do you know what you want out of your digital communications outreach to your potential/clients?
  4. Do you have an active and evolving social media plan? (No? Check out some tips…)
  5. Are you finding success or frustration using other tactical initiatives such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, content and email marketing?
  6. Is your goal to have more followers or make more money?

Regardless of the answer I can help them find a path – usually within the few minutes I chat with them. In fact, I have not even flown back home and I have received three emails from people I “helped in the hallway” or from the stage telling me that using the ideas and tactics I talked about they have already landed paying clients. Not leads. Not referrals. Clients that have already PAID THEM MONEY that is now sitting in their bank account. Long story short; I get you to results.

The difference is working with someone that knows how to grow a follower count vs. someone that knows how to grow your bank account.

Likes or Customers?Lately I’ve been asked (quite often) if it is a wise choice to dump Facebook and replace it with Google+. I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is NEVER a good idea to abandon an existing social media channel (even if it is faltering) to jump to a platform you don’t understand or have taken the time to make profitable. Above and beyond that, I don’t think it’s a good idea to abandon Facebook at all, but rather learn new ways to use the platform to extend what you have already built. Mari Smith and Amy Porterfield spoke at Social Media Day San Diego on a different panel from mine and I absolutely love their advice and business sense. I’ve seen Amy’s online training FBInfluence and it is full of spot-on solid advice and actionable items. For the record I am in the process of creating a Google+ course that should be ready to ship late summer 2013.

Even above the specifics of using Google+, I get many questions on how to kickstart, reignite or break out of a stalled digital communications initiative in general. So many people have stopped gaining benefits from using social media and digital communications for their company the feeling is that the platforms must be failing. Again, nothing is further from the truth. “Traditional advertising” is still alive and well despite the war cries from digital that it would die a quick and painful death. Same with book publishers. No, these industries are still producing results, but their methods and medium had to evolve. Guess what? Social media is a maturing medium in my opinion and is actively evolving.

Do you offer the same exact products and/or services as you did 5 – 10- 15 years ago? Even if you think the answer is ‘yes’ – it is NOT. How you service your clients has changed. How you market and advertise to them has changed. If not, I can say with some confidence that your profits have NOT increased or improved and your expenses have most likely increased.

So what are you going to do about it? Talk and talk about how social media success is out of your grasp or are you going to roll up your sleeves and make your own success?

Evolve or Die.

Purple Stripe Logo

Social Media Strategy vs Social Media Tactics

For the love of all that is SOCIAL if you are going to develop a strategy make sure you follow through with rock solid tactics!

I live in tactics, in the GSD trenches of social media tactics. Strategy is paper, tactics are ACTION #PreachIt

Strategy vs TacticsIt all started with two tweets. Well, it actually started with a few conversations that lead to the two tweets. Before that there have been dozens upon dozens of discussions with clients and industry friends alike about the importance of aligning business goals to social media content. You can’t get to your destination if you don’t have a map – or you don’t even know what your destination IS.

In the niche of social media marketing and digital communications, it’s well-known that a company or brand should have a plan before attempting to use online social networks to grow business. But once you have a plan, what do you do? The “WORK” part is the tactical plan. Here’s why it’s vital.

Social Media Tactics

Some would say you lean back and check to-do items from your strategic plan off a list. Some will pick and choose items from the plan and gravitate to what is comfortable and familiar. And others will (sadly) waste time and money by referring back to a 78 page social media strategy complete with impressive graphics, charts, and ideas and never once execute on them. Each avenue will result in failure 100% of the time. The key to a great strategic plan, whether for social media, business development, or even landing a first date (hey strategy is strategy, regardless of how you apply it) is the execution of the plan. That is where tactics come into play.

Tactics are where I thrive. The devil is in the details…

Yes, a million companies in today’s world can draw up a social media plan. I can, and through my company have been for over eight years. Let’s back up and chat about the basics. Here I’m going to tell you the process and the planning I go through with every single project I do. If you are ‘in the industry’ I fully expect you should already know this and be practicing it as sure as the sun rises. If not, this is a great time to borrow the concepts and start providing your company, brand or clients a complete, thorough  and professional service. Otherwise you give the rest of us a bad reputation.

GHOST Social Media Marketing

Goals, Holistic, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics

GHOST Process - Purple Stripe Productions


WHY.  Everyone has to work towards something.  Why work if you don’t know what you’re working for?  Why is this needed for your business.  Most times, this is the hardest idea to formulate.


DO.  Here we have to make sure what we do, what everything DOES, serves a greater good, not just for our company, but our clients, their clients, and honestly, the whole Internet.  Our team works very hard to make sure everything we do is fair and balanced, and produces no foreseeable harm.  Our work has to provide positive benefit for everyone involved – from our client’s bottom line to our employees happiness and well-being. (I added the ‘H’ to GOST somewhere around 1998 according to my own notes, slide decks and client work.)


WHAT.  These are very specific actions that will reach a goal.  If objectives are written SMARTER, results will follow.  5% of Facebook Fan Page user interaction per week to be obtained in 120 days.  Specific tasks that can be measured and assigned worth.  Trust us when we say this is hard.


HOW. So you want to get 5% of your Facebook Fan Page population to interact with you?  HOW do you intend on doing that exactly?  Release a video per week, run a contest, give out insider tips and tricks?  This is where we bring the sauce…


WORK.  This is where most people enter the social media game.  Tactics are specific actionable and assigned tasks that you can put a check mark next to on a list.  This is the actual WORK of the entire plan.  It feels productive here, because this is where you DO things.  As you can see, without Strategy, Objectives, Holistic, and Goals, no amount of work will produce results.

GHOST Social Media Marketing & Planning

Many call the entire business process a strategy and I suppose in some sense it the entire GHOST plan is strategy. (As a side note you may be familiar with the acronym in it’s orignal format of GOST – goal, objectives, strategy, tactics – but I added ‘holistic’ somewhere in the mid 90s when I did technical business development and strategy work in “Big Corporate”. Holistic was just another way of stating risk analysis and it fit in with my format quite well.)

Getting back to social media and digital communications, taking this approach provides a systematic way of designing results and profits. We have all seen or participated in project that seemed to be producing a lot of ‘work’ but not much result. Or at least not much result that we cared about or that put money in bank accounts. Planning. Planning. Planning. It’s not sexy, but it gets the job done.

Once you know what you are going to do and why, it’s time to get down to the how.

SMARTER Project Management Methodology

Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Trackable/Timeboxed, Evolves & Re-Evaluate

SMARTER Practices


By planning very specific project requirements and tasks, you keep your focus narrow and your efforts concentrated. By defining the boundaries of a project you also have parameters for the oh-so-popular “scope creep”. Just typing the phrase gives me the shivers. Along all roads other shiny objects appear and it is very tempting to deviate if you don’t have concrete (specific) plans.


If you don’t know exactly what you are working for, there isn’t anything to measure.  By wanting to sell 30% widgets, you have concrete numbers to work towards.  This of course makes our CEO happy, because you can chart +30% on a graph, but you can’t chart “more”.  This is also the point in the process we point at when the bean-counters scream ‘ROI’ at us.  Showing the numbers is easy, but in the end it’s up the business to determine how much a particular action is worth.


Here’s where reality sets in. Online, everything seems to be Facebook, unicorns and glitter and everything seems possible.  If your company has traditionally experienced a 5% growth in sales per year, planning (and relying on) an increase of 45% is unrealistic and dangerous. We work hard to make sure that planned actions and results are humanly possible, financially feasible, and within the universal constrains of time and space (as much as I love Doctor Who, I have not found a way yet to travel in time and space…)


Just because you can does not mean you should.  Does what you propose have a direct link to an action, outcome, or process?  Does it matter NOW?  Does it have anything to do with business goals?  These are questions we throw on the table quite often.  Nowadays, everyone wants to be on Facebook, but when asked why, most times the answer comes down to ‘because it’s there’ or ‘because our competition is there.’

Trackable / Timeboxed

Again, back to the idea that success, failure, and progress should be measurable, you need to show the path from A to B.  Without seeing the steps, you have no way to find a fracture point or reproduce the results.  Time is a very important dimension to our work as well.  Selling 30% more widgets over the course of 30 years really isn’t helpful to a business, but selling 30% more right before your IPO – THAT matters.


This one I added somewhere in the early 2000s. We don’t work in a system that delivers a product and walks away.  We are not advertisers (no offense).  Our medium is not a billboard that you can put up on the highway and forget about until it’s time to change it.  Our ‘product’ is a living, breathing, feeling entity that needs to be nurtured and fed.  In professional circles they call this process ‘evaluation.’


This one I also added somewhere in the early 2000s. I like acronyms as you can now tell. Sometimes when you are in a relationship it’s hard to take a step back and see if it’s working.  It’s hard to change if you become too emotionally attached to something, social media marketing is no different.  Because we are working in a medium that revolves around relationship building and community, it can be hard to cull out the efforts that don’t produce.  At the same time, if when platforms and technology evolve, it can be seen as wasteful to change focus.  The ability to stay flexible and be ahead of the curve is what we do.

Becoming SMARTER at Social Media

To be honest, it’s the last two items here that I see skipped the most often. Ridged plan that fall out of date with tools and platforms and people too scared to evolve and reevaluate. Fear that they might be seen as making the wrong suggestions or choosing the wrong path. There isn’t a client I work with that I don’t tell “you know, we are going to plan and execute all of our plans, but be aware that the industry pivots every 48 hours and we will need to be flexible along the way.” When Google+ showed up on the scene, I knew that it was a good fit for some of my clients right away, and I realized that others were going to take longer to see benefits. At the same time, ideas that have run their course in practice but not on paper need to be put out to pasture as well. Facebook (in some cases) I’m lookin’ at you…

So what is it going to be?

Making grand plans with bells and whistles only to throttle back when it comes to designing tactics to get the job done? Why not do something unique and engaging on social media platforms and do what will get you to your goals? Will you give in to inertia and complain about new ideas and opportunities or will you embrace change – again – and stay competitive?

If you complain or preach that certain strategies or tactics (or social networks) do not work – and you have not tried them first hand in a business context – you are an amateur, plain and simple. Harsh, yes, but true. You cannot learn from a lesson you never attended.

Tactics are not about specific social media networks. Tactics are not about video vs. podcasts vs. webinars. Tactics are about any and all means to meet a goal down and dirty in the trenches. MySpace and Second Life might cause some laughs to anyone that has been around long enough to remember them in their prime. Truth is, those platforms are productive, thriving, and profitable IF you have a specific need. Brushing them off in mass because YOU don’t have an understanding of the value is short-sighted.

Experienced professionals know any form of community and communication is valuable.

Now, lastly, I want you to think about how willing you are to completely immerse yourself in this thinking and methodology. Add this on top of all that you do to run a business, run a department, service clients, deal with deadlines, and all the other tasks you do in order to make a profit. Unless it is specifically your job and the purpose of your company or department to become proficient and excel in all of what I’ve discussed, you should really consider hiring a professional to help you along the journey. I’m not talking about hiring someone (or egads bringing on an intern to handle full responsibly) to send Tweets or schedule Facebook posts, but rather to design a comprehensive and actionable plan to (almost) seamlessly integrate digital communications into your overall plan to make a profit.

It’s time to learn the system and do the work. As Rob Hatch and/or Chris Brogan says, you need to “learn to love the grind”. Not exactly the grind you were looking for? Contact me. I can help.

PS – GSD is getting “stuff” done… I realize everyone doesn’t use the same slang I do!

BookExpo America

BookExpo America 2013 Education Sessions for Google+

For the second year in a row Lynette Young, founder of Purple Stripe Productions and partner at Faucet Group will be speaking at BookExpo America at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, NY. Lynette will be speaking at two sessions this year, both talking about using Google+ as a social media tactical platform to reach more book readers. Lynette is also the author of “Google+ for Small Businesses” and is considered the ‘go-to’ guide for small businesses to quickly and profitably start incorporating the Google+ platform into their social media plans.

BookExpo America

About BookExpo America

BookExpo America (BEA) is the #1 event in North American publishing and the ideal place for content creators and consumers to discover new books/titles, meet favorite and new authors, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those have a passion for books and reading.

BEA 2013 will take place Wednesday, May 29 – Saturday, June 1 at the Javits Center in NYC. BEA is a trade event for publishing professionals but is open to consumers on the last day, Saturday, June 1.

Hosting A Global Book Tour Using Google+ – Learn To Market & Host A Virtual Book Tour

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 11:00 am – 11:50 am

Description: Promoting your book, finding new readers and hosting book tours can all be done from the comfort of your couch – and computer keyboard – using social networking giant Google+. Learn how to host a virtual video ‘hangout’, broadcast it to the world, and promote your event all form Google+. With simple tools such as a computer, webcam and microphone you can reach the world on ‘tour’! Multiple ideas will be shared on types of events to host and how to set them up on Google+ step by step!

Being Social: Reaching Your Customers and Community

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Description: Using social media to market your store may seem at times to be hit-and-miss. But businesses of all types have successfully implemented an effective social media marketing strategy. Come to this panel to hear tips from social media experts in Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and learn how to make this marketing tool work for you.

Do You Need a Consultant or a Coach?

New York TimesProfessionally I fill roles as either a consultant or a mentor (some call it coaching), depending on the professional, company and situation. In my old line of work (enterprise technology) a consultant was usually a semi-temporary non-employee team member that was brought in to fill a specific gap in talent – and come off a different line item for payment in the books (no health insurance or taxes to pay either). Consultants felt a bit more expendable than employees, made more money, and were the first to get cut when budgets got tight.

In the true meaning of consulting (such as what my business partnership with Faucet Group behaves as), the practice revolves more around generating new ideas and facilitating progress. Bringing in ‘temp’ help at an advanced level to get your company over a hurdle or growth jag – as well as infusing a shot of outside (and impartial) expertise can be a sound strategy.

Mentoring in its true form isn’t usually a paid position, but professional coaching is. Imagine having an industry or topic expert to call to work through ideas or issues and help realign your progress. Imagine being able to sustain and grow this progress even after the coach is ‘gone’. Much different outcome than a consultant, even if subtile.

It’s good to know the difference between consultant and coach, and know the difference when looking for help. In my experience, and in my line of services this is what a consultant vs. a mentor / coach looks like:

  • Consultant = Figures out a plan of action based on their experience and your needs and then executes those plans. Progress may continue after consultant is disengaged, but only if team has championed the process themselves.
  • Mentor / Coach = Works with you or your team to help you figure out your own path to success and guides you to produce results yourself. Processes put in place by the coach will continue to be in use after coach is disengaged.

This New York Times article gives some great real-world examples of how choosing a consultant or coach can improve your business. What do you think? Have you ever hired a consultant or a coach? What do you think about the process or outcome?

We Are Moving!

After 3.5 years at our current location… WE’RE MOVING! We will be able to announce our new location end of March 2013. Our bigger offices are still being built out, but as soon as we get our Certificate of Occupancy we will publish our new location and address! (We received the certificate on March 14th – Happy Pi Day!)

Purple Stripe Productions
2 East Scott Street
Riverside, NJ 08075

Purple Stripe Productions - New Office Sneak Peek

Announcing the “Ultimate Google+ Success Maker” eCourse

Ultimate Google+ Success MakerAfter successfully consulting and coaching literally hundreds of professionals and businesses on unlocking the power of Google+ (and numerous other social network platforms) Lynette Young is ready to bring this knowledge to you.

Her *16+ years* of working with in all aspects of social media and digital communications gives Ultimate Google+ Success Maker eCourse an edge that no others can provide.

The Ultimate Google+ Success Maker eCourse will consist of video training and PDF workbooks that you can take at your own pace. When you complete the eCourse, you will receive a free, private, and invite-only membership into the Ultimate Google+ Success Maker Community. Once you’re in — you’re in for LIFE!

Sign up for news & updates at and be first on the list to make your own success in Google+!

Facebook Promoted Posts

Facebook Promoted Posts – Are They Worth It?

Inexpensive self-serve ads on Twitter and Facebook have made advertising on social media networks more accessible to solo and small businesses. While Facebook Ads have been available for some time, the idea of Facebook Promoted Posts and Twitter Ads are a fairly recent addition to the toolbox of social media communications. While I won’t go over the mechanics of placing ads on Facebook or Twitter (that’s easy enough to figure out), I will talk about some ways to use Facebook Promoted Posts and Twitter Ads to squeeze more juice out of your online social graph. In this article I will cover my experience with using Facebook Promoted Posts with my own account. Twitter Ads will be covered in a later article.

Facebook Promoted PostsIn preparation for my ‘Google+ for Small Businesses’ book launch, I used tactics such as Facebook Promoted Posts and Twitter Ads to help gain exposure to my message. I also used this to push signups for my email newsletter subscription (which I also use to promote myself professionally as well as projects I work on). While this is far from a comprehensive test of the results gained from using paid advertising on social media platforms, it can help give you an understanding of what you need to prepare for to get results. To be honest, I didn’t create an entire tactical outreach plan for this, I just did it. Of course I have tracking, reporting, and analytics set up to measure results. Going back and looking at the numbers, it is still up to me if the the ads were worth the spend. I’ll go over my thoughts on this at the end of the article.

This is not my first forte into advertising on social media networks (I’ve been providing consulting and tactical on this for years for my clients), but it is the first time I have used them for myself. Since I am more free to discuss my own results as opposed to that of clients, I though I would make a perfect mini case study. With that said, my cumulative experience heavily influenced what I did my first time diving into paid social media ads.

Facebook Promoted Posts

As a starting point, I performed this Facebook Promoted Post from my personal Facebook account (and not a Facebook Page) with over 1,040 friends and nearly 800 subscribers in order to promote the book launch I was hosting for the release of my first book. Although officially EdgeRank is in effect for Facebook pages and isn’t associated with personal profiles, we can assume the algorithms work in a similar manner. My potential “first level” reach is about 1,800 people with a potential “total” reach of is 646,200 (using the average number of Facebook friends of 359). Facebook’s EdgeRank reduces your posts impressions/views to about 14% of all possible people you are connected with. (This depends a lot on the holy trinity of EdgeRank – Affinity, Weight, and Time). Using a similar back of the envelope calculation, I can assume any one Facebook status update I make reaches approximately 240 people when posted publicly (1,800 times 0.14.) has run some reports that suggest a Facebook post ‘lives’ on average for 5.5 hours after you post it. According to the wording on Facebook about Promoted Posts, your status update will be available to view by more people, but it says nothing about extending the amount of time until the post drops off the stream. I assume then that my $7US is amplifying my reach, not my time to live (TTL – time to live).

In this screen cap, you can see that the very limited analytics given to me on the results of my paid promotion got me 1.8x the amount of views as this post would have received if I didn’t pay $7US to promote. Because this is a personal account and not a Facebook Page, this is the best set of analytics I’m going to have to work from. If I assume 240 people at any one time will see my public posts, then I can calculate that 192 additional people saw my post (my estimated reach of 240 times 0.8 increase in impressions).

Facebook Promoted Post

End result is that I got no more shares on the content than I might have if I shared this type of content (self promotion and not ‘personal’) on Facebook without paying $7US. Two of the commenters and sharers were not Facebook friends of  mine but do subscribe to my public content. There is no telling if they would have normally seen this post and commented, or if if it was the Promoted Post at work.

Notice I didn’t provide an external link or design a really strong call to action in my post, but instead called attention to my guests on the book launch ‘show’ I was hosting. My philosophy on using social media to drive business is as easy as ABC – always be counting.

What I Would Do Differently Next Time

Looking back, I would most certainly attach a large custom graphic instead of a generic link (this one pointed to my YouTube channel). Graphics are a surefire way to get more views on a post in Facebook and I could still hand type in a link for people to click. This allows me to grab more ‘real estate’ on a person’s Facebook stream and gain a few more seconds to make an impression.

I would use a link shortner to point to information on my own website and use it to track only Facebook clicks rather than push clicks to a site I don’t own or control. It makes tracking much harder when I don’t use trackable links or I can sort this out on the back end of my analytics (I use both Google Analytics and Piwik – I don’t ever trust one set of numbers). Also using a ?source=PurpleStripe attribute on my links just helps sort through it quicker (thanks to Christopher Penn for that tip).

Based on friends recommendations I would promote a post the day before an event, not a few hours before an event. Even though my post TTL is about 5.5 hours on Facebook, giving people more time to respond to a call to action that has a deadline is a better approach. With a Facebook Promoted Post that is built as part of an ongoing and planned strategic outreach, my timing and content would be much different. (This is more in line of what I work with clients on.)

Disappointments with Facebook Promoted Posts

The one thing that I am most disappointed in is that when paying for a Facebook Promoted Post, you don’t have unlimited access to the statistics. I have to do screen captures to document my results because after a period of time (I assume when your post is no longer eligible for promotion) you can no longer view the information. Being able to better estimate when the best time to post on my timeline would be helpful to get the most juice out of the Facebook Promoted Post, but there are many resources already available to make this determination on your own. (Analysis showed that it was best to post during times when fans were not at work and between the hours of 8pm and 7am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.)

Facebook Promoted Post Conclusion

In the end I do feel it was a good $7US spent. To me, gaining 192 views (estimated) for $7US comes out to $0.036 a view. If I had more friends or subscribers the number per estimated view would decrease. Using this tactic on a Facebook Page with a decent following would most likely result in even better results. So, yes 3 1/2 cents per view is totally worth the budget and results for me and my needs for the project.

I intend to repost this article in Facebook about a week after I publish it to promote the long tail reads and get additional exposure outside of the initial subscribers. Be on the lookout for an update when I have results.

Princeton Public Library Book Launch for Google+ for Small Businesses

Join social media power influencer Lynette Young for a look at ways your business can kick start its presence on Google+. Hear best-in-class examples of businesses embracing Google+ and learn about the features you can use to promote your brand or your business.Google+ for Small Businesses - Lynette Young Author

Google+ for Small Businesses is specifically written for the needs, resources and capabilities of solo and small business owners wanting to take advantage of the huge reach of Google+.