This is the third post in our January tech series, “Things to ask your…” . Catch up on the previous two: Three things to ask… Your software developer and Four things to ask… Your website developer!

This week, we’ve turned our attention to social media. After all, it’s where you grow a community around your service or product, engage with your customers and potential customers, and build brand loyalty. I sat down with Shonay Shaw, who works as a social media manager, to find out the four key questions you should be asking a potential social media manager.

What are the key audiences of different social media sites?

Not all social media sites are created equal. Different sites serve different purposes and attract different audiences. It is important that the person looking after your social media strategy has a good understanding of how social media sites vary, and also a thorough understanding of your organisation’s needs and target market. This way, they can assess which sites will be worth investing in and focusing on.

How do you plan on using social media to engage with customers or clients long-term?

Using social media successfully for a business is very different to using social media for personal fun. A good social manager should be able to understand how social media fits into your business. They will also have a long-term strategy around keeping existing customers or clients engaged while drawing in new ones from areas you haven’t tapped into yet.

In addition, how does the social media manager see the platform as a tool for communicating with your clients? Is it the main point of entry to your site or initial source of updates? Does it serve a help desk function? Ensuring you’re aligned on all these points will make for a good relationship.

What are the latest features of [Social Media Platform]?

Social media is constantly changing and evolving all the time. Features change. Search and display algorithms change. It’s important that your social media manager is up-to-date with the latest trends, features, updates and new sites so that your social media presence continues to work for you. Do some research beforehand, find out about the newest features that have been released on your original platform(s) of choice, and check if the candidate knows of them.

Chances are if they don’t have a clue about most of the major platforms, they won’t be able to make full use of all the platforms can offer. It may even harm your online presence if they’re not aware when big changes come in, especially the ones made behind the scenes.

Do you create content?

The creation and distribution of valuable content is one of the most powerful social media strategies an organisation can use. Quotes and images with your company’s logo that can be easily shared, tweeted or pinned can be a big boost in getting your brand recognised. Leading images, thought-provoking posts, infographics and even well-designed guides within your company’s area of expertise are also a big plus.

A social media manager who is able to manage a content strategy, as well as author or source original content, is invaluable.


Featured image: thewooj [50mm]

Do you have any other questions we should be asking potential social media managers? Let us know in the comments!

The advent of social media has given every person with an account a voice. It has allowed the ordinary person to publicise any perceived discrimination. But like the metaphorical double-edged sword, social media can also be a weapon of mass destruction.

Just recently a café in a Brisbane bayside suburb made headlines after a request by a reporter to the small business owner to put on some lipstick or not be in the picture promoting her business. The business owner vented her displeasure on her business Facebook page, and then social media took it to the next level turning on the reporter and newspaper. This was just after another café posted ‘housekeeping rules’ about their expectations of child patrons on the NSW central coast.

And further up the Hunter Valley a burger restaurant mocked a vegan customer on Facebook and all hell broke loose (socially speaking).

Back in 1995, an episode of the classic TV sitcom Seinfeld addressed the quirks of a small business owner who specialised in soup. The small business owner had precise requirements for ordering and taking the soup.

Jerry: “The guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure.”

Elaine: “Why? What happens if you don’t order right?”

Jerry: “He yells and you don’t get your soup.”

When not followed correctly, the business owner would yell “No Soup For You!” and threw the customer out. Now imagine how that would have played out in today’s culture of social media shaming.

With most small business owners running their own social media accounts, this puts you in direct contact with your customers. Your business Facebook page allows you to develop and write messages for your customer base about situations or issues but you need to consider how these will be perceived by your customers, their contacts and even the media.

Social media users and the media outlets that picked up the stories above expressed different levels of outrage and sympathy – but what impact does this type of behaviour by business owners have on their business? The Hunter Valley burger restaurant received death threats when the business owner’s personal mobile phone number was posted on a page set up in response to the initial post.

When there is a great deal of publicity surrounding a business page like the examples above, social media users anywhere can post an opinion. Which often include negative reactions. How a business owner reacts to these opinions is important.

So what lessons can you take from their experiences?

1. Don’t post on your business page when angry

Very important! Engaging with backlash needs to be thoughtful so don’t provoke the social media beast. Take a deep breath. Have a glass of wine or hit the gym. Write your rant on a piece of paper then burn it! You are not sharing your problems with a small group of friends, you are essentially shouting into a global microphone. Having a post go viral for the wrong reasons can be a social media disaster, rather than a boon to business.

2. Don’t allow your business Facebook page to be hijacked.

You should calmly reiterate your message to focus on the issue. To emphasise the stance on child patrons, the business owner pointed out to casual readers that her business was based in a commercial/industrial area and not a mall, with business hours reflecting that.

3. Control the information on your page

False information on the Internet can be difficult to dispel (… if it’s on the internet is must be true). You hold the power.

4. Champion your business

The Hunter Valley burger café had an existing larrikin tone to all their posts – they reiterated their stance and took action against the hate page created to harm their business by engaging lawyers to send a cease and desist letter. When they realised things were getting out of hand on their own page, they posted a notice calling for a stop to it.

5. Don’t delete the post, comments or page

Unless they are malicious or go against the Facebook code of conduct then leave them there. Critics in your audience will see it as proof that they were right if you delete them. Call out those posting vitriol and respond rationally and keep it civil – this is your business.

5. Monitor the posts

Plenty of people sympathised with the small business owner who was asked to put on some lipstick – however comments directed at the journalist were plainly inappropriate. Monitoring the social media reaction allows the business owner to educate any reader about their stance.

6. Thank your audience for their support

It is important to keep your customers on side and thank them for their support but also underline that personal attacks of any form are not acceptable on your business page. This highlights an ethical stance that you should embrace – and practice.

Remember, your business Facebook page is advertising your business. You may double or triple your likes, but it needs to be sustainable and for the right reasons.

Do you know what happened to the business owner in the Seinfeld episode?

Elaine gets the upper hand and says to him, “You’re through. Pack it up. No more soup for you. NEXT!”

It’s in your best interest to have positive effects in moving your business forward. Keep your social media professional. A good rule of thumb is to think – would I sign off on this statement on my marketing materials?

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Tell us in the comments how you dealt with it.

Yolanda Floro is Leaders in Heels’ Social Media Editor and currently completing her Masters in Law, Media and Journalism studies, focusing on New Media.

Photo credit: Jeff Cutler

Unless you have been stranded on a deserted island for the past few years, you would know that Facebook is like the “Godfather” of social media, with Australians interacting with the platform more than any other site on the Internet. If your business isn’t on Facebook yet, you really are missing out.

Facebook has given the term “marketing” a whole new meaning to business owners. Which other media channel in the world right now can target millions and aim at the exact demographic you wish to have direct communication with?

Whether you are a service or product based business, big or small, businesses are successfully using Facebook for online sales, brand exposure, communicating with new and existing customers, building loyalty and capturing emails to generate leads and converting them into actual sales.

The trick is increasing sales
for your business by increasing the interaction between your brand and customers through your Facebook page – so having users click, like, share and comment regularly.

But, the million dollar question is, how do you do this?

The Basics

  • Social media is a continuous process that requires constant attentionYour FB page must be professionally branded and use the timeline cover image to make it clear what it is you do or offer.
  • Social media is a continuous process that requires constant attention. Think of it as starting a conversation with your customers and midway you go silent. Be committed and consistent every day.
  • You need a healthy number of users opting in to “like” your page. Promote your Facebook page link to all your customers, on your business card, email and website.
  • If you need to gather new “likers” – you can run a simple, low cost paid Facebook campaign where you target users (just make sure they are “likers” you’d LOVE to have as clients and fit the demographic that suits your business).
  • A word of warning – people still regard Facebook as a fun social space where they chat to friends and check out photos. So it’s not just about getting lots of hits or tacky hard sell; it’s about providing relevant and insightful information that actually keeps your customers there and talking.

Content – What, and how much?

Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out algorithm updates that have resulted in decreased visibility for business’s organic page posts. It means you really need to spend more time posting great content several times per day to cut through all the other businesses jumping on the bandwagon.

  • spend more time posting great content several times per dayPost 3-4 times per day – sounds like a lot, right? But, around 15% of your fans will see at least one of your posts per day (if even that) so increase your chances of appearing in news feeds by posting more, increasing the chances one post will get a bite.
  • Spread out your posts or schedule them (look into your insights tab to work out when your likers are online the most (morning, late afternoon or evening?)
  • Keep your posts short and sharp – 150-250 characters for optimal engagement
  • videos and You Tube clips have HUGE engagement ratesBy posting amazing content, the chances are it will be commented on, shared and liked many times – videos and You Tube clips have HUGE engagement rates and get great attention
  • Post a healthy mix of helpful information, images and useful resources that your target audience would value. This is a good driver of leads to your website and will have you perceived as trustworthy to buy from.

Paid Facebook Advertisements

With organic reach down, now is the perfect time to experiment with Facebook ads and the new revamped system is easy to use. Paid Facebook ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed capturing a potential user to take action.

  • You can even zone in on actual suburbs Ensure before you create your advertisement, you know what your goal is – more website visits? More fan engagement? There’s now a guided format to help select your objective.
  • Take advantage of the unique targeting options – make the most of age, gender, relationship status, their workplace and job title. You can even zone in on actual suburbs if you need to attract local customers.
  • Use your audience meter, ensuring it isn’t too broad – advertisements will generally perform better when they are targeted to a few thousand people.
  • Include a clear call to action and enticing headline to encourage users to take your desired action.
  • Go crazy with your images (but remember to choose carefully). You can add up to six images at no extra cost and it’s a real clever way of testing how different images coupled with your advertisement perform
  • Have you got a healthy database of emails? You can now import your contacts (up to 5,000 names at a time) – imagine the possibilities of inviting them to your Facebook page and targeting posts to them.
  • Include a clear call to actionNeed more emails captured? Use software like LeadPages – it’s a powerful way that links with Facebook and allows you to present an offering (usually something for free like an E-Book or how-to-guide) in exchange for an email. Customers sign up and you now have their email to start communicating with them one on one, building a relationship of trust and expertise and then slowly building up to offer your products or service

Finally, as always, you’ve got to test, tweak and measure – always look at your Facebook insights to gauge how popular your posts and advertisements have been and who is actually taking notice – this data is gold to your ongoing efforts and it allows you to quickly see what you’re doing right or wrong – above all – have a little fun with it, put effort in daily, follow the tips above and you’ll be reaping the rewards in a short amount of time.

Featured image: djchuang

Danielle is offering a FREE 30min consultation to clarify your strategies and efforts and give your FB page a health check via Skype or a phone consult until 23 December 2014. Get in touch with her directly on or

Adanielle-grantbout Danielle Grant

Danielle Grant is the director of Creative Buzz Design + Marketing based in Sydney. Danielle is a seasoned marketer, graphic designer and former English high school teacher and has spent the last decade in hospitality, transport and government roles which have developed her design, marketing flair, social media and communication skills.

She has a strong drive to help women in small businesses and entrepreneurs through workshops and 1:1 to re-shape their marketing efforts so it is fuss-free and low-cost. Danielle has helped business owners through the often daunting process of understanding social media and equipping them with the necessary tools to strive for more.

Cady: And they have this book, this “Burn Book” where they write mean things about girls in our grade.
Janis: Well what does it say about me?
Cady: You’re not in it.
Janis: Those bitches.

Mean Girls 2004

Before social media, we ranted to ourselves or to our families and friends about things that upset us. Today, we post it on social media. Problem with customer service? Post it on the company’s Facebook business page. Upset about a contestant’s behavior on a reality television show? Post it on Facebook. Very upset about someone or something? Create a Facebook Hate page.

I discussed defamation via Twitter in my last post, this article will focus on defamation via Facebook. I encourage you to read the cases, they are really interesting – I’ve used the legal citations so you can look them up. Search them.


The law of defamation protects a person’s reputation in the community, in the sense of their right not to be denigrated eyes of others. This involves in a sense, the restriction of another common law principle – freedom of speech. The High Court of Australia said about this balancing act:

The public interest in free speech goes beyond public benefit that may be associated with a particular communication…[everyone] has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public…but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity. Australian Broadcasting Corporation v O’Neill (2006) 227 CLR 57 at [31]-[32].


Facebook was launched in 2004 and its impact on society is growing with it.

It’s currently the largest online social media network. It currently has 1,310,000,000 active users, who share 1,000,000 links every twenty minutes [Link]. Social media has an informal and unreserved style, allowing rapid and spontaneous exchanges. And users are often unconcerned, uninformed or reckless when it comes to the legal risks of what they post online.

Legal Action

Facebook posts have given rise to defamation proceedings in Australia. In the matters discussed, the usual elements of defamation – publication, identification and defamatory matter – were considered. They all involve ordinary people.

Burtenshaw and Knueppel (2012)

Ms Burtenshaw was a school principal in a small community. Ms Knueppel was a parent of a student at that school. In December 2012, in the South Australian Magistrates court, Magistrate Morris was satisfied a Facebook hate page defamed the Ms Burtenshaw and awarded her $40,000 in damages. The Magistrate said:

I am satisfied that prior to the publication of the defamatory material the plaintiff had a sound personal reputation…[and] that the imputations of the subject defamatory postings are untrue. The fact that Ms Knueppel used the publication via a Facebook format and the ease of access and republication should be taken into account as a factor that aggravates the award of compensatory damages.

Polias v Ryall [2013] NSWSC 1267 is a matter which is, at the time of publication, still before the Court. It involves various messages on Facebook profiles between (former) friends. So far, the presiding judge has found some of the defamatory imputations complained of are “abusive words incapable of conveying any defamatory meaning; meaningless abuse; or vulgar abuse not damaging the plaintiff’s reputation”. Interestingly enough, these proceedings have generated some media interest because of the subject matter. A point to bear in mind is the publicity generated by defamation actions, ironically get the message out further.

Mickle v Farley [2013] NSWDC 295 involves a social media double whammy. The defamatory postings were made to Twitter as well as Facebook. The posts were brought to the attention of Ms Mickle by the school principal, who spent time each week to dealing with Facebook issues that arose in relation to students. Mr Farley was a former student of the school, but not of Ms Mickle. His father had been replaced by Ms Mickle when he went on sick leave. Mr Farley was ordered to pay $105,000 in damages. The trial judge found in favour of Ms Mickle, a high school music teacher:

When defamatory publications are made on social media it is common knowledge that they spread. They are spread easily by the simple manipulation of mobile phones and computers. Their evil lies in the grapevine effect that stems from the use of this type of communication.

Opening a fictitious profile to be a “mean girl”

Don’t think that if you have a fictitious profile, it’s open slather to spread hate. Courts have ordered social media platforms to disclose the identities of anonymous social media users through applications for preliminary discovery. In Western Australia, the Supreme Court ordered the disclosure of information relating to posters’ identities in relation to defamatory statements/postings on forums [Resolute Limited and Anor v Warnes [2000] WASC 35 and HotCopper Australia [2010] WASC]. In Britain, the High Court granted an order requiring Facebook to disclose information including the IP addresses of the creators of an offending Facebook page [Applause Store Productions v Raphael [2008] EWHC 1781 (QB)].

How can you protect yourself for being sued for defamation?

  1. Think before you post!
  2. Anonymous or fake profiles are no protection.
  3. Think before you post!
  4. Ordinary people can be sued for defamation.
  5. Think before you post!

Social media has transformed modern communication. It allows people to share interesting as well as mundane stories, engage with businesses, market their own expertise and connect with peers. But when you use social media, temper your behavior online and don’t be impulsive.

Yolanda Floro is Leaders in Heels’ Social Media Editor. This is an edited and modified extract from a recent paper she wrote on Defamation and Social Media as part of her Masters in Law, Media and Journalism studies.

Just as women update their hairstyle and wardrobe from time to time, as your business grows and develops, your marketing may need a makeover of its own too.

Like so many other business owners, you may have started out several years ago, became too busy, had little or no budget and forgot to keep up with basic marketing efforts.

A simple marketing makeover doesn’t have to be painful on your purseYou may have rushed your branding, slapped together a website a friend built for you overnight and you’ve missed HUGE opportunities from the beginning. It is so easy to fall into the trap of doing the same thing over again and “hope” for the best. The marketing landscape has rapidly changed and you can no longer afford to stick to the same marketing strategies.

The GOOD NEWS is a simple marketing makeover doesn’t have to be painful on your purse. My clients are proof of this. I am proof of this. Marketing is simply getting and keeping customers that are profitable and needs to be the oxygen in your business EVERY DAY.

The secret is making your business look its best (your brand), making your website and Facebook work and ensuring all your marketing is targeted.


Your corporate ‘look’ reflects your businessIf you can’t take an objective look at your brand, get someone to give you their honest opinion and ask:

  • Does your logo look amateurish compared to your competitors?
  • Was it created forever ago and now doesn’t reflect what you are trying to communicate to your core market?
  • Does your business stationery, website, social media platforms and logo all tie in together?
  • Could the text change? The fonts? Could the images be updated?

You may not realise it, but your corporate ‘look’ reflects your business – it is your ‘public face’ and also on what your customers judge you on.


  • Revising your branding should only cost a few hundred dollars (see special offer at the end of the article). It will make a profitable impact for your business and appeal to new customers.
  • Ensure you have templates created so you can use consistent colour palettes and elements from your logo so everything has the same look and feel throughout. It doesn’t have to be flamboyant, just consistent, every time.
  • Resist the urge to create your own logo in publisher – you know the saying “If you pay an expert, you’ll cry once, if you don’t, you’ll cry many times.”


As websites are one of the FIRST and FASTEST ways a customer will find you, it is important to consider the usability of it. You have to look at your website as your customer would and make it easier for them to do what you really want them to do.


  • How often is the content updated?
  • When was the last time you added a news item?
  • How many distracting call to actions do you have (downloads, sign ups, e-books) on the homepage?
  • Have you used clipart from the 90s?
  • Do you have a way of capturing “opt ins” (sites such as are terrific for this)
  • Are you using Google Analytics to track what pages your current or potential customers are viewing? (Google Analytics takes just ten minutes to set up)

If your customer can’t determine who you are, or what you are offering in five seconds or less, they WILL look elsewhere. Make it clear and concise.

When it comes to re-building your website, there are hundreds of packages I’ve used for my clients online where you can “do-it-yourself” (try Squarespace, WordPress and Weebly) or contract a company that caters for small to medium sized company websites that can cost up to $500 (not thousands) to have a fully-functioning new website.


Think of Facebook as an ongoing focus group“Does my business really need a Facebook page?”
“I need more likes”
“I don’t know how often and what content to put on my Facebook page”

Firstly, the biggest mistake is NOT having a Facebook page – in Australia alone there are 12 million Facebook users and thanks to the added bonus of promoting your advertisements, you can target your ideal client. Facebook is a powerful business tool and the opportunities are sometimes even better than owning a website.

Wanting more likes won’t convert into customers unless you are offering them something they need.


  • Ensure your Facebook page provides meaningful content that your customer wants to read about
  • If you do plan to pay for advertisements, you can set a daily budget and target ONLY the customer you want. Whe I say target, it means you can pin-point if your ideal target customer is married, has kids, works in the city, has kids and so on.
  • Think of Facebook as an ongoing focus group where those who “like” your page are there to learn about you and what you have to offer. And the best part of this? It is FREE!
  • Consider running promotions, ask for feedback and offer incentives for your likers “sharing” content


It should be common sense by now, but business owners are still marketing too generally and to everyone and anyone. You may be wasting your time and hard-earned money.


  • Find out who the ideal person you want as a customer – how old are they? Are they male or female? Where do they live? Do they have children? What are their interests?
  • What problems can YOU solve for them?
  • Once you figure out who your ideal customer is, target THEM and ONLY THEM and turn them into a profitable customer
  • It could take up to two hours to sit down and answer a series of profile questions on your “ideal client” – but believe me, it will be worth it

So, if it’s a basic, no-fuss marketing makeover that you need, remember it doesn’t have to cost the earth and the process can begin in small steps (think of a nip and tuck, and NOT invasive surgery!) I guarantee it will offer an opportunity to jump ahead of your competitors and appeal to your current and future customers to create immediate profitability.

Featured image: UGArdener

DG HEADSHOTAbout Danielle Grant

Danielle Grant is the director of Creative Buzz Design + Marketing based in Sydney. Danielle is a seasoned marketer, graphic designer and former English high school teacher and has spent the last decade in hospitality, transport and government roles which have developed her design, marketing flair, communication skills.

She has a strong drive to help women in small businesses and entrepreneurs through workshops and 1:1 to re-shape their marketing efforts so it is fuss-free and low-cost. Danielle has helped business owners through the often daunting process of changing their business image to suit what they are offering and their passion, and in doing so often totally re-energises their confidence to perform.

Danielle is offering two exclusive offers until August 31st, 2014.

OFFER 1: FREE 30 minute consultation how quickly and effortlessly a marketing makeover could work for your business (And we won’t sell you a thing – that’s a promise!) Feel free to pick her brains about your current marketing activities and she can help you identify what you may need to work on.


1. Refreshed and unique logo design for your business

2. UNLIMITED Revisions

3. Designed within 7 days

4. FREE Business Card Design + letterhead included.

6. Artwork provided to you in different file formats and OWNED BY YOU!

There are ONLY 100 of these to give away for a tiny investment during the month of August.

We love chatting and coffee. Get in touch or

If you want to continue receiving free, practical solutions for your marketing efforts, look me up on Facebook (creativebuzzdesignmarketing)

Creating a successful Facebook marketing strategy can’t be done without content. Your content is how you can find, reach, influence, engage, motivate, inspire and convert your ideal client. It’s pretty clear to say that without content you don’t have a Facebook marketing strategy at all.

Working with hundreds of business owners, I find that their biggest struggle with Facebook is coming up with consistent content to share on their page each and every week. Often they can speak with their clients face to face with no issue, but asking them to share this same content on Facebook and they freak out. To get your creative juices flowing I’ve outlined below the four different types of content you can share on Facebook.

The four types are: SeeMe, BelieveMe, EngageMe + PayMe content. I’ve outlined them below and shared an example of each.

SeeMe Content

SeeMe Content is content which is highly relevant to your ideal client but has no bearing on your business. The goal behind great SeeMe content is that your ideal client (who are already fans of your page) share this content with their friends/family etc who are also your ideal client. It should trigger the thought – “My friends will really like this, I’ll share this on my profile”

When this action occurs your page is exposed to more people and it helps you grow your fan based organically.


BelieveMe Content

BelieveMe Content is content which is about your business – but not sales related. The ideal is to position yourself and company as the expert in your industry. The easiest way for most people is to provide tips and hints about your products, services, industry, company etc. Always aim to be education, inspiration and entertaining. No boring content here. The goal of your BelieveMe Content is to build your credibility (or BelieveMe Bank) with your fans so that when they are ready to purchase your product or service you are the only choice for them because they know, like and trust you.


EngageMe Content

The more your fans interact or engage with your page on Facebook, the more likely they are to see more of your content. For this reason it’s important to create content specifically designed to encourage them to do so. It could be as simple as asking them to click the “like” button or answer a question. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – people love sharing their opinions – so ask them often and this really get the conversation started.


PayMe Content

When business owners venture into the world of Facebook they either are sell, sell, sell or they completely forget about asking people to buy from them. Facebook is a social networking site, so social should be your primary goal, however you must make it easy for people to buy from you and this is where the PayMe Content comes into play. Your PayMe content should be designed to take people to the next steps in your business; direct them to your website, online store, ask them to call, drop into your location – whatever it is for your business.


When creating your content aim for 80% to be SeeMe, BelieveMe + EngageMe content whilst only 20% should be PayMe Content.

Grab a piece of paper now, and write down 10 ideas for each of the types of content. Great. You now have 40 pieces of content which you can share on your Facebook Page. Use the Facebook Schedule to make sure you are posting regularly and staying consistent.

Natalie Alaimo

Natalie Alaimo is a social media marketing expert who teaches small business owners & entrepreneurs how to build the brand of “YOU” via social media & online marketing to create an avalanche of clients ready to buy from you.

Featured image: credit