74 Characters | Optimizing Facebook Ad Text

74 characters

Be relevant. Grab attention. Have a call-to-action. Include a value proposition. These are the elements of a strong, effective advertisement, no matter on what medium it’s available.

And they are exponentially difficult to convey in the 74 characters available in the body of a Facebook ad.

You’ll find post after post through a Google search about advertising effectively on Facebook. They’ll address targeting your audience correctly, or promoting your website rather than your Facebook page (send them back to Facebook from your website!). And distracting users from what they came to do in the first place (socialize!) so that they’ll click on your ad.

However, few address the fact that all of these practices are easier said than done. Let’s put it into perspective a bit, shall we… 74 characters of text (that’s counting spaces, folks) looks like this:

I am writing a Facebook ad that compels you to buy my product with one cli

Yep. That’s it (that last part was “click” by the way). How well can you sum up the major selling points for your business in less than 20 words? Yeah, me neither. So, let’s brainstorm some ways to make it effective for you.

No punctuationForgo Punctuation

Skip the exclamation marks, periods and dashes. They’re just wasted space – precious characters you can use for other, more important things – like letters. You may want to utilize a question mark on occasion, if you’re leading with a question to grab attention. Commas are better than dashes because they use one less character space, but try and write text that doesn’t require them.

Learn the Lingo

You know that horrible text-speak that your teenager uses – the stuff that, when you go to check her phone for concerning messages, you realize you can’t read a bit of it? Well, take an urban vocabulary class because you’ll need to implement some of those techniques to get your message across in limited space. Some common occurrences:

  • vacay = vacation
  • b4 = before (i.e. “try b4 you buy”)
  • B1G1 = buy one get one (free, half off, etc)

AbbreviationsLikewise, Abbreviate

You’ll also want to abbreviate certain words, or use shortened versions, to save space:

  • bc (or b/c) = because
  • & = and (obviously)
  • biz = business
  • pics = pictures


Why should someone even consider looking at your ad rather than scrolling through the newsfeed? Give them an impelling reason by asking a question – and do it in the header of your ad rather than in the body. The header is in bold and is your visual attention grabber (along with a compelling image, of course). Use that to obtain engagement, leaving 74 characters of ad body to…

Answer the Question

Ask a question in the header and then answer it for potential customers in the body of your ad. For example:

Need a Vacay?
B1G1F for each night you book
in our luxury beach hotel & bask
in the sun!

Notice how that uses all the previously discussed techniques (and even broke one with that exclamation mark because it fit)? You’ll also notice that there is little room to provide where the hotel is or how much one night costs. That’s why you use a picture of the hotel on the beach to accompany your ad and then link to your website. The ad gives them an answer but requires action to get all of the information and that, my friends, is a successful use of limited space to grab a customer or lead!

Don’t be intimidated by a mere 74 characters. You can accomplish a lot more than you think with it.

By: Michelle L. Cramer

Making the Connection | Pairing Email Campaigns and Social Media

Make the connection.

As you look at your marketing strategy, you may tackle email campaigns and social media separately. You may even have different people working on each. After all, one is social media management and the other is content marketing, right?

However, this approach means you’re missing a great opportunity to drive traffic to both avenues by playing them off one another. So sit down with your marketing team and coordinate a process that will generate more leads. Here are some tips to get your started.

Subscribe for contentIntertwine the Content

Make sure that your social media posts correlate with your email marketing campaign and vice versa. In fact, you can take it one step further and create content on your website that is only available to those who sign up for an email subscription – known as “email-gated content.” Then provide links to that content in the emails you generate. Also, link the content on your Facebook posts so that, when someone clicks on the link to read more, he is first directed to a page on your website that says something to the effect of, “To read more of this article, please become a subscriber.”

Of note, the reality of this approach is that some people will determine your content may not be worth the subscription. Which means you need to make content that is worth reading. But that’s a whole other blog post.

FB Newsletter Sign upPlug Subscriptions

The first error that businesses make in marketing their email newsletters is having the subscription sign up only available on their website. This is pure nonsense from a marketing standpoint, because you want to really hit any potential leads from every angle. Which is why you need a button on your Facebook page that allows followers to sign up for emails. And a cover image that points visitors directly to that little box underneath that calls for email subscriptions (sometimes people need a visual!).

Also, consider making discount offers through your social media profiles that – you guessed it – require potential customers to sign up for an email subscription to be eligible for the discount or contest. Contests can be anything like Lay’s campaign to vote for a favorite new potato chip flavor to being put in a drawing for free swag. And guess what, there are Facebook apps available for business pages that pull a user’s email address automatically when they allow the app access to their profile.

When it comes to Twitter, you don’t have a lot of room to post links to email-gated content – 140 characters doesn’t get you far. Consider using sites like bitly.com to generate mini links to your content (added bonus: you can follow where your leads come from through their website, for free). Another option on Twitter is to plug the benefits of subscribing at every opportunity, such as exclusive offers and articles that provide relevant information. Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards might be another helpful adversary.

Essentially, what’s most important is making sure that you spread access over every platform you have available to potential customers. When you’re coming at them from all angles, you’re more likely to gain access to their important information – like an email address – so you can… well… continue to come at them from all angles.

By: Michelle L. Cramer

For more tips, find us on Facebook and Twitter. #getsmarter

Extreme Content Marketing | Amazon’s Product Reviews

Extreme Content Marketing

Who knew that a $3 banana slicer could cause such joy and turmoil in the world? Especially since a simple butter knife is just as efficient in slicing a banana. But with 5,000 customer reviews, ranging from “My banana is much more curved… it doesn’t cut it right” to “I can finally sleep at night!”, the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer has a lot of traction on Amazon.

Certainly, after reading these reviews, and reviews on other products like Uranium Ore, you’re hip to the jive that a few of them might be contrived. Are you wondering why products like this are even available on Amazon? And why people would even bother to leave these bogus reviews in the first place?

Would it surprise you to find out that a lot of these reviewers were likely paid to write them?

I’ve been in content marketing long enough to recognize paid text verses boredom text, and you’d be hard pressed to convince me that all of these reviews were just written by someone that has an extreme amount of free time. I don’t know by whom, whether it was Amazon itself, the owner of these bogus product listings, or just– but it’s clear that many of these are well thought-out.

If that’s true, what would be the point? Why would Amazon or anyone else care to pay for fake reviews?

Illustration for fake website testimonialsYou’re on the Website, Aren’t You?

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Amazon put up these crazy product listings and paid folks to write equally crazy (and hysterical) reviews. They throw the product in with the suggested product list for users (you know, that list that pops up with you add something to your cart or wish list). You see it, you check it out just for fun, you read the reviews… you laugh hysterically and then share the product listing on social media so others can get a laugh too.

And you’ve just sent a bunch of your friends to Amazon who may have had no intention of visiting the site today. While there, some of your friends decide to look up a product they’ve been meaning to buy. A few of them actually make a purchase.

Win for Amazon.

Any Content is Marketing

Have you ever been to a website and found text that seemed to be written by a grade schooler? While it’s bad marketing, it’s marketing nonetheless. Fake, poorly written, or stellar prose – it makes no difference the quality, all of it evokes a response.

The purpose of these bogus Amazon customer reviews is to get you laughing (the really naïve might actually buy the products and spend money frivolously), evoking positive emotions toward the Amazon shopping experience. It’s like the ploy by the Botto Bistro in San Francisco. In an effort to passively give Yelp a piece of their mind, the bistro has requested that patrons leave a bad review in exchange for a discount. And guess what, that’s content marketing too!

Amazon can stand to put some fake stuff out there – the company is big enough that even negative press won’t hurt its margin. The key is finding where you fit in the market and then, if you’re not eloquent with the written word, finding someone that can convey your message and your voice. And don’t fear being a little risky. It may just work for you.

What other crazy Amazon products and reviews have you seen? Comment below.

By: Michelle L. Cramer

For more tips, find us on Facebook and Twitter. #getsmarter

Eye Catcher | Social Media Photos That Don’t get Overlooked

E Y E  C A T C H E R

A picture is worth 1,000 words… or so they say. When it comes to marketing, the right picture can tell a strong story about your business. Problem is, many businesses use stock images for the visual elements in marketing campaigns and these often get overlooked. Taking your social media photos to the next level will help to engage the shares and retweets of this digital age.

rule of thirdsPhoto Composition

A great camera doesn’t make you a great photographer. It truly is about an eye for technique, and the most skilled photographers have a keen since of composition – they can compose an image in such a way that it immediately evokes an emotional response.

However, if you can’t really afford to hire a pro to get the shot you want, or see a last minute opportunity with no time to call someone, there are a few techniques that can help you produce a better image for Facebook and Pinterest. As a part-time professional photographer myself, I believe I can contribute some insights that may be of some benefit to you:

  1. Utilize the Rule of Thirds – Position the subject of your image in a way that mimics how we naturally look at the world.
  2. Keep the Image Simple – Your brain automatically focuses on a subject above all others in a scene, but the camera doesn’t have this feature without your assistance. Remove distracting elements and bring focus to your main subject, rather than trying to cram everything in the shot.
  3. Lead the Eye – A busy, poorly composed shot makes it difficult for a viewer to find a focal point. Use lines, such as a fence or road, to guide where you want the focal point to be.
  4. Notice Details – Pay attention to what is in the background of your images and avoid distracting objects, such as trash cans.

No Camera PhonesThe Camera Does Matter

While composition is, indeed, you’re most critical element of a usable photo for social media marketing, the camera itself does play a major role in the quality of the image. With the exception of marketing through Instagram, avoid using a smartphone camera. Even using the latest and greatest smartphone available on the market, there is going to be a stark difference between the quality of images it produces and those produced by a professional grade piece of equipment.

Keep it Real

While well-composed, creative shots are great for social media marketing, so are images that convey real, every day practices in your business. Your Facebook followers want to know what you do. Instagram is all about capturing moments, rather than posed advertisements. Add a humanistic element to your business by sharing pictures that have strong composition and show your employees at work installing a hot tub or providing moving services.

Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all strongly visual social mediums. It’s imperative that you approach the images you use with a process in mind – rather than simply snapping a picture – if you desire to engage your followers.

By: Michelle L. Cramer

For more tips, find us on Facebook and Twitter. #getsmarter

Social Media Tip #1 – Social Media Calendars and Schedulers

In this tip, our social media guru Ruth Braden gives a how to on monthly content for social media channels. If a business is just getting started using social media this video is a “Must Watch” to learn how to plan for content that effectively grows your brand, increases engagement, and helps leverage between posts about products, specials, events and fan engagement centric posts.


Tune in to learn more about :

Social Media Calendars

Social Media Schedulers

The Most Engaging Posts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and  much more.


Did you enjoy this video? Let us know!  Engage with us on social media using #getsmarter, or email us at socialmedia@thegetsmartgroup.com



Web Tips: How to Install WordPress Easily using FTP

How to Install WordPress Easily

This install has been deemed the “5 minute installation”. From my experience, once you’ve gone through the process it’s really that quick. I’ll assume you already have web hosting with cpanel.

Grocery List:

1. cPanel Access

2. Latest version of WordPress (Download Here)

The Process:

Step 1:

Upload WordPress via FTP to a directory of your choice. In this case, I’m creating a sub-directory called “www.mydomainname.com/dev2”

Step 2:

Go to your website’s cPanel, normally found at (www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel).

Find the section labeled “Databases” and click on “MySQL Databases”
MySQL Databases capture


Step 3:

Create New Database


Step 4:

If you don’t already have a MySQL User created, you’ll need to do that (this is on the same page as Create New Database)

Create New User

The User will be your cPanel name followed by whatever you want. I’m using “dev2”.

Step 5:

Generate a password (it’s more secure). Make sure you save the Database Name, User Name, and the Password from this process.

Generate Password


Step 6:

Select the database you just created and add the user to it.

Add User to Database

Select “All Privileges” and click Make Changes.


Step 7:

Now that you have created your database, it is time to install. Navigate to your new website’s future address. In this case I’m hosting mine at www.mydomainname.com/dev2

When you arrive at this page, you simply enter the information you just created


Alternatively, you can access your wp-config file in your FTP, and edit these lines.

On the next screen, you will see the form to enter your website’s information: title, username, password, and email.

Click Install WordPress, and you’re good to go!


Happy …Wordpressing or something like that!

Make Your Presence Known: 3 Strategies to Get Your Facebook Posts Seen

The “Facebook Algorithm.” It sounds so ominous.

Those of us working to market anything on this social media platform have heard that phrase a hundred times over. And still, most of us don’t really know what it means because those Facebook minions love to be secretive.

What we do know is that it really messes with what shows up in a Facebook newsfeed, and many Facebook business pages suffer because of it. Just the fact that someone’s newsfeed can be filtered by “top stories” or “most recent” can harm a Facebook business page significantly (unless you’re getting a lot of likes and comments from someone’s friends, your posts will not show up in a “top stories” newsfeed).

So, it’s going to take a little extra work on your part to connive your way on to the newsfeeds of your followers.  But it can be done.

1. It’s All in the Words

First of all, anything you post has to be worth reading/viewing in order to gain traction. This is true of every piece of content you produce. In terms of Facebook page status updates, however, focus on the following:

  • Grab their attention! — Give them a reason to read on, such as simply stating “#5 will change your life!” and leaving them to wonder why, craving more information.  Here’s an example:










  • Light a fire! — “Call to action” is not a catchphrase; it’s legit. You need one in your posts. Whether it’s asking a question that demands a response or simply giving them cause to click through and read on (see previous), a call to action is a necessity.   Which would you rather read more about…. The Michael Phelps Swim Spa has the latest features in home aqua therapy” or Download this brochure to see how a Michael Phelps Swim Spa will increase your overall health by an average of 20%”.

2. Speaking of Clicking Through…

Have you given much thought to that “Insights” tab on your Facebook business page? If you’ve looked at that, or even your own business page timeline, you’ll notice that platform keeps track of Facebook post reach (the number of people who see your posts). You may have also noticed that when you share something (whether it be an outside link, another Facebook page or one of your previous posts), those “reach” numbers are significantly lower.Facebook Insights Tab









Here’s a little trick few are aware of: when you’re sharing a link on your Facebook page, don’t just click the “share” button to put it to your page’s timeline. Instead, talk about the item of significance in your status (see the previous section) and tack the phrase “link in first comment” on the end. Then put the URL for whatever you want to share in the first comment of your new post. By requiring your followers to actually click on the post to see the link, you’ll increase Facebook engagement significantly. Proof is in the numbers — give it a try.

If you have it in your marketing budget, boosting a Facebook post (i.e. paying anything from $1 to hundreds to “force” your way onto your follower’s newsfeeds) can also be effective. A $10 boost spread over three days reaches, on average, 1500 people.

3. Consistency Wins the Day

All your efforts will be futile if you fail to post consistently. It’s not just about the algorithm liking you; the more you post, the more chance you’ll have of your followers seeing your posts. Period.

Don’t have the time to devote to getting on Facebook and posting all day long? There’s an answer for that: all Facebook business pages now have the option to create scheduled Facebook posts. If you have any sort of marketing calendar in place, you know what you’ll be posting about all week. So all you have to do is take some time on Monday to schedule all your posts for the week and, viola, you don’t have to think about it until next Monday

The key is to make sure your posts go up at a variety of times throughout the day so that you reach more of your followers. If you can manage to plan for two to three posts a day — morning, afternoon and evening — you’ll have visible engagement.

Seeing is Believing

One thing we do know about the Facebook algorithm is that, the more engagement you have on your Facebook business page, the more Facebook with throw it in your follower’s newsfeeds. Facebook is one of the most utilized social media platforms today, so it stands to reason that it’s well worth the extra efforts to be seen. Give these recommendations a try and comment below with your results, or any additional tips you have for our readers.


Faithfully yours,

The Get Smart Group


How to Refresh Your Brand








Become a Refreshing Spring: Revamp Your Brand

By: Michelle L. Cramer

City life and country life both bring a slew of great experiences. You’ll find concise arguments in favor of both. However, there is one area that most agree on regardless of their preferred demographic: fresh, country water is way better than city water.

I mean, it’s a no-brainer. Well water in the country is supplied directly from natural springs. The water is fresh and tastes wonderful. It embodies the natural environment of outskirts living. City water, however, has a number of additives and variables that affect the taste and you’d be hard-pressed to find many city dwellers who drink water directly from the tap without some sort of filtration system.

Where in the world am I going with this? Well, a stale, outdated brand (logo) is like city water. It’s bearable, when it has to be, and functional (like city water is for cooking and bathing), but isn’t as refreshing as cool country water straight from the springs of Mother Nature.

If your brand puts a unpleasant taste in the mouth, or simply doesn’t get anyone excited for what you have to offer, then it’s time to refresh it. It’s time to give your brand the vigor of spring water (or, at the very least, Britta water filtered from the faucet).

Here’s a little guidance for discovering that new brand approach:

Branded Content1. Identity

How would you identify your company? Wait now – we’re not talking about what your company does. We’re talking about who you are. One word ideas are a start, but the more specific you are, the better you’ll understand the message you want your brand to convey. For example, honest is great, but “ we do everything possible to give our customers the best products/services at the best prices with little need for replacement or redos” is more specific, and oozes sincerity and intent. Better, right?

2. Emotional ResponseColor Emotion Guide

What feelings do you want your company name and logo to inspire in potential customers? Trust is a common response, but dig that well a little deeper to get to the good stuff. Color is a strong element in visual branding and can produce several different emotions based upon the colors used.

3. Target Market

Identify your potential customers by writing down a thorough description of who you’re trying to reach. Elements and demographics to address include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Career and Income
  • Gender
  • Level of Education Completed
  • Ethnicity
  • Lifestyle
  • Needs
  • Hobbies

It’s like knowing you’ll use tap water for cooking and bathing, but you certainly won’t use it for drinking. Your brand may reach any given number of people, but you need to refine it to be palatable to your target market.

Donate-to-Band-Brand-Identity-Website-Design-graphics-logo-design4. Style

Based upon the previous identifiers, what do you believe to be your business style? Are you modern? Conservative? Fun? Serious? Traditional? Your brand should reflect your company’s style both in visual aspects (logo, website design, etc.) and the voice of your content.

Once you have a grasp of the message you want your brand to convey, you need to start looking for someone to dig that well and tap into a refreshing spring of creativity. In other words, you need to hire a professional graphic designer. Just as you’re not a plumber and wouldn’t dig your own well no matter how great you believe yourself to be at digging holes, likewise you wouldn’t put your own logo together regardless of how concrete you are in its design. It’s an investment worth making.

Now, is anyone thirsty for success? Start refreshing your brand now and see the customers pour in.

(That’s enough of the water puns for today, thank you.)

Faithfully yours,

The Get Smart Group

#getsmarter @getsmartgroup

Important Elements of Visual Branding

Elements of Visual Branding












Main Elements of Visual Branding | Becoming a Sequoia

By: Michelle L. Cramer

There is a reason Instagram is so successful – and it’s not because of self-absorbed teenagers who are addicted to selfies.

It’s because we are a visual people. The evolution of a technology driven society has us craving instant gratification. We want to exemplify the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” There should be a full blown story in just one shot. Because, honestly, that’s all the attention span anyone has these days.

Which is why you absolutely must tighten up the visual aspect of your company’s brand identity. Your logo, your color scheme, the way you arrange your website and the cover photo on your Facebook page: all of these visual elements will either spurn more attention from your market, or see them moving on.

Elements of Your Visual Message

What does a new home-based business owner come up with when he doesn’t have the funds to hire a graphic designer for his logo? An overused font with no real distinction he can call his own. Of course, he still may be very successful with his new construction business, but there will come a time when that success requires a rebranding in order to get beyond a plateau.

Case Studies screenshotCLICK HERE to download our case studies and see how we recently rebranded a construction company, a winery and other clients.

And why would rebranding even be necessary? Because the elements of your visual brand need to be as distinctive as the products or services you provide. When combined, these elements should convey a message that only your company can be associated with, rather than lost in a sea of similarity. There are three main aspects of your visual brand that deserve careful consideration.

1. Color

Colors evoke neuro responses.  According to a study released in April 2014 by the University of Missouri – Columbia, specific colors used in a company’s logo have a significant impact how that brand is viewed by consumers. Research showed that:

  • Blue = feelings of confidence, success, reliability
  • Green= environmentally friendly, toughness, durability, masculinity, sustainability
  • Purple= femininity, glamour, charm
  • Pink = youth, imagination, fashionable
  • Yellow= fun, modern
  • Red= expertise, self-assurance

2. Font

Believe it or not, fonts go out of fashion. I recently saw a chiropractic office using the Papyrus font for its logo and nothing more (no color, no image). Someone saw the same and exclaimed “Isn’t that font 20 years old?” One might surmise that you should avoid using fonts in your logo that are recognizable in popular global brands like Coca-cola, and fonts that saw too much use in their initial days, like Papyrus.

Additionally, examining several font options for the same words will have different emotional results. Choose a font that fully embodies the personality you want associated with your business. And, of course, something that is legible. If any letter is hard to decipher, move on to a different font. No one wants to spend more than a couple of seconds reading your company name. They don’t want to have to decode it. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

3. Logo

Bringing color and font together, along with imagery, is supposed to be the opener to your company’s story – the “Once upon a time…” if you will. You can’t put minimum effort in this. Well, you can, but not if you want people to actually remember your business. This is how you start making an impact. Your logo either draws them in or subconsciously makes you a blade of grass in a forest full of the competition, like giant sequoias towering above you.

Dramatizations aside, there has to be cohesion between the visual aspect of your brand and the message you wish to convey to consumers. Yes, visual branding goes beyond these elements of color, font and logo – you’ve got to consider social media imagery, website design and even product design – but you’ll never fully ratify your message through those channels if you aren’t using these basic elements to their full potential.

Not sure where to start on this whole process? We have another blog post for that! Check out How to Refresh Your Brand for some great suggestions.

Faithfully yours,

The Get Smart Group

#getsmarter @getsmartgroup

What To Expect From A Graphic Designer













By: Michelle L. Cramer

Part of refreshing your brand – or starting from scratch – is a stellar logo. Unless you’re well versed in all things graphic, your logo elements will likely fall short of looking professional and drawing  attention in the way you desire.

It’s better that you hire a graphic designer to put your logo together. But, when you do, make sure that it’s a graphic designer you can rely on to get you the results you want. These tips will help you.

The Cost

When a graphic designer provides you with a quote, the charge shouldn’t be more than $800-$1000. That may seem a little steep for a logo, but this price should also include the following:

  • Business card template
  • Stationary/letterhead design
  • Facebook profile picture and header
  • Twitter profile picture and header
  • Headers for your website
  • Logo in a variety of formats, including JPG, PNG, EPS and PSD

Branding PackageAvoid any designer that refuses to provide the raw art file for your logo – this is not a professional. Any files should be high resolution, which means more than 300 DPI, which will allow you to print your logo in larger formats without harming the integrity of the image. And make sure that your service contract includes a full list of everything the designer will provide.


Make sure any graphic designer you consider has samples of previous work. Even if you’re hiring someone relatively new to the profession, anyone you consider should have designs they’ve worked on to perfect their talent so you can see they’re style. If you like what you see, then you’ll likely be happy with what they design for you. However, it’s best to hire someone with a clear portfolio and happy previous clients just to be sure.

Committed to Results

Any diligent graphic designer will work on your logo until you’re happy with it. Before hiring someone, ask about her completion policy. A reliable graphic designer will provide at least three logo samples with first draft to get a better idea of what you’re looking for. Then he will work to perfect the logo to your specific requests, even if it takes a few attempts to get it right. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need revisions, but if there is a color change or different font you want, it’s nice to know you have that option without too much trouble.


Tying into their commitment to results, graphic designers should be excellent communicators. Culture makes a difference, some of the time. If someone doesn’t understand cultural norms, they may not be able to get the point you are trying to make with your logo. Have a phone conversation before you hire an artist to make sure you will avoid difficulty communicating. It’s also great to make sure that you’ll get along – you certainly don’t want to work with someone when your personalities clash.

Just remember, despite what you may think, it’s not a good idea to try and design your logo all on your own. A professional will help you convey the message you desire appropriately so that you can maximize your target market reach.


Faithfully yours,

The Get Smart Group

#getsmarter @getsmartgroup