Tag Archives: Doug Cohen

Love For Boston and All Of Our Cities

This post is not about professional photography or social media, or running a small business, but I feel it’s appropriate.  We capture images here – that’s what we do day in and day out, and most of what we do is a celebration of life and relationships.  After the horrific images that came from the Boston Marathon a couple days ago I got to thinking about that city, the resilience it is showing and how important our cities are.  I haven’t been to Boston but I still have some thoughts that I just wanted to put out there – thoughts on our cities in general with Boston as a backdrop.  We are all thinking about Boston now like we all thought about New York, D.C. and flight 93 after 9/11, and like we all thought about New Orleans after Katrina and any of the other tragedies that have touched us all.  As Americans we wrap our arms around a city that has been hurt and we feel for those who were injured and grieve for those who died.

Boston Marathon

Love for Boston

We have never been to Boston as I said so we can’t rave about it first hand, but we are aware of what an awesome city it is.  It is definitely on our list of places to visit someday.  It has been noted and emphasized that many people – first responders and ordinary citizens alike rushed in to help after the bombs went off by the finish line on Monday.  Locals were helping out-of-towners who may have been trying to connect with family members amid the confusion.  Boston, just as other cities have, has given us yet another great example to follow…

Love for other cities

I hope by saying this I’m not minimizing the tragedy since that’s not my intent, but I think we should take this opportunity to remind ourselves that we should love all our cities, and subsequently (as cheesy as it may sound), each other.  We should reinforce the sense of community that our cities give us – a mass of humanity all functioning together in a huge and complex living breathing machine.  A gigantic display of life and relationships.  This might be obvious but when you visit a city take the time to enjoy what is unique about that city – if you go to Philly for example eat a cheesesteak sandwich (even if it’s a veggie version) and check out the history – the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall…  Take photos of the skyline.  Soak it in.  Take the time to strike up conversations with strangers and let them know you are visiting their city and how much you love it.

Love for your own city

Over our Spring Break a couple weeks ago we did not go out of town.  We stayed home and worked that week, but we did take one day to do a Detroit “staycation” day where we ate breakfast at Toast in Ferndale, went to the Detroit Historical Museum, drove around Belle Isle, took in an iMax movie in Dearborn, ate dinner at Slow’s BBQ in Corktown, and finished up with dessert back in Ferndale at Treat Dreams.  A celebration of Detroit food and history.  We love Detroit.

It’s easy to love our snow peaked mountains, our national parks and our beaches with their natural beauty, but in times like these let’s be thankful for our mighty cities too.  Let’s work together to make them great.  Here are a few (amateur) snapshots from some past visits to other cities…

Philadelphia - Independence Hall

Independence Hall in Philadelphia – 1989

Washington D.C.

I always thought this shot I took in 1986 of the Washington Monument was cool…

Doug and Ally at the Chicago "Bean"

Snapping our reflection in Cloud Gate – the Chicago “Bean”

Family snapshot from the Empire State Building

Family snapshot from the top of the Empire State Building – New York City 2010

Boston is wounded, but Boston is tough and Boston will get through this senseless act.  Boston, the rest of the country is sending their thoughts and wishes your way.  I know we certainly are, and we will be adding pictures of your resilient and beautiful city to our collection someday when we come to eat your food, learn your history, and meet your people.

 

9 Things To Tell Your Kids About Photography

We had a great morning today at West Hills Middle School in Bloomfield Hills, MI for career day!  We presented to two separate groups of 8th graders about a career in photography and it was so much fun.  The kids had really great and thoughtful questions, and it got me thinking that I should share some things to tell your kids about photography just as we did today.

9 Things To Tell Your Kids About Photography

1.  Getting an expensive camera isn’t the only route to becoming a great photographer.  It can certainly help, but it’s not enough.  If you are truly motivated and it’s in your heart you can hone your skills and become pretty good with almost any camera.  Having the most advanced medical equipment wouldn’t make you the best doctor and having a $100 football doesn’t make you a great quarterback.  I’d rather have a great person I connect with with a good eye and a $75 camera (or even an iPhone for that matter) take my picture than an arrogant know-it-all jerk with a $10,000 camera.   Now keep in mind I won’t want to enlarge an iPhone photo and put it on my wall – you will certainly be limited by a cheap camera and you probably will never be able to call yourself a professional photographer with a basic digital point and shoot camera, but equipment isn’t everything.  It’s pretty important (eventually it becomes really important), but it’s not everything.

2.  Being a great photographer only comes with experience so just start shooting.  Get out there!  Learn what photos you like to take the most, experiment and find your style.  If you like portraits take your friend or your sibling to a park.  If you like landscapes or wildlife go to a nature preserve.  Inspiration is available all around you.

3.  Being a great photographer only comes with knowledge so don’t only start shooting.  Learn how to use your camera.  Read the manual (crazy right?).  Learn about lighting.  Learn about posing.  Learn about editing – kids can play with cropping and basic post production techniques with programs as simple as iPhoto.  It’s not too early to start to appreciate the craft behind becoming an accomplished photographer.

4.  Be aware of what you share online.  This doesn’t mean don’t participate and be terrified of the Internet.  It does mean be aware of how you represent yourself, how mistakes can hurt you, and the power of enhancing your life and making connections with social media.  Social media is obviously very visual and images can be very powerful in good and bad ways.  If you are a musician you can post links to your music or you can stream it on soundcloud, if you are a sculptor you can post a picture of your sculpture but it might not do it justice, but if you are a photographer your work is ON facebook if you post it there and it shows up in people’s news feeds – bam.  Instagram is built on photos.  It is critical that your kids understand the reach of these platforms – how they can use them to their advantage but also the dangers of posting something foolish and opening up their private lives to the whole world if they aren’t careful.  Social media is here to stay and we’ve used it to build our business so it’s important to become savvy online – it will continue to get tougher to thrive without it.  The 8th graders we met with will be able to take a whole course on social media when they get to high school next year.

5.  Taking pictures for a living can give you a ton of freedom but it won’t happen right away.  The allure of being your own boss can be strong for an artist.  Whether you want to own a studio, be a freelance photographer or photojournalist you may be the type that marches to the beat of your own drum.  For me I know that working in the corporate environment and having a boss was a nightmare.  I much prefer having my own business, but I know we would not have been able to pull it off if we hadn’t had plenty of experience in the workforce learning how business works (and how it doesn’t work).  I don’t think it’s the best advice to tell a youngster to plan on never working for someone else – to go from graduating from school straight to —–> business owner.  Just my opinion…  We see a lot of photographers fail because they don’t respect and learn the business of photography.

6.  Taking pictures is extremely rewarding and a worthy pursuit!!!  This holds true for professionals and amateurs.  Taking pictures is expression, it’s connection, it’s celebration, it’s history, it’s emotion, it’s a moment, it’s flat out fun.  Kids love to snap and share pictures.  Instagram selfies, facebook profiles, snapchat, tumblr – this is how they connect and express themselves.  What an outlet!  It’s a fun byproduct of technology that some old school photographers can’t understand and they lament how it’s devaluing what real pros are doing.  We feel it’s the opposite – the more people appreciate pictures the more they’ll appreciate good pictures.  We never discourage youngsters from having fun with photography.  We embrace this new culture and here is a funny example of a guest post I wrote for another blog where I discussed ideas for good content on Facebook for photography studios.  Look in the comments where some angry old school photographer chimed in and just ripped me apart for validating these fun new forms of expression.

7.  Find mentors and ask questions.  Go to a local studio.  Go to a local independent camera store.  All of us pros started somewhere and there were photographers who helped us along the way.

8.  You aren’t too young to subscribe to blogs and websites like Peta Pixel where you can learn a ton.  There are a lot of sites like this one with tips and examples of new and creative photos.  We share many articles that stand out on our facebook page as well.  In addition to gaming or surfing silly videos on YouTube maybe your kids can mix in a few of these – they might find plenty they like.

9.  Think about the businesses you love and why.  Whether it’s a certain ice cream shop, or a clothing store, or a gaming store, or some other specialty store, think about why you like them.  Kids are consumers – they can learn from the businesses they like if they are paying attention and it can shape the kind of business people they can be.  If you are a photographer of people you will want to treat your people the way you like to be treated as a customer.  These are simple lessons that shouldn’t be lost on kids.

I hope these help!  Feel free to chime in or even better have your child chime in – if you’re local stop by and visit!  We would be happy to answer questions.

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Frameable Faces Photography
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Frameable Faces Photography is a small biz retail mom & pop shop of Doug&Ally Cohen located in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, Michigan, United States Of America!
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Ally & Doug can be reached at the studio at tel:248-790-7317 or emailed at mailto:info@frameablefaces.com
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Being “Frameable” is an attitude, a community, a way of life – a life you would want to celebrate and display on your walls for all to see!  Tell us… ARE YOU FRAMEABLE?
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Class of 2014 Senior Spokesmodels Part 1!!!

We are excited to present a two part series of images of our new class of 2014 high school senior spokesmodels!  We couldn’t be happier with this wonderful group of young ladies and are very proud to have them representing Frameable Faces Photography for this upcoming school year!  Some of them we have just met recently and some we’ve known much longer – it’s hard to believe they will be seniors in a few short months!

DANIELLE

Danielle - Class of 2014 Frameable FacesDanielle - Class of 2014 Frameable Faces Senior

 

MARA

Mara - Class of 2014 Senior SpokesmodelMara - Class of 2014 Senior Spokesmodel

 

MARISSA

Marissa - Class of 2014 Senior SpokesmodelMarissa - Class of 2014 Senior Spokesmodel

 

TAYLOR 

Taylor - Class of 2014 SpokesmodelTaylor - Class of 2014 Senior Spokesmodel

 

ALANAH

Alanah - Class of 2014 Senior SpokesmodelAlanah - Class of 2014 Senior Spokesmodel

Social Media Stream of Consciousness Pt. 1 – Facebook and Google+

Okay so this is a little change of pace…   Usually when I blog about social media it’s the standard “5 ways to….”  or “7 tips for….” or “the 6 best….” – some type of informative lesson with the perfect title designed to explode our SEO to Jupiter and make our blog the envy of every photography studio East (and West) of the Mississippi.  Okay well maybe that hasn’t quite happened (yet) but one can dream…..right?

Stream of Consciousness - social mediaThis time it’s a little different…

This is part 1 of what could be a series of streams of consciousness about social media as it relates to Frameable Faces, being a small business owner in general, or whatever else I feel like ranting about.  It is a stream of consciousness after all, so who knows what I’ll say right?  And just because there’s a part 1 doesn’t mean there will be a part 2 – that could depend on the response, so be sure to comment and share this post or lose this potential opportunity forever (see – when all else fails just scare them into sharing – that should work).

Facebook Fail?

I am a facebook power user.  Have been for 5 years.  Facebook has changed and I’ve blogged at length about how to navigate the changes.  I practice the techniques I’ve preached when it comes to staying the course, but I will admit that I’m not perfect (HA) and yes occasionally I get a little annoyed at how facebook manipulates the user experience to generate money (this usually happens after I post something boring that no one shares).  While you’ll normally find me preaching to stop whining about the facebook changes and create better content, I’m just being honest here – I do whine once in a while.  Observe:

Text-only posts are getting the most reach right now by a mile for business pages.  I had a text-only post on Friday get a 450 reach with no likes or comments.  It was a dud and yet it still went out to almost half of our following.  The following day I posted a link to a blog post I thought was a good one – no one agreed with me since no one commented and it only reached 93 – only slightly more than one fifth the reach of the text-only post.  Then there’s the recent status of ours that contained a link to a blog post which got 25 likes and 9 comments and only reached 306.  Oh yeah facebook – that’s really hilarious.   Hahaha.  Ugh.  BUT – the other way of looking at this is that I’m okay with 306 people seeing a great post and a good percentage of them clicking on it and appreciating it.  That’s a more successful post than a post that went to 450 that no one cared about.  And if my other post that only went to 93 would have been more interesting then more than 93 people would have seen it.  Remember to take accountability for your content.  So you see how that goes?  I have my moment of weakness, but then I right myself and get back on course creating the best content I can.  That’s what happens in my head.

That said, I notice as an end user that my “most recent” items in my newsfeed aren’t recent at all.  Sometimes the most recent is two days old – I can see how facebook is holding back the content I want to see, so I have to go find the info manually.  Annoying.

Facebook Future?

This all makes me wonder about the future of facebook – it’s not as cool of a place as it used to be.  Too much garbage, spam, memes, chains, links, etc.  I just wish people would post a little bit less of that stuff and more of their own thoughts, and I wish brands would stop littering with salesy posts, crappy ads and specials begging for business.  Sigh.  Now I’m in no way thinking about jumping off the facebook bandwagon, but I’ve always been careful to make sure our eggs are never only in the facebook basket either….

Looking on the “plus” side of life….

I’ve actually been thinking about revisiting Google+.  I’ve always thought it was a ghost town, but a very interesting thing happened on Scott Stratten’s blog recently where he ripped G+ for inflating their numbers based on total Google usage across all of their products and a lot of people ripped him in the comments… he defended himself for a while but eventually he posted an updated retraction when he was proven to have had a slightly incorrect reading of the numbers.  Keep in mind that Scott Stratten is one of the baddest dudes in marketing in my opinion (he calls what he does UnMarketing) and whether it was just a technicality that prompted his retraction or if he is really softening his stance on G+, it was the visceral reaction by so many on his blog defending Google coupled with the changes on facebook that is making me look at adding G+ as a regular spot for us.  I’ve referenced Scott here not to point out that he was wrong, but to point out that I think he is almost never wrong and this got my attention.  The question now is how we might use G+.  We mostly use social media platforms for one of two reasons:

1) The “age old” (at least a few years) social media criteria of be where your peeps are

2) We use the platform for a specific purpose – either for a certain kind of content (like Instagram is our behind-the-scenes platform) or maybe it’s a good place to get info (still our favorite use for twitter – not the only use, just our favorite).  I don’t like to simply duplicate content and behavior on two different platforms (part of the reason we don’t automate from one platform to another).

So that leads me back to G+ where I suspect that there is some exploration to be done specific to photography – seems that some photogs/bloggers/hangout-ers are getting a lot out of it.  It might be a good time to make some connections there if it’s really still growing.  Disclaimer here – we actually have a G+ page for Frameable Faces and yes I have been posting links to new blog posts there, violating my own rule of not simply duplicating content.  I only do it because it takes two seconds and early on people were saying to post there to help with SEO.  Google is the #1 search engine after all.  Is it helping?  Who knows…  But I do know that G+ is not likely to be going anywhere.  We just got Google computers for our kids….  Google is a monster.  Do you use G+?  Personally?  For your brand?  What do you like about it?  I really would like to know.

So there you have it…. a little bit of my mind in words…. fascinating right?  Stay tuned….  🙂

Our 5 Favorite Ways To Instagram!

We love Instagram!  For those of you still not familiar with this (it’s okay we won’t tell anyone) Instagram is a social media platform that enables its users to take pictures (generally with their smartphone), apply digital filters to them, and share them.  As with all of the different social media platforms we use such as facebook, Pinterest, twitter, YouTube (just to name a few), Instagram has its own unique purpose for us.  We generally do not use it to post examples of our work, but rather to post what happens behind the scenes at Frameable Faces.  If you don’t use Instagram you can still see ours by going here.

Meanwhile we thought it would be fun to post 7 of our favorite Instagrams here representing 5 typical categories.  We hope you enjoy them whether you are a Frameable yourself or another photographer/small business owner looking for ways to connect with your peeps.

1. Behind the scenes on a photoshoot

We love these – showcasing the process of creating the images is a lot of fun.  It’s instant gratification since I can snap a quick shot of Ally photographing a high school senior for example with my smartphone and upload it right away while we’re still on location.  Instagram also has a location map feature which uses the GPS stamp from the photo to create a map of locations where the images were produced.  This way people following us can get ideas for where they want to take their photos by seeing where they were taken.

Behind-the-scenes Instagram2. Happenings in the Orchard Mall

The Orchard Mall is our home and it is a very cool place with many other independent businesses and good eats.  It’s a central meeting place in West Bloomfield and any time there is an event or even just beautiful new decorations we Instagram it.

Events:

Chanukah Wonderland at the Orchard Mall - Instagram

Decorations:
Valentine's Day at the Orchard Mall - Instagram

3.  Fun Shout Outs Just Because

We like to celebrate our community – our brand, and life in general…

Frameable Faces Photography - Snowy Instagram 4.  Visits From the #Frameables

Nothing brightens our day like visits from our #frameables and yes these visits make us want to share!  #Frameables is our hashtag on Instagram which works much in the same way hashtags work on twitter.  Our peeps ARE our studio and we mean it.

Seniors:

Frameable Faces Visits from #Frameables - Instagram

Babies:Frameable Faces Visits from #Frameables - Instagram 5.  Stuff That Has To Be Shared Because…Well…It’s Just Too Good Not To

This speaks for itself – you just know when you have to snap a shot and post it.

Ally Cohen with a nice horse named YukonThere are plenty of others – a banana tree at a greenhouse, a practical joke, our snarky reflector Reflecto, road trips, selfies (of course)…..  What are some of the things you like to Instagram?

 

Oso Sweet Onions Prove To Be Delicious AND Frameable!

If you follow us at all you probably know by now that we are huge foodies – we love to eat and we love to photograph food, so when the chance came to photograph some sweet and yummy onions we thought it would be very a-peel-ing…..  🙂

Oso Sweet Onions are incredible!  We were familiar with them already since they are sold down the hall at Hiller’s Markets, our neighbor.  They have about a third higher sugar content than other sweet onion varieties and they don’t release fumes when you cut them so they are virtually tearless!  So yummy…   They were great models too – very photogenic and easy to work with (haha).  Take a look!

Oso Sweet Onions

Oso Sweet Onions are ready for their close up!

We learn a lot when we photograph products and we enjoy that part of the business.  You may recognize these bins or the Oso Sweet Onion logo at the grocery store…  grab them and then go back to the Oso Sweet Onions website for recipes and more information, and then the world can be your onion!

Oso Sweet OnionsOso Sweet Onions

Meanwhile, the Food Channel we’re not but we took some onions home from the shoot and cooked them up….  What’s your favorite way to enjoy onions?

 

When Should You Promote A Facebook Post? Part 2 – Results

Last month we wrote a piece about when to promote a facebook post which included a case study, and we mentioned that we would post a follow up with the results.

Facebook Results

For starters let’s just say the results were…..  successful to a degree but also a little mixed and confusing.  We spent $15 and it did seem to reach a lot of people.  From that standpoint we feel like we got what we paid for, but there are plenty of discrepancies in the numbers.  Sure there is a chance I’m just not understanding them completely but I think I’m a bright guy and if I can’t figure them out then I’m guessing I’m not the only one.  The engagement level was not quite what I’d expected either but I think there is a learning opportunity there.

Total Reach

Total Facebook Reach

First let’s look purely at the number of people the post reached.  Above is the graph that breaks it down into three categories.  When we selected the $15 dollar (highest) option it indicated that the reach we were paying for would be in the 2.5k – 3.5k range.  When I hover my cursor over each category the organic (people who like the page and either clicked on it themselves or had it appear in their news feed before I started the promotion) shows 372, the paid shows 1637, and the viral (people who saw it as a result of a friend liking, commenting on, or sharing the post) shows 76.  By my math that adds up to 2085 – not 1894 and still way short of the estimate I was given.   However….

Facebook Total Promotion Details

They also provide a promotion summary where I’m told that the paid reach of the post is 3215.  Uh…. okay….  so which is it?  1637 or 3215?  If 3215 is the number then I’m pleased with the reach.  We had about 940 people following our page at the time and we promoted this to our followers and their friends so if $15 bought me 3215 people seeing this post I’m good with that.  Side note: I have since found out from a friend who manages a page with a much larger following than ours that it would cost them much more to promote a post – facebook charges considerably more to a page with 100,000 followers than they do to a page with 1000  – like hundreds of dollars instead of $15.

Engagement

So far we’ve looked at the pure mass numbers of people reached.  Now let’s dig into how the people who saw the post responded to it.  First we’ll look at engaged users:

Engaged facebook users for a promoted post

There were 33 engaged users (number of unique people who clicked on the post), 50 other clicks, so there were people in that group of 33 who came back to the post and clicked on it more than once.  There were 10 link clicks – this was a little disappointing since I thought that the thumbnail of the damaged photo of the tent in Vietnam would compel people to check out the link.  14 stories were generated (likes, comments, shares) and only 3 out of thousands hid the link (negative feedback) which is nice – it didn’t turn people off.  Overall not huge numbers of engagement.  This also doesn’t tell me what kind of collective impact the post had by showing up in thousands of news feeds, but I suspect that there was some impact that I can’t measure immediately.  We don’t typically advertise and I’m not an expert in open / click through rates etc. but I do know that when I promoted this our engagement level was over 1.5% and it ended up at .63%  When I promoted the post it had met the criteria for Jay Baer’s STIR strategy for when to promote a post which includes waiting 6 hours to promote and only if the post has over 1% engagement.  I may raise that to 3% going forward especially if it proves to be true that there will be a natural drop off in the percentage engagement once you send it out to people who may not be familiar with your brand.  The last graph of data they give you is the break down of the “stories generated” or people “talking about this”:

Facebook pie chart showing stats for a promoted post

11 likes (even though the earlier summary says 14), 2 comments, and 1 share.  I think it’s great when someone shares a post because the post then reaches a whole new audience.  One share isn’t much, but it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Conclusions

So as I mentioned before I would say the results on this one were mixed.  The confusing numbers are a little troubling – even if it’s only $15 dollars I at least want accurate numbers.  Facebook is a public company now and these tools are part of the ways they are trying to generate revenue to show Wall Street they can be profitable, but they should clean up the data if this is so critical to their future.  As for whether we would promote again?  I would say yes but still very selectively.  This one while not a complete flop was not a home run but that’s okay – they aren’t all going to be home runs.  That’s on us to make sure we learn what content has the most value and appeal for our followers.

Have you paid to sponsor or promote a facebook post?  What kind of results have you seen?

The Frameable Faces 2013 Campus Tour Continues at U of M!!!

And so the campus tour rolled along…  this time into Ann Arbor to see a couple of our favorite Frameable Wolverines!  The cold front was just moving in and the weather was bitter cold but we didn’t let that stop the fun……or the FOOD!  Shocking we know….    🙂

The Frameable Faces Campus Tour checks in at Pizza House!

The Frameable Faces Campus Tour checks in at Pizza House!

Nicole and Cheyenne met us at Pizza House – one of the most popular spots on campus and home of the best chipatis you’ll find anywhere.  A chipati is a yummy salad wrapped in yummy and warm chipati bread served with chipati sauce.  The pizza and garlic bread rocks as well – actually pretty much everything is good at Pizza House…  It was a historic MLK day with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech and it was also inauguration day.  The girls didn’t have classes and we were able to relax and catch up for a couple hours in the late afternoon for an early dinner.

Pizza and Chipati

Chicago style deep dish pizza and a chipati! Mmmmm....

Ally and the Frameable Wolverines

Ally and a couple of her favorite Frameable Wolverines!

Doug with Nicole and Cheyenne

Doug with Nicole and Cheyenne

In keeping with the theme established in East Lansing, we took a stroll over to Insomnia Cookies for dessert…  and we can only say that it’s a good thing there isn’t one of these in West Bloomfield.  It’s dangerous enough with a Just Baked right across the street from the studio (YUM), but late night cookie delivery could be a big problem.  🙂

Insomnia Cookies

Yet again at Insomnia Cookies.... So goood...

Another fun trip with two of our Frameables who are also responsible for two of our greatest images ever – Nicole standing in the water with the beautiful orange sunset many of you have seen and the stunning image of Cheyenne printed on the big beautiful plexiglass which still hangs in the studio.  We love our Frameable Seniors and we love to share in their successes as they enjoy their college experience!

When Should You Promote A Facebook Post? A Case Study

This is really a follow up post to “Restoring History” which focused on photo restoration.  Here is a little social media strategy discussion – as of this writing the strategy for the “Restoring History” post is in a test mode as we speak, and hopefully we can get some results we can learn from as we go along….

Promoting Posts on Facebook

The Option To Promote A Facebook Post

For those who may not know, Facebook rolled out a new tool a few months ago where you can pay to promote your status updates so that they will reach more users.  They also changed their algorithms so that posts don’t automatically reach as many folks as they used to without paying.  If you post something that people love, comment and share then you can still get good results but it’s not a gimme like it was before.  Many people became very upset about this when they saw their reach suddenly dwindle unannounced.  I’ve written in the past about staying the course and not freaking out about it – in a way it’s a good thing because now boring lame content doesn’t get the free ride it used to get and good content that is useful and interesting still gets rewarded.  Meanwhile if you want to give your content a boost you can pay to have it promoted.

Facebook Tool for Promoting Posts

Identifying A Guru For Some Guidance

Jay Baer is a social media strategist and author whom I follow and he posted a great article with the criteria he uses for determining How To Know When To Promote A Facebook Post back on 10/27/12.  If you manage a facebook business page it’s worth reading and bookmarking.  In short he discusses a 4 part “STIR” criteria that includes a waiting period to figure out first if your post is engagement worthy on its own, and the suggestion to promote a post that has a link to click on or some call to action.

Other Factors To Consider

Before yesterday we only promoted twice.  Each time we did the minimum level and we only promoted to people who already like our page.  There is also the option of promoting to people who like your page and their friends.  Depending on your product, your overall Facebook strategy, and the post you are promoting there are a few factors to consider in addition to “STIR” when promoting:

  1. Organic vs. paid approach.  We’ve been fiercely committed to earning Facebook likes one at a time without gimmicks to inflate our numbers.  We want our content to be entertaining and useful.  Being “salesy” is spammy and boring.  We want people to like our page because it’s likeable – not because we beg for it or flood their news feeds (they’ll shut us off if we do that anyway).  Too many promoted posts can threaten that aesthetic which is why we had only done it twice before.
  2. First impression if you go outside your likes.  If you promote a post to your likes and their friends keep in mind that this post may be for many their first exposure to your brand.  Is this post focused on a topic that is more tightly focused on current clients?  Make sure the post serves as a good first impression and consider whether it has broad appeal.
  3. Geography and goal of the post.  Make sure you are going to get the proper bang for your buck.  If you are a local business that can only serve local clients then you may want to be careful about promoting to your likes and their friends.  You may spend money reaching too many folks who are out of state and may never be your client.  Then again word of mouth can travel out of state and then back into your neighborhood from afar so it’s not that black and white, but just be sure to consider what are you trying to accomplish with the additional exposure you are paying for.

The Case Study

So we’ll let you in on the strategy we used yesterday when we promoted the post “Restoring History”.  We did the maximum amount with the option of promoting to our likes and their friends for a three day period.  First off the post met all 4 of Jay Baer’s STIR criteria before we promoted it.  We also considered the 3 additional factors outlined above:

  1. Even though it’s a promoted post which by definition isn’t exactly an organic approach, we feel it is interesting and useful content which keeps with the spirit of how we attract folks to our page.  I’m not promoting a BIG SALE! or running a cheesy contest to just gain empty likes.  If people follow us as a result they’ll likely do it because they appreciate the content – it will expose them to our blog and maybe they’ll see there is real value here.  Like we mentioned before, we do NOT promote often and that won’t change.
  2. Even though photo restoration is NOT our core business by any means, I don’t mind this post creating a first impression of our studio to people who don’t know us.  It’s a thoughtful post that will show we have something worthwhile to say and we think it has broad appeal.  Not a bad way to discover Frameable Faces.
  3. This is one service and maybe the ONLY service that we offer that we can offer to people out of state without them ever visiting our studio.  While I don’t anticipate a ton of out of state photo restoration business, in theory as long as someone can scan the damaged photo and send it to us we can do the rest – have it restored, print it, ship it.  Therefore if going outside of our likes takes us out of our local geography here and there in the process that’s okay.

We will post an update to share the results good and bad.  Let us know if you’ve had experiences with promoted posts and if you have anything to add!

Dear Detroit, You Are Awesome. Love, Frameable Faces

Dear Detroit You Are Awesome

Image courtesy of www.DetroitApparelFactory.com

We have traveled all around the country and there are a lot of cities we love.  My family is originally from New York and I love it there.  I love the big city and it really is an incredible place – endless things to do, see and eat.  We love Chicago – we have close friends there and it’s a short drive – a ton to do there too.  We love D.C. with its monuments and history.  Atlanta and Philly are great cities.  San Fran and L.A. are amazing.  Dallas is very cool and so is Cleveland.  Cincinnati is great – awesome chili, ice cream and ribs.  We love Virginia Beach and we have family there.  We also love South Florida and we have family and friends there all over – all the way down to the Keys – stone crab and key lime pie!  We like Nashville, Houston, Tampa, Oklahoma City, Santa Fe, Jacksonville, Columbus, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Vegas, San Antonio and Atlantic City.  We appreciate the smaller cities and college campuses we’ve visited like Madison, Dayton, State College, Hattiesburg, Cedar Rapids, Pensacola, Oxford, Syracuse, Vail, Taos, Morgantown, Annapolis, Richmond, the list goes on…

We love our National Parks.  We love visiting battlefields, President’s homes, mountains and sand dunes.  We love Skyline Drive, the Rockies, and the Natchez Trace.  We want to explore the Northeast, the West and the Northwest.  We have not yet been to Mount Rushmore, The Badlands, Big Sur, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon or Hawaii.  We have much more we want to see.

Dear Detroit You Are Awesome…

BUT,

Here’s the thing.  As wonderful and awesome as all those places are, we still love Detroit and the surrounding Metro area the most.  Why is that?  It’s not easy to explain to those who don’t live here.  There are plenty of specific things we love of course.  The food is fantastic – Lafayette Coney Island, Mexican Town and Greektown, the best Middle Eastern food, plenty of good Indian and deli, some great chop houses, amazing breakfast options all over the suburbs in West Bloomfield, Birmingham, Royal Oak, and Ferndale, Polish food in Hamtramck – and on and on.  Lots of cool places to hang out as well in the aforementioned towns.  Lots of diversity.  There are world class museums in Detroit and there is a music history here like few other places on Earth.  Of course there is also an awesome sports tradition here.  Ann Arbor is pretty close as well, an incredible college town.Detroit skyline

On paper does Detroit stack up to the other cities?  That really isn’t the point.  The point is Detroit is where we’re from.  Detroit is where we have our studio Frameable Faces Photography (West Bloomfield to be exact).  Detroit is an underdog.  Detroit has been kicked and punched and Detroit has punched back.  Detroit rocks.  Detroit is home.  So Detroit, WE LOVE YOU AND WE ARE NOT LEAVING YOU.

Love,

Doug and Ally Cohen

Frameable Faces Photography

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Frameable Faces Photography
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Frameable Faces Photography is a small biz retail mom & pop shop of Doug&Ally Cohen located in the Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield, Michigan, United States Of America!
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Ally & Doug can be reached at the studio at tel:248-790-7317 or emailed at mailto:info@frameablefaces.com
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