The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


The Twenty Percent Rule

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twenty Percent Rule for Images on FacebookI ran into the figure of 20% on Monday. Not in the usual way either, which makes it more interesting to talk about. Well, at least to me.

When you post an image to Facebook and you plan to use it in an advertisement (key point there), there can be no more than 20% of the area of the graphic devoted to text.

If it's a regular image that is in a post that you're not boosting or otherwise not being used in a Facebook ad, then there are no restrictions.

Facebook uses a grid system (like the one displayed) to determine the overall text content. You can click here to see their descriptions of how their system works.

That was interesting, as I had a boosted post rejected by Facebook as they said it was more than 20% text. The image was a collage of several social media icons (including Facebook's). Because the icons are all letters, I went over 20% very quickly. It's too bad, because I thought it was a good post, which you can read by clicking here.

Going back to the other 20% you are probably familiar with, I did some reading on Vilfredo Pareto, the economist behind the Pareto principle. This is also known as the 80-20 rule, summed up as "roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes". In 1906, Pareto made an observation that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He also observed that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

The 80-20 law is the basis for many "rules of thumb" in business. These include the following:

  • 80% of company profits come from 20% of customers
  • 80% of complaints come from 20% of customers
  • 80% of profits come from 20% of time spent
  • 80% of company sales come from 20% of products
  • 80% of sales are made by 20% of sales staff

This distribution has been found in many fields of study, from wealth distribution to health care to criminology. It has even been suggested by some that the Pareto principle is truly a natural phenomenon. Regardless of whether it's natural or manufactured, it's a convenient principle to work from.

How can you apply the 80-20 law in your business today? If Facebook can apply it in their advertising criteria, there's likely a way it's affecting your business in ways you're perhaps unaware of. The Pareto principle can be a powerful tool to help you in your efforts to achieve more success in business.

Here's hoping you find your 20% today!

Turning the Online Monster into your Servant

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Websites. 1000 social media websites. Blogs. YouTube. SEO. There are thousands of ways to market online. What's a business to do? Here are some tips on how to turn the online monster you've created (or are thinking of creating) into your servant.

Plan

When managing your online presence seems overwhelming, it's probably because you didn't plan. If you don't know where you're going, you'll have no idea if you're getting there or not. Fortunately, you can change this whenever you want.

Implement

This is where many people start - they start doing before planning. If this sounds like you, take a deep breath, back away from your monitor and take some time to plan your activities. Make a schedule. Define your goals. Then work on making them happen.

Social media sites make it easy to implement. Slap up a post or a picture or comment and voila! You're done! But how do you know it's what's most beneficial?

Websites or other corporate social media tools that are not current demonstrate a failure to implement. Most businesses can improve in this area. My business included.

Measure

Do you know how many people read your last Facebook post? Did anyone like them? Do you know who they were? How did that Facebook post compare to the previous one - and the one before it?

How about your site traffic? Is it up or down from last month? How about your search engine rankings?

Not measuring the results of online activities means you're shooting at targets without knowing you've hit them. This is why many business owners say marketing online doesn't work for them. They or their staff don't measure the results they get.

Analyze, Study & Plan Again

So you've planned, implemented and measured. Can things be improved? Of course they can. Take what you've done and build on it to make it better.

If you don't know HOW to make it better, you're in luck. There are at least a few million pages of online advice (including this one) on how to improve every aspect of your online presence.

If you've read my earlier blog posts, you'll know this stuff isn't rocket science. It's "common sense" - but we all know how prevalent that is these days. I came across a website just before writing this post that proudly exclaimed their latest news on the homepage - except it was from 2011. When the primary purpose of a website is to create confidence about doing business with you, how does something like that benefit your business?

Most "problems" with websites and online marketing are solved by following the steps above. If you don't have time or patience to follow the prescription, then feel free to call "Dr. Mark" at 905-227-6667. I'd be happy to help you manage your online marketing needs so you don't have to.

Getty Copyright Infringement Letters

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A client of mine informed me today he had received a letter from Getty Images claiming he had violated their copyright on two images used on his website. Along with the claim was a request for over $1000 in "damages".

This is a potential challenge for anyone with a website, because as my client noted, he had no idea where the images on his website came from. He had his site built years ago by a designer who is no longer in business who subcontracted the work to another developer in another country. Being able to find out whether the images were licensed or not is virtually impossible.

So, what to do?

Unfortunately, in cases like this, if you are the owner of a website you are liable for the images on your site. You can ask your designer where they got the images and if they can't tell you, then you'd likely be able to pass along anything you pay to your designer as they're the one who got you into the mess in the first place.

Otherwise, you could be stuck with the bill.

Some of the arguments I have read about alleged copyright infringement discuss how people downloaded images from websites offering "free" pictures. Rarely is anything truly free when it comes to images, so tread cautiously if you're going to do this. I have read some stories about "free" image websites where the images were stolen from another website and then offered as free. If you use one of those images and get a copyright infringement letter, you'd better be able to prove you got the image from a free website, along with the exact URL(s) and the date of download.

At The Web For Business.com, we use only use licensed images from stock photography sites for our clients' websites unless they provide us with images to use. We also ask our clients to sign a waiver that acknowledges any images they provide to us are free of copyright and are properly licensed. If they don't sign the waiver, we don't use the images which protects us both.

Copyright infringement is widespread online. Avoid it by purchasing licensed images for your site. There's a cost, but it's worth it to avoid the stress and possible financial penalties when the copyright lawyers come calling.

The Invisible Website

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is unusual to find a site that is invisible in the search engines. I mean, you have to do so little to get a website into Google, yet I found one. Actually, I didn't find it - a client presented it to me and asked what could be done. He said it couldn't be found in the search engines. I didn't believe him, but after a quick check, I found that the website wasn't even indexed in Google despite having been online for more than a year.

Let me explain for a moment why this is so jaw-dropping. Most web developers will submit the work they do to the major search engines as part of their service. They'll either do a direct submission or let the engines crawl the site through links. I link to many of my clients' websites through my portfolio page and that's one simple way to set up an inbound link to a site. So imagine how much effort was involved to have the website NOT be picked up by any of the major search engines. You couldn't even find the website under a specific search for the company's name. That's how bad it was.

Fortunately, with a few changes to the site (there weren't even titles!) and the addition of a few inbound links the site was quickly spidered. It is now found on page one in Google when you search for the company name - which is where it should be. As for other SEO, well, that's for the client to decide.

Search engines owe you nothing. You owe it to your business to ensure your site appears in the major engines. At a minimum, if someone just types in your company name they should find you on the first page of results unless you have an exceptionally common corporate name. (If that's the case, you should really think about talking to a branding expert.)

Be a Drip

Mark Kawabe - Monday, September 13, 2010

Leaky faucets are bad, right? After all, drip, drip, drip, right down the drain.

That's how most people feel about their marketing budgets. Drip, drip, drip - money right down the drain. So what do they do? They stop marketing, and that's bad.

Don't worry about making a big splash - be a drip. Every day, you should be marketing. There needs to be a constant effort - even a small one - but you need to expend some energy to market your business.

Drip, drip, drip.

Those small efforts represent a bucketload of marketing over time. Those small efforts build mindshare in your prospects and existing customers so when they're ready to buy, your name is overflowing in their mind. Yours will be the first company they call and the one they trust because of your consistent marketing messages.

Remember: thousands of drops of water over time will wear away the stone but if they arrive all at once they'll just make a splash and the stone will remain unchanged.