Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TOOL TIME - Tightening Up Your Facebook Business Page

-By Liese Gardner
Home renovation has taught me new found respect for tools. In college I’d reach for a butter knife to tighten a screw. Today I have a wall of screwdrivers and wrenches, each with its own specific function. Projects now are completed with a higher degree of ease and success.

In marketing, there are also many tools available to us with which to build a solid foundation of client trust, loyalty, engagement and interest. But how we use them is just as important as choosing which ones to use for our market and our message. It's a safe bet that Facebook is already one of those tools in your "garage" given that it now has 1.1 billion users and approximately 70% of the site's monthly active users in North America connect to a local business through it. (Source: Mashable)
Yet just having a Facebook business page and posting on it without a strategy and goal is like going to Home Depot and choosing a metric wrench then realizing your entire project is in inches. The two look similar, but in the end, it just won’t work.

Squandered Opportunities

The goal of marketing, generally speaking, is to increase exposure and get business. With Facebook, as with any other marketing tool, you only have one chance to take advantage of an offline connection when a client, or the media, comes calling. This is where mindful strategy and total follow-through are required yet aren’t always employed. In the following story, see if you can spot how many opportunities were squandered.

A reporter friend was looking for material for a national magazine article. It’s true what you may have heard -- media does look to Facebook for stories, and she found some great event shots on a Facebook business page. She immediately left a message on the page with all her information. With no response the following day and being on deadline, she called the phone number listed on the page. It turned out to be a wrong number, and there was no web site listed on the page. She used Google to find the web site and correct phone number.

Finally, she connected to someone at the company, but this person didn’t know about the Facebook post, or that event. She didn’t even know who at the company did their Facebook posts. Could the reporter call back when the owner would be in? The reporter left her number instead as she’d already tried harder to get in touch with these people more than ANY potential customer would. In the end she never connected to anyone at the company, and an opportunity to amplify their Facebook message and extend their story to 30,000 potential customers in the magazine was lost.

If you are cringing right now, you understand how many actionable opportunities this company missed and how easy a different outcome would have been. Not only could the company have simply taken the time to complete its profile page correctly, but it also needed to realize that the phone and the person answering it are keys to completing the equation. 

Certainly Facebook is a crowded marketplace, but with 42% of marketers in 2012 reporting that it is important to their business, (source: State of Inbound Marketing 2012) you can’t afford to not take it seriously. Odds are fairly high that your competition is there which is why it’s so important to use Facebook marketing correctly, engage in meaningful dialogue with your audience and make sure that your efforts stand out from the crowd.


 A Quick Look at Three Tools for Sharpening Your Facebook Page

  •  Cover Photos

As you can see above with the Trust Me page, the striking cover photo “shows” what the company is about with visuals that align with what you can expect to see on its Facebook page, and its web site. Additionally, when creating your cover photo, make sure you know and follow the most current Facebook Guidelines for cover photos.

  • Tabs / Apps

Facebook pages come with four standard apps (or tabs): Photos, Likes, Events and Videos. Other third-party apps enable you to add custom graphics for promotions, contests and more as Social Media Examiner has. Some apps to check out are North Social ( and Heyo ( 

  • Promoted Posts

Facebook has said that there are more than 2 billion connections between users and local businesses a day. Facebook Pages garner 645 million views and 13 million comments weekly. Yet, according to Facebook, the content on a Brand Page is only seen by 16% of the Page's fans. The company launched Promoted Posts in June 2012 so businesses could pay to reach more than this 16%.

Takeaways to Fuel Your Facebook Efforts

  • You only have ONE chance to connect when opportunity calls;

  • Write out your end goals for the social media that is right for your market and message and share them with your entire team;

  • Determine the actions you want to create (call you, join a contest, comment), apply it consistently to your Page, and educate and empower team members to monitor and/or act on them;

  • Finally, don’t forget that the phone is still your most important social media tool!

Liese Gardner is a marketing expert working with top brands and individuals in the special events industry since 1984. Her company, Mecca Communications, has conceived and executed many creative, successful campaigns incorporating personalized branding, social media, community outreach, media interface, video marketing, web and blog design, and content curation. Personally, Liese enjoys fueling small businesses with stories of inspiring people who make it happen on her blog, Fuel:Passions That Drive Us.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Maximizing Event Food & Beverage

-By Joann Roth-Oseary

During my 33 years in the event business, I've always approached food & beverage as a critical asset of the final product. At Someone's In The Kitchen (SITK), we maintain that we are only as good as the job we did yesterday. That requires a high level of commitment to each and every event that we do, be it a dinner party for 10 or an event for 1,000. It means maintaining a high level of quality regarding food & beverage. We can never rest on our laurels. That's why we're still around.

I don't tell you any of this to brag about our quality or service. I am sharing how we approach food & beverage and integrate it into any and all events. I always ask myself five critical questions.

  • Who
  • What
  • Why
  • Where and
  • When
With the answers, SITK is able to ascertain how we will create a special event for a particular group or audience. Never let them tell you that "It's not about the food!"

Here's the Key. People remember good food as part of their overall experience.

Trust me, when they feel they have to find a restaurant after the event because the food was unsatisfactory, it will reverberate substantially on any future business you might hope to have with the client.

Themetic Food & Beverage Ideas

Let's take it further and examine how food & beverage can enhance a theme.

Moulin Rouge Theme - Take guests from the point of entry with a mime and then whisk them past a Moulin Rouge windmill. Greet them with a gorgeous model in a champagne hoop skirt, wait staff attired as Can-Can girls and French maids and waiters clad in striped shirts and berets.

Themed Food
  • Passed hors d'oeuvres to include duck and polenta in a tiny spoon and pomegranate glazed chicken.
  • Porcelain "lion head" mini pots of delicious French onion soup with tiny croutons start the meal, accompanied by field green salad with warm goat cheese croustade and roasted cherry vinaigrette.
  • Entree choices include roasted halibut and sea bass with bouillabaisse-style sauce and roasted root vegetables, including carrots and cippolini onions with a toasted baguette.
  • Another entree choice? Tournedos Rossini with Chanterelle and wine sauce.
  • For vegetarian guests, offer mushroom, leek and vegetable galette, crispy potato pave and baby carrot and snap pea bundles.
  • Dessert: Jaconde Imprime with strawberry mousse and almond cake, with chocolate Eiffel  Towers.
The entire experience is enhanced by building the food & beverage into the theme. Black garter belts serve as napkin rings. Guests take home red satin bustier bags with sparkling "lips" lollipops tied with ribbon!

A Night Made in Heaven - Sometimes it is not the food but the presentation!
  • Guests stroll down a walkway engulfed in billows of clouds, serenaded by an angel playing a golden harp.
  • The mist clears as angels open the pearly gates to the terrace of a heavenly mansion.
  • Cocktail tables are dressed in soft blue linen adorned with ornate sculptures resting on a cloud-white floral. Guests sip Angel-tinis, Cloudy Cosmos and Star-Gazers served at a white bar by angel bartenders.
  • Scrumptious appetizers are passed on clear trays adorned with crystals on soft clouds.
  • The angel theme is carried throughout with sprawling tables dressed in silky sky-blue linens swathed with custom cloud-like drapes embellished with puffs of white circles sewn over the cloudy cloths. Silky blue napkins are wrapped with ice-blue organdy covers clasped with clear rings. Place-settings are enhanced by opalescent charger plates, accented with a combination of stemware featuring clear, etched water goblets, sky-blue wine goblets and violet haze champagne flutes. Vintage pearl flatware and an eclectic grouping of clear glass, cloud white, and aqua blue china provide the perfect embellishments.

  • Custom-made, water-colored menus designed with golden gates, clouds, white feathers and opalescent sparkles display gourmet choices for guests to order from angelic servers wearing angel wings and halos.

  • Our angels serve an angelic dessert at the end of the evening. Chocolate Bombes, surrounded by a cloud of freshly spun white cotton candy, from which a white chocolate, gold-dusted angel emerges! 

In Love Theme - It is all about love

  •  Cupid's first course consists of Lobster Ravioli with sliced lobster and cognac and brown butter sauce.

  • Entree is grilled sea bass with Meyer lemon emulsion, rack of lamb with merlot glace de viande, Israeli cous cous with caramelized onions and wild rice and grilled asparagus.
  • For dessert? Why Red Velvet Sweetheart Cake, of course! 


Action Item

Put down your own themes and work to make sure the food, beverage and presentation thoroughly maximize the event!

Joann Roth-Oseary is the founder and president of Someone's In The Kitchen, a multiple award-winning full-service catering and event planning company based in Tarzana, California. She may be reached at Cheryl Fish is the vice-president of SITK Design Services and lead designer on SITK events. She may be reached at