Marketing Tip # 27 | How to Get More Facebook Likes

Get More Facebook Likes

10 Easy Ways to Get More Facebook Likes

Use these techniques to get more Facebook Likes on your organization’s business page.

THE GOAL: To increase awareness of your organization’s presence on Facebook

THE PROCESS: Explain WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) WHY people should like your page.

As you implement these techniques,  don’t forget to focus on the WIIFM benefit to your new fans.

  1. Encourage Likes in Your Email Signature Block
  2. Use photos of people. Post them to your page – and tag them! As your business page, you can only tag other businesses. From your personal account, visit your business page and tag the individuals you are personally connected to.  A word of caution: this blurs the lines between personal and professional connections on Facebook.
  3. Using a third party app like ShortStack, create a “LikeGate” to coupons, discounts, or something your fans will like. 
  4. Use Facebook ads, including promoted page likes.
    Here’s a video explanation: 
  5. Use #Hashtags in your posts. Choose those that are current and relevant to provide extra expos
  6. Visit other pages in your niche. As your page, visit their “posts by others” section and provide helpful advice to those with questions and comments. 
  7. Use QR codes or other methods in the “real world” to drive fans to your page. 
  8. Encourage everyone to “Tell your friends.” You do the same.
  9. Ask for” likes” on your business cards, in your brochures, on menus, on posters.
  10. Partner with others, such as complementary organizations, to get referrals and recommendations from their audiences.

Get More Facebook Likes

There you have it. Ten easy ways to get more Facebook Likes. We’ve got a few dozen more that we’ll be sharing soon.  In the meantime, like us on Facebook where we share internet marketing and technology updates, stats and trends for entrepreneurs, small business owners, non-profits and associations.

Marketing Tip #26 | 8 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Social Media Posts

8 Easy Ways to Personalize Social Media

We’re all human. We respond when we believe someone is reaching out to us personally. Especially in today’s mass email marketing and social media bulk posting, a message that speaks to an individual is rare – and usually appreciated.

Here are 8 easy ways you can personalize your social media posts and tweets:

  1. mention individuals – clients, potential clients, someone you met at a networking event, your lunch meeting
  2. post on a client’s page (or tweet using the client’s Twitter handle) to publicly thank them for their business
  3. post and tag photos from events and daily activities around your organization
  4. recognize volunteers and those in your network who have helped
  5. ask relevant questions – a client recently noted that she gets the most reactions and comments from her weekly “So, who’s ready for the weekend?” posts on Fridays
  6. conduct simple polls – Facebook Business Pages offer this option
  7. IMPORTANT: interact with online communities by commenting, liking, and retweeting others’ posts and tweets
  8. MOST IMPORTANTLY: respond to all posts and tweets from others that mention your organization with an acknowledgement comment as simple as “Thanks”, “Glad you enjoyed the session”, or” How can we help fix the situation?”
There you have it. Eight easy ways to personalize social media. Be sure to comment on the Reciprocate Facebook page and tell us your thoughts. Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we included the cute kitten in this post, it’s because the online world is obsessed with cats.  Just for fun check out this an infographic on Why We Love Cats So Much

Marketing Tip #24 | The Generation Gap Influence: Finding Your Target Market on Social Media

You’ve hear it all the time. “You NEED to have a Facebook business page.”  “You NEED to get on Twitter.” “You NEED to be on Pinterest.” But do you really?

Here are 3 time-saving tips to finding your organization’s target market on social media:

TIME SAVING TIP #1:  Determine your target audience
The demographics of your target audience will help dictate where you should spend your online time and budget.  We’ve discussed the importance of defining your target audience in our Marketing Tip #22. If you don’t want to “waste” your time on social networking sites,  you must know who you are targeting before you decide which site to use for your organization.

TIME SAVING TIP #2: Determine the demographics of your target audience
One of the easiest ways to visualize your demographics is to create a mythological target customer. Then you can select the social media networks that will yield the most contact with your target audience.

TIME SAVING TIP#3: Determine where your target audience is online
Here are some interesting statistics from the website monitoring service, Pingdom, which recently released a study on social media user demographics, based on data from the Google Ad Planner Tool. While the Pingdom study covered 24 social networks, we’ll only highlight a few of the more well-know sites here.

  • 51% of all social network users are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • Those 55 and older make up almost 10% of the social network users, while those under 25 make up just over 20%.
  • 55% of Twitter users are 35 or older.
  • The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old.
  • 71% of the 24 sites surveyed by Pingdom had more female users than male users. Only Quora, Reddit, Orkut, Github, Stack Overflow, Hacker News and Slashdot had more male users.

Pinterest is the most female-dominated site, with females making up almost 80% of its users.


The overall average age of social network users is 36.9 years. deviantART has the lowest average age at 28.6 years; LinkedIn has the oldest at 44.2 years.

Based on the data above, an organization marketing to senior males could make the decision NOT to spend their marketing time and money on a Twitter campaign while an organization marketing to 30-something females SHOULD consider Pinterest as a viable marketing tool.

Your organization, of course, will make its own decisions based on your unique products, services, industry, and desired outcomes. Spending a few minutes researching your target audience and its demographics before deciding which social media platform you NEED to be on will provide better results for your marketing time and resources.

Marketing On The Go | Using the iPhone 5 and Other Smartphones to your Advantage

How To Use iPhone and Android Smartphones To Your Advantage

Do you know the difference is between a smartphone and a regular cellphone? The difference is that smartphones have mobile operating systems inside, making them a closer relative of a computer than a phone. They have a mobile browser so you can surf the web on the go and most of them feature touchscreens.

And, as most of generation Y and Z would seem to believe, if you don’t have a smartphone you miss out on a lot. And it may be true to an extent.

But it isn’t just the internet access that makes the difference

The applications (also known as apps) that one may find available on both the Google Play market and the Apple app store can have a huge impact on how you use the internet, shop, dine, and even entertain yourself.

You may be asking “why do I care? I don’t care about checking Facebook on the go or playing games when I’m out and about.” And that is fine, from a personal standpoint. But as an organization that wants to get its message out to others, you may want to start thinking differently.

Things aren’t like they used to be

Now, 8-year-old children have their own cell phones, and any child without a gaming system, such as an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3, is left in the dust. And, if you aren’t on the internet, or more recently, if you haven’t gone mobile, you and your organization may get left in the dust too.

Most associations, businesses and nonprofit organizations now have a Facebook page and many have a Twitter account. And many are starting to go mobile.

Going mobile involves creating an app or sending texts to your customers. This is the first in a our Marketing on the Go series. In our next post, we’ll share how one major corporation is using mobile and what you can learn from them.

In the meantime, if you are ready to take your organization mobile and would like some help, comment below or send an email to info(at)  We’ll provide feedback about the best way to present your organization through a mobile approach from the perspective of your target market — whether they are generation X, Y, and Z — or baby boomers.

Do Your Facebook Friends Know Too Much?

Do you know what you are really sharing on Facebook?

Facebook seems to hold a special place is all of its users’ hearts. And I’m willing to bet most people have a love hate relationship with the social media site. We love the ability to stay connected with friends near and far. We loathe reading all of those whiny Facebook statuses and the hourly updates about where your friend is going or what they are doing. And many of the recent updates have turned us into unwilling stalkers.

Take, for instance, the new group feature. Now, when you post in a closed group (and I’m going to assume a secret group as well although I haven’t looked into it), you can see what members view your post and what time.  I noticed this the other day as I viewed a post by my soccer team captain about the field location and game time. Now, this does have its advantages. We then knew who saw the game information and were able to contact those who didn’t check Facebook. But did I really need to know that teammate A saw the post at 8am and that teammate B didn’t check for a post until 11am? Not really. And I felt a bit violated as then suddenly everyone knew what time I was on Facebook checking that page for that post at exactly 9:36am that morning. Don’t get me wrong, I can see a benefit. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a stalker…

Or how about the added timestamps in Facebook chat that notify you as to what time you sent your message and what exact minute your Facebook friend viewed your message? I haven’t quite found a purpose to this feature other than for you to make assumptions as to how focused your Facebook friend is on you and your conversation. When they view your message right away you feel like they were waiting for you to send it. But, if it takes them a few minutes to view your message, you’re left wondering what they could possibly be doing that is more important than talking to you. So it seems to be a feature that could cause more problems in Facebook friendships then whatever its real purpose may be.

It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc.,
these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds.

The newsfeed is a feature of Facebook that has been drastically changed a few times, usually with a negative response from the users. But Facebook sticks to their guns and eventually everyone adjusts and goes on their merry way. But lately, my newsfeed has seemed to house a much larger quantity of pictures and quotes than of statuses and things I actually care about. It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc., these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds. Great. Now, every silly picture you like will be announced to ALL of your friends. So that picture of a political bumper sticker that your friend posted and you liked? Now all of your Facebook friends know where you stand on that issue, regardless of whether or not you have ever said a word about which party you favor or what belief you hold. Not only do you now need to be careful about what you “like” as it all gets broadcast over the loud speaker, but now your newsfeed is full of a ton of things you probably don’t care about.

And, if you watched the news about a month or so ago, it was broadcast that Facebook changed your displayed email on your About page to your Facebook email. Whoa, Facebook, WHAT?! I didn’t even know I had one of those emails! And I still don’t know how to access that email account, although I haven’t really tried. But, nonetheless, my Facebook email was suddenly displayed publicly as a way for people to contact me. I’ve never had my email displayed, so not only was my email address changed in my contact section, but it was suddenly displayed as well. So, unless you’re one of the few who actually uses your Facebook email address, you should double check that if you DO want an email address displayed, it is one you actually use. And I wouldn’t recommend an important email address, depending on how you run your Facebook page, as you may get more emails than you bargain for.

So Facebook, I’m sure there will be more changes. I am 100% positive there have been many other small stalkerish (yes, I have deemed that a real word) changes to Facebook recently and more to come.  Have you noticed anything different about Facebook that you love, hate, or love to hate?

Facebook and Identity Theft

Identity theft caused by over sharing online

How sharing on Facebook (almost) ruined my life

Privacy. Some people put up a fence and close the blinds while some people get the newspaper in their whitey tighties. But what do they do to protect themselves on the internet?

From what I have seen, many people aren’t as careful online as they should be. A common theme among those I know is, “only really personal stuff needs to be private”.

So what qualifies as really personal stuff? It depends on who you ask. It can include your SSN, your credit card number, your passwords, your birthday, your address, days you’ll be out of town, times when you are home alone, anything that could give away your secret questions for your passwords when you forget them (secret questions such as “What is your first pet’s name?”), and even your phone number.

“Jax was my new puppy. I was so proud of him that I wanted to show him off to all my friends. I loved him so much I even changed my Facebook password to IloveJAX. I made myself an easy target to anyone looking to gain access to my Facebook account. I had my posts set as public, put up a status about how I loved my new puppy, Jax, and before I knew it my friends were calling me saying they got some weird messages from me on Facebook. If it weren’t for some of my hypervigilant friends on Facebook, things could have gotten a lot worse. I’ll always be sure to make sure my passwords are much more difficult to figure out!”

As you may guess, stealing credit card numbers is a big one that happens quite frequently and identity theft has increased throughout the past few years. And while those may appear to be the only privacy and security threats on the internet, they are only the beginning.

Once you put something on the internet, it is there forever. That blog posting you typed up that talked about how much you hated person XYZ can come back to haunt you. And that doesn’t only happen with blogs. Facebook statuses have led to the suspension of students and even teachers. Beware; it doesn’t just happen in schools. In your spare time, Google “people fired over Facebook status” and you’ll find numerous links to Facebook statuses that have cost people their jobs.

Facebook statuses aren’t the only aspect of Facebook you should be concerned with. Posting your address and phone number makes it easy for people who have stumbled across you online to find you IRL (in real life). Uploading mobile images lets people know where you are, which can be okay but it can also let people know that your home is vacant. Identifying your family members and hometown can even be a big no-no if you use your hometown or mother’s maiden name as your security question answers.

Facebook does have privacy settings that you should familiarize yourself with. Make sure you know the people you are “friending”. Be careful what you say in your statuses. Don’t share TOO much in your “About” section. And stay current on Facebook security, Zuckerberg seems to change settings every now and then.

A 1,000 page book could not cover everything you need to know about privacy and security on the internet. Be cautious and untrusting. And if you have any questions, let me know. I can go into more detail regarding what Facebook security settings mean or how you can help protect yourself when making online purchases or anything else you’d like to know. Or, if you have a story regarding online privacy, share your experiences to help others avoid the same mistakes

If you take one piece of advice with you today, it should be this:

You cannot trust anyone on the internet. Be careful what you share. Be cautious of websites, especially ones you have never visited. Don’t enter your SSN or any other personal data unless you are 100% sure you can trust the website. If you have any doubt, do not do it. Be careful. Be safe. Have fun!

The Online Mom Influence

Do you know what Moms do online?

They engage — actively — with other moms and organizations that are active on social media networks, especially Facebook. If moms are in your target market or if moms are influencers of your target market, take note.

According to a recent Infographic posted by Nielsen,

  • 50% of all moms actively participate in social media networks via mobile devices
  • 75% of American moms visited Facebook in March 2012
  • Moms are 38% more likely to become a fan or follow a brand online
  • 5 million moms have visit Pinterest — more than a third of the site’s visitors in March
  • The top 3 social networks among moms:
    1. Facebook………………72.5%
    2. Blogger…………………24.3%
    3. Twitter…………………10.8%
Here’s a quick summary of social moms from Nielsen:
Are you taking advantage of online marketing to reach moms in your target audience?

Marketing Tip #18 | 4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

4 Ways to use Smartphone Marketing

Smartphones can be used to reach customers in four primary ways:
  1. Applications
    • Custom Apps
    • Voting and polls
    • Location-based deals
    • Mobile donations
    • Text to win
    • Couponing
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
  2. Mobile Web
    • Is your website mobile friendly?
  3. Advertising
    • Banner ads
    • Text Messaging
    • QR codes
  4. Phone calls – old-school technology or personal touch?

Want help sorting this out?

Reciprocate Phone Number
     Scan this QR Code to call Reciprocate    
for a free smartphone consultation








( Unless of course, you’re reading this on your smartphone … then you’ll either need to borrow a friend’s phone call so you can scan the code or simply click here to send us an email)

This is the second in a series of tips on marketing to smartphone users. Read smartphone usage statistics here.

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique March Holidays

You’ve mailed out discounts, offered repeat customers free services or products, and now you feel stuck. How do you reach new people and keep your current customers coming back? Relax. We have something you can try. Holidays.

You may be saying to yourself, “What? That doesn’t make sense!” But it does. Use traditional holidays or create new holidays to offer your customers coupons and discounts. Both can give customers a good ol’ laugh and you a reason to connect. The result? Customer satisfaction and business growth. Win. Win.

Here are some examples:

  • March 2 is National Dress in Blue Day. Give customers the ability to wear blue, snap a picture, and submit it for 5% off their next order.
  • The blues got you down? Try March 14 instead. Pi Day opens up the communication lines with your customers as you can share and swap pie recipes or offer “berry good deals.”
  • Don’t have a sweet tooth? Don’t fret! March 26 is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. Use this to your advantage to create a holiday geared towards your industry or ask your customers what holiday they would create.

Here are some existing holidays to use as idea starters:

Month-long celebrations

Red Cross Month

Employee Spirit Month

International Ideas Month

National Frozen Food Month

Holiday Weeks

National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week (March 1-7)

Universal Women’s Week (March 8-14)

National Spring Fever Week (March 18-24)

Daily Holidays

1 – National Pig Day

2 – National Dress In Blue Day

3 – What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day

4 – Cadbury Chocolates Birthday (debut 1824)

5 – Namesake Day

6 – Michalangelo’s Birthday (1475)

7 – National Be Heard Day

8 – Organize Your Home Office Day

9 – Panic Day

10 – First Telephone Message (Sent 1876)

11 – Daylight Savings

12 – Napping Day

13 – K-9 Veterans Day

14 – Pi Day

15 – Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

16 – Freedom of Information Day

17 – St. Patrick’s Day

18 – Awkward Moments Day

19 – Let’s Laugh Day

20 – First Day of Spring

21 – National Common Courtesy Day

22 – As Young As You Feel Day

23 – World Turtle Day

24 – National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

25 – Pecan Day

26 – Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

27 – Quirky Country Music Song Title Day

28 – Memorial Day

29 – National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

30 – I am in Control Day

31 – Earth Hour – 8:30 PM

The possibilities created by using holidays as a marketing theme are endless. Turn each day into your own, and keep your customers coming back for more. Come back next month for some April holidays that will have you hopping to new heights!

What small business can learn from chocolate

Business can learn a lot from chocolate


  • Some customers will pay more for the prestige of owning/using your product/service (Godiva).
  • Some customers will buy the cheapest version available (generic chocolate-flavored baking chips) because quality just don’t matter to them, because a premium price point is higher than anticipated, or because that is what they can afford or chose to afford. 


  • Sometimes it’s how you package your products and services that encourages purchases. (How many colors of M&Ms can you think of? Trust me, the green ones taste just like the red ones!)
  • Sometimes it’s how you bundle your offerings (individual Cadbury eggs or a 3-pack). Encourage “add-on” purchases by making it easy for customers to buy more without having to think.

Creative Marketing

  • The Milk Chocolate Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand
    Use a tagline that will emphasizes your Unique Selling Point (USP) and is memorable. 
  • Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t
    Know your audience and adapt your marketing message and product/service offerings to the media — postings appropriate for your business Facebook wall probably shouldn’t be used as LinkedIn updates
  • Gimme a break…Gimme a break…Break me off a piece of that…
    Make your brand more than just a product or service. Tell your audience how your product can transform their lives and attitudes, if only for a moment.

What have you learned from chocolate?

Promotion idea: 31+ Unique December Holidays

Use unique marketing messages to attract attention to your business

Looking for creative ways to market your business? Use holidays as an excuse to celebrate and offer fun contests, discounts, and other opportunities for your customers. You may be thinking “That sounds like a great idea! But where do I start?”

Below are a few suggestions. Take these ideas. Tweak them. Make them fit your business. Most importantly, go for it!

December 4 is Wear Brown Shoes Day. Turn it into a Facebook photo contest. Encourage customers to post photos of them or their family members (or even the family dog!) wearing brown shoes. Offer a discount for entries and encourage comments from your Facebook community.

December 18 is Bake Cookies Day. Open up a forum on your website and share your favorite cookie recipes with your customers.

December 28 is Card Playing Day. Honor this day by having customer’s “draw a card” for their discount on their current or future purchase.

Here are some other “idea starter” holidays in December:

Month-long Celebrations

Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Universal Human Rights Month

 Holiday weeks:

First week:  National Hand Washing Awareness Week (Dec. 4-10)

Third week: You’re Doing a  Good Job! Week (Dec. 18-24)

Hanukkah (Dec. 20-28)

Kwanzaa (Dec. 26- Jan. 1)

Daily Holidays

1 – World AIDS Day

2 – Special Education Day

3 – Make A Gift Day

4 – Wear Brown Shoes Day

5 – Walt Disney’s Birthday

6 – Saint Nicholas Day

7 – National Cotton Candy Day

8 – National Brownie Day

9 – Christmas Card Day

10 – Dewey Decimal System Day

11 – International Shareware Day

12 – National Poinsettia Day

13 – National Cocoa Day

14 – Monkey Day

15 – Cat Herder’s Day

16 – National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

17 – Wright Brothers Day

18 – Bake Cookies Day

19 – Oatmeal Muffin Day

20 – Hanukkah Begins

21 – National Flashlight Day

22 – National Haiku Poetry Day

23 – Roots Day

24 – Christmas Eve

25 – Christmas

26 – Kwanzaa Begins

27 – National Fruit Cake Day

28 – Card Playing Day

29 – Tick Tock Day

30 – Falling Needles Family Fest Day

31 – New Year’s Eve

Not quite sure that these holidays could work for your business? Create your own customer appreciate days or hold discount days to honor your accomplishments as a small business owner. Advertising and spreading the word help your business grow and fun holidays can help spread the word faster. Get creative and have fun!

Promotion Idea: 31+ Unique October Holidays

Build your business and reputation with a little creativity 

Marketing your small business with creativity builds interest and gets your business recognition. So why not find a unique way to get your name out there? Fun and wacky holidays and business promotions can attract customers and help with word of mouth PR.

Confused about where to start? Take some of these October holidays and run with them.

Try October 7, National Frappe Day: ask your customers which coffee drink is the best and offer 50 cents off each purchase for them to put towards a coffee shop coffee for the day.

Not your cup of coffee? How about National Dictionary Day on October 16: have a contest to see which customer can find the wackiest word in the dictionary and send them a coupon for 10% off a later purchase.

Looking for a different type of contest? October 25th is Sourest Day. Run a photo contest with the best sour face winning a sample product. (Thanks to for the great sour face photo above!)

For a more traditional holiday idea, use Halloween to your advantage. “Dress up” your prices for the day, playing your pricing scale as the “ghost of good things to come”.

You can also create your own holiday to match the needs of your business. Celebrate it yearly, make it fun and get creative. Creating holidays to celebrate your business’s milestones and successes is another good way to draw attention to what you have accomplished.

Whatever unique holidays you find on the calendar, or whatever holidays you choose to create, make sure they are fun and exciting! They are a great marketing tactic to get customers to notice you and spread the word!

October Month Long Celebrations

Computer Learning Month

National Cookie Month

Energy Awareness Month

October Week Long Celebrations

Oct. 3-7     National Customer Service Week (first week)

Oct. 10-14 Home Based Business Week (second week)

Oct. 17-21 Business Women’s Week (third week)

October Holidays

1 – Walt Disney World Birthday 1971

2 – National Custodial Workers Day

3 – Virus Appreciation day

4 – Leave It to Beaver Birthday 1957

5 – Balloons Around the World Day

6 – Physician Assistant Day

7 – National Frappe Day

8 – American Touch Tag Day

9 – Leif Erikson Day

10 – Columbus Day

11 – Eleanor Roosevelt’s Birthday (1884)

12 – Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day

13 – World Sight Day

14 – national lower case day

15 – Sweetest Day

16 – National Dictionary Day

17 – Boss’s Day

18 – No Beard Day

19 – Hagfish Day

20 – Get To Know Your Customers Day

21 – Electric Light Birthday 1879

22 – Make A Difference Day

23 – TV Talk-Show Host Day

24 – World Development Information Day

25 – Sourest Day

26 – National Mule Day

27 – Cranky Co-workers Day

28 – Statue of Liberty Birthday

29 – Hermit Day

30 – Haunted Refrigerator Night

31 – Halloween

What is Google Plus?

Google Plus defined

With all the recent changes to Facebook, there has been a lot of noise about a fairly new social network option called Google Plus.  So what exactly is Google Plus and how does this fit into the marketing plans for small businesses and nonprofits? The best description of Google Plus comes directly from Google.  Visit their short tour by clicking on the graphic to the right.

As of mid-September, there is not a business option on Google Plus. There is talk of a business option along with a number of other updates and improvements to Google Plus in future releases.

Will Google Plus replace Facebook?

Early on, there was speculation that Google Plus would overtake powerhouse Facebook. According to comScore, Google Plus reached 21 million visitors in 21 days and 25 million users in its first month. Google reached that benchmark 36 times faster than Facebook, which took 36 months to reach 25 million users. Tthe jury is still out.

Here’s what several social media industry heavy-hitters had to say about Google Plus:

What’s ahead for Google Plus?

According to Google Plus Product Manager Christian Oestlien, “The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

In the meantime, Reciprocate is recommending our clients continue with their current social media marketing strategies.  The 25 million Google Plus subscribers were early adapters curious to see what the buzz is all about.  Google Plus is not currently being used by the mainstream. Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits who are working with limited resources — time, money, and staff — should take a wait and see approach before devoting time to Google Plus.

We encourage you to register for the Reciprocate monthly newsletter where we’ll include updates on Google Plus and other internet marketing opportunities.

Facebook: The Games People Play

Send a cow to help this guest blogger

“Help me build my farm,” that’s the plea from guest blogger Sydney Anne, an MNSU college student who agreed to write this post in exchange for cows, brown geese, apple trees, or any other gifts readers will send her on FarmVille, the Facebook game with more than 11 million daily players.

By Sydney Anne
Guest Blogger and FarmVille Farmer
As you join the Facebook community, you may find yourself bored of the same routine. Update your status, “like” someone’s status, comment on someone’s wall, and then update your status again. Facebook has more to offer than a simple paper and mailbox replacement. Facebook allows you to join groups, become a fan of something, track events, and add boxes filled with ways to entertain yourself.   

Social Gaming

What one might say is the most entertaining aspect of Facebook is the ability to get involved in social gaming. Social gaming, different then video games, allows you to connect and compete with your friends on Facebook, or other social networking sites. What better way to spend all that free time you have then to start playing a game that requires daily attention? While Facebook games can be addicting, some of them actually get you thinking…or farming.

According to, Farmville is the most popular game on Facebook. Created by Zynga, Farmville averages 75 million active users monthly. While Farmville isn’t the only addicting game on Facebook, it certainly beats out the rest, allowing you to plow, plant seeds, and harvest crops in your best attempts to have a bigger and better farm than your friends.


You must first decide which route you want to go, or if you’re interested in both the daily attention needy games and the games that make you think, but don’t make you log on daily.

After logging in, the left hand column contains a link for games. Clicking this link will show you your games, games your friends are playing if you want to compete with them, and on the bottom it will list several games in several categories of play. Some daily attention needy games include games under the role playing, other games, and the virtual world games categories. Some games that do not require daily attention include games under the board games, card games, and the action/arcade games. Feel free to explore and try anything that looks interesting.

If you choose for a daily attention needy game, don’t worry, many of them have tutorials. After that you’re on your own, there are forums out there for any question! Log on daily, if not every few hours, to care for your crops, restaurant, fish, pet, mafia, amusement park, zoo, or anything else you could possibly think of. Taking care of crops requires hourly attention so they don’t spoil. Taking care of a restaurant requires keeping your staff happy by feeding them every few hours and/or serving the food so it doesn’t go bad. Taking care of fish and pets require daily feeding, brushing, cleaning, and whatever other adventures you find you and your pet on. While time consuming, and addicting, it can be fun. Just be careful that your virtual business or pet doesn’t take priority over the rest of your life!

If you choose to go the other route and play social games that don’t require daily attention, such as word or puzzle games, don’t worry, there is still competition involved. You still compete against your friends for the highest score. These games may also be viewed as more educational. There are brain games to test your “brain power”, geographical games, and word games. This isn’t to say that the daily attention requiring games aren’t education, because while they are addicting, they teach you the responsibility needed to maintain a farm or restaurant. However, addicting games are given a bad light because they are, well, addicting. But don’t let that scare you.

If you’re looking for something fun to do in your spare time give it a chance, just remember that there is life outside of your restaurant or farm. While Facebook games can be addicting, that doesn’t seem to stop the millions of users that play them, and it shouldn’t stop you either. Have fun!

Here’s some links to check out for more information:
Top 25 Facebook Games
CNN’s List of Top Facebook Games
Facebook Game — Addicts   

Special thanks to my guest blogger Sydney Anne, a sophomore at Minnesota State University – Mankato. Please send her a FarmVille cow of thanks. Then forward this blog posting to your friends so they, too, can send Sydney Anne a cow. Let’s see how big we can grow Sydney Anne’s farm! Once you’re on Facebook, search for Sydney Anne by email address,, then add her as a friend. Cows are free. Attending college isn’t. Encouraging my readers to send Sydney Anne a cow seems like a small price to pay for this guest blog post.  Thanks!

Share what you know. Feel free to comment. Send questions, and I’ll address them in future blogs.  Next blog topic:  YouTube: What’s all the fuss about?


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