I simply love social media. I end up reading up to 5 ebooks related to social media and inbound marketing and go through at least 100 posts/articles a day.

Today, for a change, I watched an hour of Gary Vaynerchuk,  New York Times best-selling author, at LeWeb Conference in Paris. To cut the story short, Gary just launched a book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook which is currently the most talked about book within social media world. In this book Gary talks about how to use social media to connect with customers and shows us real examples of those doing it right and those doing it wrong. I ordered the book few days ago and I can’t wait to dive into what he has to say.

After watching the video this morning, there are few things I totally agree on with Gary and I would like to share them with you.


Social media is about GIVING and GIVING and GIVING, only after so much giving you should expect your customers to buy your product or service. Just because you launched a new app, or a product, it doesn’t mean people are automatically going to buy it.

Demonstrate value before you ask for a purchase

Demonstrate value before you ask for a purchase

Gary mentioned that his clients tend to hate him for the first 6 months (giving period) and then love him for the other 6 months when they start seeing results. Be patient and concentrate on giving value to your clients or customers. Do a lot of it. Give them as many reasons as you can to fall in love with you and your product before you expect them to buy it.

Write articles your audience can learn from, give advice on topics related to your business, interview top people from your industry, use infographics and photos to tell your story.


How many current and potential customers do you have in your database? Thousands, ten thousands? Ask yourself a question, how many of those are actually interested in your product or service?

More than ever before it’s about the RIGHT customers. Don’t focus on the big number, focus on the RIGHT number.

less is more

less is more

Gary mentioned a story about sending an email blast to 2 million people, customers of luxury.com, with the aim of getting orders for his online business selling wines. You know what? He only got one bloody order!


The last point I really wish everyone got once and for all is about sharing RIGHT content on different social networks. I beg you, DO NOT post the same post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ etc. People using Facebook are on it with a totally different mindset as oppose to when they go on Pinterest. Pinterest became a very strong network when it comes to e-commerce and converting. People on Pinterest are looking for ideas and they are ready to purchase if they like what they see.  Facebook is more about sharing news, and gathering information about what’s happening right now and what is new.

Sharing same content on different networks is just a wrong way of doing social media

Sharing same content on different networks is just a wrong way of doing social media marketing

I liked how Gary explained the mindset of Facebook users and those brands and companies not getting it at all.

Imagine you have a friend and every time you meet all he is talking about are special offers. How much would you look forward to meet this friend again?

Sharing on social networks is about building relationships with your current and potential customers. Don’t ever think of it as another channel where you can just blast one offer after another one. That won’t get you anywhere. Simply focus on making friends.

I hope you find these 3 tips useful and use such a powerful tool like social media networks to your benefit. If you have any questions please feel free to email me on pavli@pavlisocial.com.

Case Study: New York Best

Today I will be blogging about a small businesses in Malta serving fresh and incredibly juicy looking burgers, hot-dogs and pizzas – New York Best. I had a word with one of the guys behind this food heaven place, Tommy. I thought it’s time to stop blabbing about how much can social media help you and your business and instead ask a small business owner  what he thinks and how he uses social media networks to grow his business.

New York Best Facebook Page

New York Best Facebook Page

New York Best opened in 2011 and in as little as two years, they have successfully build a strong community following of 11,035 (26th November 2013) Likes. They started with one store near University of Malta and recently opened a second place in Sliema.

Tommy is running the business with his brother Nicky with the mission to deliver fresh food daily. Simple as that. From the interview below you will see that Tommy believes in honesty and uses social networks to do just that – provide customers with real, imperfect images.

New York Best Burger

New York Best Burger

He also believes  that people are tired of competitions aka ‘Like, Share & Win’ and instead created an application, fun and engaging game called Gobble Fish. Customers can play this simple game directly on Facebook. Game is about you, being a  fish trying to eat various foods like burger, hot-dogs and others while being haunted by little monsters. Those with the highest scores will always get a nice treat by New York Best.

I personally think Gobble Fish is a fantastic way of engaging with the audience in a fun way. After you finish playing the game it is automatically posted on your Timeline where all your friends can see your score and try to play it to beat you.

Tommy is publishing posts that are very transparent, showing customers how the food is being prepared, who are the people you can expect to find at the counter and who is already eating and enjoying their burgers.  They are being honest and that is definitely the way of building trust and long term relationships with the customers.

New York Best

New York Best

Below is the interview with Tommy Diacono:

1.       Do you believe in social media? 

Of course.
2.       Which social media networks do you use?
Facebook, youtube (through Facebook) and instgram. Our instagram page is very popular.
3.       Do you have a strategy in place or do you randomly post what you think is relevant to your business?
The strategy is to be HONEST, with the images we use and the captions added. We  avoid polished perfect photos, and ABSOLUTELY no cliche’ phrases such as ‘try our delicious…’
I think people are tired of these picture perfect food images, food should be real, messy and imperfect.
4.       What content do you post? (photos, videos, offers etc.)
Anything relevant really. Photos, videos. From a box of zenguli tomatoes that just came in from the pitkali, to the finished product, updates on our fish tank (they’ve become sort of mascots). This week we posted a photo of our 32 year old reconditioned slicer, she’s a beauty.
5.       How do you engage with your customers? Do you run any competitions?
We’ve had silly little competitions for a shake here and there, but we try to avoid the big complicated ones. I think now they’ve been over used and the value has become diluted. I mean how many times can you ‘share, like and win?’. Yawn.
6.       What was the most effective offer/competition you came up with?
See answer 5. Haha.
7.       Do you think that all this effort on social media helped your business grow?
Yes of course. It sped up people recognising the brand. We have a decent identity in the market, considering we’re not even 2 years old yet.
8.       What’s the plan for 2014 with regards to social media? Are you planning to use other social networks?
Lots and Lots. Facebook game, with different stages, score boards and prizes for top scorers. Smartphone app hyperlinked to our Facebook page so others can see activity…more fun stuff too. Keeping the page fun and fresh is a priority.
Visit New York Best Facebook page, or their website , or find them on Instagram as nyb_malta and show them the love!
Takeaway points:
1. Keep your Facebook page and other social networks fresh.
2. Post honest, real content – photos, videos.
3. Take photos of your customers, friends enjoying your food & drinks.
4. Come up with original, easy & engaging competitions.
5. Have fun doing it.

How to use Facebook to grow your business in Malta

5 easy tips you could use on Facebook to attract more customers and grow your business in Malta at no cost!

I would like to start this post with a simple question many small businesses in Malta might have:

Why should I bother to have a page on Facebook for my business/brand?

The answer is very simple. According to Social Times In there are 220.000 active Facebook users in Malta. With the population of 410 000 people, that basically means that more than a half of Malta is on Facebook. I personally think it’s a no brainer.

Just to continue with a bit of statistics, the male audience is dominant with 51.8%, female with 48.2%. The strongest age group on Facebook in Malta is between 25 and 35 followed by the group of 18 to 25.

There is a very important number every business owner should keep in mind.  Did you know that 65.5% Facebook users in Malta access Facebook from their mobile? Well now you know. What does it mean? If you have a website, make sure it’s mobile friendly. If you have an active Facebook page the job is done for you and your customers can access any information about your business in just few clicks.

Thanks to the numbers above you should be confident that your customers definitely are on Facebook. The number might vary according to the industry you are in, but there is no excuse you can use to hide and say: My customers are not on Facebook or Facebook is not working for me. You better accept the reality and start thinking how you can use Facebook to let more people know who you are and what you do. The chances of getting more customers and growing your business are high.

Below are few tips how a small business in Malta can use Facebook. These tips are very easy to apply and cost you nothing.

1.       Likeable Facebook Page

Your Facebook page is your window to who you are and what you do. Even more if you don’t have a website. It’s like a first impression when you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to make sure that you make a good impression right? It doesn’t take much to have a nice image that represents your nature of business as a cover photo. If you own a smartphone (I am sure you do), simply take a photo of what represents your business and set is as a cover photo. You don’t need a graphic designer.

This small butcher shop in Sliema (Stella Maris Butcher) is using a photo of it’s own fresh piece of meat.Stella Maris Butcher Cover Photo

Stella Maris Butcher Cover Photo

Stella Maris Butcher Cover Photo

2.       Friendly communication

Ask yourself a question? Why do you go on Facebook? Is it curiosity of what your friends are doing? Do you go on Facebook to see what events are there and who’s birthday is it today? Or you just want to communicate with your friends and family.  Whatever the reason, you expect information, fun or an advice. That’s exactly how you should position yourself and your business voice. Speak to your audience as if you are speaking to your friends, giving them an advice or letting them know what the latest news in your area of business are.

If you own a small coffee shop, take a photo of a cappuccino in the morning and wish your audience a beautiful morning.

Example: What a beautiful day in Malta! Start your day with a nice cappuccino and enjoy the day!

Morning Coffee post on Social Media Specialist page

Morning Coffee post on Social Media Specialist page

3.       Show your human face

People trust people. It is proven that seeing a human face on a website or any other marketing and promotional material brings credibility and trust to your business.

Let’s go back to the coffee shop. Are your friends coming for a morning coffee to your coffee shop? I bet at least one of them is. Take a picture of him/her enjoying that coffee or a glass of wine and post it on your Facebook page. Then sit and watch the interaction. You will be surprised.

Are you a shop owner? Take a photo of your shop assistant helping a customer to choose a dress or a nice pair of heels. Yes, these small things will make a difference.

Pavli at Miscrosoft event

Pavli(me) with Angela at Miscrosoft event

4.       Have fun with your customers

As I mentioned above, people spend time on Facebook to mainly enjoy seeing what  their friends are doing or what is it they can do to have fun and enjoy. Facebook is a fantastic place to play with your customers.

If you are a small confectionery shop you can attract customers by running a simple giveaway.

Giveaway can look something like this:

Today every 10th customer shopping at our confectionery shop will get Snickers or an ice-cream!

Then take a picture of that 10th customer and post it on your Facebook page with a simple caption.

If you want to take the giveaway to the next level you can ask your customers to come to your shop and let you know what it is what they love. Ask them to take a photo at our shop and post it on your Facebook page. Every week choose one customer and make them happy by giving away what they love.

5.       Be there!

If you are an owner of a small business or you are offering services for small companies and you are pretty active on Facebook you will get questions. Make sure you answer those questions fast. You might have customers asking you for prices or sizes or the next delivery date. That’s exactly what you are there for. Answer those questions as fast as you can using a very friendly voice and make those connections stronger with every question answered.

If you are for example selling solar panels, you might end up seeing a friend on Facebook asking for an advice from where to get a solar panel. You could jump into the conversation and suggest help and advice. Don’t try to sell! Give an advice first.

There is a group on Facebook called Are you being served?(Malta) with more than 16K members. I suggest you become a member of this group and keep an eye on what are people asking for or complaining about. Several opportunities are there!

Facebook is an awesome tool if you are just a small business not in a position to spend any amount on advertising but still need to grow and make your mark on the market. With a little bit of creativity and human, friendly approach you can slowly but surely grow your small business.

Feel free to send me any questions you might have or advise you might need on pavli@pavlisocial.com. I will be more than happy to help you and make your business stand out from the competition by being more social.

Successful Social Media Story: Zaggora

Zaggora is a fantastic example of building whole marketing strategy around social media.

And did they succeed? You bet!  500,000 products sold & 90 jobs created in 18 months!



The Founder of Zaggora, Dessi Bell started a  company that sells HotPants. These hotpants are not just another pants for the gym. Zaggora pants are made to raise women’s metabolism rate during exercise and help women sweat more and lose fat faster.

Using just twitter marketing since launching their website, the company has had 2,600 visits, over 2,500 facebook ‘likes’ and over 1,000 women who have signed up to be brand Ambassadors. On their Facebook fanpage, some women have even threatened to assault the postman to get them and they have received tweets like ‘I’m so excited, I could peeeee’. A presentation they uploaded to Slideshare has had over 6,500 unique ‘views’. And all this in just 2 weeks after the launch!

Zaggora are being really smart with their social media activities. Starting with their Ambassadors programme they are turning customers into brand ambassadors. Each ambassador gets a special code number. With each generated sale an ambassador will earn $7 and the buyer gets 10% discount.

They are asking customers, to share their experience with zaggora hot pants, send pictures, send stories to be shared on facebook and twitter.

Today they have 356,978 likes on Facebook and 29,616 followers on Twitter.

They also have a great video encouraging customers to tell them what they LOVE!

They also have a blog dedicated to all women called Zaggoragirl.com with loads of tips on healthy food and living, workouts from trainers and ideas on how and where to wear the hotpants! They claim that if you wear them for 30mins three times a week while doing your housework it equals to the time spend at the gym!

To no surprise Zaggora was awarded with The eCommerce Strategy of the Year award in 2012!

Use hashtags to boost your content virally on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram


I found this great infographic by Social Media Buddy that I would like to share with you.

It explains the importance and benefits of using hashtags on Twitter.

You should be using at least 2 hashtags in each post.

Another 2 social platforms I would like to point out are Pinterest and Instagram. The use of hashtags on these networks can totally change the game and get you exposure and leads you are after.

So after publishing this blog I will share it on twitter as follows: Hashtags are a must on Twitter! #twitter #hashtags #socialmedia #bestpractise

Twitter Hashtags

Twitter Hashtags







Optimize your SEO efforts

We are hearing about importance of search engine optimization for a good number of years and by now we all know that SEO is crucial for a successful business.

Today I was reading a guide from Hubspot SEO experts with some great tips on how to optimize your efforts, what is right to do and what is wrong and what must be done to improve the SERP (search engine result page) ranking.

SEO is divided into 2 main areas of efforts:

1/ on -page SEO

2/ off-page SEO

On-page SEO is only 25% of what actually impacts your spot in SERP. 75% is off-page SEO which includes usage of right keywords in content you create, link-building, social search etc.


When it comes to on-page SEO the most important element here are KEYWORDS.

Keywords you use in your content to describe services or products you are offering are the words people search for in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.

You should have a list of at least 10 keywords that identify your business and create content around these keywords. You should keep in mind your buying persona (your typical customer) and know what keywords to use for your on-page SEO.

The old way of using keywords was to use same words in the page title, url, meta description, heading etc. Stay away from repetitive keywords and try to use long tail key-phrases or variations of the words.

There are 3 main on-page SEO efforts:

A: Meta tags

Meta tags are part of HTML code (you need an HTML literate person to help you here) and include title tags, meta description and keyword tag. Title tags are first to crawl by search engines and shouldn’t be longer than 77 characters. Meta description is a description – you know those two first lines you can see in your search results under the title? – that is meta description and it shouldn’t be longer that 160 characters.

B: Content

Content is critical component for crawlers. For the crawl to recognize if the page is relevant for your search it should be longer than 100 words.

C: Localization

Physical address and localization also helps to determine relevancy and authority of your online business. Use Google places for example.


Off-page SEO helps to build trust, reputation and authority. Off-page SEO includes all those elements outside of your website.

In the past it was about how many links are linking to your website. Today is not only about quantity of those links, but also about the quality of links that are linking to your website.


What do I mean by link-building? You want other websites, web pages etc to either mention your website as a hyperlink or use the url of your website in any other way on their website. That is link-building. Link from some else’s website to your website.

Create unique content for your target audience that someone else find as a great resource and link to it. Your content is more likely to be shared if it will:

a/ answer a question

b/ solve a problem

How to create content?

  • Company blog – write a blog and share white papers, useful information or how-to blog posts with your audience
  • Visual content – create videos or images that are educational, funny or simply unique and relevant
  • Guest blogging – find bloggers that are willing to blog on your website or become a guest blogger for other websites


Social Media is a big part of your SEO efforts.

You have to make sure you are using it right.


Have all social media plug-ins on your website to make it easier for your visitors to share the content.


Think of industry influencer and bloggers as employees. They will talk about you and your company and share their experience with their audience. 92% customers believe their friends and family member opinion more than any marketing campaign! People trust people.


Have you hear about social search? Google will basically prioritize results according to your social connections on Google +. What have you liked, or shared, who are you connected to etc.

Facebook is becoming a new search engine. Just think how many times did you search for a person, place or a thing on facebook?


To make the most of your SEO efforts you have to follow these 4 steps:

1. work on your on-site SEO. Create content on your website around keywords people search related to your business.

2. Build social presence and include social media plug-ins on your website and blog.

3. Prepare content plan – who will be preparing the content, what will the content be about.

4. Share this content and make it easy for others to share it.

If you have any questions related to SEO or social media please feel free to email me on pavlim@live.com

Is Social Media dead?

The way it’s been used today yes. Let me explain why.

People and the way  they decide what and where to  buy has changed.
I found a presentation on Slideshare that I would like to share with you. It explains how the behavior of people has changed.

There are 3 most important changes we should keep in mind:

  • attention span dropped down from 12 mins to 5 seconds in the last 7 years – what does that mean? You have exactly 5 seconds to get the attention of your potential customer. If you have no relationship with your customer how on earth do you want grab his/her attention in 5 seconds flat?
  • traditional purchasing model – STIMULATION – FIRST MOMENT OF TRUTH (at the shop) – SECOND MOMENT OF TRUTH (own experience with the product at home) has changed! People research before they even get out of their house and decide to go and buy the product. Are you familiar with the Zero Moment of Truth? Are you providing your potential customers with relevant information to help them decide whether to purchase your product or not? They are looking for that information online – on their laptop, on their phone or ipad.
  • we are living in the world of information – too much information. You can call it noise. Are you just another contributor to the “noise” or are you giving your customers something that they are actually looking for? Something they actually want to find, read and learn from?You have to be there and ready to serve 24/7.

Now have a look at the presentation.

Do you know what CONTENT MARKETING means? Do you understand why having a blog, sharing relevant and valuable content is extremely important? If you don’t, now is the right time to start thinking of your content marketing strategy big time.

Content Marketing is everything about blogging, webinars, video content, images and podcasting. If you have a great facebook page, twitter account and linkedin profile but the content you share is not making any noise you are wasting your time and energy.

If you share content you are building your audience. You engage with your audience. You get feedback and you improve and keep on engaging more and more individuals. When you try to  promote your next awesome campaign, you have a virtual relationship with your audience. You have a much higher probability of getting an attention of your customers.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Create content that helps them solve a problem. Don’t try to sell a product.

Are you a health service company? Blog about healthy living and balance in life.

Are you an agent in  tourism? Blog about places you have been to and share your own experience and images.

Be transparent.

CREATE (content). SHARE AND ENGAGE (with your audience). The rest is plain sailing 🙂


Best Social Media Campaign

This morning I woke and had a look at my INSTAGRAM feed from my bed in Malta.

I went through about 30 images in 1-2minutes and I found an image of Rihanna lying in her bed with  her comment  “missing my nigga” and another image of a well-known fashion PR agency (www.feverla.com) owner Vale Micchetti and her picture with Pharrell in Miami. Rihanna has 3.5 milion followers and the image below got 102k+ likes in 4 hours. Isn’t that amazing?












TIP: Social media gives you an incredible opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level and they can get in touch with you  on a Sunday morning from their home. Use it to your advantage!


I am working on a social media strategy for a health service to be launched mid of next year 2013 and I was searching for the best social media campaigns for some ideas. This is my favorite.


I found a video created by a public transport authority in Melbourne, Australia, aimed at raising awareness about railway safety. The video was published on 14th November 2012 and since then (less than a month) it got more than 32 milion views on YOUTUBE. Thats a very good viral campiagn.

Why is this campaign so successful?

I agree with Vivienne Egan and her thoughts. It’s aimed at teenagers and teenagers don’t want to be told what to do; they’re also not that keen on being emotionally manipulated. There’s no preaching in this campaign, it’s colourful and kitschy, not bleak and bloodied. The song is catchy, it’s  not personal, we don’t know how old are those jelly-bean people or what gender or what race they are. Are they rich, poor, educated? Who knows? Who cares? Stupid behaviour doesn’t discriminate, so this ad doesn’t single out any particular demographic.

The video and the downloadable track are just two components in this campaign, there’s a separate Tumblr and interactive site.

Will it work?

Behaviour change is a hard thing to market; it’s not an easily measurable target – there is no conversion rate, and only time will tell if it is effective. However, in labelling train accidents ‘dumb’ instead of tragic, this campaign taps into an important principle for behaviour change marketing, and that is that peer pressure and shame can make people change their habits. No-one wants to be thought of as dumb.

How Social Media Impacts SEO

As a social media enthusiast I keep myself up to date with all social media latest news.

I recommend to anyone interested in social media ( every marketer out there should have a certain knowledge in social media) to follow the guys of Hubspot. They produce and provide a great content.

I recently joined a crash course on  How Social Media Impacts SEO

Its a 3 minute short video explaining how social media can help you rank higher in google search results.

These are 3 main tips you should take with you:

1. Create and share original, valuable content. Reviews by your customers are a great source for an offsite SEO. Make sure you have a profile on  Foursquare and Google+ local.

2. Link your blog and all of your posts to your Google+ account – its called Authorship – it enables your image to show next to your content in search results. You will guarantee a higher click-through-rate. And it looks more trustworthy. Here is how to do it: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-authorship/

3. Build relationships by interacting and sharing your blog posts. Its not about the content only. You have to make sure that your content is shared with and by the right people.

You can watch the video with tips from Rebecca Churt, the HubSpot’s SEO Manager, and Darin “Doc” Berntson, the Social Media Manager at SEO.com here:  http://offers.hubspot.com/seo-crash-course


About me
I just can’t get enough of the power of social media.

Have you ever thought of how much time do you spend on facebook? How many videos do you watch everyday on YouTube? Do you listen to music on SoundCloud?

I do, and a lot. I don’t watch TV. I don’t listen to the radio and I don’t by any newspaper. I get all the news from social media. I talk to my 55 year old mum on facebook. I know exactly where my friends are and what are they doing.

Hurricane SANDY

Hurricane SANDY

What really fascinated me was the news about SANDY hurricane in New York. I was really curios and typed #sandy in my Instagram feed. I could see hundreds of images taken by real people of New York and power of sandy in real time. Isn’t that amazing? Read more about it here

The way of receiving news and staying in touch really changed and will keep on changing. Why do people LIKE pages on facebook? Or follow brands or public figures on Twitter? It’s simple. They want to know what’s happening asap. Social media brings speed to receiving news.

You LIKE or follow pages you want to receive news from. There is no need to buy a newspaper full of information you don’t care about just because you want to know what’s happening in sports. You follow or LIKE your preferred club or player and you are happy. Social media delivers more specific information and news you actually want to receive.

How long would it take you to connect with an social media expert living in Texas 3 years ago? Well, after googling a company, then trying to get a contact details, then sending an email and then waiting for a reply that might never come, I would say a good week or 2.. Today? Less than hour. Social media is a fantastic platform for connecting with the RIGHT people in a very short time. Did it happen to you that a person doesn’t reply to your email but if you approach him/her on facebook or linkedin you get a reply? Its happens to me very often. Especially in marketing industry, every connection counts.

Just to sum it up, there are 3 massive pluses with social media with regards to delivering your message to the right people you should keep in mind when coming up with a campaign for your brand or products:

1. being present on social media you have a bigger chance your message will reach the end customer faster than the traditional way of communication

2. if they LIKE or follow you, they want to hear from you. Don’t expect a miracle if you are not talking and listening to them and their needs.

3. connecting with the right people  – saves time, money for petrol, phone calls and coffees and you have a smaller probability you are wasting your time.

Example: I was asked to source contributors for an online knowledge base. I was given a list or pre-defined contributors and expected to get in touch with each person (around 50), set up a meeting with this person, explain to the person and get a reply and a date of delivery. Right, I did that. I also posted a message in 3 different groups related to the subject on linkedin that I am looking for contributors. After 2 weeks the result was this. I managed to meet 10 people, explain and got nowhere. From the message I posted on linkedin I got 2 contributors that already sent the contributions that are up in the knowledge base coming from 2 different countries and 2 different continents.

There is an incredible power in social media. If you know how to use it right, you can make miracles.