Increase Conversions with the TurnSocial Leads Bar

Today, we’re happy to introduce the TurnSocial Leads bar, a simple way for you to increase the number of website visitors that you convert into leads.

When we first started TurnSocial, we knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish – delivering a free, simple tool that raised visitor engagement and social interaction on our customers websites. Over the past few years, the TurnSocial bar has been installed on over 7000 websites, and is now seen by over 300,000 people per day. In recent months, we added support for numerous new features – Google+1 buttons, LinkedIn sharing, Satisfacts Resident Survey scores – and made numerous upgrades to our infrastructure, in an effort to deliver content even faster at scale. We do our best to maintain an open line of communication directly to our customers, and are constantly asking for feedback, constructive criticism, and suggestions for how we can improve our product.

One common request we kept hearing over and over from customers was, “How can you help increase the number of leads I get on my website?”. People were quick to tell us how happy they were with our current product, but we soon realized that increasing social interaction was really only half of the battle – we needed to build something that helped close the engagement loop. Many of our customers spend thousands of dollars every month driving traffic to their website in an effort to grow their business, yet do little more than offer one or two basic forms to collect visitor contact information on site. There are a number of reasons why this may be, but regardless of what they are, we believe we can help. Which brings us to where we are today.

The TurnSocial Leads bar rests stylishly at the top of every page of your website (see the one on this page?), and offers a customizable space for you to create your own unique call to action message. Visitors can connect with your business by one of two ways – either through traditional email sign-up, or via Facebook Connect. Each lead collected through the TurnSocial Leads Bar is delivered directly to your email inbox and includes a personalized lead profile. Using the Facebook Open Graph, this lead profile provides some basic information about the person behind the email address – including their name, interests, influencer score, and more – along with what page they were viewing when they connected and which site referred them. Our goal is to not only increase the total amount of leads collected through your website, but also to provide you with instant customer insights to be used when crafting your follow up message. We think it’s a great start, but have even bigger plans for the future. It’s an exciting time.

We’re offering a free 30 day trial for anyone who signs up to use the TurnSocial Leads bar,  which will transition into our standard plan of $20/month, per bar, at the end of 30 days. Our flagship product – the Social bar – will always remain free, as promised.

We look forward to hearing all of your feedback, and can’t wait to share with you where we’re headed next. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you connect with us and let us know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

Get your TurnSocial Leads bar now at

Imitation As A Strategy For Success?

“Be sincere.” “Be authentic.” “Be transparent.”

These common phrases have been driven, over and over, into our heads by the so-called “social media experts” for years now, so there’s no doubt you’re already familiar with them. I can’t disagree – sincerity, authenticity, and some level of transparency are critical attributes you need to have if you want to be a successful social media marketer. But what I’d like to dig into today is a piece of advice that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately; one which would cause most people to flinch if it were offered up in front of a conference room full of paying attendees (fortunately no one would actually pay to hear me speak, so we won’t have that problem today).  What I’m proposing is so radical – so out there – that not even the slimiest of social media gurus would admit to using it in their daily practice. And yet it’s been used in wide practice for hundreds of years, by marketers, sports players, politicians, business leaders and many more people around the world.

So what exactly is this dirty, underhanded piece of advice?

Determine your goal (let’s say it’s to become a master social media marketer), find someone who’s already achieved it (there’s literally 1,000’s of people to pick from), and imitate them (yes, I told you to imitate them).

Now before you get all up on your high horse and launch nuclear blog comments into my inbox, let’s clarify what I mean.

Imitate what they do that’s made them successful.

I didn’t say plagiarize their work (blog posts, tweets, or otherwise). And I certainly didn’t suggest you rip off their brand name or launch an exact duplicate of their service. What I’m suggesting is far more subtle. Imitate their style. Analyze what they do that makes them so successful, and use the same techniques in your own efforts. Consider them your role model. Not clear on what I mean? Well, let’s take a look at a couple areas where you might start, then let me know if you still think what I’m proposing is unethical and/or unsound advice.

Where do they focus their efforts?

Are you still spending 2 hours per day tweaking the background colors and widgets on your MySpace page? (I sincerely hope not). Are they? (They most certainly are not.) So where are they spending their time at? Well, if you can determine that they make a concerted effort to focus almost entirely on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, then they must have a good reason for it. It’s probably not a bad idea for you to focus 90% of your own efforts there as well. Disclaimer: This assumes they are in the same or similar industry to you. If they focus 60% of their efforts on but you own a dentist practice, obviously a social networking site for the restaurant industry doesn’t work for you. Use common sense and do your homework.

How do they position themselves?

What’s the general tone they take in their tweets, blog posts, etc? Are they the “newsbreaker” (always on top of breaking news/trends)? Are they the wise old sage (advice and wisdom)? Are they the sh*t starter (boundary pusher)? Look at what works for them, and if you think it would be a good fit for your business without being an outright rip-off of their style, run with it! You can always shift gears if you find it doesn’t work for you. The point here isn’t that you’re going to do better as one or the other, it’s that you’ve at least committed to one or the other. By taking a position you’ve established the foundation for your voice online, and provided people with a frame of reference they can get to know you in.

What are they sharing?

This point could almost work as a sub-topic to the one above, but now that you’ve determined the position you’re going to approach communications from, what type of content should you be sharing? Again, take a look at what your role model focuses on. Would you say their tweets are more news-based sharing of information, or opinion-based critique of the market and participants? What are their most “liked” posts on Facebook – local interest stories about bunny rabbits and positive thinking, or bleeding edge tech pieces geared towards the early adopter audience? There’s no shame in sharing some of the same content they do; if they’re sharing it than it’s most likely viral in its nature. (wow, I used *it* three different ways in that sentence) But instead of just copying and pasting their finds and using them as your own, bookmark their sources and get the scoop on them next time that hot viral video comes out. I guarantee that over time, you’ll get so far down the rabbit hole of content that there’s little chance you’ll be seen as copying their style. But you’ve got to start somewhere right?

How engaged are they with their community?

We’re all familiar with the word engagement, right? Well what do you think it actually means? Here’s a good way to tell how “engaged” a company is with their Twitter followers. Go to their Twitter page and count, as a percentage of the first 50 tweets you can scroll through, how many of them begin with an @username followed by a message referencing a previous tweet. More than 50%? This company is seriously engaged with their followers. That means more than half of their outbound tweets are in reply to something a follower said to or about them. They’re not broadcasting – they’re interacting. This is likely one of the keys to their success. So how did this come to be? If they were an unknown entity previous to joining Twitter (like you), than it probably means they spent some time of their own @replying to people who they deemed influential or interesting. This is one way you get new people to follow you in the first place — if you’re able to positively contribute to their questions or discussions! Disclaimer: Don’t. Be. An. Idiot. Seriously, use some tact and think before you tweet — nobody likes a spammer. Only contribute when you think your comment will be seen as useful by the other party.

We’re all adults here, so I assume you’re savvy enough to have realized by now that I’m not suggesting you outright copy the entire social media plan of a thought leader in your industry.

Plagiarism=bad / imitation=flattery, right?

Successful social media marketing is not something you can just learn overnight, and the only sure way to get better at it is by simply digging in and learning as you go. In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking to those individuals or businesses who have demonstrated a superior level of expertise and attempting to use some of their same tactics to improve your own position in the market. As time goes on, take what you’ve learned along the way and apply it to new situations and audiences, and I promise you’ll find your own voice.

One of the largest obstacles any of us face when it comes to marketing ourselves or our businesses online is simply knowing where to start. Think back to when you were learning how to play sports as a kid. Didn’t you want to emulate the top athlete in your field? Each and every one of us wanted to be as good as they were, and someday enjoy the same level of success. But as time went on, we took what we learned watching them and slowly made it our own. What I’m suggesting is that you treat your burgeoning social media marketing career the same way – find the Michael Jordan of your industry and try to play the game just like he does. You’ll never be able to. But if you pay close attention, stay focused, and practice hard enough, maybe one day you’ll be as good as Kobe.


Introducing Support for RSS Feeds, Twitter Follow, and Improved Sharing

Over the last few weeks we’ve been rapidly making updates to the TurnSocial bar, so I thought I’d take a quick moment to bring everyone up to date with what we’ve been up to.


First and foremost, we’ve had lots of requests for us to introduce support for RSS feeds on the TurnSocial bar – so I’m happy to announce that we pushed an update over the past weekend that does just that! TurnSocial customers can now easily add any RSS feed they’d like to a toolbar directly through their admin screen – just one more way to deliver useful content to visitors on every page of your website. Don’t want to use RSS content from your blog? No problem – why not get creative and share your Quora “Answers” feed? We look forward to seeing the myriad of ways our customers use the RSS feature to interact with visitors on their websites, and we’re very happy to finally offer support for this long-desired feature.

Twitter Follow

It’s always been great that visitors to your site can see what you’ve been up to on Twitter, but now with our built in Twitter follow button they can also follow you with just one click! No need to enable this feature – just check your TurnSocial bar, and you’ll see that the update is already live!


Another new tweak to the TurnSocial bar you may notice is an enhanced “Share” button, with a clear call to action next to the “Share” icon. We heard you loud and clear when you told us that you thought many people couldn’t immediately identify the “+” sign as an area of the page to share from, so we’ve taken this as the first of multiple steps to increase sharing engagement. Have more suggestions for how we can improve the toolbar UI? Feel free to shoot me a message at matt at and let me know – I’m always up for hearing new ideas.

Between support for RSS, built-in Twitter follow capabilities, a few minor UI tweaks, and our announcement of support for Satisfacts Resident Ratings, the last few weeks have been quite exciting for us at TurnSocial. We have some very cool things we’re working on behind the scenes right now, and I can’t wait to share them with you over the coming months – so why don’t you pop up that little Twitter icon on the TurnSocial bar below and follow us to stay up to date with what we have in store?

Thanks again for all of your continued support – here’s to a great second half of 2011!

Get SatisFacts Resident Ratings On Your Community Website

We’re happy to introduce an exciting new feature for our partners in the multifamily industry – the ability for apartment companies to add SatisFacts Resident Ratings directly to their community website with the TurnSocial bar. A community’s website is an excellent source of inbound leads, and it’s our job to do everything we can to increase your rate of visitor conversion even more. The addition of SatisFacts as a supported app means you now have an additional tool in your arsenal to deliver engaging content for your visitors to connect with.

SatisFacts Resident Ratings

One of our goals at TurnSocial is to expand a community’s ability to market itself beyond simply showing/telling prospects about the property. The TurnSocial bar provides the context of the community’s presence on popular social networks, as well as local information about the surrounding neighborhood. How walkable is the neighborhood? What do current residents have to say about the area? What popular restaurants are nearby? TurnSocial enables access to social media profiles and location-aware content from WalkScore, Rentwiki, Yelp, and more directly onto apartment community websites to help prospective renters learn the answers to these types of questions. And now, with the addition of ratings from SatisFacts annual surveys and Insite™, its 365-day/year feedback program, we’re helping to improve a community’s online reputation and marketing appeal even more.

SatisFacts is the multifamily industry’s leading resident satisfaction survey, retention and performance improvement service provider. Adding resident ratings from SatisFacts provides prospective renters with valuable information from their peers about an apartment community, while creating a powerful way for apartment marketers to enhance online lead generation. Every SatisFacts rating is displayed on a scale of 1-5 stars, and since it’s built into the TurnSocial bar, will appear unobtrusively on every page of your website. Who better than current residents to tell new prospects how great your community is to live in?

When you only have a few critical seconds to make a favorable impression on new visitors to your website, every opportunity to highlight your strong points is meaningful. If you’re not currently a SatisFacts customer and would like to get resident ratings for your community, email me at matt at and I’ll connect you with the right people – they’ve got plans starting as low as $1/per unit per year!

Take a look at the example rating we’ve added to the bar on the bottom of this page, and let us know what you think in the comments!