Facebook Community Boost: Was it Helpful?

Facebook’s Oopsies.

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has had some… shall we say, difficult PR moments. Click here for the full details.

2016 was the first year Facebook became the bad guy. As theguardian.com says, “Then 2016 happened. As the year unfurled, Facebook had to deal with a string of controversies and blunders, not limited to: being accused of imperialism in India, censorship of historical photos, and live streaming footage of human rights violations. Not to mention misreported advertising metrics and the increasingly desperate cloning of rival Snapchat’s core features. Things came to a head in November, when the social network was accused of influencing the US presidential election through politically polarized filter bubbles and a failure to tackle the spread of misinformation.” However, none of that really affected their bottom line, Facebook’s revenues were stronger than ever.

It didn’t get better.

2017 didn’t get much better with Facebook acknowledging that they unwittingly sold political ads to a Russian company that happened to be pro-Kremlin. 2017 seemed to be worse than 2016 for Facebook, in the court of public opinion. Lawmakers were declaring the need for more regulation and surveys conducted found that Facebook was the least trusted major tech company.

Then, 2018 said, “Facebook, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Facebook was hit with it’s most catastrophic PR Crisis yet. The Cambridge Analitica scandal, which I’m sure most of you have been following, you can see a full timeline here. That scandal brought a ton of fallout for the company in the eyes of both of its users and lawmakers. So much so, that the hashtag #deletefacebook started trending on twitter albeit, for only one day. Celebrities such as Elon Musk, Brian Acton (co-founder of WhatsApp) and Jim Carrey came out publicly against the tech giant.

No matter how many celebrities and other folks tweeted and retweeted #deletefacebook it failed miserably. Surveys showed our trust and opinion of the company was damaged, but their DAU (daily active users) did not go down. In reality, this crisis was one of their own making, as bloomberg.com says, “If Facebook had following basic, well-established principles of crisis communications, it wouldn’t now be dealing with a full-fledged catastrophe that is mostly of its own making.” 

Apologies and Promises

There is no debate, Facebook had a hefty task of repairing their public image. They didn’t hold back, they knew what they had to do and they went for it, hard. Leaning into their flaws, while offering their apologies and promises to do better, as displayed in this year’s new ad. In case you haven’t seen it, they launched a massive ad campaign acting as a public apology and vowing to return to their roots, to what made Facebook great in the first place. They do all of this in hopes to move back into our good graces. You can see these ads on any media platform, from before a movie, to before a youtube video, and even on a TV commercial break. The jury is still deliberating on whether or not these ads made an impact.


Facebook Community Boost

Another major effort put forth by the company is Facebook Community Boost. A free in-person training to aimed at helping entrepreneurs expand their Facebook and Instagram knowledge. Traveling to cities across the country, Facebook describes it as, “visiting 50 cities nationwide by the end of 2018 to deliver digital training to those who will benefit the most.”

For someone who has been in Marketing, specifically Social Media Marketing for years the information was nothing groundbreaking or shockingly new. It was, however, very inspiring. Throughout the day I found myself saying, “I need to quit holding back!” Essentially, Facebook gave us permission to be as creative as possible and backed it up with solid data on how doing so can and will help grow your success.

facebookWhat we know is that better creative drives better results that increase revenue and is better for people and business, so why hold back your creative team? Why hold back on the fun idea you had to put out there? This space was created and designed for fun, a fundamental truth that is often forgotten by businesses. People don’t open their social media apps for boring info and mundane content, you have to have content that is thumb stopping.

There’s no doubt that coming up with content that is good enough to stop our speedily swiping thumbs is a time-consuming notion.  If you don’t have that kind of time to spare, give SevenVerbs a call!

The Importance of SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of using a mix of both paid and organic techniques to direct people to your website through search engines. We will not go over all of these techniques as the list is quite exhaustive, but I will go over some of the ones that I feel are important and ones that I use in my professional (and personal) life to try and stay ahead in this content-saturated world.

Before we get into the details, I want to take a few moments and dispel a myth for those of you not familiar with the SEO world. This myth is usually targeted to the business owners, CEO’s, and leaders–usually  through catchy Facebook ads and videos that SEO optimization is just a “quick fix!”. You may have seen some of the videos, ads, or websites. Though they may look tempting, most of these are scams. After doing a quick search, here is an example of one website that promises quite a bit.


Website of SEO Company


Now, I’m not saying all of these sites are scams, but before you commit to paying for a service, as with anything, you will need to do plenty of research. Ask yourself: Is this business legitimate? Look for reviews or see if anyone else you know has tried the service. If the business is telling you it can get you results instantly, it is probably best to stay away.

So where do you start? First, it’s good to see where your website stands from Google’s point of view. Google uses an algorithm that is updated each year as well as throughout that year to reward websites for following certain guidelines. Google has released a couple of these updates called, “Panda” and “Penguin” and in fact, the website MOZ does a great job updating these items in real time. Along with providing you with excellent and up to date data, MOZ has great search engine results page (SERP) analysis tools and their website scans keep you up to date on changes you can do to make Google happy.

Most of the changes are small, but knowing these changes and staying ahead is part of the game!

Below are just some of the things I monitor to continually try and help Mittera’s website and Google performance.

  1. Fresh and Updated Blog Content: Blogs are a great way to continually update and refresh your site on a weekly (or more) basis. Google wants to know your site is legitimate and using long form blogs on your site is a great way to demonstrate your website is being updated consistently with fresh and informative content. What this means is Google not only wants to see this content—it wants to see A LOT of it. As Neil Patel states, “The majority of blog posts published are 500 words or shorter. You can stand out in the noise by putting an extra 1,500 words worth of work.” He’s right, and if you see all of the tests done from that link, you can see that people value this content. Not only will Google give you a better ranking, if you are a leader in this industry, posting a 500-word blog just doesn’t cut it anymore. According to Google, users expect long form content from leaders in the industry.

    Tips on blog content

  2. Social Media: Within the last few years, Google has started allowing social media profiles in search results. Although Google has said that social media does not directly affect your ranking on the site, it does so           indirectly. So, why do we need it? Well, having a certain number of likes and having a social media account isn’t all of the sudden going to get you into search results, but having a consistent content strategy that           uses links, keywords, and great content can. When content, links, and blogs are shared it can have a very positive effect on results when users are searching. As Stone Temple states:



This tip is something all Marketing Directors should implement when developing their social media presence. As you grow and build a following, using those links and content can have a direct impact on your overall SEO strategy.

3. Site wide SEO: We could probably spend another 20 pages on this topic, but I want to give a bird’s-eye view on items I look for on the back end of a website to make sure we are using best practices to get Google’s attention.

  1. Keywords: Over time, Google has been putting less emphasis on keywords and focusing more on quality content. This prevents developers trying to trick the algorithm by using keyword stacking in blogs and copy on a website. Using keywords organically in posts and content is what Google is looking for.
  2. Alt Image Tags: All images on your site should have a title and an in-depth description of the image. This is not only for the visually impaired, but you are basically showing Google that you not only spent the time naming and describing these images, but that you want Google to know exactly what these images are so they can show up in image results as well. This is another way to get people to your site and rank higher in image results.
  3. Mobile Friendly: Having a mobile friendly site is another factor in good SEO practices. You’ve seen them. The sites that aren’t optimized for tablets and smartphones. These sites are hard to navigate and will get a lower ranking in results than those that are. Having a mobile friendly or “responsive website” is just another must have to ensure your site is Google’s good graces.

All of the practices listed above are ways to develop your SEO presence with Google organically. Another way to directly target searched keywords is Google AdWords. This is something I use in tandem with my organic SEO work to maximize PAID exposure on certain keywords and searches. We have had some great results using both in order to ultimately funnel traffic to our website and attract interest from potential clients. You can get started with AdWords here if you would like more information!

Although more information could be included on all of the Google SEO factors, this is just a fraction of what I am working with on a daily basis to ensure 7V is using best SEO practices. If you would like help with your business or want to learn more, give us a call. We would love to discuss your options and how we can continue to help build your brand!

Social media marketing

Taking Full Advantage of Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Part One: Engagement and Partnership

If your company or brand has already embraced social media as the marketing platform giant that it is, then this blog post is mere vindication. However, if you are not one of those brands, we are going to attempt to change your mind. No matter your business or industry, you and your brand are a good fit for social media marketing. We are going to convince you over the next few weeks, with compelling information, that social media marketing is worth it!


Awareness is key.  There is no other platform that puts your brand directly in front of hundreds of thousands of consumers, with a minimal budget (compared to other platforms, such as TV and Radio). While, in the past, you have had to rely on faith that consumers are looking or listening, with social media you receive palpable, measurable and sticky exposure. Which leads to our next point on what makes social media marketing stand out from the pack, engagement.


Unlike traditional platforms, social media allows your audience to participate in two-way communication. This means your brand can now communicate directly with consumers, find its niche (which could end up being different than what you thought), and give the brand a personality. Facebook explains, “As people rely more on messaging apps to communicate with their friends and family, there’s a growing expectation that they will be able to communicate with businesses in instant, expressive, convergent ways.” Make things easy for your consumers, if an experience purchasing your product left the consumer feeling frustrated, we all know their likelihood to purchase from or work with you again is low.

Marketers and advertisers alike, know to never scoff at two-way engagement, because of it’s worth. Consumers having another level of involvement can open wide the loyalty door. Studies have shown brands engaging in conversations with their followers are more likely to gain brand loyalty from those individuals and those who follow brands on social media are more loyal them. This loyalty leads to a partnership. This is when your social media followers begin to personally invest in your business and brand. Re-sharing brand content, replying directly to the brand, and interacting with what brands are sharing are some of the ways you will see users react when they buy into your brand.


Followers love witnessing a brand come to life and have a personality, it continues to build brand loyalty. Having the feeling that you know who you are purchasing from only increases the likelihood of additional purchases. Another plus for your consumers or customers is how easy it is for them to contact you. Social media eliminates hurdles for your consumers to jump through. With brand loyalty comes brand ambassadors, someone who loves your brand enough to tell others how awesome it is.

According to Forbes.com, “…studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.”

Leveraging social media properly starts with understanding how to communicate within it. Brands produce content for their audience and ensure it is contextual for the platform you are using. This is where a brands marketing strategy should start. Adopting the perfect social media marketing strategy is something SevenVerbs excels at. We can be your advocate for building the perfect approach for your content and desired results.


What’s the Deal with Your Name?

Why Choose SevenVerbs?

Why should you choose SevenVerbs over the other colored and flying animal marketing firms in the area? Not only does our work speak for itself, so does our work ethic. It’s in our name, SevenVerbs. Those seven verbs define us as an organization and they are at the center of every team member’s mind every day. They are a part of how we do business and how we live our daily lives. Those seven verbs are: Care, Cultivate, Create, Multiply, Discover, Produce and Coach.

Our Name.

We frequently get asked, “What’s the deal with your name?” So, we thought we would take a moment and dive into the meaning behind our name, and each verb that plays an integral part of who we are!

Our Verbs.

  1. Care. Here’s one that doesn’t require overthinking. We do what we do because of how much we care about people. Our care goes beyond the surface level, to the core. We handle your project with the like it’s our own like we are putting our very name to it. Our strongest desire is for you to be happy with our work and for you and your life’s work to thrive.
  2. Cultivate. Cultivate, this one has dual meanings for our team. First, we are always striving to cultivate solutions that lay the groundwork for your success. Secondly, we truly value people and relationships, so we are always cultivating our relationships. We truly believe businesses are enriched and will thrive with meaningful relationships.
  3. Create. What good is any company that doesn’t create? Not to mention software and marketing leaders. Without the ability and appetite to create, there is no progress. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and sometimes keeps us out of bed at night!
  4. Multiply. We want to see your profits and success increase and multiply! Simply math, your problems decrease, while your success increases. No arrows going down, only up.
  5. Discover. Discover may be the most fun of all our verbs! Almost always we find that a customized solution is the right solution. we constantly get to put on our mining hats and dig up new ways of getting things done. Breaking the mold is something we love doing!
  6. Produce. The most literal of our verbs. When it comes down to brass tax, we don’t have a business unless we produce meaningful solutions and content for our customers.
  7. Coach. We treat this one more like a noun rather than a verb. Our coach is named Bernie and he went to Cornell… ever heard of it? He either punches the wall or breaks out into a Capella should we begin to get off task, and do not test his politeness.

SevenVerbs Marketing Coach

More Than a Name.

These seven verbs are much more than a business name to us. Don’t get me wrong,  how you identify your business is very important. However, these verbs travel deeper than a business level, into the thoughts, actions, and heartbeat of each individual at SevenVerbs. It is with these seven verbs that all our business efforts and personal decisions are funneled through. These seven verbs aren’t just a business name, they are a lifestyle.

Des Moines IA Social Media Marketing

Wait… Who are you again?

[who we are]

Who is SevenVerbs? We are a team of experienced software and marketing leaders. We have a one of a kind crew that is beyond advantageous for our customers. Our full-service approach offers both software development and creative marketing strategy to give your brand the shining attention it deserves!

Who is SevenVerbs


Hold up. Does that sound too much like corporate jargon?

We want to keep it ? with you. Here is what you really need to know; Our entire purpose for existing is to serve you. Our mission is to find more ways to offer you top-tier service and improve our game. We are on a bar-raising, never-ending, relentless mission to be the best we can be, for you.

[what we do]

We offer cutting-edge, custom software solutions, as well as creative brand, marketing, and digital media services, ranging from video to social media marketing. Most of all, we are creative problem solvers! We solve challenges and problems for our clients every day by finding perfect and lasting solutions as well as, building reliable systems that serve their needs.

Software Development. We develop functional and high quality software to improve your business performance. Many of our customers face difficult challenges that hinder their efficiency, productivity and functionality. What challenges can we help solve? Here are some examples:

  • I have a great idea for software that can improve our business – how do I make it a reality?
  • Is it possible to move my spreadsheet to our website?
  • We have systems that don’t talk to one another
  • We have outgrown our existing software. Do we need to build a new one?
  • I know what I need my software to do, but I can’t find a system that does it.
  • My IT Department does not have time to do my project.

Data. Use your data to gain insight into your business. Almost always the answers to your questions lie within your own data. You probably have large amounts of data, housed in multiple locations. It can be hard to understand what it all means, and what pieces are important. We can help you gain awareness of your current trends to create productivity in the areas you desire!

Marketing. We build websites as cool as your uncle with the mullet and ’86 Camaro. We offer

[how we do it]

Seamless. This is a word always at the forefront of our minds. We believe all your services, from your website to your in-house customized software, should be seamless, with your brand and marketing strategy. Your needs may change. In the beginning, you may only need social media marketing, when that need grows to the need for a new in-house customized software solution our service and ability to meet those needs are seamless. We are able to serve you no matter what level of need you have!

Transparent. Especially important is transparency, it’s another way you can count on SevenVerbs. When you trust an organization with high moral standards, like SevenVerbs, your business reaps the benefits! As a result, you receive straight-forward, clear-cut and honest communications from us, so you have no surprises regarding our pricing, capabilities or timeline.

Effective. We unboxed the old processes, and they didn’t rate high. So we went another direction. We cultivated a process that revolves solely around the end game you desire. How? By starting at the finish line, we sit down with you and hone in on the exact results you want and work backward from there, never getting lost in the weeds. You want more traffic on social media to get potential customers to your website? You want a video series showcasing knowledge only you and your business has? While we focus on producing the best product, we keep our target on what that product will achieve.

Digital Marketing Des Moines

A Whole New World: Wired Storytelling

We have exciting news! Maybe not quite as big as Sprint and T-Mobile merging… but it’s in the same ballpark.  SevenVerbs has entered a whole new world! The world of digital media and marketing, or what we are calling Wired Storytelling!  You have known SevenVerbs as a team of experienced professionals, with an expertise in how technology can improve your business, specializing in software development, data, and business intelligence services. 

We are pleased to now be offering Digital Marketing & Media Services!

SevenVerbs first began with a passion for problem-solving and serving our customers! It’s with those same principles and a couple new employees that we set out on this new venture. It is with the same level of excellence, care and drive that we bring you these services. These services may be new to the SevenVerbs umbrella, but not to our experienced employees, who are accomplished and successful marketers and communicators.

Wired Storytelling

Stories. They are what draws us in, interests us and what makes the world feel a little bit smaller. We are diehard fans of a great story. It’s what kept us captivated as kids on the carpet and what draws us to the theater as adults. Creative storytelling has become a vital component in marketing today. Your story needs to be consistent, easy to understand, and congruent with the rest of your brand. Why Wired? Storytelling has found a new home online (considering the fact that the first stories were told on the walls of caves eons ago, this is still a new home). Everyone has an endless amount of information in their pocket and with that an endless amount of companies trying to stand out. “In our information-saturated age, business leaders won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,” says Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues. “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,” he says. “But stories create ‘sticky’ memories by attaching emotions to things that happen.”

The Why.

If you are thinking, storytelling doesn’t have anything to do with you and your business then allow us to bring you into the light! “If you can’t properly convey a story then your products are not going to appeal to your audience. Bates reminded us that we love stories so much that we have to be trained to not fall for anecdotal evidence. Why? “Because our brains value stories over anything else,” John Bates, CEO of Executive Speaking Success & Business Coaching. 

This blog has been mostly about us and our new offerings, but please stay tuned to get more tips on handling marketing, technology, and writing. We are here to add value to your life!

Honestly, what we love most about business, is working hard for people. Everyone has a story to tell, let’s find your sticky story. 

Six Questions You Must Ask Before You Start a Software Project

Why do 70% of software projects fail?  

Kind of a scary number. There are lots of reasons, but oftentimes the failure starts during the planning process. More often than not, the project has failed before it even gets started!

This reminds me of a house my wife and I toured a while back.  The realtor allowed the homeowner (who had actually built the house) to join us on the tour of the house. When we entered through the garage on the lower level, he made a statement something like, “I didn’t have a plan when I built this place. I just poured the basement floor and walls, and started building.” Without going into a lot of detail, the place was a mess.  It seemed like the whole thing had been simple cobbled together with no rhyme or reason.  One room upstairs didn’t even have any windows. Needless to say, we didn’t buy the house, and I would be surprised if anyone did. The build of that house failed during the planning process – or more accurately in this case, the lack of.

As a business owner or a company leader,  you may be ready to embark on an internal software project or perhaps you are planning on contracting a software development company to do this.

Before jumping in, however, take some time to think through the questions below:


Question 1 – Have we allowed enough time?

One of the main reasons for project failure is underestimating the amount of time the project will take.

For the most part,  a good development team will be able to give you a solid idea of the time required.  Most likely this estimate is longer than you would like.  The temptation is to begin the “time negotiation” game.  This rarely ends well.


Question 2 – Have we minimized the feature set for the first release?

Another big reason for failure is “scope creep”.  Designing a really cool application with lots of bells and whistles can be a lot of fun. Getting it finished and usable is a completely different story.

The first goal is to define the minimum set of features you need and get the application into the hands of the users.  Once your team starts to use the software you will quickly learn what is really important.

It’s usually not adding one big feature,  which causes problems, but the addition of lots of little things. These extra feature ideas can come in from everywhere.

Many of the feature ideas are good but not necessary. The best way to manage this is to have a second release in mind as you work through the development process. This way you can push the great idea to the next release and keep focused while delivering the release you are working on.


Question 3 – Can we use the agile development process?

In the early stages of software development,  a project started with an extensive requirements gathering,  design and specification phase. In a big project this could take months. Once the design and specification was done the project then began.

Work would continue until the software was built. There was minimal or no interaction with the end users. This process could take months or even years.

By the time the software was done the needs of the end users changed considerably and the software no longer fulfilled the purpose it was designed for.

Sometimes a project is delivered and it does not fulfill the purpose for which it was built. This can happen when the development team writes the software with minimal interaction with the target user.

On the other hand, the agile process allows several small deliveries with a healthy discussion between the end users and the development team. Oftentimes what seemed like a good approach at the beginning of the project does not work as anticipated.

The agile process allows for ongoing changes throughout the course of the project which will lead to a much better final product.


Question 4 – Do we have the right end users available with enough time to work through the process?

In relation to the point above, if the end user does not have enough time to use the latest software delivery and provide good solid feedback to the development team, it will have a negative impact on the project.


Question 5 – Do we have a strong development team with the right leader?

In software, the right leader can make or break a project. If you are working on a big project make sure you have a leader who has successfully completed a big project. Interestingly enough, software development consists of both art and science. Experience helps manage the art. Skill and knowledge helps manage the science.


Question 6 – Who is going to provide ongoing support?

Developing and maintaining a new software package is more like having a baby than buying a new car. It can take on a life of its own.  It takes constant care and maintenance. Things can go wrong when you least expect them to go wrong.

Most likely the software you develop will be performing a critical business function and will bring great value to your company. You become dependent on it. This is  good, but you need to have a team who can fix problems when they arise.

The support team needs to be able to respond quickly and have a thorough knowledge of the software so they can find the problem and get you back into production.



Custom software is not for every organization, but more and more companies are creating software to help them solve problems and scale their business to capture new opportunities.

I have been involved in developing software for most of my adult life. I have seen, and been part of,  both triumphs and failures.  

The failures are painful but help to reach the triumphs.

Ah…but the triumphs; there is something about working on a team to build a software product which then allows a business to accomplish things they never thought possible!  

Having an end user catch you in the hall and tell you their job is enjoyable again, or watching a business expand significantly because of a new software package you created for them,  makes the journey all worthwhile!


Have questions about how custom software could work for you? Contact me at bob@sevenverbs.com.


SevenVerbs on The News Hour

Bob Sorenson and Alan Anderson joined Insight on Business – The News Hour to talk about SevenVerbs and how we find solutions for businesses. Listen here: