7 Tips to Drive Blog Traffic From Facebook

Social media has enormous potential to drive blog traffic.   How you post has a tremendous impact on whether you get those views.  The tips listed, while written with Facebook in mind, can be applied with a few tweaks to Google+ and even LinkedIn.

The Blog Traffic Commute: 7 Ways to #BeTactical and leverage #Facebook to drive blog traffic

1.   A well written blog on a topic your fans have an interest in reading.

Let’s face it.  If no one wants to read your post, nothing below will matter (or work).  If you do get clicks, your bounce rate from a quick ‘abandon ship’ will hurt your SEO and does nothing for your authority or credibility.

2.     Grab their attention with a catchy title.

It doesn’t have to be the first line or title from your blog.  It could be a question or a quote from your blog.  Frankly it can be anything  that gets them to linger just long enough to read the post.  A small piece of advice though.  Don’t use typical “click baiting” phrases like “You have to read this.”  You’ll likely find those viewed as spam.

3.     Give them the highlights from your blog.

Now that you caught their attention, HOLD IT with the highlights, then the reason to click.  It may seem counter intuitive not to simply post a link to read your blog post but I’ve found the best way to drive blog traffic is to not actually force the click-through.  Give them the choice and enough of a taste of your message and they’re more apt to WANT more.  Write the post correctly and they WILL want more!  People use Facebook to stay in touch with friends.  They follow pages for businesses they frequent or like for specials, the entertainment and helpful information.  Forcing them to leave the platform is a turn off.

This tactic has some fringe benefits:

  1. #BeTactical: Bounce rates also tend to drop when users want to click rather than need to click.  They’re more apt to read additional content. That’s a win for our SEO.
  2. I have an opportunity to drive engagement on the post itself leading to greater reach and more opportunities to drive clicks.

Author’s Note: Personally I take this a step further.  I’ll occasionally write the content for our Facebook posts so there is no reason to click-through.  Yes, I do realize I’m writing about how to drive blog traffic and I’m telling you I structure posts that don’t lend to that goal.  There’s a tactical method to my madness though:

It’s my job to provide the compelling content to make the reader follow us, and more importantly, want to hire us.  Getting the reader to click-through when there is no need – that’s a win.  I know the content was a hit.  

Done right, your post can be a win-win-win.  It’s a risk/reward scenario.  Risk a few clicks now for the reward of more later.  “The Post Save Methodology” blog post generated great engagement on Facebook AND still drove a fair amount of blog traffic.

4.     Make it easy to click-through!

You’ve hooked them, now set it.  Rather than relying on  a small link to the post in your status update with an image,  use the Link-Share method by entering the link into the status.  It will pull a larger, ‘Full Bleed’ link image, along with the post title and a snippet.  Just make sure the image pulled from your blog is sized correctly.  (Facebook will pull the first image in the post OR the featured image if set.)

#BeTactical: Facebook suggests that the minimum image size be 560×292 pixels, but in order for it to work for everyone, it should be 1200×627 pixels. When posted, the entire image and text box will become a giant link that will point people to the respective website. – thenextweb.com

Better visibility and a giant link means more blog traffic.

Facebook is taking a closer look at how pages are sharing links, and they’ve found that users generally like to click on link-format posts because those give more information.

If the link does not pull the larger size image, when it does and the image does not display properly (I’ve seen this with longer vertical images optimized for Pinterest), or if the correct image doesn’t appear,  you have the option to upload another image without breaking the link.

The Blog Traffic Commute: #BeTactical How to change the image pulled with a shared link on a #Facebook post without breaking the link; Driving blog traffic

5.     Like and Comment!

When you like and comment on your own posts as yourself, that activity shows in the ticker.  This greatly increases your visibility, potentially driving more eyes to your page and the post.  The more connected you are, the greater the visibility of your post.  Take advantage of it.  If you have employees, make sure they are supporting your efforts (your business should always strive for teamwork) and make sure they like and comment as well.

#BeTactical: Comment on your #Facebook post as a potential client. Try to encourage more comments.  If appropriate, tag a friend.   

6.     Share it!

As with likes and comments above, sharing your business page posts to your personal wall is a phenomenal way leverage your network to drive exposure.  Just be smart and don’t overdo it.  Ideally, share posts that will have value to your friends.

#BeTactical: I created lists for my #Facebook friends. I’ll share posts strategically to lists. Keeps me from spamming my friends.

If you manage other pages or are a member of groups, you have additional opportunities to share your post there as well.  Just know the rules.

#BeTactical: Find the groups/communities your customers are involved in and JOIN! It’s a great way to connect personally.

7.     Boost it!

I am not a fan of paying for the sole purpose of engagement.  (I’d prefer you do that organically) but when we’re talking about driving clicks to your website or blog, Do It!

#BeTactical: Boosting a Facebook post with well thought out targeting is a very inexpensive way to drive large volumes of traffic.

The Blog Traffic Commute: #BeTactical: How to use Facebook to drive blog traffic

Does It Work?

This blog was about a week old when I pulled this report.  I’d say Facebook has driven more than it’s share of traffic.  When you factor in Google+ and Twitter it becomes quite clear how powerful social media is at driving blog traffic.

Your Turn

Are you leveraging Facebook to driving blog traffic?

I’d love your hear your thoughts.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you need help leveraging your Facebook posts to drive blog traffic or have any other social media issue you’d like to discuss?   Contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

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Protecting Your Brand’s Reputation

Before you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!

We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long-term effects on your brand reputation.  Even a single post, tweet or comment can take on a life of its own.

Where am I going with this?

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]While it’s generally sunk in that we need to be careful WHAT we post, it seems that isn’t necessarily the case with what we REPOST. [/perfectpullquote]

 

TBefore you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!  We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long term effects on your brand reputation.

I was dumbfounded recently when I read an article that was heavily repinned and RT’d.  The content discussed how to drive more reach for your Facebook Fan Page and ultimately your website or blog.  Catchy headline, catchy image.  The issue was the actual content.  The author was advocating click baiting – something in itself I find unethical – but more importantly, something Facebook discussed in August: ‘Facebook is announcing the pursuit and war against attempts to entice clicks through headlines that are misleading.’


I couldn’t believe so many people were sharing content that would actually HURT others in their social media efforts and was exactly what Facebook was working to stop!  Regardless of why the content was shared, it was obvious it wasn’t read first (though I will concede that some share may have been from those that did read it and agreed with the Black Hat practice).

 

Since our brand reputation is affected by what we post, both our own and curated content, it’s imperative that we read everything we intend to put our name and stamp of approval on, even if that takes time, regardless of the source.

 

When discussing this topic with a colleague it was mentioned that content from a trusted source may need less scrutiny and maybe none.  It may be true that the source may will be far less likely to share or post such content, even the experts make mistakes.

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]It’s not just about whether the content is true, the link legit or the image authentic, it’s as much about what is said.[/perfectpullquote]

 

Sharing great content (even from a trusted source) doesn’t mean your brand reputation won’t come under fire.  Sharing content counter to your beliefs, what you advocate, what your followers / fan base expect can be just as damaging.  I have generally have no desire to share the content of even the best known / trusted social media or marketing experts (or experts in any field) if I do not agree with their position.  Would you give someone who’s views are counter to yours access to your audience?  Unless you’re looking for a debate, no.  Yet sharing their content on your social media profiles is doing just that.

 

Four Simple Takeaways:

 

  • Read first, then share, regardless of the source (& do it every time).

 

  • Don’t Share, re-post or ReTweet without following all links.

 

  • Don’t repin without tracing the image back to its source.

 

  • If you’re unsure of the content or it’s source – DON’T SHARE IT!

 

It may take longer, but a few minutes now can save your brand reputation (and the time to repair it later).

 

A Post Save Method for Social Media Platforms

This post originally appeared on The Archived Blog on 29 July 2014 as How To   Save Any Social Media Post And Content for Later; Moving Beyond Facebook’s Save for Later.

My Post Save Methodology

Have you ever come across a post scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed you wanted and wondered about saving it for later?   Going back and finding it later is near impossible, even with a search feature.  There are just too many posts to filter or scroll through.  MAYBE if you’re lucky you’ll stumble upon it.

Most days I barely have time to scroll through my feeds, let alone have the time to  read or comment on a post I find.  (One reason I hear from business owners on why they don’t engage on or curate content from others).  Since content is posted at all hours, I’ll skim my feeds throughout the day, saving any that may be of interest.  This allows me to effectively manage my time as well as read a post and provide a quality comment if I so choose.

The Save Post Methodology: How to save post from any social media platform by finding the URL.

While there are methods specific to each platform and several additional options (an excellent article by Mike Alton for The Social Media Hat on saving Google+ posts), I prefer to leverage my browser’s bookmark tool.  The beauty of the method is it’s simplicity.  An added benefit: my newly curated posts in one location and I can create folders to organize that content in a manner that works for me.   Simply locate a post’s specific URL and bookmark it!

Author’s Note:  When I consult with business owners needing help on curating and saving content for use later, I always recommend this method.  It’s simple.  They’ll already have the browser open, they’re familiar with the bookmark feature and they can easily bookmark social media posts as well as other web pages.  

If you want to go a step further,  Look at OneNote or Evernote.  You can clip or copy the URL and save it to these programs.  While there is an extra step, the advantage is the ability to add notes for later reference, either when saved or after reading.  It’s not my preferred method, even for myself though I do clip URLs to save in OneNote.  Much of my finds come from scrolling on a mobile device.  It’s far faster for me to simply open the link in a browser and bookmark it.  I can always go back to OneNote and save what I find useful with notes later, deleting the rest.  

Finding the URL in a Social Media Post

Facebook, Google+ and Twitter

You’ll either be able to click (or right click) on the timestamp to open the post in a new tab or window.  The Full URL will be in the address bar.  If you choose to save the links externally (see author’s note below), you can right click and simply copy the URL to paste it.

The Post Save Methodology: Locating the URL of a Facebook post by Robert Nissenbaum or Tactical Social Media, Greater Seattle Area

The Post Save Methodology: Finding the URL of a Facebook post

The Post Save Methodology: Locating the URL of a Google+ post by Robert Nissenbaum or Tactical Social Media, Greater Seattle Area

The Post Save Methodology: Finding the URL of a Facebook post

The Post Save Methodology: Locating the URL of a Twitter post by Robert Nissenbaum of Tactical Social Media, Greater Seattle Area

The Post Save Methodology: Finding the URL of a Tweet

 

Pinterest and Instagram

These services  make the process simplier.   Just click on the image to open it up in a new window The URL will be in your browser’s  address bar.

UPDATE:  The method still works but if you want to actually pin your Instagram image, things do now get a little trickier.  It seems as if Instagram has decided to make sharing an issue.  As of this weekend I discovered it wasn’t possible to pin an Instagram image or schedule a pin via Tailwind.  Doing so now requires a 3rd party program link Ink361.

LinkedIn

For Pulse articles the actual article will open with the full URL in the browser.  Just bookmark it.  It gets more difficult for status updates in your feed.   In your feed most of the status update will either include a link or an image.   Obviously saving the link is straightforward.  For images you can simply right click and one in a new tab to reveal the image’s specific URL.  

The one downside to this method on LinkedIn?  There is no ability later to reference the exact post or individual who posted it.  You’ll have the content to read but it will be difficult at best to engage with the person or business that shared it.   Since much of the content I save is for the ability to interact with the individual posting the content, I’ll try to take a few moments to respond to LinkedIn status updates when I see them rather than save them.  

Your Turn

How do you save social media posts for later reading?  Is there a platform I missed or should add?

I’d love your thoughts on saving or curating content you find on social sites.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content!

Need help with your content curation, implementing a post save method of your own or have any other social media issue you’d like to discuss?   Contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

Guilty Of A Gut Reaction To A Negative Review?

I’m going out on a ledge here, even willing to stand on the edge on one foot to say; every business makes a mistake once in a while. From minor to major offense, from customers to ex-friends and family, you might have some bad reviews out there.  The point is, like it or not, either you have them or you will.

Once you accept that, as I’d hope once you decided to hang out the shingle you knew you would, you can move on from worrying less about how  receiving a negative review  and focus on how to minimize the chances of getting on and to how to deal with a negative review when it happens.  It’s all about brand reputation management (related article: The Brand Reputation Discreditation).

The Negative Review Reaction: How to handle a negative review and protect your brand's reputation, Brand Reputation Management

Handling The Negative Review – The Wrong Way

The usual responses I’ve heard from business owners (not to mention countless blog posts) on how to deal with negative reviews (including posts and comments) are either to bury it or to delete it.  The idea being that apparently if they’re not seen, they’re not really there.  Neither is a professional approach to managing your reputation.

Bury It

Reviews left on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List (and no, I am NOT a fan of Angie’s List) as well as other sites there leave no option to remove the post, The ‘Bury It’ approach seems sound.  You usually don’t want that negative review at the top when potential clients are looking for your product or services.  While it may be one in a handful of good reviews, if it’s the most recent, it could mean trouble.

When looking at a restaurant last week to grab a bite for dinner I didn’t focus on the rating but rather the reviews.  A 4-5 star rating means nothing if all of the positive reviews are years old and the few bad ones are weeks old, the rating is somewhat pointless.  I can expect to experience the service pointed out in the recent ratings more than those older ones. – Robert Nissenbaum, Tactical Social Media

The idea then, that having a number of positive reviews posted to ‘combat’ a negative review would seem to be a good idea.  Not so; I’m smart.  If all of the reviews are staggered in terms of when they are posted and suddenly after a few negative reviews there are several positive in quick succession (while it’s possible that it is a coincidence) it’s not what I’ll be thinking.  Now I see the bad reviews and a desperate attempt to deceive me.

In the case of Yelp, those ‘positive’ reviews can and do get filtered.  Other sites are employing software to catch these as well, especially if they truly are false positive reviews.  The end result is far worse than a few complaints.

#BeTactical: Don’t bury a negative review with fake positive ones.

Delete It

On one level, it works.  If there are no poor reviews – all is good.  Quite honestly there are plenty of businesses with nothing but stellar reviews and ratings. Not having a negative review isn’t bad – unless someone saw it BEFORE you had a chance to delete it!  The same goes for a post on your page and especially a comment in a thread with others (those who previously commented have definitely been notified).  Again, you are faced with trying to cover it up.

Handling a negative review; online reputation management, monitoring and response; The cover up is usually worse than the crime. image credit: http://www.shelburnenovascotia.com/CARTOONS/Worse yet, if the reviewer sees the post removed, there’s a good chance it will be reposted and probably with the added admonishment of having it removed.  Users are also more likely to post the new review in more locations including private profiles on social networks where the visibility will be greater with no chance to respond.

#BeTactical: Don’t delete a negative review. The cover up is usually worse than the crime itself.

Handling The Negative Review – The Right Way

Be Proactive

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.  Since we know, at some time, you will get a poor review, it’s a well-known fact people are more apt to report the negative than to heap on the praise, ASK FOR GOOD REVIEWS.  This is the positive and ethical way to Bury It.

It’s also a great opportunity to follow-up with your customers.  I love this postcard I recently received from South Tacoma Honda after we had the airbag recall performed.  They not only followed up but asked for a review AND gave us directions to make it easy! (And yes, we did return for additional services.)

The Negative Review Reaction: Avoiding a negative review: Brand Reputation Management: I love this postcard I recently received from South Tacoma Honda after we had the airbag recall performed. They not only followed up but asked for a review AND gave us directions to make it easy! #BeTactical

The value in asking for positive reviews – when you do get that pummeling, it will be one in a bunch of positive remarks.  They’ll also be staggered so they won’t look contrived (not to mention the posts themselves will read well.  Hastily posted ones in an effort to bury negative ones will almost always sound rushed and lack authenticity).

#BeTactical: Ask for positive reviews. When there is a negative one, the impact will be minimized.

Helpful Tip: One great idea is to get the review BEFORE your customer leaves.  Technology is your friend.  Add a QR code to the bottom of the receipt or have them login to any social site on their phone, offering a cookie or coupon for their next visit when they do.

Respond 

If (when) bad reviews appear, they need to be dealt with immediately and professionally.

  • Make a mistake? Acknowledge it!  

Own up to it and work out the most courteous solution possible, PUBLICLY.  Sending a personal response is still recommended where possible but while handled offline, not doing so publicly means others do not see how you handled it.

Since I know there is a chance something can go wrong in the sales process as a customer, knowing it will be handled professionally, fairly and in a timely manner is a big plus. It provides me insight into how your business operates and adds an element of trust and respect.  – MJ Jensen, IdeaMagic Visionary Marketing

Consider the case of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ.  A proper reply to the negative review on Yelp (in 2010) could have been leveraged to create a positive spin helping her business.  Instead Amy’s rant turned into a complete meltdown.  While the business is still open, their reputation will always precede them.

We can garner much more about a business based on the way they handle a negative comment, post or review than we can from a positive one.

Excellent advice on handling a negative review from @Kim Garst: Own your mistakes and your community will LOVE you for it! #BeYou http://bit.ly/realyoubook

Amazing advice from Kim Garst

 

  • The Unfounded Rant

So, what if the post is just a rant?  You handle it the same way – with class and professionalism.

While class and professionalism are a must, keep in mind, not every complaint, negative review or rant is valid or worthy of amends.  Plenty of people will use the threat of a bad review to get something free or give a bad review when a business owner doesn’t play their game. It’s common practice amongst a certain demographic. I consider them a low-grade reputation terrorist.

“While looking at my reviews on Facebook I noticed a one star review. It was from a person who continually sent me things to review and respond with suggestions. He wasn’t a client and never was a client. When not getting free services, there was a temper tantrum and this person was removed from contacting me again, then the bad review. I have worse stories of angry leeches and reputation terrorists, but I’ll save those for another time.” – Tamara Lee Taylor, Show Up StrongThe Restless Successful 

As business owners, we cannot be distracted by the reputation terrorist.  While a response is still required, a simple “Thank you for your feedback.” Is sufficient.  Experience has taught me customers will see past the unfounded rant (especially if you were proactive in acquiring positive reviews).

The Advice

As a business owner and consumer, I highly recommend doing your very best to deliver the highest quality product/service possible. Never over promise and under deliver; if you do, your customer/client deserves a humble and gracious remedy in a timely manner.

Hire quality people and train them well.  The best way to handle bad reviews is to not get them.

A Final Thought

The mark of a good business is one that responds to ALL reviews, not just the negative ones.  #BeTactical: If someone takes the time to write a review, the least you can do is take the time to acknowledge it.

Your Turn

As a consumer, how much value do you place on a negative review or testimonial?

You can comment below or you can find The Negative Review Reaction on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!  

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content!

Do you need help with your brand’s reputation management or monitoring?  Do you even know if you do?  If you’re not sure, you do!  Contact us today to see how we can help.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle or South Sound Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

I like LinkedIn messaging.  It’s a great networking tool and can be every bit as powerful as face to face networking opportunities both in group and one on one meetings.  LinkedIn offers the ability to showcase one’s expertise, create authority and build great business and personal relationships.

Sadly, I’ve seen a shift over the past few years to more sales pitches in the form of status updates and messages, connections being made for that sole purpose and more bulk messages.  While bulk messages in themselves aren’t always a negative, when you’re looking to strengthen the relationships you have already established, lumping me in with 20+ other ‘Robert’s in your contacts is certainly not a positive way to connect with me.

The LinkedIn Messaging Protocol: While bulk LinkedIn messaging isn't always a negative, when you’re looking to strengthen the relationships you have already established, lumping me in with 20+ other ‘Robert’s in your contacts is certainly not a positive way to connect with me.

LinkedIn Messaging Etiquette

I received a LinkedIn message from an individual connection recently.  It was a Season’s Greetings eCard with a clickable link.  From a professional perspective, LinkedIn is about connecting and building relationships.  I think sending a Christmas message, and any personal message for that matter, is a great idea.  Connecting personally develops stronger professional relationships.  What bothers me in this case – not only wasn’t the post personalized, but it was sent, as I reference above, clearly from a block of the sender’s contacts as the majority of the names where ‘Robert’ or alphabetically close.  There was no attempt to even filter who received the message.

Regardless if the intent of the message, it came across as merely an attempt to keep the sender’s name top of mind.  Personally, I see this as spam.  Since every relationship I have on LinkedIn is considered before simply accepting, I’m hesitant to just remove someone from my list so I sent a simple message:

While I appreciate the card, I find being included on bulk messages like this to be spam. 

I would prefer to be left off such messages and those other than of a personal nature.

Thank you.

Robert

I expected a short apology and in the end, no true harm done and as they say, no foul.  What I received back, however, surprised me:

This is LinkedIn!! I prefer to only do or discuss business matters that are not of personal nature on the Professional Business Entrepreneur LinkedIn website. 

Just simply wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays hope the rest of the season warms you up from being so suspicious and you actually enjoy yourself!!

Not only did I not receive an apology, I was accused of being suspicious and not enjoying myself or the holidays.  What struck a chord with me more – this individual prefers not to use LinkedIn for business matters (when LinkedIn is a professional oriented networking site) and the sender wasn’t actually wishing ME anything.  It was a wish to a collective.  At least make it personal to me so I know you care about me as a connection.

I normally would have let it drop at this point but as a social media and marketing consultant I felt it was a good teaching opportunity.  My reply:

It’s not about being suspicious.  Your initial message was not personalized (something I teach being critical for developing relationships) and that message was only a link to an eCard. 

I have used LinkedIn messaging successfully to grow my businesses and consult with others to do the same. I regularly send greetings and other personal messages as well as those for business but I do so with each tailored to the recipient. If I include you as part of a bulk mailing it, to me it (and it should to you) shows I don’t value you personally. How does one grow a relationship if nothing is personalized and the recipient is just part of a collective?

Even the vast majority of my connection requests are personalized with how we know each other or why I want to connect if we do not.

Since this is a network to build relationships, I simply asked to be left off bulk messages as I find them to be spam. I would have openly welcomed a personalized greeting sent only to me.

Case in point, I did recently receive a similar message, replied with a thank you, spent some time on their profile and found they could be a valuable resource for a colleague whom I then referred. Why? They took the time to build that relationship with me.

Robert

…..to which I received no further replies.

So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your connections?  A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

The LinkedIn Messaging Protocol: So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your #LinkedIn connections? A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

Update:  Shortly after publishing this post I received another message, that while personally addressed, clearly falls into my ‘spam’ category:

I’m reaching out to you since to see if you might be interested in a ground floor opportunity, or know anyone who might be. I’m wanting to make you aware of this tremendous opportunity and would like to ask you an eye-opening question…

As an Entrepreneur, If you had the chance to get in on the Ground Floor of a company expansion (with a company that’s NOT Ground Floor) where you could generate monthly recurring residual commissions on mobile phone bills nationwide, would you want to know how to get in on it?

In addition to bulk messages, using LinkedIn’s messaging feature for the purpose of recruiting, or requesting that I turn over the names of my contacts, to help you build your network marketing business is spam.

A valid recruiting message is acceptable.  If you want to hire me or collaborate on a project, great.  Clearly this wasn’t.

I am happy to receive LinkedIn messages (and would like to connect and discuss any thoughts you may have – including about YOUR business or interests). Just don’t spam me.

The Take Away:

Regardless of the social site you use and regardless of whether the nature of your message is personal or professional – the end goal is to develop and grow relationships.  You do that by connecting personally.  Bulk messages have value when used correctly.  Just make sure you are using them correctly.