Archive for the ‘Nanaimo BC’ Category

How To Use Social Media For Small Businesses

March 2, 2012

The worry Game

A good friend of mine Maureen “Mo” Douglas called yesterday about social media, she said she didn’t know which network was the most important for her to be on and where she should be spending her valuable time…that is however if she had any spare time to be spending on social media…sound familiar?

Mo is like the masses out there trying to find the right social media network for her business, as well trying not to feel like she is being left behind…Yes it is true, more and more people are using social media today to effectively keep their business top of mind, but choosing your perfect networking tool is not easy.

First

Get rid of the anxiety about being left behind, social media is still very new. Take your time and learn just one network. Once you feel confident with that tool, introduce another, and ask someone how to link the accounts so you don’t have to be posting on both.

Here is why – Once you have one or two social media tools up and running you will find one month you spend most of your time on one, opposed to the other… such as, I have been obsessed with Facebook for months now, feeding my Facebook posts into Twitter and from Twitter to LinkedIn…very rarely posting directly on the other two….and then last week I spent the entire week on Twitter nurturing that network…and now this week I am over to LinkedIn….it changes…we change!

Second

I don’t know about you, but I cannot be in two places at the same time…. and my mood and excitement switches every week… and so does my choice of social networking. Poor Mo was told not to use LinkedIn until she had the time to post directly on LinkedIn…I am on LinkedIn this week reading messages from my followers who are sending them via Twitter…I am getting the message and I am thinking of that person…who tells people these crazy things?

If you ask a social media teacher that teaches all the networks they will tell you it takes time to figure out what is right for your business…and then that could change with time to…

There is no science or right way to do social media, we do know people will stop following you if all you do is sell product or yourself…Remember social media is just that…social..

You wouldn’t walk into a Chamber of Commerce lunch and start selling to people… they’d look at you like you’re a weirdo… so don’t do it on social media…

Stop the madness and enjoy the journey, if you see and hear something interesting let everyone know…they love cool facts or stories with pictures…make me feel special and entertain and educate me….

Social media really isn’t a big deal, just a real fun and interesting place to share valuable information and every time you do..you keep your company and name top of mind…that’s it!

Mo has just started her journey on Facebook and I encourage you to head over to her page and give her a LIKE…this woman is on fire – she is one of the funniest public speakers that I have had the pleasure to know and she has a powerful message behind her business… Mobolize Strategies on Facebook

OH – one more thing..Do you have Google Alerts Yet? That will be my next blog…I promise ♥

Heather Clifford teaches hands on social media that is simple…she lives in gorgeous Nanaimo and travels through out BC helping bridge the distance between technology and you!

How To Get Started Using Social Media

February 27, 2012

Where To Start? 

You need to decide which social network is best for your business – It is my personal opinion that you need to be where your customers are and with all the statistics we have today, you know without a shadow of a doubt most of them are on Facebook at some point in every week. Facebook is estimated to hit one billion active users by August 2012….An absolutely huge number of people sitting in the comfort of their home or office for you to reach.

The fastest growing demographic in social media today are women over the age of 55………. You will want to be where those people are, keeping your business top of mind. (They are not visiting your website once a day)

Something to remember: “We hate to be sold to – but love to buy!”

Twitter might be the best option depending on what your business is – Twitter is instant messaging keeping everyone that follows you current. While Blogging gives you rich material to post on all your social sites and sets you miles apart from anyone – as an author you come across as the authority on any subject you are writing about…and if you have been in business for any amount of time I’m sure you know a thing or two you could share.

OK You’ve Decided

Once you pick your network, take some time to write down what your message is and how you are going to market to your audience. Write out at least twenty different ideas of content you could share. If you work in a team environment get everyone together for a brain storming session.

Examples might be:

  • Tip of the day
  • Important updates
  • Deal of the week
  • Value added message
  • Quotes
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Blogs and links

Once you know the direction you want to head, take it easy on yourself and slowly begin using your new tools…social media takes time to get you into the groove. There is no hurry. Do not think that just by opening an account you will be successful. You must learn how to actively participate and engage with your new marketing vehicle. It takes time to grow your community. I know how overwhelming social media can be, there is a lot of noise on the internet and you might even feel a little intimidated. Never feel pressured into doing anything you are not ready for, with social media it is not about the number of followers you have, it’s about the quality of the people following you that counts.

Make sure you dedicate a useful amount of time to the following areas:

  • 15 -30 minutes of posting and engaging once or twice a day
  • Follow blogs and videos on your new network (Twitter – Facebook) Heather-Clifford’s Blog on Social Media
  • Take a few courses – spread them out
  • Listen to your followers
  • Research different ways of adding content
  • Do a survey from your customers on their social media activities
  • Helping others is the easiest way to learn social media

Meet monthly with a mentor group and bring in a social media speaker

One Little Step At A Time

Spend a good amount of time learning your new tool for marketing and staying top of mind with your following before you introduce the next tool, and when you do pick up your next social media tool, figure out how to use both with one click – Every social media tool is different but they can over-lap and coexist nicely with one another.

I like to say six months to social media success with one new network every sixty days…

Keeping Track 

With all this exciting new activity you’re doing don’t forget to check, measure and analyze your efforts through the many social analytic sites available. Excellent SlideShare Presentation

In the end the Return On Your Investment needs to be clear – measuring your customers and loyal following is just one way to know social media is for you…

Heather lives in beautiful Nanaimo and teaches hands on social media clinics all around BC – Bridging the distance that some people have with technology!

Cheers!

What Is So Important About The Photos On Facebook?

February 23, 2012

Personal Profile Photo(s)

Facebook knows people love to look at photos and they have recently switched most people over to the new time-line where you have a huge cover photo and your smaller profile image… both photos come with a pixel size all their own. Facebook will resize most photos but on occasion they will tell you the photo is too small or too big…

The photo(s) on your Business Page are speaking very loudly about who you are – this is your branding and company exposure on the world wide web. Yes it is very important that you take the time to have a professional graphic done and that your photo strip is sharp, colorful, a delight to be viewed.

Pixel Size

Why not make it as close to perfect as you can, and while you’re at it have some fun, bring your personality out and show the world what you love or your great sense of humour… (At one time my cover image had a welcome mat that said “Go Away”) hee hee

Your new cover image on your personal profiles time-line has a pixel size of 850 x 320 and can be in color or black and white – they look amazing!

The original profile picture which sits in the lower left corner will size itself

Business Page Photos

At the present time as I write this blog (Feb 2012) Facebook is getting ready to launch time-line and cover images for business pages – This means your business page will have the same look and feel as your personal profile only it is for your business. This is excellent..

Your main photo on the Business Page

The pixel size for your main profile picture on the Facebook Business Page has a pixel size of 180 x 540 and this means it is more of a longer picture opposed to the cover image on your personal profile that is wide. You can have this designed with your logo and graphics…Recently I found a great website that will make these graphics for you at a price of $5 …Yes five dollars… Fiverr.com

We need to remember that it is likely people will spend more time on your Facebook Business page then your real website. This picture needs to be professional and perhaps even with a call to action or your website address. Make sure all the words can be read easily and your photo is crisp clear and inviting. Think of this photo as your branding on Facebook…This is the very first image people will see before they choose to click the LIKE button. When they look at your page does it scream Professional? ” Keep It Simple Social Media” Training and Consulting – please have a look at mine, does it relate to you or your business?

Thumbnail

Out of your main graphic your thumbnail is formed and has a pixel size of 50 x 50 Facebook will usually pull the center of your graphic so make sure you drag it to fit, so your head and writing is not cut off or out of line. To do this you simple scroll over your main graphic and then click on change picture (we are not changing the picture, don’t worry) from here you go to the bottom of your picture and click edit thumbnail – from here drag the photo or click scale to fit. Done…

Photo Strip

Your photo strip is where you can upload five awesome pictures. One of the reasons Facebook might be changing to a Cover Image is people are getting frustrated with having to remove photos that automatically upload to your business page photo strip everytime you post a new picture or album. (to remove you need to scroll over photo and click on the x that appears only if you are on the photo) Ask yourself how does your photos strip look? Is it candy to the eyes, does it flow, are the colors soft or bold…black and white? Get creative, have fun….take your time and appreciate this free real estate to its fullest!!! Pixel size 97 x 68 If you are using photos with graphics make sure they line up –  can you read what it says? Always think with your professional hat on.

If you have more questions about photos on Facebook go to my Business Page and post your question directly on my wall. I will write a blog or do a video just for you….but you can be sure you will be helping hundreds of other people who are just starting to market with Facebook.

Cheers!

Heather lives in beautiful Nanaimo BC and travels throughout the province teaching hands on social media clinics – Twitter – Facebook – YouTube – LinkedIn – WordPress Blogging -un-Marketing and social networking – the new Chamber of Commerce!

Keep It Simple Social Media

A New Way to Say Thank You ♥

February 12, 2012

The Doors are open!

There is a new way of saying thank you to the businesses where you spend your time and money….and that new way is on-line through social media sites…. Facebook and Twitter are easy examples of quickly letting the world know how pleased you are with service, food and quality of products…not to mention favorite parks, events and people….On Twitter this is called a mention by adding the Twitter handle of the business or person @KeepItSimpleSM and on Facebook you also use the @Keep It Simple Social Media

One of my favorite things to do is send a Tweet right from the restaurant I am having dinner at with an awesome photo of the artful display the chef presents…The ultimate in compliments…and promotion for that establishment.

Yes we know it is also easy to defame someone on-line too, but for the purspose of this article I am going to stick with the theme…How to say thank you on-line…

Blogging is a larger version of the thank you

My good friend and student of social media Carolyn Hill asked me the other day to give her some ideas about what she could blog about….now Carolyn is one lucky girl she lives in the mecca of resources for blogging.. WHISTLER… and todays blog is dedicated to all my Whistler social media students…I will start with ideas for real estate and then I will finish with ideas for restaurants…for Keeley from La Rua and Caramba if you’re reading this blog and feel left out just go to my Facebook Business Page and ask me to write something for you…. I’d love to.

Real Estate Ideas

  • First think Life style – people are buying real estate mostly for what Whistler offers
  • Write about the different restaurants – one at a time – as you experience them
  • The Five different Golf Courses – How to and Tips
  • How about each area or sub-divison
  • Show Case a Builder of the week
  • A day in the life of the Ski-hill or Ski Instructor
  • How about the Non-Skier – what can they do?
  • The recreation center – or other gym facilities
  • A walk along the village stroll
  • Write about an athelete or retired citizen
  • Write a story about the municiple hall / Whistler/Blackcomb
  • Emergency services – The local Police – other heros
  • Your company
  • Your personal experience as a local
  • Write about Whistler pit falls
  • Local camp grounds
  • Things for kids to do
  • Show the world how friendly everyone in Whistler is through Video interviews
  • The trails – Hiking – Biking – Cross-country
  • I’m sure by now you’ve come up with a few ideas of your own, another fun idea would be to get together with a few friends and talk about ideas to blog about, and ask people and places if you can write a story…they would love and appreciate the publicty – work together as a community, it helps inform the tourist and shows you are open minded and care about each other. You see social media works much better if you help one another … it is also much more fun! (as a side note the blog I wrote about Whistler marijuana has been my most read blog!)

Restaurant Ideas

      • Study the people doing it right
      • Ask customers to follow you
      • Encourage tweeting and taking pictures
      • Show case your chef and other behind the scenes staff
      • Write about each person and the owner
      • Pic of the week
      • Entree of the day
      • Night mares and funny stories
      • What are your drinking and lift home programs
      • Your pinics to go
      • Contests
      • Like minded vendors
      • History of food
      • Eating within your province
      • Local farmers
      • Show case Events
      • Wines and pairing
      • desserts mmmmmmm
      • I hope these ideas spur you on to start writing passionately about your profession or establishment, I can think of many people I know who hesitated at first to write a blog and now absolutely love writing…it’s fun and a great way to say thank you to the people and businesses that have helped you along your journey to success.
      • Cheers!!
Heather Clifford lives in gorgeous Nanaimo BC and teaches her hands on Social Media Marketing for small businesses Clinics all over the province of BC… Call her to come out and speak with your team about social media or one on one for an indepth passionate look at your opportunites to market in and around your area and the world.