Category Archives: Social Media

Upcoming Social Media for Business Workshop

I am so excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a one-day course, “Social Media for Business,” next month! It is a personal goal of mine to get into teaching and more workshop facilitation in the future, and I can’t wait to share some tips with people in Prince George on April 25, and help businesses unlock some of the power of social media. And, I’m so proud to be teaching this at my (first) alma mater, UNBC!

Social media for business |

My course is through UNBC Continuing Studies and will be a packed day full of social media marketing goodness! I hope that participants will come out of the day with a good grasp on what tools are right for them, and the beginnings of a social media marketing strategy for their own business.

Here’s what participants will learn:

  • What social media platforms and tools are available and right for your business
  • The importance of pre-planning (policies, guidelines and risk assessments)
  • How to develop a social media strategy that aligns with your business goals
  • How to develop content and tell your story
  • Ideas to connect with customers and create online conversations
  • The importance of monitoring and measuring social media efforts
  • How to create social media marketing campaigns
  • Best practices, online etiquette and other considerations

Join me! And please help spread the word about this course. Prince George is a fantastic city and it’s so important that we help our local businesses thrive as best as they can!

Register for the course on the UNBC Continuing Studies site. And if you have things you’d love to see in this course, let me know in the comments below!

State of social media in 2013 (infographic)

A lot happened in the world of social media in 2013 – wacky, viral videos, new platforms, (more) Facebook outrage… my passion and dedication for learning more and keeping up with the crazy world of social media marketing totally grew with all this.

I found this great infographic from Infographic Promotion reminding us of all the biggest social media stories for each month of last year. Makes me wonder what 2014 will hold – I foresee Google+ ramping up big time, especially with Facebook’s push to paid advertising lately. I, myself, will be trying to spend more time over there. What are your thoughts on where social media will go this year?

The State of Social Media 2013
The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion

Five social media resolutions for 2014

I’m not usually one to make resolutions, but the new year is definitely a time where I feel motivated to refresh my efforts in many aspects of my life — health, hobbies, work, etc. So why not look at your social media strategy and add some fresh thinking to it too?

social media resolutions 2014I know there are tons of 2014 posts going around right now, but I want to present my five social media resolutions for this year.

1. Step back and think strategy. It’s sooo important to outline your goals for using social media and to tie them to your overall marketing objectives. Take time to revisit what your goals were when you started (or to look at this now if you’re just starting out) and think about what you want to get out of social media, how you’ll approach it, how much time you’re willing to devote and how you’ll measure the benefits of your time. This big picture strategy will help keep you on track all year round. It helps you remember why you love social media too.

2. Try something new. This could be anything from curating great content a couple times per week for your audience, starting conversations in with new audiences, or trying out a new social media platform you’ve been watching for awhile. If the latter, I suggest Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Google+ — G+ is my “try something new” for this year most definitely (but I’m already on the others of course!). (BTW, why not connect with me on Google+?)

3. Think visuals. People love a pretty picture. This is why Instagram is so successful. Try posting a photo with anything you put up on Facebook, and try this with Twitter more often too. Always have a picture in your blog posts. Be creative. If there’s nothing quite obvious to include, then make your own! I often use PicMonkey to create graphics  with pretty backgrounds and the titles of my posts to use as an image (including in this post).

4. Be consistent. “Gain your audience with quality, keep them with consistency.” This is a great quote from a recent Klout blog post on creating content. Even if you’re only posting once a week, people can expect that from you. Although I recognize we all do it sometimes (myself included), there’s nothing worse than visiting a page that hasn’t been updated in awhile. Nothing will stop your traffic more than that. On the flipside, if you post often (on whatever platform you’re using), you’re on the forefront of your audience’s mind much more. Try creating a content plan for the upcoming week or month – this will make consistency all too easy!

5. Think about blogging. I still stand by the claim that blogging can be one of the most important tools in a marketer’s toolbox. If you don’t have a blog yet, why not try your hand at blogging? Take a look at some of my old posts about the primary benefits of blogging and top rules for blogging and then go for it!

What 2014 social media resolutions would you add to this list?

The public vs. private balancing act on social media

I recently attended a CPRS workshop where the presenter, a man with many hats (including husband/dad, Prince George councilor, tech & innovation ambassador, UNBC staffer), talked about his experiences with social media. He’s involved in many different fields and arenas, but uses social media with what he calls the “Wide Open” approach.

20131124publicvsprivateIt got me thinking about my approach to social media and the balance between public and private. Similarly, I wear many “hats” – social media specialist/consultant, tourism blogger, government health staffer… some of these roles put me (and my chosen SM profiles) more out in the public sphere, and some of these roles dictate that I need to be careful about what I say.

So how do you determine what goes public and what doesn’t? It really comes down to how you want your public “brand” (and yes, if you blog/tweet/FB/video etc publicly, you have a “brand”) to be portrayed to someone who doesn’t know you.

I recently saw an article on Mashable about balancing personal and professional lives on Twitter. It has some really good tips for how to approach the public/private dichotomy of Twitter (e.g. “accept that Twitter is public” and “avoid sensitive topics”).

Here is my own list of tips and things to consider about the overlap of public and private on social media:

    1. Use your Facebook privacy settings. A lot of people don’t know how to set this up properly, but it’s definitely worth learning. I have several groups categorized on my Facebook (e.g. Friends, Acquaintances, Family, etc.), so not everything I pot goes out public. Some is for my friends list, some is for “friends but not acquaintances.” Still, though, I realize there could potentially be flaws in the system, and I never post anything (even to my close friends list) that would be damaging (to myself or others) if it went public.
    2. Never post anything negative/accusatory/passive aggressive/ranty. When you get bad customer services, or someone upsets you, it’s so easy to automatically turn to social media and tweet/post something negative about whoever wronged you. I strongly advise against this. Not only do you bring other people’s days down with you, but you risk turning people “off” you and sending them to the nearest unfollow button. You don’t want people associating you with negativity do you?
    3. Use some common sense. Are there things that should be in a “no fly zone” due to your day-to-day job or situation? Have respect for that. Also respect the people around you. Maybe your wife/husband or mom/dad doesn’t want you posting about them. Listen to that. And don’t create conversations around extremely sensitive issues as it may create an online argument (unless your brand is to be a bit of a sh*t disturber!).
    4. Set your own rules. There are not many rights and wrongs in social media. Take some time to find your own voice, determine what you want people to know and what’s best left private. I know some people who will never post a picture of their child online; others nearly spam us with their kid pics. Some people won’t talk about work; some use their personal accounts to only talk about their industry. What works for you?
    5. Don’t take yourself so seriously. This is in the Mashable article I linked to above, but it’s also something I always say when presenting to groups or helping people with their SM strategies. Sure, it’s public, but it’s only social media. If you mess up, apologize, crack a joke and move on. Someone else will be in the spotlight tomorrow. It’s fun, people! And learning is half of that fun.

Do you have any other tips?

Reconfirming my geekdom

My sister and I are planning a fun photo shoot this weekend that I can’t wait to share with you. In talking about it this afternoon, she mentioned it will be good for me to share it on my Facebook page because apparently, as she tells me, not everyone is as into social media as I am. This is how our convo went down:

Sis: You need to post more stuff about you on your Facebook page so people get to know you. Social media is kind of boring. Not everyone thinks infographics are cool you know.

Me: Really?! (with such sincere incredulity that I’m pretty sure my voice squeaked like a 14-year-old boy’s)

Sis: (bursts out laughing) Ohmigod I just crushed your world!

Me: My page is about social media… what would you suggest I post there if not that?

Sis: Well, for example, you could post neat things that you just pinned. Like, “check out this cool thing I just pinned!”

Me: But the cool thing I just pinned was likely a social media infographic.

Sis: Silence.

Yup. Still a geek.