Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business at Small Business BC June 2018

Join Mhairi at Small Business BC or from the comfort of your office and learn about the basics of social media as we share our tips and tactics for success.

Seminar Date

Thursday,  June 28th, 2018 – 1:00pm to 4.30pm

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to other locations via live webinar. All webinar participants will also receive access to a recording for seven days after the live session.

 

Register to attend at:


Images and How to Use Them Without Getting in Trouble

Images are an excellent addition to your website, blog post or social media and can help you get more shares and interactions. However, not all images on the internet are okay to use since there are laws that allow people to have rights to those images. Using just any image you find on the internet can get you in big trouble and leave you with a hefty fine!

Image Copyright Laws in Canada

We live in a world where images are so easy to find with just a click of a button but we can’t use any image we find since there is a cost for ownership of most images. It’s important to be aware of copyright laws in Canada to ensure you don’t get fined for using content you find online. Under the law, any image taken by any device (camera, smartphone, etc.) is subject to copyright. This means that if someone takes a photo, it is their photo and anyone else that would like to use it has to seek permission from the photographer. The photographer is not required to register their work to have it copyrighted since when the photo is saved (onto a smartphone or camera roll) it automatically is subject to copyright and is protected under copyright laws. Therefore, it is essential that we learn to keep these laws in mind because if you get caught using an image that belongs to someone else- you could be fined!

How To Find Great Free Images

There are many ways to find images that are free and can enhance your content.

1. Create your own images: Grab your camera or even your smartphone to capture some images! This allows you to be in full control of what the image will love like and leaves tons of room for customization. Also, having your own images ensures that the content is original and authentic.

2. Find royalty-free images on Google: When you search on Google, make sure you’ve clicked the “labeled for reuse” button! This allows you to reuse the image. See below:
How To Find Great Free Images on Google

3. Use Creative Commons to search multiple platforms to find free images: This site allows you to search for images easily and helps you find free images from various platforms. Check out our blog post on Creative Commons for more information.

4. Find free images online: Using sites such as allthefreestock.com allows you to search for various free images, videos, music and icons that are royalty-free.

5. Tools such as Canva: Canva allows you to edit your images and it basically works as an easy-to-use graphic design platform. It also has a massive repository of free images along with fairly inexpensive images (approximately $1 for a high-quality image).

6. Buy images: There are sites that allow you to purchase high-quality images. Sites such as iStock allows you to buy images for as little as $12 per image. You can also get a subscription for $40 per month that gets you 10 images per month.

If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check where that image appears online through TinEye. You simply upload your image or paste a URL of the image and this tool does a reverse search to find out where that image appears online.

Keep these tips in mind next time you add images to your content!


Learn our tips for Social Media Success at Small Business BC

Join Mhairi at Small Business BC or from the comfort of your office and learn about the basics of social media as we share our tips and tactics for success.

Seminar Date

Monday,  June 15, 2015 – 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Social Media and On-line Marketing Tactics

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to other locations via live webinar. All webinar participants will also receive access to a recording for seven days after the live session.

Buy Now, choose your preferred location:

Register to attend at:

 

 

 

 


Small Business: Here’s Why Your Social Media Isn’t Working

Social media can really level the playing field for small businesses. It gives us the ability to do more with less and yet many companies claim that social media isn’t working. The fact of the matter is that it’s not social media that’s at fault, it’s you. Here’s why:

1. You’re  not listening – and you are not alone – 40% of brands using social media don’t respond to comments, questions, replies or retweets. Guaranteed that by doing so you are ignoring inquiries and opportunities that could bring you business. Get in the habit of monitoring your feeds regularly and respond frequently.

2. You’re rude to your fans/followers – fans are like exotic hot house plants, if you care and nurture them they will grow abundant and spread but if you ignore them they will simply die off. Nurtured fans can become your marketing dept on steroids. So why are you ignoring it when they retweet or share your content? A simple thank you is all it takes to keep them happy. Why would anyone retweet your content if you ignore them for it?

3. You’re a headless chicken scratching around doing what you can but with absolutely no direction. You started out with a blog, then added a Facebook page because everyone’s one there, then Twitter because you saw it on TV, and now Pinterest, Google+…. The fact of the matter is that it takes you so long to do your social media that you don’t have enough time to do what you do best and make money. There are thousands of social networks out there. You can’t be on all of them effectively and still make money for your business so choose 2 or 3 (max) and do them really well. Choose the ones that your target audience is most like to use.

4. Your branding sucks – sounds harsh, but it is true. Before you embark on building your social media presence it is important to make sure that you you’ve done your homework and that your brand is ready, and that isn’t just your logo (but that’s important too). You should understand what your company stands for, how it is perceived, how your offering is different. If you know this then you will be more likely to succeed online and off.

5. Your customer service stinks – another hard thing to hear but if your offline customer service stinks then it’s just going to be amplified online, rolling out the red carpet for trolls. Fix your processes and make sure your customer service rocks before you start.

6. You like the sound of your own voice – sorry to tell you but this isn’t about you, my friend, it is about your audience.  Stop mouthing off about you and your business all the time. Eighty percent of your posts should be focused on adding value for your audience and twenty percent should be about you (not the other way round).  And save the photos of your coffee (yawn).

7. Your social media stands alone.   – your  presence on social media needs to reflect your real world activities.  If you are having an open house or event, Tweet about it.  Closed on Monday, then post it on your Facebook page.  Consider social media as a component of your overall marketing, communications and business plan.

8. You’re an old school communicator – many small businesses fail on social media because they take the old approach to communicating and talk at their audience rather than with their audience.  This isn’t about you pushing out your message, it is about building conversations centered around your customers.

9.  You  don’t know what social media is and you don’t care. For you, social media is a passing fad and not worthy of your attention. People said the same thing about the Internet 15 years ago and the telephone 100 years ago. The fact of the matter is that if you want to do business with the next generation of clients, you will have to use social media to some extent.  If you’re not on there then they will rule you out and you’re business will suffer.

10. You delegated to the person in your office who has a thousand Facebook friends.  Just because someone knows how to use social media socially, doesn’t mean they can use it effectively for business.  Make sure that whoever is doing your social media understands your business, goals, audience and what to say or not to say before they start.

 


When I Started Blogging

Guest blogger Kerry Sauriol of Crunchy Carpets explains why small businesses should blog.

When I Started Blogging

A little while ago, I was attending an event held by the Enterprising Moms Network. As usual, I had to explain what Crunchy Carpets was. One woman exclaimed to me that she had never gotten into blogging and Twitter and all that stuff as she just never had the time.

This got me thinking about a few responses to that statement.

If she didn’t have the time, what did that say about me or the many women I know who are into blogging or social media?

The statement seemed to imply that a blog was a tool mainly for personal use: merely a hobby. Judging from the number of women I knew at that event that were using blogging and social media as business and marketing tools, I was quite taken aback by this assumption.

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed by the thought of adding one more activity to their already demanding days. Most then want to know in concrete terms what they will get out of a blog. What their ROI (return on investment) would be.

If your company has a website, adding a blog to it is the simplest and easiest way to reach out to your customers. A blog can add a human touch to your website. It gives you the space to reach out and communicate directly with your customer base.

The biggest lesson about blogging is ….you get out of it what you put in.

Companies can struggle with the difference between marketing and communicating. With marketing, you see the results of it quickly and easily in the form of sales that stemmed from that campaign. Blogging is different. Blogging is about relationship building. This can be tough to understand when you are focused on the bottom line.

This is true for both personal and corporate blogs.

Blogging shouldnt be demanding…but quality writing is key. Poorly written copy or a blog that is just all about marketing can put off a reader/potential customer. So yes, hiring a copywriter or professional blogger might be your next step.

Blog Examples

Agoo Clothings web presence is an amazing example of taking social media and community building to the extreme. Their site is more than an online store. Their blog is a mix of promotional copy and child and family oriented copy that they feel their readers (their shoppers) will appreciate. Add their HUGE Facebook activity and the promotion they do with personal (mom bloggers) and you can call their social media presence a huge success. Agoo wants you to know that the people behind the clothing line are family people too with kids of their own and so they can share an understanding with their buyers.

Raspberry Kids, another online child focused store already has a rich and readable website, but the blog has become not only a promotional tool, but a great insight into the life of the owner/operator of the company. She shares the ups and downs of entrepreneurship with her readers and customers. She is one of “us.”

From these two examples, you can see how well the addition of a blog to your web presence can enable your business to connect with your community.

Marketing today has a far more touchy feely vibe to it than the days of traditional marketing, and for some this may feel frivolous, but I do firmly believe that community building, relationship building through the internet is the way to building a solid business in the real world.

If you already have a company site, the addition of a blog is a simple and inexpensive step. Talk to your webmasters and they should be able to help you or talk to Out-Smarts.

If you don’t have a website, platforms like WordPress are simple and easy to set up and there are many free templates out there that can be customized without needing a degree in code. WordPress.com is a free system and their .org site is where you can set up a blog with your OWN URL and host.

If you need a writer for your blog, there are a lot of us out there!! And we are all so talented and ready to help.

About Kerry

Having discovered that children don’t give annual employee evaluations, Kerry jumped at the chance seven years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. She has found she can more than handle being called a stupid head by her two eldest and sweetly precocious children instead of being fired by her peers.

Kerry’s hold on sanity is her computer and the world of mommy bloggers. She can ignore the chaos created by three kids, three cats, a dog and patient husband and find the peace it takes to come up with her latest post at her personal site Crunchy Carpets . Apart from obsessive Tweeting and Facebooking, she can also be found haranguing people to post on her other site Wet Coast Women.

Blogging has brought her the opportunity to meet amazing people, speak on CBC Radio and be interviewed by the Globe and Mail on a few occasions.