Tag: Facebook

Helping Sault businesses use Social Media in a Crowded Marketplace

Last night I had the privilege of presenting a session on social media, the final installment in the Economic Development Corporation’s 3 part series on online marketing strategies. The audience was small but engaged, making for a fun evening. I spent about 1/3 of my time just answering questions. The group was diverse, including an Alpaca farmer, a manager at a local bank, a newcomer to the Sault, and someone from Sault Tourism.

Reasons people came to the event:

  • Expand network
  • Connect more with people
  • Create awareness about business
  • Promote in a new market
  • Learn how to present product
  • Learn social media tools
  • Engage people, and how to manage the effort
  • How to use social media tools efficiently
  • How to reach a young audience

The group finished up the evening by coming up with a top 10 list of tips for a small business using social media, based on what was presented. Here is there must-do list, in no particular order, with some additional comments from me:

  1. Update content constantly. You are only as good as your last post / tweet / comment.
  2. Be honest. You can’t hide deception online.
  3. Start small. Pick something, try, learn, assess.
  4. Find a sustainable pace. Don’t burn yourself out.
  5. Stay focused. Have a clear message.
  6. Know your audience.
  7. Use tools to (your) fullest potential. Keep learning, experimenting. Read about what others are doing.
  8. Be open and transparent in your communication. Let people get to know both about you and your business.
  9. Work hard to keep customers happy. Address negative comments and turn frustrated patrons into your evangelists through over-the-top service.
  10. Choose the right digital channels. There are lots to choose from, and you can’t do everything.

Here are 5 additional resource links for small businesses trying to use social media:

Social media isn’t what I do for a day job. I don’t consider myself a social media expert. I like to use the term ‘social media swimmer’. I’m a fish navigating the rivers of online connectedness, and have been splashing in the waters heavily for some time. My desire is to help people and organizations in Sault Ste. Marie benefit from using social media, which is why I do these presentations.

Next month people can learn about Twitter in an interactive, hands-on session I’ve put together at Algoma University. Course is limited to first 20 registrants. Cost covers my costs plus some of my time taken away from my regular work to prepare for it. If you’ve wondered what Twitter is about and how to make the best use of it, you won’t be disappointed. You can register and pay online. How easy is that?

The slides from the presentation are below. Huge dose of gratitude to Fred Roed of WorldWideCreative for giving me permission to use some of his slides from a similar presentation. Sharing ideas FTW!

My first ever public training class: Twitter Essentials

Update: course date is April 21. Only first 20 registrants accepted.

Twitter logo

“Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.” – Tim O’Reilly
“Twitter is the water cooler for connected free agents.” – Mark K
I like Twitter – a lot, and feel Twitter can benefit businesses, organizations and individuals here in the Sault. That’s why I am putting together a course on Twitter. Read on for more details.
I had signed up to Twitter long ago, but didn’t “get it” until I used Twitter during the last federal election while promoting the vote swap / vote reform campaign (more info and video of presentation). Since then, I’ve been using Twitter extensively, building a network that is generating work opportunities, helping him find quick answers, get support on products, make new friendships and take part in exciting initiatives. Some examples of Twitter goodness:
  • Coaching & training a web development team based in TO in Agile
  • Volunteering for Changecamp.ca and Thmvmnt.info, both which may turn into longer term paid gigs. Attended inaugural ChangeCamp in TO, got involved in organizing, expanded network of TO contacts
  • Recruited a passionate volunteer for Pairvote.ca, who wrote on his blog, gave media interviews and poured in countless hours in final week of campaign
  • Many useful links and tips on Agile, helped many others with Agile questions
  • Organized all-star panel for Agile 2009 conference from people who responded on Twitter.
  • Made many new friends, both locally and around the world.
  • Learned about the Hudson plane crash moments after it happened. Saw first photo of plane crash on Twitter before reaching mainstream media.

Twitter, at first glance is a simple tool to master, but without guidance it can take months to start getting real value for time invested. The purpose of this course is to avoid the time suck to ramp up on how best to use your time on Twitter. Participants will learn by doing:

  • How Twitter differs from other social networking tools
  • How Twitter is being used by citizens, business people, government officials, media and others
  • How to create a suitable presence on Twitter
  • How to use a Twitter client to better manage conversations and relationships
  • How to find people they want to converse with
  • Proper Twitter etiquette
  • Examples of Twitter postings
  • Discover 3rd party tools to enhance their Twitter experience

When: April 21, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: Course will take place at Algoma University, using a computer lab where everyone will have their own workstation.

Size limited to 20 participants. Course fee is $50. Register and pay online.

Course Outline

2 hrs total, though may stretch to as much as 2.5 hours

15 min    Intro: What is Twitter?

15 min    Examples of Twitter usage
15 min    Setting up your account
15 min    How to find followers / people to follow, conversations of interest

10 min    Break

20 min    Twitter client tools show and tell, with focus on PeopleBrowsr
10 min    Apps that use Twitter, apps to help you benefit more from Twitter
10 min    Questions, concerns
10 min    Conclusion, wrap-up

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