Wednesday, 30 November 2011


If you’re taking advantage of social media with respect to your business, why not measure the success of your programs and campaigns by looking at the numbers.  Here are a few concepts and tips put forth by pioneer social media strategist, J.D. Lasica:       
1. “Customer Engagement” – Number one because it’s  the single most important factor relating to successful social networking – without it, there is no social media campaign!  As social media is extremely interactive, customers are able to participate in conversations about your brand and this allows
you to accordingly improve upon your business, products and level of service. You can easily track customer engagement by studying the following:
·         Number of followers and / or retweets on Twitter
·         Number of friends and /or ‘like’s on Facebook
·         Number of comments as well as comment content on blog posts
·         Reviews and ratings
2. “Sales & Profits” – As important as customer interaction and goodwill are with respect to your social media programs and campaigns, one of your main objectives is invariably generation of sales.  Social media allows you to keep an eye on your ‘bottom line’ by:
·         Tracking sales from Google referrals
·         Tracking sales from paid searches
·         Tracking sales as a result of social network mentions              
3. “Search Marketing & Rankings” – One of the most desired results of your social media efforts is “search engine optimization” and your social media efforts should exponentially increase your brand’s visibility in online search results. You can increase and / or track these results in the following manner:
·         Use targeted keywords strategically on social networks
·         Use links from Twitter or even YouTube to achieve valuable search rankings within your brand search terms
·         Each time someone shares content from your website on a social networking site, you can get a link back along with a submission history
4. “Lead Generation” – Social media is quickly becoming a valuable resource for lead generation.  There are numerous tools that now enable you to track business prospects via “sophisticated filtering mechanisms”.  For example:
·         You can use LinkedIn to connect with potential contacts & existing clients and you can easily track the rate of invitations accepted as well as traffic with respect to follow-up communication that has been acted upon
·         You are provided an opportunity for your internal team to work in unison to optimize the usage of keywords and key phrases.  You know your efforts are successful when prospective clients come to you
It’s imperative in today’s market that your business be ‘social’ – and successfully so.  We can show you how to make to most of your social networking endeavors through our informative Social Networking for Business workshops.  For further information, please visit us at: 

Thursday, 24 November 2011


It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that social media have forever changed the way we think, play and conduct business.  From a business standpoint, social media have accomplished a major feat – they’ve added a human, personal dimension to companies that before never really existed.  The cornerstone of any business is its customer service practices.  And, this is where social media have been able to take hold and make a difference.
Forward-thinking businesses have leveraged social networking platforms to engage, elicit customer satisfaction and increase positive brand recognition and reputation.  When used effectively, social media can turn any business into a customer-friendly entity that people want to engage with and be a part of.  Happy, satisfied customers are what will drive a business into the stratosphere of success! 
Here are a few ways to keep your customers happy on your social media platforms:
1. More Visibility – In terms of customer service, it’s good practice to be completely visible and transparent.  You want your customers to be able to see your interactions with and responses to other customers.  It’s likely that more than one of your customers have similar questions or comments, and by making your communication visible, you are helping out a number of customers with one response.  Social media sites cultivate community surrounding your brand. 
2. Turn it Around Quickly – When customers seek support with respect to your services on social media platforms, they expect a quick if not immediate response.  Monitor every day how customers discuss and respond to your products & services and stay a part of the conversation to better understand the community supporting your brand.
3. Keep Responses Consistent – Be consistent on all social media platforms in responding to customer questions and comments.  If, for example, the same question is posted on both Facebook and Twitter, ensure that your response is the same on both sites so as to avoid any confusion.  Remember, brand recognition and accuracy are crucial elements in inspiring assuredness and credibility within your customers and this goes a long way in terms of brand loyalty.
4. Always Stay Organized – While social media are vital in your customer service initiatives, it can be a challenge to keep up with each platform on a daily basis (in order to keep customers happy and engaged, as in point #2).  Allot some time each day to spend on your sites so that customers maintain respect for your brand and view your business as reliable and trustworthy.  If possible, enlist support team members to maintain each site, but ensure that you’re all on the same page in your responses (bear in mind point #3) – be consistent.
5. Maintain Your Human, Personable Side – They are, after all, called “social” media and it’s that social component that engages customers and further promotes brand loyalty.  People always respond positively when they know that their needs are being met by another human being - someone who takes the time to listen and care.  It makes them feel important - that they’re more than just another customer.  When someone posts a question or concern on your business’ Facebook page, that person should feel as comfortable as if he were simply posting on a friend’s wall.  And, that’s the real benefit of social media for your customer service practices.

Remember, social media are about networking.  If you incorporate the above 5 elements into your customer service initiatives and make it a positive experience, people will respond in kind and surely spread the word to all their friends about what wonderful service your business provides.  It’s worth the effort!
For more valuable information on how you can tune up your social media efforts, come join one of our Social Networking for Business workshops.  For a schedule of workshops in your area, please visit:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The 30 Things You Should Never Share on Social Media

Some are obvious, some of them a little less so and some are simply laugh out loud funny.  Australian social media expert and blogger, Jeff Bullas, compiled the following list of 30 things that you should never share on social media. Here it is – enjoy:

30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media 
  1. What chicken you are plucking or cow you’re milking on Farmville on Facebook
  2. How many you have killed on Mafia wars or where they are buried.. again on Facebook
  3. Party photos showing you inebriated or a hand placed where it shouldn’t be
  4. That you are having a party.. you might get more guests than you counted on
  5. Photos  revealing  you flirting with the bosses wife at the annual work Christmas party
  6. That you are having an affair
  7. That you are thinking of having an affair
  8. Complaints about your boss
  9. That you hate your job and want to leave.. you might get your wish.. involuntarily
  10. Don’t share photos or an event that reveals that you were not sick that day at work
  11. That are you are planning to take a sickie
  12. Drama with your friends
  13. Issues with your parents
  14. Passwords.. unless you have more money than brains
  15. Hints about passwords like dogs names
  16. Images and videos of your children
  17. Updates on Facebook after you have escaped from Jail and on the run (don’t laugh it has happened)
  18. Revealing your thoughts about a court case… when on jury duty
  19. Don’t link personal sites to professional business sites like LinkedIn.. don’t mix business with pleasure
  20. Financial information such as how much money you do or don’t have in your bank account
  21. Personal Information – birthdate, mother’s maiden name and other security info
  22. How to get more friends or followers.. it already sounds like a scam
  23. You are leaving on a holiday
  24. The dates you are away on your holiday
  25. Your daily schedule.. burglars have been known to use these little hints to their advantage
  26. Showing you doing something stupid .. not good for personal branding
  27. Your bodily functions
  28. Revealing extreme views on Race, Religion or politics
  29. What you had for breakfast
  30. Finally, if you are not comfortable about your mom seeing it … don’t share it!
That was fun, but take it to heart.  I can cite examples of most of the items on this list.  Some of them have even made newspaper headlines!   Because social networking sites are such new media, most people are unaware of the reach and potential of posts on these sites.
Social networking is one of the most practical and valuable tools at our disposal today and we should all be taking advantage of everything it has to offer.  We should also, however, be in tune with appropriate and safe practices on social media.  We can show you how in one of our Social Networking for Business workshops.  For more information, please visit:

Friday, 11 November 2011


Over the past several years, social media marketing has become not only more sophisticated in itself, but integral to the success of the more sophisticated business. More and more businesses are becoming familiar with and are better understanding social media.  They are learning how to best leverage online resources to create networks and recognize that interaction and engagement are key with respect to social media marketing.  But, in order to take it to the next steps, it’s crucial that you implement more advanced social media strategies for your business!
So, you’re already aware of how to create an online presence and you already have an online community in place.  Now what?  Here are a couple of progressive social media marketing strategies shared by technology strategist, Samir Balwani, that will be sure to further enhance your business’s bottom line:
1. Include plenty of Photos & Video in your Message – You’ve heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”?  So true!  People are using the Internet prolifically to garner information on products and services, and that includes your customers and prospects.  They want to read all about what your business has to offer, but they also want to see photographs or videos depicting this information.  People are very visual creatures.  And, nothing completes your social networking profiles more than some visual aids.
2. Adjust Your Message to Fit the Platform – Within your social media campaign, you are no doubt making use of several of the different platforms at your disposal, namely: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogging.  It’s important, however, to ensure that, rather than deliver an identical message over the multiple platforms, you try to tailor your communication to each individual site.  Certain information and how it’s presented on your blog might be considered “spammy” on Facebook.  It’s crucial to customize each message to each site to ensure that your messages spread optimally.  And, customizing your messages on each site also saves your network of customers and potential customers from receiving the same communication over and over again.  You can effectively maximize your business’s potential by sending out messages customized to each social media platform.
3. Implement Strategic Sales Tactics – Strategic sales tactics can include offering discounts and conducting contests through your social media platforms.  You can effectively drive business by generating some excitement within your online community and discounts & contests are a great way to do this.  If you conduct a contest, for example, that requires those in your network to share virally with their networks (i.e. whoever garners the most comments or “likes”, etc., wins), your contest is sure to go viral and guess what that means for you and your brand!  And, don’t forget to give out exclusive discount coupons to your community.  In doing so, you’re literally rewarding existing and future customers, not to mention reiterating to them that you are a brand to engage with as well as a brand to buy from or do business with.
To learn more about strategic social media marketing, join one of our Social Media for Business workshops where we’ll teach you everything you need to know to enhance your social networking experience.  For a schedule of workshops in your area, please visit: 
See you there!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fascinating Insights into Social Media

As a business professional, it’s imperative that you gain insight over your competitors with respect to trends and consumer habits & behavior.  If your target demographic is the over 30 set, you need to know where they can be found online.  If you want to reach over 50’s, it’s important that you find out if they’re mostly on Facebook or on Twitter.
A solid understanding of social networking and how it’s being used by consumers is powerful information to have in terms of increasing sales and improving consumer engagement.  As social media blogger, Jeff Bullas puts it:  If social media was a horse race then you might as well put down the glasses as the race has been won. The dominance of Facebook is well known but it is the scale of its growth, market share and time it takes from its users is what is intriguing.”
A May 2011 study conducted by Neilson found several interesting facts – here a few of them –some you would expect and some that might surprise you:
1. Facebook dominates time spent online by a ratio of greater than three to one as compared with Yahoo (Facebook’s closest web brand competitor).
2. People spend a great majority of their time on social networks, including blogs – 22.5% of their time, in fact – twice as much time as they spend on online games (which came second) at 9.8%.
3. Females, ages 18 to 34, are the most frequent visitors to social networking sites, including blogs; however, males are also frequent users of the sites as well as all other age groups.
4. But, males tend to use LinkedIn more frequently than females and Internet users with post-graduate degrees are three times more likely to visit LinkedIn compared with the average user.
5. Facebook, according to Neilson this past May, was the top site visited by unique users at 140,336 million, with Blogger in second place at 50,055 million.  The rest of the list is as follows:
  • Twitter (23.617 million)
  • WordPress (22.417 million)
  • MySpace (19.25 million)
  • LinkedIn (17.786 million)
  • Tumblr (11.87 million)
  • Six Apart Typepad (8.578 million)
  • Yahoo Pulse (8.397 million)
  • Wikia (7.601 million)
6.  Social media is becoming more and more aggressively mobile.  With the advent of smartphones, social media use has become a most used mobile feature, second only to downloading & playing music.
7. With respect to smartphones, social networking apps, growing at 30%, ranked third in terms of most used, with Facebook ranking as the most popular app amongst all mobile operating systems.
8. The most aggressive growth of social media use on smartphones is the over 55s with 109% growth.  The 35-54 age group growth rate holds at 68% year on year and 18-34 year olds are rising in numbers of visits to social media sites on their mobile devices by 61%.

9. Social media networks afford the influential a platform within which to relay their ideas and the influence of peers on these platforms can certainly propel increased sales.  Fifty-three percent of active social media users follow a brand.

10. Tumblr, a social networking site that incorporates elements of both blogging and Twitter, is now the eighth largest social network and tripled its audience in a 12 month period.

By studying trends in social media, you can become so much more in tune with the audience you want to target.  So, get on, get connected and start growing your business with social media.  We can show you how to make the most of your social networking experience through our full-day, hands-on workshop, Social Networking for Business.  For a schedule of workshops in your area, please visit: