Blog Archives

What Does Social Media Achieve for Your Company?

socialmediaDoes it gain exposure, directly interact with your customers or promote specific products and services? That is just one question this article from Entrepreneur.com asks. The article ’10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Social-Media Marketing Plan’ goes on to say it is important to clearly identify why you are using the social media and once you understand your customers goals, link the two. For example try using your social media to help solve your customer problems. That approach works no matter whether your customers are another business or a consumer.

The article also gives advice on which social media platform to use – it’s different depending on who your customer is. For example you might want to use LinkedIn if you are marketing to businesses or Facebook for marketing directly to consumers. It also suggests what types of content work better on what social media platforms. I think it is also critical to measure the success of your social media campaign. After all it takes a fair amount of time to do social media and you really want to make sure you are getting some bang for your buck.

Which social media platform you use might also depend on where you are located. If you are in Western Canada we have a tendency to use Facebook far more than Twitter. This is true for other things as well. I don’t know of too many people in our area that use eBay but wow do we ever use Kijiji.

If you don’t have a social media presence yet I highly recommend you have a look at these 10 questions before you get started. I really like the advice to start with a blog and a presence on just one social network. It’s important to only bite off what you can handle, as I suggested in last week’s post ‘Digital Technology Myths’ social media done well is very time intensive requiring dedication and commitment to developing fresh content and keeping up with conversations.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/

Digital Technology Myths

I came across this article on Entrepreneur.com about 9 common myths around digital technology. 118mythsSome of them I have wondered about like; should you let your phone battery drain completely before recharging? (It depends on the type of battery.) Or does more bars on your cell phone really mean more service? (Not really.) And what about pulling out that USB drive without following the proper procedure? (That depends too.) A good article and I learned something new.

One more myth I would like to debunk; Social Media is free. I don’t know about you but my time is valuable and as Nellie Akalp put it in her article called ‘The 5 Worst Pieces of Advice for Small Business Owners’ Social media is free like a puppy. It may not cost much to bring a puppy home from the SPCA but from day one there is endless training, toys, and treats. Now that’s a good analogy. Social media done well is very time intensive requiring dedication and commitment to developing fresh content and keeping up with conversations. Nothing free about that.

If you ever thought you didn’t spend enough time on social media and wanted to take on SEO (search engine optimization) for your business here is an article and Infographic on Google’s 200 search ranking factors. Domain, page level, and site level factors, along with links and user interaction all contribute to the ranking. While keywords are obviously still important but there seems to be a whole lot more to consider these days.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/

Do Social Media Ads Work?

According to this recent poll by Ipsos OTX social media advertising is finally making headway with 35% of worldwide internet likeusers saying they made a purchase as a result of seeing an ad on social media. It isn’t as simple as it sounds though because where people were located made a difference – for instance 69% of the people polled in Brazil and 61% in Mexico made a purchase but only 13% of Canadians. Other factors that also made a difference included age, level of education and income. I think as we Canadians become more comfortable with social media for business we too will be influenced by social media advertising.

I just read the latest article on IT Business, ‘Four Tech Trends to Watch in the Next Decade’. This article is based on a report by the IT research firm Gartner Inc. Apparently every year Gartner releases a ‘hype cycle’ graphic on emerging technologies. What I found really interesting was their claim that new technologies typically go through 5 stages, which they identify and explain in the article.  We are not talking about specific products here but ideas, concepts and trends related to the technology that develops into specific products. The report suggests one disruptive idea that we should be prepared for is ‘Social TV’ and while no one is really sure how this one will play out I suspect allowing viewer interaction with the content could be really intriguing.

If I could take anything away from reading these two reports it would be the warning that the IT Business article ends with; Companies need to constantly evolve their strategies if they expect to stay relevant and successful. Good advice!

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/

Are You Social?

I have been going through the proposed webcast videos from our Digital Forum in March social-media-management1and I am reminded again that nearly 2 out of 5 Western Canadian entrepreneurs do not participate in social networks. Are you one of those entrepreneurs? According to BDC many entrepreneurs aren’t sure of the benefits and leery of the risks associated with digital technology. Perhaps they just need some guidance on how to approach it. I receive a regular email newsletter from BDC called Smart Tech. The latest newsletter is ‘7 ways to turn social media fans into customers’ and it has some pretty good tips. They also have a free eBook called ‘Social Media a Guide for Entrepreneurs’ that you can download and it looks to be fairly comprehensive. It might be time for you to consider building a social media strategy.

According to this article another industry is falling to the digital movement. Sales for point and shoot digital cameras declined by about 30% between 2006 and 2011. What are they being replaced with – smart phones of course. I talked about this in my March 6th blog post Is Digital a Threat to Your Business? In my mind this just highlights once again the importance for every business owner to take a look at what they offer to their customers and ask the question – how is digital technology going to impact this?

Have you read the book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff? I just read a preview of it. For those of you that are interested in trying to understand where your business fits in the future maybe this book can offer one more perspective to consider.

Productivity is a measure of how much – work, time, effort, money, or energy – you have to put into something to get the desired outcome. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive and how to use digital technology to do that please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/

Digital Learning

classroomBecause of the availability of online courses and my love of learning I regularly take courses in whatever interests me. One of the places I go for those courses is https://www.udemy.com/. Udemy offers online courses from experts. I can take courses on absolutely anything that interests me at a very reasonable price. Topics range from web design, creating social media videos, financial modelling, and designing a logo to even health and fitness courses. Through Udemy I have finished a course on Facebook Marketing and I am currently taking Photoshop Training both of which were free. You can even take courses from famous authors such as Jack Welsh (leadership) and Eric Ries (entrepreneurship) and several University professors.

With all this wonderful training available how do employers know whether or not someone has the digital technology skills they are looking for? As this article in the Chronicles of Higher Education explains Educational upstarts across the Web are adopting systems of “badges” to certify skills and abilities. Interesting to note the biggest push for badges is coming from industry and education reformers, rather than from traditional educational institutions. Mozilla, the group that develops the popular Firefox Web browser, is designing a framework to let anyone with a Web page—colleges, companies, or even individuals—issue education badges designed to prevent forgeries and give potential employers details about the distinctions at the click of a mouse. The digital badges outline specific skills that employers might look for, such as experience with HTML or social networking. Mozilla says that more than 600 organizations are already participating in Open Badges.  Wouldn’t that be good if our local educators had a system like that?

Don’t forget to attend our Digital Technology Learning Forum. To be held at Centre 2000 tomorrow, March 20, 2013. We are hosting the experts as they use digital technology to help explain social media, SEO, social commerce, mobile applications, databases, and 3D printers. For more tips and tools on how to get more productive and how to use digital technology to do that please visit Blue Collar Consulting Inc. at http://www.bluecollarconsulting.ca/ or check out our new website at http://www.connectingindustry.ca/