March Madness

There used to be a time when March meant the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to me… watching the games fervently through to the Final Four.  Now I’m more so into yoga and March is filled with all kinds of different yoga classes that fill my body and spirit and is way less hard on my body than the good ol’ days of b’ball!

March also includes new websites, two of which I am working on completing by the end of the week. Another, will be launched today and a fourth was completed over the weekend.  All built with WordPress, all for clients and organizations that I thoroughly enjoy: yoga, oysters, protecting PEI water and puppy products!

So, today I am grateful for the opportunity to do work I love for clients I pretty much love and will try to keep this frigid weather and obscene heating bill from getting me down.

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Social 2.0

Businesses are jumping aboard the social media bandwagon left, right and centre.  Getting a Twitter account, Facebook page, the odd Youtube channel.  Pinterest strategies, Foursquare rewards, etc.  It’s really interesting because these are potential long-term investments into their company’s brand.  Using social media to promote and market your product, service or organization has been slowly gaining momentum.

What I’m hearing from companies and why they take my training is because they want to learn how to do it right. They don’t want to jump in and look like an idiot, which incidentally is how I learned the hard way four and a half years ago.

Just like Web 2.0 was the new way of using the internet, Social 2.0 is the new way of using social media.  Droves of people signed up for Facebook to use for fun and contacting their high school long lost friends.  Now it’s how to get in on the conversations and partake.  Boring, inane, arbitrary aren’t being heard.  More and more people are joining in on conversations and realizing that just like in real life, business happens with those you like and most often, you try your best to choose a business with good customer service (good manners).

It’s a waiting game to see what new social sites will cross the chasm and which ones the big guys will jump on.  With Facebook buying up Instagram and Google buying Motorola recently for 12.5 billion, mobile is going to explode especially when you combine the four things above:

Social:PhotoSharing:Search:Mobile

But no matter what, the inevitable will happen and in a few months, or even a few weeks (depending on when you’re reading this) Apple will release it’s newest version of one of their tech toys and that will take over the news. Jobs was known for disrupting advertising (Apple was one of the first companies to ever have celebrities in advertising campaigns without paying them).

The revenue models of social networking sites are just in infancy stage.  Although Apple has been a disruptor in the personal computer, phone, music and tablet industries and there’s not really one other company in history to do that (that I’m aware of), the amount of money that these social networking sites are being valued at bought up for is astronomical.  The amount of privacy that we have given up for these sites to base their revenue models on: astronomical.  Think not only about our private, personal info such as age and location but what we like to buy, the brands we love.

Twitter’s recent milestone of doubling their user profiles in the past year to currently 465 million (although a post in their blog this month says 120 million active users), also means their own web 2.0: their advertising model is about to trickle into the critical mass who were late in getting on board… small and medium businesses and this, my friends, is Social 2.0.

Facebook’s advertising revenue model just took a hit with GM dropping their campaign due to lack of consumer impact.  Ironically around the exact same time, Twitter launches into their new revenue model for small to medium businesses, for sponsored tweets and conversations with a few successful heavy hitters touting successful social ad campaigns: Porshe, AirBnB, Amerian Red Cross, and Cabury to name a few.   Pretty powerful conversations by billion dollar organizations.  Airbnb was just valued at $1.3 billion.

It used to be all about what the boomers were going to do next.  Now it’s where social is going to start the next conversation and when.  The play that your organizations should be considering is listening to how you can be of service to your customers based on their increased willingness to have public conversations about what they love or hate.

Give me a call to discuss ways to get your organizations into Social 2.0.

Is your business “social” enough?

Social media manager
Social media marketer
Digital strategist
Social communications
Social strategy manager
Digital communications
Social communications
Social integration
Social strategy
Social networking

… and so on and so forth.

How many of these aspects of social media is your company doing?

I get the distinct feeling that people where I come from (a tiny Island off of the east coast of Canada), think that social media has gotten old. Not according to this gentleman:

Jeremiah Owyang recently said that social media marketing is “just getting started” akin to the start of the Internet. I think he knows a bit about what he’s talking about.

To me, this is very exciting. I was one of the early adopters of social media marketing where I live and have been diligently spreading the word about social media marketing by giving talks and workshops, training companies, non-profits and individuals for the past five years.

It has been an uphill battle as our fair little island is known for being slow to adopt, slow to change. Slowly but surely 100’s of businesses have flocked to Twitter, trying to get their message out. Many have put up Facebook pages and run contests to get a bunch of likes. Many companies have blogs, YouTube channels and a few are using Pinterest very creatively.

I’m not sure if everyone gets it though. I see companies everyday pushing and shouting out things. Social media should be used for LISTENING…. it’s such an amazing opportunity to get to know your clients, your customers. Never before in history have people been so open and transparent about everything!! We are social creatures by nature and the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have tapped into this by giving us the tools that we innately are compelled to use. To share. To network. To promote. To recommend.

It’s really an incredible time to be in business. It requires so little capital to start a company now compared to even ten, fifteen years ago. If you have the where-with-all  and grasp of technology, my take is that you can do anything.

This is why I’m passionate about teaching kids technology. The world is at their fingertips. If they can navigate the internet and all of the amazing tools and information out there… the world is their oyster as far as I’m concerned. Every single child has a talent and that talent can be amplified and shared through social media and technology.

That’s the message I try to give businesses and non-profits: there is no excuse anymore to not get your message out there.

With all of the funding cuts to non-profits in the recent months, they should be investing their dollars into social media.

You can find every thought and industry leader on the internet using some form of social media, be it blogging, tweeting, video, etc. People are sharing, engaging, networking, having conversations all over the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And if you think your business, product or service is exceptional or remarkable, then you should be doing whatever it takes to starting being more social.

Lastly, although social media is all about conversations, I go back to the where I think the opportunity lies: in listening. The business owners, CEO’s, managers that will do well with social media are those that listen to their customers and clients. Find out how they can solve their problems, find out how they can serve them over and above their expectations. The opportunity is to exceed their expectations with stellar customer service.

Think about it. If you were on the fence about coming to my workshops or hiring me to speak at your next function… I hope this has swayed you. I will get your group motivated, excited and ready to jump into social media like never before.

Call or email and let’s connect!

Why Social Media Training is so Important

Since I’ve developed the Heads Up, Hands On social media training program for professionals, I’ve worked with 32 different companies.  One of the reasons this is very exciting for me is because it means that I’ve had the opportunity to get inside 32 different businesses and see how they work, tour their facilities, learn about their projects, their passions, their expertise and being a business geek, this truly is a thrill. Continue reading