3 Ways to Maintain Followers as a Small Business

As a user of social media and a former small business owner, I’ve got a few tips to make sure you keep your hard-earned followers on Facebook.

Just like in real life – social media does have some common unspoken rules of etiquette that everyone should be aware of – including businesses:

Person Typing on Macbook on Desk

  1. Don’t post too often

Nothing will make you lose followers quicker then filling up someone’s news feed.  Someone has followed you because they liked the content they saw, but that doesn’t mean they want to see it every time they scroll.  According to Elizabeth Lauer of Rev Local , “Facebook is a platform meant to help inform your audience with meaningful content. The idea is to aim for quality content over quantity.”

  1. Make your followers and customers feel important.

Photo of Woman Using Her Laptop

Consumers choose small business because it’s more personable.  Make quality posts that encourage engagement, not just in-your-face selling.  Add a personal touch to the occasional post to remind people that there is a human behind that keyboard.  And whenever you can, boast about how wonderful your customers are.  Little Cutesy Designs is a local clothing designer who does just that by posting about custom orders she receives and complimenting her customer’s choices.  You can check out her business here: https://www.facebook.com/littlecutesydesigns/

  1. Separate your personal pages and your business pages

When you first begin a small business, it can be all consuming.  It can be tempting to treat your business page the same way you would your personal page, but you have to understand that you’ve got different audiences following each.  Silver Tablet Marketing does a great job of differentiating the two ins this simple graphic here.  Basically, the way you run your business page has to be with business in mind.  You shouldn’t just post what you want when you want as you would on your personal page.

These simple rules aren’t all that ground breaking.  They are no different then how you would engage with people in an office or other workplace.  Don’t talk too much.  Be personable and give credit where credit is due and don’t dress for the office as if it’s Saturday morning at home.

fb.pngThree simple ways to make sure your small business keeps the followers it’s gained: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-kbq

twitter.jpgOnline etiquette is what will keep your followers following: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-kbq


Politicians Should be Setting the Example, Not Being the Example

When I see my 5-year-old son start to get worked up I’ll ask him to go to a cozy space and stay there until his body feels calm and he’s ready to speak without yelling.  He’s 5 and is learning to self-regulate.  He has big emotions and he isn’t so great at managing his behaviour when he is facing stress.


(Source: https://unsplash.com/search/photos/grumpy)

The two basic reactions to fear, fight or flight, is in our biological make-up. As we grow most of us learn how to regulate those responses and employ self-control over our behaviour.  We learn early to not act on our ‘big feelings’ but to take a step back and calm down before we chose our next course of action.

When email first became commonplace, I can remember my first lesson in writing in anger and hitting that send button before I’d given myself a chance to calm down.  It was a harsh lesson and one I have not had to repeat, thankfully.  Sometimes in the moment we react without thinking.  The part of our brain responsible for regulating our thoughts and actions shuts down and we speak from a more primal basic level.  We may yell, lash out break something in anger or frustration – and it can be near impossible to take those things back.

Social Media has a built-in fail-safe for just such occasions.  After all those words that you’ve typed aren’t seen by anyone until you hit ‘post’

So why, as leaders, have politicians not learned that posting something in anger is not ok?  Especially from them.  Sure, they are human, but they are also in a position where they should really know better.  They were chosen to LEAD and so they should be setting a good example.  They should be rising above those baser instincts.

I know you are all immediately thinking of Donald Trump – he’s probably the most obvious example, but our local politicians haven’t been behaving very well either.

Earlier this year Carol-Anne Meehan newly elected Councillor for one of our city wards received backlash for posting threatening comments on Facebook.  She has since apologized but you can read the story here.

Our Mayor Jim Watson isn’t without social media problems either.  Check out this exchange from November 14th where the mayor accuses someone of ‘anger management problems’.


(screen shot of @JimWatson Ottawa taken November 14, 2018)

And then just days later he reacted in anger using insults against a former radio host who had issue with the city’s current transportation infrastructure. (source).

Do I believe that politicians should just accept harassment and bullying from the public? Absolutely not.  I am 100% ok with politicians setting boundaries with people who hurl insults and threats their way.  But where does the line get drawn?  Why do politicians think it’s ok to post replies like this when a person asks a questions, expresses anger or displeasure about a policy?

I have a message to give to our leaders: Go to your cozy place, take some deep breaths and count to ten before you hit ‘post’.

facebook.pngAre our politicians behaving no better then children? https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E

twitter.jpg Are our politicians behaving no better then children? : https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E

Every Woman Needs a Village. Even If It Is Online.

When I sit down to write about social media my mind immediately jumps to negative things.  Cyber bullying, 0 privacy, how screen time affects sleep, anti-social behavior…..but this time I wanted to explore the positives and, more specifically, the positive affect it’s had on me as a mother.

There are hundreds of articles and opinions on how social media doesn’t actually connect us but disconnects us from the real world.  In this Psychology Today article: The Social Media Disconnect the author discusses how social media doesn’t save us from isolation but can lead to isolation.

As a new mom, living in the country without any neighbors, craving a village to help me with motherhood, I found the exact opposite to be true.

DSC_8171.jpg(Baby #3 – photo courtesy of Blessed Touch Photography)

Before kids making friends just happened naturally.  I didn’t have a ton of friends, but I also didn’t have a problem meeting new people either.  I had the time to invest in getting to know people, feeling them out and slowly creating that bond that would eventually become friendship.  When I became a mom for the first time, I didn’t have the time to slowly form friendships.  I felt overwhelmed and awkward at playgroups.  I wanted to make friends to hang out with on my maternity leave but the dynamics had changed and suddenly I didn’t know the rules anymore.  I was lonely.

When my son was seven months old, someone I had met at a wedding invited me to a Positive Birth meeting for women who wanted to talk about positive birthing experiences.  I was pregnant with #2 and the timing was perfect.

I showed up at the meeting not really sure of what to expect.  I think I figured I could just hide in the back and blend in, not really saying much and just listen and learn.  Instead what I found was a small group of women from all sorts of backgrounds who parented in all sorts of ways coming together to share their birth experiences and knowledge.  Not only was there a monthly in-person meeting, but also online communities that discussed birth, positive parenting, breastfeeding, women empowerment and all the things I felt drawn to, but didn’t have any real life examples to follow.  Over the course of two pregnancies these women taught me how to empower myself during pregnancy, birth and  parenthood to listen to my body, my children and to trust my intuition.


(My VBAC baby thanks to the knowledge I gained from the Positive Birth group)

When baby #3 was on the horizon I did something I never thought I would do. I joined an online community for women in Canada who were having babies in March of 2017.  It was on a whim and I didn’t really think I’d still be a part of it almost two years later.  After all, we were talking about over a hundred hormone laden women behind keyboards.  If I’m honest, I fully expected an online mommy-wars within months.  Instead this group of women supported, nurtured, comforted and celebrated one another.  We all have very different beliefs and philosophy’s on parenting and yet in this group we have had respectful discussions on circumcision, vaccination and abortion.  We came together with love and support when one mom’s baby was born sleeping.  We raised money for another mom who’s husband left her and her three children when her baby was only months old.  We continue to support each other through the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler.  With over a hundred women in this group across the country (and some now internationally) there is always bound to be someone online to chat with when you are in need.

(Source: Pixabay)

I still don’t have time to invest in friendship like I did pre-kids, but I find that being connected to these women through the online group has given me a new way to alleviate the loneliness when it comes.

I don’t feel disconnected at all.  I found my village.

Image result for facebook icon for wordpressMom’s are connecting online like never before, here’s one women’s story: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E

Image result for twitter icon How one mom found her village online #onlinevillage: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k8E

The Dark Side of Social Media and 5 Ways to Keep Your Light Shining Bright .

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Mental health and wellness has been all over our media these past few years.  You are likely familiar with Bell’s #BellLetsTalk mental health awareness campaign, and if you live in Ottawa you’ve likely seen the DIFD purple hearts around our city.

Social media has been integral in spreading awareness about psychological health, which is important, since 50% of us will experience mental illness by the time we reach 40 (source).  As amazing as platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have been in opening up conversations to eliminate the stigma of mental illness, it is now known and documented that they have been equally implicated in causing negative mental health in people of all ages (source).

So what do we do?  Social media is everywhere and has become an integral part of how we learn, work and communicate.  Here are 5 ways you can mitigate the risks that social media poses to your psychological well-being:

1. Get Informed  

Man Wearing Black and White Stripe Shirt Looking at White Printer Papers on the Wall

Become informed about all aspects of social media the good and the bad. Like anything else, social media is a ‘use at your own risk’ tool.  So take the time to become fully informed about its impact in order to make an educated decision about what, when, how often and why you are choosing to use social media.  This Forbes article does a really good job of breaking the negative side of social media down with lots of great information and links to current studies on the subject.

2. Know Thyself

Car Communication, Talk, Self Talk

Every time you use social media, whether its for social networking or other reasons, take a minute every so often to check in with yourself. Are you happy, energized, relaxed?  Or are you feeling jealousy, anger or sadness?  Each time you finish looking at social media, take a second to acknowledge how much time you’ve spent using it and what you weren’t doing  while you were looking at the screen.  Taking the time to observe ourselves using social media and how it’s impacting our lives can help teach us more about ourselves and what ways social media is enhancing our lives (catching up with old friends) and in what ways it’s negatively impacting our well-being (FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out).

3. Become a Minimalist

Green Wooden Chair on White Surface

There are so many different kinds of social media in our world right now, that your phone screen is probably covered in icons that link you to one social world or another.  Just like how de-cluttering your physical space can lead to more happiness over all (source), de-cluttering your digital space can help serve the same purpose.  How you go about choosing which apps to delete is up to you, but watch this 9 minute video by Braxton Haugen a self titled online content creator, who very succinctly describes how his values helped him determine what to use and what to ignore.

4. Practice Active Leisure

Woman Taking Picture Using Camera

So much of our leisure time (the time we don’t spend working, sleeping or eating) is being used up by participating in passive activities like watching television and scrolling through our phones.  More and more today you’re seeing and hearing about the benefits of unplugging  and staying present, or, ‘in the moment’, but how can we do that?  One way is choosing everyday to do an activity that requires you to use your five senses, that engages your mind and gets you away from the screen.  You could choose gardening one day, painting the next, or you could play on a sports team, write in a journal, or just sip some tea while putting together puzzles with your kids.  Whatever you choose to do, it should be something that keeps you focused on the present moment.

5. Use the Technology to Snooze the Technology


If you’re anything like me, you may welcome being sucked into the online void where you no longer need to think and no one is making any demands on your time.  Everyone needs a few minutes to switch off at the end of a long day of work and kids, but when that 30 minutes turns into 2 hours and you find yourself still scrolling through your phone, that few minutes you took to recharge can end up draining your energy even more.  Companies are now coming up with ways to help people regulate the amount of time they spend on their phone using different apps.  One of the latest updates that iPhone did this year included an app called ‘Screen Time’, which monitors how much time you spend on your phone and what amount of time was spent using social media. Screen Time also lets you set limits on the amount of time you spend using each app.  So if you’re having difficulty monitoring your time download an app that can help do it for you.

Finally, you can also take the less common route of just deleting all of your social media accounts altogether.  Many people have done it and you can do a simple google search to read personal accounts of temporarily quitting social media, but Cal Newport (who has never had a social media account) presents some good arguments for why we don’t need social media at all.  This 15 minute video is informative and eye-opening and really does a good job of making you think about how much you actually need social media in your life.



Image result for facebook icon for wordpressIs spending time on social media leaving you feeling gloomy? Find out how to keep your light on: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k3e

Image result for twitter icon 5 healthy habits to practice while using social media #mhsm #digitalhealthweek : https://wp.me/p3QRy0-k3e