I don’t how many times at work lately I’ve said there’s an app for that to the surprise of my less techy coworkers. I like to try to find the easiest way to do things. I just started this new job in September after finishing my degree and was brought into the world of HR programs, having to put in benefits claims, and all kinds of other programs we must use to manage our careers. Initially I didn’t know how people did it all without their own secretaries! Please tell me I’m not the only one who can never remember their passwords? Do you get locked out of your accounts too? Well, I have good news folks: there’s an app for that.
When apps first came out, I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t understand that they are basically software programs with a new fancy alias. They began as programs that you add to your phone and branched out to tablets and laptops. According to Mehul Rajput in his article “Tracing the History and Evolution of Mobile Apps”, an app is basically “a computer generated program designed and developed to run on an iPhone”. He also says, “apps are easy to access and simply make your life better as a result.” Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
I’ll admit, it took me some time, over the years, to figure out apps. It took me even longer to figure out how they could be helpful. It’s social media apps that really got me hooked. Right now, my favourite one is Instagram. Instagram is actually a program that started out as an app and was adapted for a computer, unlike Facebook that started out as a platform accessed through a computer that was adapted into app form. Elise Moreau in “What is Instagram, Anyway?” explains that Instagram can be accessed on a computer but for viewing only. Users must use the app to upload and share.
What do you think about apps? Do you still find it confusing or do you feel like an app master like I sometimes do? Do they make your life easier? Do you have a favourite one? How many of you wouldn’t get up in the morning if it weren’t for your clock app? Personally, my life is a lot easier now that I have my HR app, the app for my benefits, the essential calendar app, and the 25 morning alarms I have set in my clock app. I even have an app that allowed me to proctor exams remotely today! Of course, I can’t forget my favourites; any app that tells people to bring me food!
Facebook: How much do you really use apps? Are they important tools in your life? Or are they simply portals to your favourite social media escapes? Check out my latest blog to find out how I use apps to make my new work life easier. http://bit.ly/thereisanapp
In the age of social media, there is more opportunity than ever before to get people to notice you online. Whether that means building up an online presence by creating a personal brand for people to follow and latch onto, attracting more customers for your business company through social media platforms, or doing something as simple as sending out friend requests, literally everyone in the world from all walks of life now have a chance to become noticed on some level through the use of social media alone.
But every so often, there’s a video that pops up on something like Instagram for example, that will go viral on the internet for reasons that can be less than flattering. These can range from death-defying stunts, to people committing property damage, acts of violence towards those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of it, animal cruelty, racist rants, the list goes on. These kinds of videos occur regularly online to the point of it being considered normal to the public, but do they come with consequences that can actually impact their real-lives? Well, that depends on the content in question.
If people seek to get famous in the online world, it would probably be advisable not to do it for the wrong reasons, as it can most likely result in a video receiving public backlash, thus potentially ruining the reputation of the up loader or the subject(s) of said videos in more ways than one.
Are there any other recent instances of videos going viral for the sake of gaining attention on social media? Let me know in the comment section
If you own a small business, you
need to create a Facebook business page for your business rather than the more
familiar Facebook profile. Facebook profiles are for sharing with family and
friends whereas Facebook pages are for businesses.
What is a Facebook
A business page will allow you
to post information, photos, videos, have discussions, provide logistical
information on your business, schedule and promote events, even link to on-line
shopping as well as receive analytical information on your page.
No worries if you’ve created a profile instead as you can easily
migrate to a business page, though you will lose some information such as metrics
on your personal profile which can’t be transferred to your Facebook business page.
Have a Facebook Business Page?
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 2.32 billion users and 1.52 billion people logging on daily. Compared to other platforms, it is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack and definitely worth investigating further.
Despite the negative press of late, and the fact the
younger generation is gravitating to other platforms, Facebook remains a key
platform for a small business to engage in. The caveat of course is what your
business goals are and who the audience for your product is. If you make a determination that Facebook is
a fit for your business, there are some things to think about.
With the fallout from the Cambridge Analytical data
scandal, Facebook implemented some major changes to its algorithm. It is
prioritizing conversations (i.e., the social aspect) and that means businesses
have little chance that their posts will be found organically by their
followers. It means that they will need to pay for Facebook ads to extend their
Are there Alternatives to Facebook Ads?
Before we look at Facebook Ads, are there some ways a business can try to get around Facebook Ads? These are some suggestions to try:
Opt-in-Ask followers to opt-in to see your posts. By choosing “See First” in their News Feed, your new posts will appear in your followers feeds. However, the reality is your followers may not do this and there is no guarantee Facebook won’t change this sometime in the future.
Video-Produce more video content. Facebook continues to prioritize video, particularly live-streamed video. For example, you could host a Q&A session with your followers using Facebook Live. You could record a video of a new product, your employers, customers or suppliers.
Conversation-Because Facebook is focusing on content that promotes conversation and comments, the more a business engages in dialogue with its followers the better. However, Facebook is making a distinction between low and high value conversation. Asking your followers to like, share or comment on changes to your opening hours won’t help you much.
So where does this leave a small business owner trying
to garner more business using Facebook?
While these are options to try, how effective they
are going to be is difficult to determine. And, do you want to spend all this
effort for something that may not net you results? Remember that Facebook has
changed its algorithm to de-prioritize content from business pages. Some refer
to it as the end of the gravy train. Businesses must now pay Facebook, with Facebook
Ads, to be noticed.
Facebook is one of the top advertising channels
online. Facebook Ads are easy to create and allow you to target your audience
very precisely based on a variety of criteria. You can determine the amount you
want to spend for the campaign as a whole or per day. The amount you spend on
Facebook Ads is up to you, and comparatively speaking, is a low cost
advertising method. Facebook provides
excellent details on the promotions you run.
This article provides examples of how five businesses are using Facebook Ads.
Assuming Facebook makes sense for your business,
what are some things you should be doing (i.e., best practices) to get the most
out of your Facebook business page?
Your cover photo is prominent real estate on your Facebook page. Make the most of it. Ensure the photo is visually appealing, captures the values, culture and essence of your business. Change it out periodically. Consider including a video in your cover shot.
Another piece of valuable real estate on your
Facebook page is the pinned post. Make
it what you want the reader to see whether that is your key mission statement,
your customer service ethic, a coming event, news about a new product or store
opening, a sale, a business anniversary, a community endeavor, etc. In other
words, don’t put something there and never change it. Pay attention to it. Make
it work for you.
Use Facebook Messenger to respond to your customers
as more and more customers prefer this as a method of communication over a
You can use tools with Facebook to publish your
content or third-party tools such as Hootsuite. These tools will allow you to
load up content and schedule it to be posted automatically. When you are in
business, having a number of posts ready in advance and scheduled to be posted
automatically will be very welcome.
Facebook Insights collects information on who
“likes” your page. It is detailed information like age, gender, geographic
location, income, interests, etc. Having this information is extremely helpful.
When you know who your target audience is, you can gear your posts and your
advertising directly to them.
There are a number of ways that you can send traffic
to your website from your Facebook page. You can do this in the About section
by inserting your web address. You can also have the Call to Action tabs direct
users to your website. And, you can include your web address in all of your
As you publish your blog posts, consider adding them to your Facebook page. How cool is that?
Facebook is unparalleled in terms of its use and
reach. Because of the data Facebook has, Facebook Ads can be strategically targeted
to the audience you want.
Have you tried a Facebook Ad? How successful was it? Do you have any Facebook best practices to share with other small business owners?
Linked In is one of the social media platforms I feel like, as a small business owner. I should be a part of but I know I’m not using it to its full potential. Does this sound familiar to you?
I have photographed hundreds of people’s LinkedIn profiles; it would make me a hypocrite to not participate on the platform right? Every time I sign on though, I have 14 new connection requests from people in India who I have, if you can believe it, never done business with!
Business owners I’ve never heard of slide into my messages with “Hi Melanie, try our service” and it has deterred me from actually using the platform to its fullest so I have consulted with Forbes.com on their tips for how to get the most out of LinkedIn. While Linked In offers a few consistent deterrants I could do without, it also offers up a plethora of functions you (and I) can take advantage of as a business owning, connection building, job seeker.
Who is Linked In for?
Best known for those looking for jobs, those looking for employees, business to business marketers and small business owners; meaning pretty much everyone can take advantage of LinkedIn and it’s free. It’s a popular place to post a resume, browse qualified candidates, create meaningful business relationships and build trust by receiving reviews called “recommendations” from colleagues who you have worked with in the past. With a very short term time investment you can set up a beautiful page with images, accomplishments and details of your work history that is easily searchable and shareable.
“40% of monthly active users use LinkedIn daily. Of those using the platform monthly, up to 40% are accessing it on a daily basis. If that is the case, that’s over 100 million professionals you could be targeting every single day. To make that even more excited, LinkedIn users typically use the platform to find relevant content, meaning they’ll be much more willing to check out what you’re sharing.” –OmniCore Agency
Are you looking to get your content in front of people who want to see it? Whether you’re trying to sell a marketing course, a service or drive readership up to increase visibility, consider publishing an article to your LinkedIn page.
“Of the 500 million total LinkedIn users and 250 million monthly active users, only 3 million share content on a weekly basis – just a touch over 1% of monthly users.” – Foundation Inc
Here are 10 amazing tips for a better Linked In profile, in a handy infographic:
Graphic by: Doctor Linked In
Inconclusion, it’s a great tool if you want to search business content, find or be found for job opportunities, participate in B2B marketing, or you’re a photographer and you’re thankful such a platform exists to keep you in business!
My question to you; do you use the platform and what are your top tips for getting the most out of it?
I saved this post for last. Because I kept putting it off. This article is about procrastinating. I do that a lot. Like a LOT. Everyone does it to some extent, I’m sure. There are many reasons to do it and some of them are psychologically valid. Writers, and other people too (like students), have been procrastinating for hundreds of years. Writers seem to have a special penchant and reputation for putting off writing. And I thought it was just me. I stumbled across Writing About Writing on Facebook which reinforced the idea and then in watching re-runs of Castle I remembered this exchange:
There is also this article
from Reader’s Digest which shows that many classic authors had the art of
procrastination down to a science.
Clearly it’s not just me. It’s a
And what does this have to do with social media? Well, social media makes procrastination really, really easy. It’s one thing to clean your entire house to avoid writing. That’s just another form of hard (harder) work. But social media is right there. It’s available on the very same machine where I am supposed to working on my blog, assignment and/or novel. You must all have had similar experiences. Raise your hand if you went all through your Facebook newsfeed twice before actually committing words to the screen? How can you resist looking at a cat video? Listening to that song that someone posted for Throwback Thursday? There is so much to discover at your fingertips that seems way more interesting. Like Ted Talks!! Don’t you just love Ted Talks? Look at this one!
That Ted Talk is actually very interesting for a few of
It makes me feel like my ability to put things
off is almost amateurish.
It actually explains how a rational, intelligent
person can engage in such behaviour.
Even at over thirteen minutes long, it’s engaging
and gets me out of doing any work for over thirteen minutes.
In gathering information to write this article, it gave me an excellent chance to waste my time do more research on procrastination and why it happens.
It turns out there is a lot of psychology around
procrastination and it has been studied extensively. Here are some highlights of those studies:
It is very common. At a study at the University of Vermont, 46%
of subjects reported that they “”always” or “nearly always”
procrastinate writing papers (Solomon, LJ; Rothblum (1984). “Academic
Procrastination: Frequency and Cognitive-Behavioural Correlates”)
To some extent, it can be normal to
procrastinate as it helps us prioritize among tasks (Wikipedia, “Procrastination”,
It can have roots in a fear of not attaining
perfection (McGarvey, Jason A. (1996). “The Almost Perfect
From my own perspective, it means that there is
still the possibility that what I create will be exactly what I was aiming for. Once the assignment is done, it’s out of my
hands as to how it will be received.
Procrastination gives me the illusion of control.
Social media has offered me so many useful resources about writing. And yet, I even put off reading them. Currently, my Saved items on Facebook has eight links to articles about being a better writer and getting published. I have not read one of them yet. I even procrastinate about being a better writer! What is wrong with me?
This blog will be posted well ahead of the midnight deadline
of April 11. In that way, I have never
procrastinated during this course. The existence
of a deadline is actually helpful to me.
And I have developed some coping mechanisms so that I can actually
function and get things done. A lot those
have to do with bargaining with myself.
No, you may not go shopping for birthday presents until you’ve finished
your blog. No, you may not post that
amazingly witty thing on Facebook until you’ve finished your blog.
How do you cope with procrastination? And did you get your blog posted on time?
Lauren Gelman, “6 Famous Writers Who Were Masters at
Procrastinating”, Reader’s Digest
Tim Urban, “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator”, Ted
We can talk a lot about how bad social media can be, our addiction to it, and how it seems to take over every part of our lives. However, social media can be there to helps us when disaster or tragedy strikes.
Mother Nature or other Disasters are all scary. With the help of social media, we are able to learn more about what is happening and where. It is able to alert those people living in affected areas faster now thanks to social media and technology. One great example of this was The Tornado that hit Ottawa. I was in downtown Ottawa when my phone went off. Tornado warning!!! I quickly looked at my phone, looked around me and went on with my business. I mean, really a Tornado in Ottawa?! After dropping my daughter off at her curling practice, I headed to our hotel. The sky was a funny, warm yellow colour and the wind and rain had picked up. Still nothing triggered for me. Naïve? Maybe. As we looked out our window to the building across from us, I noticed people on their balconies taking pictures and videos, but we couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Being from the country, I thought to myself, funny city folks, taking pictures of wind and rain. We left the hotel, had dinner, and went to pick up our daughter from curling and that’s when we figured it out. All of a sudden, my phone went crazy with incoming emails and text messages about the Tornado that had hit Ottawa. Facebook lit up, with pictures of the damage, areas that were affected and who needed the most help. As a result of this information, within minutes, local businesses were responding by offering shelter and delivering free food where it was needed most. It seemed so surreal.
We have all watched on TV or Facebook when these disasters hits. We watch social media postings for The Red Cross so we can text donations or await the “gofundme” pages so we can do our part and feel that we are helping as much as we can.
Although we sometimes feel that technology and social media
are taking over our lives and personalities there is an up side. In times of trouble or disaster, using social
media allows us to reach out a helping hand, and lets us feel we are
contributing to our community, family or friends.
We all have a family member, or a friend who was just given
a horrible diagnosis. It’s heartbreaking.
They feel very alone and vulnerable. They look for support, anywhere they can. With social media, they have that. With the touch of a button, they can turn to a
family member, friends and even strangers for support. With “gofundme” pages to help a family in
need in our local area, our donations make a difference and are sent quickly
and effortlessly. Consequently, we feel
we are supporting our communities more than ever before.
Another example for us was when a friend’s farmhouse was inundated with bats. They had no idea there was a problem when they bought their dream county farmhouse. They turned to their insurance company for resolution, but it was unwilling to help them. They were struggling under the debt it would cost to fix their home for their growing family. They turned to social media. Their “gofundme” page grew donations in a matter of hours, along with heartfelt messages of support which were posted with each donation. The local TV station learned about their story and broadcast it for all to see. This broadcast allowed so many more people to hear what they were going through. Amazingly, after the broadcast, their insurance called them for a meeting and after a few meetings changed their mind and decided to cover all the expenses it would cost them to build a safe new home. Thank you social media! Thank you local TV station, and Thank you local community! Their “gofundme” page returned all donations back to the people who contributed as the money was no longer needed. (Although this was incredible news for this family, it is noted that not all situations are this lucky).
Just when I think I would love to have grown up in a simpler
time, with less stress, less technology and more time for my family, I am
reminded how lucky we are to live in this age where we can do so much to make a
difference in the world, at home, in our cities, towns and communities for our
family, friends and neighbours. Has a similar situation ever happened to
you? Have you personally ever reached out
on social media for support or help? I’d love to hear from you and read your
Facebook: Social Media to the rescue. Check out this blog to see how social media helps people in need. https://bit.ly/2P2a8ax
Do you remember times when your social life seemed
complicated and overwhelming? Perhaps in
those early grade school years, and then again in high school and college? Friendships and social networks could provide
you with satisfying highs and depressing lows.
These were times where we awkwardly needed to figure out who our friends
were, how much time did they require from us, and did we need to do everything
they did? Our self-esteem and happiness were
held in a delicate balance based on the perceptions of others and how we felt
we fit in.
Despite many grey hairs and not being able to do a cartwheel without feeling ill, the age of 40 was great – it was freeing from this social pressure…or so I thought. I had finally let go of friendships that weren’t comfortable, and I did so without guilt. I focused on smaller social circles that I could manage in a more productive way, for example people in my neighbourhood, and people who were engaged with us at a family level.
But had I achieved this contentment in my new social network
– on platforms such as Facebook? Engaging
in these platforms seemed like starting from scratch again. It took time to get over the idea that more
was better. I didn’t need to accept
every friend request. If I had no
intention of communicating with that person from high school in a social
setting, why did I need them on Facebook?
And the reverse seemed to be true as well. I recall the sting of realizing that some people
just wanted to see what I was doing or how life “turned out”, or perhaps I was
just adding to their friend statistic.
Over time, I decided what worked for me. I cut down my network to close friends and family – to a group I was comfortable with and felt I could reciprocate with. Having too many people connected to me made me feel like I was creating a circle I could never really keep up with. Perhaps here was the problem – I couldn’t distinguish the expectations of my in-person network to my online network. Of course those Facebook friends didn’t all expect a dinner invite, but if they were engaged in my life online, what were their expectations?
From a professional perspective, LinkedIn is still a
challenge for me. Yes, you will find me
there, but what do you want to see from me other than my “online resume”? Should I be posting interesting articles? But if I do, am I honestly sharing them
because I think my network will enjoy them or am I just trying to look active
and engaged? In all honesty, the latter
is probably true.
My online social network is a work in progress, but isn’t everything? Any tips and lessons you’ve experienced with your
own social media network is greatly appreciated!
When it comes down to choosing which platform is better used for small business marketing, it can be a very tough choice considering that each social media platform has their own advantages and disadvantages. It also depends on which demographic a small business company is targeting to, as Facebook is nowadays known more as a social network for seniors and families than teens and young adults (even if they surely use Facebook as well). Meanwhile, Instagram is more widely used by the younger demographic (mostly high school and college students) due to a much more friendly user interface, and some of the biggest internet celebrities use Instagram a lot more than Facebook, which no doubt allowed them to gain a massive following of a young audience hungry for great content.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to which part of the target demographic a small business owner would want to focus on. Even though Facebook has been around for a lot longer than Instagram, I think they are both really good options, as they are both effective at gaining an audience for a particular business brand and a chance to maintain a really solid following.
Which social media platform do you think would be best for small business marketing? Sound off in the comment section
Do you still use Facebook? I remember in 2007 hearing about this “Facebook” thinking it was similar to my space but cooler and I decided to sign up because all my friends were doing it. Facebook ended up being a big part of my college experience. We’d message each other through Facebook even if we were sitting next to each other in class. We’d connect to find out when and where to hang out. Of course, it was also a great resource for finding out where the closest party was happening. Facebook grew very quickly and we all totally forgot about MySpace.
I still have my Facebook page. It’s evolved a lot. I’ve accumulated pictures and memories. I still use it to connect with my friends. I don’t see myself deleting it anytime soon. I recently started working in a University and I hear from students all of the time that Facebook is dying. Apparently, Snapchat is way cooler now. I’ve tried to use Snapchat but it’s really not my thing. I don’t get it.
So, what are the facts? Is Facebook really dying? In his article “Is Facebook Slowly Dying”, Giovanbattista Cimmino says “Many adults now use Facebook as a glorified address book”. He says that young people “jump to the latest trend without a second thought” and that “Facebook is now a dinosaur”. According to Elizabeth Orley in her article “Is Facebook dying in 2019” it’s not that clear. She says that “people are so emerged into the platform it makes it hard to get rid of it for many users” and that it will be hard for us to give it up.
There are many varying opinions online, so what’s yours? Do you still use Facebook? Are you a business owner that relies on it? Have you already moved away from Facebook and if so, what do you use now? Is there something that us diehard Facebook users have been missing out on? Tell us what we’ve been missing out on or if you’re not ready to let go yet in the comments below.
Facebook: Do you think Facebook is dying? I hear this a lot from younger people. To them Facebook is no longer cool. Check out “Is Facebook Really Dying?” on the blog! http://bit.ly/FacebookReallyDying
It is crazy how much a
click of a button can accomplish, allowing you to interact with your audience
without being present. Companies are able to make a single post, and increase
their growth, and make profits in just minutes.
Ashley Carman, a journalist for The Verge, writes her article Instagram now has 1 billion users worldwide.
She discusses the rapid growth Instagram has accumulated in 2018 after their in-office
announcement of hitting 1billon active users.
This allows large or smaller companies to take full advantage of these growths for their own improvement and development. Companies can increase attraction to their pages and bring awareness with simple interactive media posts.
There are many different ways Instagram allows you to interact and
connect with your followers:
There are many ways
you can use tags, from tagging other people, trending hashtags, or getting people
to tag their friends in different contests. Instagram gives you man options for
using tags, depending how you use it to your advantage. Hashtag’s have always
been a key component for bringing awareness to a central topic, but recently brands
have come up with new tactics that have proven to bring in more traffic.
Contests have been trending through people’s timelines,
getting people to tag friends, like their photo, follow their page, like their
page, or even repost them for a chance to win a prize. Normally people are not
willing to take their time unless it is for a cause, so this helps push people
to promote your brand for you while you sit back and all you had to do is make
a single post.
is great if you are wanting to share something with your followers that you are
not able to on Instagram; whether it be selling merchandise, a link to your
newest video, or a link to your blog, you are able to link anything you would
like that would interest you followers. It allows you to post a summary or idea
on your story and your followers can decide whether they are willing to take
the time to swipe up or skip by.
Recently I noticed personal bloggers re-posting their pictures to their story and have a swipe up link to the photo posted on their Instagram, using this strategy to gain more traction and likes to build their brand!
Make a Poll
Making polls is not so much for increasing traction but it does help you understand your followers and consumers. This option allows brands to take the time to see what their followers and consumers are looking for, for example: A company cannot decide if they want to launch their new product in blue or green… well with only a few clicks, the company is able to create a poll to allow their consumers to decide for them. Based off the results they can successfully create items they know their customers would enjoy.
Ask for Feedback
Feedback is a huge factor for all companies, involving Instagram of not,
your feedback from your clients is the most important thing of any company
because that shapes your reputation as a brand. Instagram now allows people to
post a question or a statement and people are able to reply and voice their opinion
to the person, brand or company and it can be completely anonymous.
Collab with Influencers
Now this is the BIGGEST tactic most larger brands use, this would not be
considered free either. Companies pay influences hundreds to thousands of
dollars to promote their brands through your favourite influencers. It is the
most effective way to get influencers that people look up to and have them sell
your brand to all their following. If your favourite model, actress, or singer
tells you to buy it, chances are high… you will probably end up buying it. Especially
when many of these influencers are given discount codes and you THINK you are
Social media gives us such a diverse and proactive platform that can be taken full advantage of. Brand’s now do not have to pay thousands to advertise or start up their brand’s on TV or on the radio because Instagram offers so many features to allow you to spark your growth and become a reputable brand with multiple free features, and low prices to sponsor or promote your posts if you decide to do so.