I went to a great presentation last week about using Social Media in business. It was presented at a local chapter meeting of the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and given by Jennifer Hofmann of Inspired Home Office.
Jennifer is an entrepreneur who helps unorganized people get organized in their home office. She started her business in 2009 (if I recall correctly) in the midst of the economic downturn. Despite the timing, she has created a successful business. Her claim: she has done so by smartly utilizing all of the free marketing, networking and connecting that the various social media platforms have to offer. She got smart about social media.
Now, I am no internet/social networking novice, but I learned SO much from Jennifer. I took notes throughout the entire nearly 2 hour session, and found myself nodding and “yes!”-ing throughout her talk. I wrote down a handful of “must do” items and that same day came home and implemented a number of them for the blog.
Part of that was finally getting the Casa Beebe wordpress blog finalized and officially saying goodbye to Blogger and Blurb Column. Part of that process was changing my Blurb Column Facebook and Twitter accounts to Casa Beebe, getting a dedicated Casa Beebe gmail account, setting up HootSuite and linking a number of my accounts together, and getting set up on Klout so I can manage and understand my social media presence and impact a bit better. All those steps took a good portion of the day to get taken care of, and there have been a few hiccups along the way, but overall I am super impressed and glad that I made these changes.
WordPress, for instance, has already driven more activity and new readers to Casa Beebe than Blogger ever did. HootSuite has allowed me to pre-load content and schedule interactive questions to keep in regular contact with my followers and contacts. This is a big deal for me because it is something I struggled with in the past. I felt if I didn’t have something really fabulous to write about on the blog then I shouldn’t be “promoting” it for “old” content. I realized, though, that regular contact is important, no matter if the content changes.
Think about traditional marketing. You watch an hour-long TV show. You see almost 20 minutes of commercials during that time, at least HALF of which are the same exact commercial, promoting the same exact product, over and over and over. And it isn’t as if that commercial doesn’t keep playing all. night. long. Blogging and social media is no different. We need to keep our content fresh, yes, but we also need to keep our contact continuous.
So: are you a blogger? Do you own a small business? If so, you NEED to think seriously about your internet presence and how to capitalize on that. Not only for the ability to grow your business, but because someone like me wants to be able to find you on social media, interact with you on social media, and yes PROMOTE you on social media.
An example is my pet sitter. I love her! She is an adult woman, responsible and retired from a professional career. She is prompt in responding to me, has insurance and has even taken pet CPR classes. She is a homeowner and long-time pet owner and so she understands both the needs of a (teensy bit crazy) pet owner AND the needs of a home owner while they are away. She is nowhere on social media. Nowhere. There is no way for me to promote her, like her, share her or anything else. Does she want to grow her business? I really don’t know (I should ask her). BUT, if she does, she is missing the largest free marketing around! She does have a website and I’m going to link it. East Medford Pet Nanny. If you live in the Rogue Valley and need a reliable pet sitter check her out!
So that’s it. I was amazed at the content provided by Jennifer Hofmann and after implementing it have already begun to see changes in my blog readership and in the reach of my social media updates. This is a good thing! Thank you Jennifer!
This seems like a good time to plug my own social media. 🙂
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by searching Casa Beebe. You can find me on Goodreads, Yelp, Instagram (ok, I HAVE an Instagram account, but there is a grand total of 1 picture on it and I can’t figure out how to add my Avatar picture – this definitely needs some attention!) and Pinterest by searching Corrie Beebe. I am also on Klout and LinkedIn, though I only use LinkedIn for people I actually know or have a business relationship with.
What is your favorite social media tool? Is there one I’m missing the boat on? Share in the comments and feel free to link up to your own (non-X rated) blog/Twitter/Facebook etc. Let’s share some Link Love!
So what are the costs to going to a self-hosted WordPress? Who are you using to host it and who are you using for your web address?
I’m not that far into blogging at my new blog, the one where I finally feel at home, and it wouldn’t take much to change over.
WordPress is doing all of it. It is free, like blogger, but I upgraded my layout, and there is a variety of prices ($50+) for that. I also upgraded another feature, which was inexpensive. That is one of the nice things about WordPress, I can have a regular web address but they still host everything. I do have the option to self-host and continue to use wordpress, but I know next to nothing about coding and design, so for now I’m happy to pay a little bit to get what I want. Also, the photo editing within wordpress is SO far superior to blogger. Uh…so HAPPY HAPPY! I would change it if I were you. I’m totally sold on wordpress for now. Less glitchy, better control, better analytics.
oh, cool. i didn’t realize this was on the free platform. that’s super cool. so do you pay every year or is it a one time fee?
i’ll definitely look into it. the free, non-upgraded, option is one i don’t care for here because i can’t tweak the blog to my liking. i need color and WP didn’t allow for much of that. i know my way around Blogger coding pretty well and can make my blogs look and do pretty much however i want to. my “homepage” is a Blogger hosted: http://www.lesamcmahon.com/
It is an annual fee. There are free designs as well, lots of them in fact, but of course the more options the more the cost. Thanks for posting your link!
Yeah, I’m just now getting into Instagram since I’m taking a FB break. I think it’s definitely something you should get going… just so I can selfishly keep up with you. 😉
Haha! I’ll work on it! I definitely take enough pictures!