“Google+…oh yeah, you need to be here!”

Southwest Florida's Small Business Resource Network (SBRN) is once again diving into social media training for small businesses this summer.
This program kicks off its Social Media Summer Series on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at the  Holiday Inn, Fort Myers Airport @ Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive, Fort Myers with a focus on “Google+ …oh yeah, you need to be here!” 
Birgit Pauli-Haack, the owner of Pauli Systems and co-founder of Relevanza, will present tips for using Google+ in small business. The amazing opportunities of social media have yet to capture the attention of some business owners and as a result, social media has yet to become part of a strategic plan to reach consumers, constituents and the public at large. For many small businesses – and larger businesses alike – the world of social media can still be a scary place.   Birgit will show you how Google+ will ease your fears and how you can easily use it to spark conversation about your business and discover the synergies between being social and being discovered on internet searches.

Cost for SBRN members is $15 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres. Guests and unaffiliated small business owners pay $25 per person.  This meeting is sponsored by GreatFlorida Insurance.
Register online or contact Lorna Kibbey, coordinator at the Small Business Development Center at (239) 745-3700.
Come on Thursday, June 20, 2013 and learn why you should embrace Google+.

OlgaTDesigns on the Interwebs

T-shirts have come a long way since tie-dyes and single-frame silk screens. 

OlgaT Designs, prints the shirts, creates strategic alliances with shop owners, updates the company website and goes out to sell all OlgaTDesign products at two local farmers markets in Southwest Florida: Thursdays at Coconut Point in Estero, and Fridays at Lakespark Farmers Market in Fort Myers. 

We have been working with Bryan to augment his online presence and search engine visibility and advise him about on-site SEO.  We also connected his 3Dcart store on http://www.olgatdesigns.com to Twitter. We used the built-in feed and IFTTT.com. A new Tweet appears automatically when new products are posted on the web store. 

Recently, we visited him at the Farmers Market in Coconut Point and used our iPad to shoot some video footage and photos. The windy, chilly morning was a challenge for visitors and merchants. We created a short video in a matter of minutes with the help of Qwiki, a free app for iPhone and iPad. I just love it. It’s easy to use, very customizable, nicely combines photos and videos. Of course, once uploaded you can share the Qwiki on all social webs and embed it on a webpage. Qwiki is not yet available on Android. Just a matter of time. 

This is for now but I am sure you will hear and see much more by Olga & Bryan and OlgaTDesigns in Southwest Florida. 

Tune in! Links Shared on Twitter @PauliSystems

Amplify

The time between the holidays before the new year, are for most of use a time to reflect on the last year, to catch-up with reading list or new developments in the business world. We all do this in one way or other when we set our goals for the next year or next weeks.

 

Twitter has been a great resource tool for me and our team to learn about new tools, insights in other people’s work or great articles around the Internet on the curring edge between marketing and technology. Over the last few weeks I have used the Amplify Plattform to create a ongoing record, use their features to share not only articles but also comment on them as to why this is an important piece of information and why I like to share it. Here are the articles for the last week I would like to share with you. 

 

Erica Glasier: 50 Creative Uses Of QRCodes
Erica divides her great ideas into different verticals: Artists, Self-Promoting/Branding, Business Advertising, Products and NonProfits. There should be one or two for you, too. Follow Erica Glasier on Twitter: @EricaGlasier

 

Clipped from www.ericaglasier.com:

Whether your goals are advertising, informing, galvanizing advocates or garnering Facebook “likes”, the QR code is ready to link up your audience to

Advanced Twitter Insights: @Joseph Stop following me
Getting overwhelmed with the stream? Joseph Haslam gives you a fast insight in how he set-up the flood gates (Twitter Tools). A great graphic is posted on top of this blog. A still from the movie: Forest Gump running on a bridge with his followers.Clipped from www.phoenixstrat.com Twitter makes me feel a little like Forrest Gump.  Who are […]

Don’t overlook your fans!
This is were engagement with followers and fans really pays off: If you are able to motivate your most engaged followers to post your content, like the shared link, comment on your blog & retweet your twitterstream. Find a few ideas on How to Activate Your Brand’s Super Influencers

 

Clipped from mashable.com As a marketer, you’ve undoubtedly […]

Rich Tehrani’s 9 Social CRM Tips For 2011
Most initiatives stop at #4 – However there is more. A great list of actions and questions by Rich Tehrani – Chairman of this year’s ITExpo in Miami Beach Convention Center Feb 2 + 3, 2011.

 

Clipped from blog.tmcnet.com

To improve your social CRM strategy for 2011 consider focusing on/doing the following: Meet: Have regular social networking meetings […]

5 Ways to Use LinkedIn Groups to Build Influential Connections
Clipped from www.socialmediaexaminer.com

If you want to build truly influential relationships online, you have to find places where you can consistently add value, spend quality time and have engaging conversations with members of your target demographic. LinkedIn Groups offers one of the best ways to make the most of your social media engagement time, but you must adopt […]

Social Technographs Ladder updated

A few days ago Groundswell author Josh Bernoff posted an updated version of the Social Technographics Ladder, the method to catogorize the activities intensity levels for Internet users on the participatory online space. With the update also came a change to include Twitter as a microblogging environment of it’s own kind, that seems to change engagement levels, in the eyes of Josh Bernoff.

The Social Technographics Ladder was first published in April 2007 introducing the concept and the first % for the various levels of activities on the Web 2.0 environment. The participatory online space covers sites that allow user generated content, such as the whole blog-o-spere, review sites like Yelp, content sharing sites, like Flickr, YouTube, social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, online forums, wikis and usage of aggregation and syndication.

The levels were:

  • Inactives, 
  • Spectators,
  • Joiners, 
  • Collectors, 
  • Critics, 
  • Creators.

Bernoff and Li stressed that these categories are not exclusive. There are overlaps and depending on the site and interest of the user, individuals move up and down the ladder. “People participate in multiple behaviors, and not everyone at a higher level on the ladder actually does everything in the lower rungs.” writes Josh Bernoff. This month’s announcement added the “Conversationalists” between the Critics and Creators, which makes it harder to compare previous published data and follow progression. The Internet space does not stay still. Or does it? It seems that the Inactives are subsiding from almost half to a sixth of the online adult population. Almost every one got the bug and the buzz. The Spectators seem to have reached the plateau around 70% and so have the Creators around 25%.
The levels in between are fluid and with introducing a new category, are also not quite helpful any more. This Ladder seems to have run it’s course. 
It was interesting to watch the development over the last 3.5 years, when the socialnet, Web 2.0 finally went mainstream in about six, seven years of coming.

Below graphic shows the various activity levels in their development from April 2007 to October 2009 and January 2010.


Updated data was provided in October 2008

Expanded & updated data January 2010

SBDC Workshop: Using Social Media to Increase Your Website Traffic

We had very lively and interesting discussions throughout the 90 minutes presentation. Participating business owners contributed good questions and conclusions.   As promised, the slide deck is published on slideshare.net for your self-study and for following up on all links mentioned during this event. Harry Looknanan and I also discussed some more ideas regarding an upcoming Social Networks Bootcamp for Business Owners. If you have particular topics or questions that you would like included, please post them in our comment section below. Also if you are interested in attending the Social Networks Bootcamp session, let us know and we will make sure that you will be notified.


SBDC Workshop: Using Social Media to Increase Your Website Traffic

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in Bonita Springs. 

Crexent Business Center

27499 Riverview Center Boulevard, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

 

Register Now: http://goo.gl/8yeJ8

You will learn how to streamline your workload and how quality content can assist you with Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Facebook, Twitter and others.  After the workshop you will know how to make your website the central hub for your online activities. 

 

Facebook Business Pages: A Primer

If I build it, they will come — maybe? 

So, you’ve jumped into (or, are thinking about jumping into), the social media fray to expand your business or organization’s online marketing horizons, by creating a Facebook business page. Good for you! You’re on the right track, so congratulate yourself. A lot of small business owners or organizations don’t even bother to create a page — they’re simply not on? Facebook, (or online, for that matter).

Formerly known as a fan? page, a Facebook business page can provide greater visibility and interaction amongst your community of users, members, customers, fans, etc., and expose your organization to an even broader audience. But, just because it’s there, doesn’t necessarily guarantee your page will garner the attention it needs to thrive. With that in mind, rather than detailing the mechanics of creating a Facebook business page, this post will talk about some of the expectations you should set for the launch of your page, and building the momentum. (In case you are interested in the mechanics of creating a business page, you can check them out here.)

It’s a process.

Getting people to like? (or, become a fan) of your page, isn’t as easy as it may seem. Just because you’ve created a business page doesn’t mean people are going to automatically flock towards it in droves and like? it, as soon as it hits the airwaves. In fact, quite the contrary may be the case. Disappointing, right? Think about it another way. Hopefully, in your other business-building efforts, whether they be developing a website, e-mail marketing, blogging, using other social media outlets, etc., you’ve had a plan to launch and grow each one of those efforts. 

Your Facebook business page is no different. In order to flourish and become the hub of activity you want it to be, you need a plan, you need to work that plan, and incorporate it into your ongoing marketing processes. Make sure your core audience knows about your Facebook page, and invite them to it, encourage them to like it, and start spreading the word. People need to be lured to your page.

Assuming you have an opt-in e-mail list, definitely send out an invitation to your subscribers via e-mail (do this several times, over time) letting them know about your business page and encouraging them to join or “like”. Ideally, provide them with a description of the page and an incentive to join. Be sure to have the Facebook logo/badge appear in your e-newsletters. And, don’t forget to include a link to your business page in every e-mail you send out.

Invite visitors to post their comments, links and photos. Remember, users have to like? your page in order to interact with your page in this way.  Pay attention to the folks who are visiting your page on a regular basis, posting comments, and tagging you on other pages.  These are the folks who will get the word out.

Appeal to your core audience — those who know you.

When embarking on the launch of your Facebook page, remember that you already have a cheering section, or a core audience — every group (hopefully!) does! These are the people who are or may eagerly become active in the quest for change, for leading related efforts and initiatives, and for getting others excited and spreading your organization’s message. Reach out to these folks first, and get them involved in talking about your business page.  And, build your promotional army by hand selecting the major players, (i.e., sponsors, endorsers, major donors, advertisers, etc.), sending them messages thanking them for their support, and then telling them that you need their help. Make them feel important and like they’re a vital force behind  whatever you’re doing. Get them talking about you and tagging you in other places on Facebook. These types of actions increase trust in your “brand” and build your credibility, (in other words, it gives you “street cred”).

Keep in mind that these folks are usually the ones with very large social networks on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Ask them to use Facebook’s Suggest feature to suggest? that their friends “like” your page.  BUT — don’t forget to reciprocate; it’s not all take and no give.  Help your organization by showing a willingness to help your fellow warriors who are on a similar quest.

Make your business page a forum.

Bottom line, no one wants to join a group where they don’t have a voice. They want to interact with others who have a similar passion — and, feel like they’re being listened to. One of the best ways to get people to “like”your page is to use it as a forum where you ask and listen to your audience’s advice. Let your customer, donors, volunteers, etc., lead by turning your business page into a place where users can express themselves — talk about what they don’t like, and things like they’d like to see you do in the future. If you have an upcoming campaign, initiative or product you’re working on, encourages people to offer their input. If word gets out that your Facebook page is where you go to get ideas, suggestions, feedback and opinions, people are going to want to be a part of that. Make your page the place where your audience  can go to get heard.  Remember, the more “eyeballs” seeing your page, the better!

 

Image courtesy of smallbiztrends.com.

 

How to Promote Your Event Online?

Over the last few months, I have presented at and participated in various events. I have had a wonderful time, and the organizers did a fantastic job of managing the many small and big details. Each one of the events was a great success. And, of course, I wanted to support the event organizers in their quest to promote their events. I wanted to let everyone – you, our company’s fans on Facebook, readers of Above the Noise and my followers on twitter, know about each of the events. I would have loved to tweet (post on Twitter) about them multiple times per week, and to also share the information with my other Facebook friends.

One problem though, no online location.

Every one of those activities would have required a URL, a link, a web page, etc., to point the audience to a spot or corner on the web to learn more about the event and to register, or at least obtain all the information on how to register.

Your event’s website, or at least web page, needs to have all the important information available for instant reading, right there on the spot. Don’t bury it in a PDF that requires me to download and open an additional program, or that you send around via e-mail. and, don’t hide it in a flyer graphic.

Online promotion is about easy, fast access. Everything else slows the process down, and diminishes the visitor’s interest, who will then be off your event and on to other things. The chance for them to come back and register and buy tickets are slim, unless you catch them online, again.

Write about the different aspects of the event in short segments, post them in a blog, and every time you release one of those informational nuggets, you create another online buzz about the event. Even if your organization or your company doesn’t have a social presence, at least make sure that your partners, sponsors and champions have a place to point their online activities to your website.

Ideally, you should keep your online audience and friends abreast of the progress of your event preparations. People like to hear about the details and will appreciate your hard work. Celebrate every milestone on your project plan: venue booked, menu selected, new sponsor found, new presenter confirmed, updated bios available, schedule finalized, etc. Every item will give you opportunity to provide your partners a little more exposure, and everyone appreciates the link back to their site and the kudos you publish.

Your event partners, be they volunteers, sponsors, presenters or staff, will be very grateful that you make your event information available online. They, in turn, will take care of spreading the word online. Let them!

You need an events page fast!

Every event organizer, at some point, is overwhelmed by the shear amount of details she has to pay attention to. So, you need to get your online events page/site done fast. You might run into roadblocks, though: the organization’s website is not setup for easy adding and editing of pages, the web developer charges too much, the web content producer is not available…

Here are a few online places you can setup an events page fast, and with no money upfront.

Eventbrite:
It’s probably the best online event registration tool right now. It allows you to enter as much information as you need to provide about an event, upload photos, and allows for sharing and spreading the link over the social web. If you have a PayPal account, you can have your participants register and pay online, but you can also use it for attendee administration, who pay by check or at the door.

Your events page can be augmented with all kinds of graphics, and also has a News & Updates? section you can use to post additional information as it becomes available.

The site will help you send e-mails to your attendees, as well as have them print tickets and name badges. This is a great site for any stand-alone event.

Should you have your e-mail marketing system set-up via MailChimp , you will see some great synergy and integration features coming your way.

For free events, Eventbrite is free of charge. If you charge an admission fee, Evenbrite will take a cut. At the time of this post, the Eventbrite fee was 2.5% of ticket value + $0.99 per ticket. If you allow for online registration via credit card, credit card charges will apply as well.

Links:
Eventbrite Features
Similar online registration sites: eventsbot or amiando
For an example, check out the Naples Press Club Eventbrite section.

WordPress.com
Worpress.com is a free service that lets you setup a website & blog within minutes. The vast amount of templates allow for a fairly attractive design. And, by the end of the event you will be able to export all your content and move it to a permanent place, should you need to integrate it into your corporate site.

All posts are optimized for online sharing and search engine optimization. You can create surveys for your potential attendees, or allow for guest posts. You will love the feature to send your post via e-mail to the website, including images.

Link: WordPress.com Features You’ll Love

Posterous.com
This is another free blog engine that allows you to post via e-mail or via mobile phone to the site, and autoshares content over the social networks. Again, the templates are pretty enough to support your efforts to write about your event, get things done fast and concentrate on the other fifteen thousand details for the offline happenings.

Link: Explore Posterous

Face it: You don’t have to make a fuss about putting your event online. At a minimum, use one of the free tools mentioned above, and setup a one-page website.  You only need to make it easy for your champions, advocates, friends, sponsors, and partners to

You’re invited to join us in ORBIT…Online Roundtable for Business Owners

We know you have technology issues and questions.  Everyone does!  And we also know that you may not have access to the people and resources who can answer those questions and resolve those issues.  That’s why we’d like to invite you to  our monthly online business owners’ roundtable, ORBIT, designed to help small businesses like yours blast their online presence into the future.   Sign-up here, it’s free

 

ORBIT provides a fun, informal and congenial online forum for business owners (beginners to advanced) to openly discuss ANY and all web and technology-related issues specific to their small business.  Maybe you have a question about search engine ranking, or how to integrate e-mail marketing into your existing online presence, or maybe you just have a general technology problem or question that you’d like to “put out there” for feedback.Bring your questions and you’ll receive concrete feedback on how to make the web work better for you and create a web presence that rocks!

 

Each month one participant will have the opportunity to submit their website for review by the group, and engage in a roundtable discussion format that explores that particular website’s usability, search engine ranking, local marketing, and more.

 

The next ORBIT sessions are scheduled for Thursday, October 28th + December 30th, from 3:30 PM until 4:30 PM, and will be co-hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack, Founder & CEO of Pauli Systems, LC,  and Jane Freitas, Director of Operations, Pauli Systems, LC.

 

Register for ORBIT - Online Roundtable f. Business Owners on Internet Technology in Naples, FL  on Eventbrite

 

Login information for this online session will be sent the week prior to the scheduled date, to all registrants.

Turn Your Passion-2-Profit…experience entrepreneurial euphoria!

Birgit Pauli-Haack presenting at 4th Annual Turning Passion to Profit, Entrepreneur Seminar & Tradeshow at Florida Gulf Coast UniversityUpdate October 15, 2012

Today we posted the slide desk for the Online Marketing & Social Media Track from this weekend’s event.

 

“It Starts with a Blog”

Why you should start blogging.  In essence:  Blogging increases Search Engine Visibility within months and gets your site ready for the Social Web, ready for the sharing economy.

“Facebook For Business”

The new Facebook timeline for business: what has changed and how you can streamline your Facebook experience. Walk through the anatomy of a Facebook page, your options for reaching out to existing and future clients through networking and posting.

 

“Google+ Pages & Google Analytics”

Google+ pages are so much easier to set-up and manage than Facebook pages.  And, as a huge benefit, they are part of the search engine powerhouse, Google. This session will cover examples of brand pages and also wraps up the morning with a look at how measuring social media marketing performance can be measured by generating traffic for your website

 

 

http://www.slideshare.net/bph/it-all-starts-with-a-blog-get-your-website-ready-for-the-social-webs

 

http://www.slideshare.net/bph/how-to-use-facebook-for-business-14732776

 

http://www.slideshare.net/bph/turning-passion-to-p

 


What is it that really excites you? What it is that stirs your passion, gets you going?

Is it something you make? Something you do? Is it some service you perform for others? Some talent you have? Find out how to grow a business from avocation to vocation at the Turning Your Passion-2-Profit entrepreneurial trade show and seminar.

Set for Saturday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Florida Gulf Coast University, the conference is organized the Small Business Development Center at FGCU and Southwest Florida Business Today and will feature as keynote speaker Jerry Ross, lifelong entrepreneur and Executive Director of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando.

Find out more details about the workship and register here. (Scroll down the page to register.)

Relevanza is pleased and excited to, once again, be among the sponsors of this conference. Relevanza Co-founder Birgit Pauli-Haack will lead the morning session on social media and how to use to the best advantage of your young business.

Comcast Business Class is the title sponsor of the seminar. Busey Bank is the luncheon sponsor.

Other sponsors, in addition to Relevanza include Gator Press Printing; Guerilla Media; Noack Mitchell & Company; Brennan, Manna & Diamond attorneys; Edible Arrangements (Cape Coral), Marriott Courtyard at Gulf Coast Town Center; Promotional Incentives; Boost-Creative; the Bob Harden Show and Sign-A-Rama.

 

 

Google+ (Plus) Previews & Chatter: Get Ready!

Google+ Ante Portas

The Techworld is abuzz about Google+, many techreporter and Net Strategist have been invited by Google to field test Google+, called Google Plus. There is a lot of chatter, and yesterday I saw a good use case to great a collection of comments and the essentials on Storify.

If you are in a hurry, start on Google’s own page about Google+ and watch intro-clips about six main features. If you want to see what other people do with Google+, especially the “Hangout” feature, watch the recording of today’s “This Week on Google” TV Show hosted by Leo Laports, Jeff Jarvis and Gina Trapani. 

Haven’t been that excited about a new site and it’s possibilities for a long time.