Social Media Workshops in Toronto

Welcome to Triskele Consulting’s Toronto Social Media Workshops Blog!

We hold hands-on workshops for small business owners and professionals, so they can get more customers and increase customer loyalty through the art of social media.

Workshops are either half day or a full day, depending on the subject matter.

Participants of the Blog workshops are also welcome to add blog posts to this Toronto Social Media Workshops blog.

So come and join us! Learn the art of social media and start attracting new customers to your business.

In-House Social Media Workshops
To book a social media workshop for your company or for more information about workshops, contact Marilyn Kay.

Comment and Share the Knowledge

Leave a comment about these workshops and please share this post with friends you know who would be interested in attending a social media workshop.

Posted in Social Media Workshops | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Put Facebook and LinkedIn to Work for You

Are you on LinkedIn but don’t really know how to use it, or feel it won’t work for you? What about Facebook? Have you tried it to market your business, but it just seemed a lot of updates that nobody “liked”? Or maybe all the talk about Facebook changes and its poor showing in the stock market has put you off? It all seems easier to do nothing than to get sucked into this social media chatter.

LinkedIn and Facebook workshops

Learn Facebook and LinkedIn in a one day.

It is easier if you don’t want to advance your career or make your business grow. You can continue to go to networking events where you collect more business cards and spend more time standing around hoping to connect with the right people. You can ignore Facebook, where people are probably already talking about you while your competitors are updating their statuses on their fan pages.

Clearly, Facebook and LinkedIn are not just trivial pursuits.

Like it or not.  This is a digital world where your customers are more connected than you may think. In fact, Canadians continue to lead the world in engaging online. According to the latest comScore statistics, Canadians spend 41 hours per month online and view an average of 3,731 pages per visitor per month. Those are hard statistics. What’s more for the 4th quarter in 2012, Canadian usage of  Facebook was up 8% and LinkedIn 38%.

Gossiping figures

Online word of mouth is faster than a village full of gossips.

Online word of mouth is growing and spreading faster than a village full of gossips. Professionals and companies are matching up and making deals through their LinkedIn connections. While people on Facebook are checking out the latest discounts, likes and comments shared by their friends and the companies they follow.

Nielsen’s The Social Media Report 2012 confirms that 70% of social media users participate to find out what their friends and family are doing, but Nielsen also found that 65% look for information about brands, products and services; 53% compliment brands;  50% express concerns or expect problems solved and 47% share money incentives offered by these companies. That’s a lot of word of mouth among those they trust the most. Did I say that the latest Forrester Research reported in Mashable today found that 70% trust recommendations by friends online?

So it’s up to you to harness this word of mouth and put some strategy behind your online presence. Nor is it just people talking. A Facebook page gives businesses plenty of ways to not only develop relationships with customers, but also to market their products and services.

Facebook likes

Friends tell their friends what brands to like,

There are a number of free and low-cost ways to reach more leads and develop more customers. Sure, Facebook ads cost. But because Facebook knows so much about its members and their buying habits, you can easily run highly targeted ads and promotions and spend as little as $5 a day. In fact, Facebook ad costs per click have dropped to record lows. Do they work? Yes they can. We’ve certainly had success with promoted post and regular marketplace ads with some higher click-through rates than the average rate for banner ads. Mashable’s report on that same Forrester Research also noted that at least one Facebook partner found that Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, which are based on friends’ brand recommendations, were also much more effective than the regular marketplace ads.

You may not see quite the same results as the preliminary findings reported by Facebook yesterday at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Re:think conference in New York that in one large study advertising on Facebook provided a “22% lift in ROI”. But used well, you can develop stronger customer relationships that lead to more sales than traditional offline marketing.

Professional Relationships Create More Business

Network through LinkedIn

Make connections and get referrals.

LinkedIn is more than a popularity contest for male professionals. (Yes. The statistics do show men dominate LinkedIn 67% to women’s 37%.) It’s the site where professionals not only connect, but help each other find the right contacts for doing business. LinkedIn, though, goes beyond the “likes”, contests, special offers, events, shared content and inspirational edutainment of Facebook. Instead it concentrates on creating an environment for credible business information, referrals and recruiting. PunchMedia found that 87% of 1900 members surveyed in May 2012 trust LinkedIn “as a source of information for decision making”. The new skills “endorsements” and other features LinkedIn has introduced are also making it easier for professionals to showcase their talents, get found and connect with possible clients, business associates and, if you are looking for career advancement, a new employer.

So where do you go from here?

Start Managing LinkedIn and Facebook

Sign up today for Triskele Consulting’s hands-on intensive Spring Social Media Workshops Special on Wednesday, April 3 and put social to work for you.

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media Workshops | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to Customize Your LinkedIn URL

Have you still got extraneous numbers and letters in your LinkedIn URL?

Here’s a quick video on how to customize your LinkedIn URL to make it easier for you to include in contact information. A custom URL also makes you look more professional, too. So let’s get started.

Posted in Social Media Tips | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

R.I.P. LinkedIn Tweets

Rest in Peace to Tweets application in LinkedIN

Goodbye LinkedIn Tweets

As of January 31, my LinkedIn homepage will be a little less crowded. No longer will I be able to see tweets from my followers, tweet, reply and retweet from a handy box in the right sidebar. Alas! LinkedIn is killing its standalone Tweets application?

LinkedIn’s cryptic message emailed on January 19 about dropping Tweets says they reviewed how members were using Tweets and found they could “better invest” resources in building other products for members.

According to a post by TechCrunch about LinkedIn’s decision, it was primarily a case of redundancy. Members weren’t using the application because they could join their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and tweet using the #in hashtag. This interpretation concurred with the Tweets Application Shutdown message in the LinkedIn Help Center, which said, ” Tweeting with #in will still display the Tweets on your profile.

A more business-focused  use of Twitter?

Was it just a little-used, unnecessary widget sucking resources from newer, more useful applications, such as Signal and LinkedIn Today? Or was it also the way some people used it that prompted its demise? My guess was that a number of members got tired of seeing Twitter updates with more than business-related content. (See my post LinkedIn is not Twitter). By Linkedin limiting its display to messages with the #in hashtag, members would see less non-business focused content.

Guess again!

Then came the January 20 email clarifying the end of Tweets. It said, “You can still go to your Settings page and choose to send either all tweets or only tweets with a #in hashtag to your LinkedIn status updates. It’s up to you.”

Manage Twitter in your LinkedIn Settings

Show discretion when you tweet to LinkedIn

So by leaving the Sharing Tweets box unticked, members can still post all their Twitter updates, regardless of whether they pertain to business or to what they had for breakfast.

Death of a  Twit Widget

Basically then, the Tweets application has become just another widget to move off the sidebar. Changes to the homepage layout and to the Contacts section have also contributed to its death. At one time, the Tweets app displayed on the Connections page those in your network you were following and those who you weren’t. Now members can click the Twitter “Follow” button on a person’s profile. So R.I.P. Tweets.

Perhaps, though, the change will prompt more members to check their Sharing Tweets setting and tick the box to share only tweets with the #in  or #li hashtag.

What do you think of LinkedIn’s integration with Twitter?

Share a comment about your experience with LinkedIn and Twitter in the comment box below.

Will you miss Tweets?

Take the poll.

Will you miss LinkedIn’s Tweets Application?

(polls)


Posted in LinkedIn, Social Media Tips | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LinkedIn Is not Twitter

Twitter bird and LinkedIn

Think before you link tweets to LinkedIn status updates.

From a previous post in the Triskele Consulting Blog.

You’ve got your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and know the value of being on both social media platforms. You also are finding how challenging it can be to juggle tweeting with participating in all the ways LinkedIn has to help you gain more profile, share ideas and expertise with your network. There is the status update, building your network with personalized invitations, participation in group discussions and demonstrating your knowledge through the Answers option, to name but a few. It’s enough to fill your day without doing much else.

Well, not exactly, but it can seem that way. I know. I’ve been there.  I’ve also experimented with several automated scheduling platforms to make posting to social media profiles faster and easier, with varying success.

Which brings me to LinkedIn and Twitter. Tweeting and LinkedIn status updates all at the same time! What a time saver, yes? It can also be an annoying time waster to members of your network.

LinkedIn and Twitter: The same You but different Perspectives

Coordinating your social media profiles does make sense. You want to get your messages out to your followers and create those vital relationships that turn into more than just a passing interest in you and your business.  But coordination is not a message dump. Why? Because each social media tool is separate and distinct. And it’s not just because you’re limited to only 140 characters on one and not the other.

Think of it this way.  When you try on new clothes the store provides a three-way mirror, so you can see how the clothes fit from all angles.  You also see how others see from all those angles. Now take LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s the same you, but your audience is seeing you from slightly different perspectives.

Match Your Message to the Milieu

LinkedIn is networking, but not exactly a chat at the water cooler. On LinkedIn people want contributions that not only make them think, but also suit the milieu of a professional networking group.

Twitter followers also want good content, but even the name of the medium tells you tweets are succinct, with a bit of banter and even sentence fragments.  Since they are short, it’s easy to create more of them. This can actually look like spam on LinkedIn. And who likes spam?

In fact, what got me to thinking about LinkedIn’s difference was a newly enlisted client I’d created profiles for in both LinkedIn and Twitter. He complained to me that all he saw was  “a lot of crap on LinkedIn” that he didn’t have time to deal with. He’d previously avoided social media for just that reason. “Are you sure you meant LinkedIn?” I asked rather incredulously. Oh yes. He was sure.  So I logged into his account and he was right. His home page was full of someone’s Twitter feed and nothing related to his profession.

Let’s face it. The world of social media is a new frontier. We’re all learning. I certainly have made my share of mistakes and berated myself for these gaffes. Just remember the three-way mirror. People see different facets. By adapting your messages to your audience, you’ll find people come around and see the whole you.

How Do You Manage LinkedIn and Twitter?

Do you use an automated third-party app for managing LinkedIn and Twitter? What’s your experience with using tweets for status updates? Share your thoughts and experience in a comment below.

Posted in Social Media Tips | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Do You Have a Strategy for Social Media?

Social media confusion

Confused about what to do with social media?

It’s here. It’s there. Social media is everywhere. It buzzes, squawks, titters, cajoles and demands you take notice. No wonder so many businesses have gone social or at least tiptoed around the edges of the party.

So where do you begin? Do you dabble? Try one social media tool until you get it right? Or make a grand entrance, mingle, be amusing, interesting, liked and followed?

The answer? First ask yourself this question:

What’s best for your business and your customers?

In other words, what are your objectives and processes for using social media and how do they align with your business goals and the needs and expectations of your customers?

Think strategy not social media tools

Even the biggest brands often leap before they think through their strategy. A recent report by Altimeter Group, on A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation,  found that too many companies are so afraid of being late to the party that they rush in without a clear idea of how social media fits into their business goals. Of the major corporations surveyed “an average of just 43% said they had a formalized strategy roadmap that addresses how social will meet specific business goals.” The result? Corporations are struggling to manage rampant social media accounts, with inadequate staff and business processes to handle these accounts and properly deal with heightened customer expectations.

Using social media is not just another type of marketing campaign

Businesses may  decide to get a Facebook business page or start a Twitter account, without realizing Facebook and Twitter — and other social media, for that matter — are long-term commitments, not just flirtations that remain to haunt you.  Twitter and Facebook require constant monitoring and nurturing. Do you have the trained staff and business processes to continually create high quality content and respond once the campaign is over? Are your customers or audience actually on Facebook or have they now moved on to Google+?

Think beyond a specific marketing campaign to an overall strategy.

Here are 6 steps to creating a social media strategy

  1. Determine what you want to achieve by using social media. For example, do you want more brand awareness? more sales? reduced costs due to better customer support? customer feedback and ideas for new or better products? more community involvement in your organization?
  2. Know your target audience. Is it youth? women? business executives and professionals? families? Research how and why they participate in social media and what types of social media they prefer. Listen to what they say and how they express themselves and, of course, what they say about your company or organization.
  3. Decide what value you can offer  your audience. People want reasons to interact socially with your company or organization. Social media is not a case where “if you build it, they will come.” People want deals, inspiration, ideas, fun. What can you give them in a way they can’t get from a competitor.
  4. Decide on your social media tool or tools. Once you know what social media you want to adopt, make sure you have trained staff and supports in place that integrate into your areas of business affected by this media. Have plans for developing your social media presence, creating great content, monitoring and promoting interactivity.
  5. Decide how you will measure your results. For example,  are you getting more people attending your events? did you make more sales due to tweets or LinkedIn connections? Are you saving money from fielding fewer service calls because your Facebook page answers  customer questions? What ways do you use to measure your organization’s social media performance?
  6. Assess and measure and revise your strategy as needed. Social media does not offer an instant fix. How long it takes for people to get to know, like and trust you enough to be a part of your social network — like any other relationship — is based on a number of considerations: the type of business you are in, what you offer and their need for your products and services. That being said, you still need to monitor and assess how you well you are meeting your goals and your customer’s expectations. If your customers are very happy or dissatisfied, they will tell you and or their friends how you are doing. They may also “tell” you by simply “unfollowing” or “unliking” your business. Pay attention to all the signals and adapt.

Do you already have a social media strategy? What else would you add to these basic elements? How often do you find you need to change or tweak your strategy? Take a moment to share your ideas and experience in the comments below.

Get started on your social media strategy

Why not join us for a full, one-day, interactive, hands-on workshop on Creating a Social Media Strategy for Your Business?

Posted in Social Media Tips, Social Media Workshops | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mind Your Ps and Qs and Grammar in Your Blog Posts

Does correct spelling and grammar really matter to Google?

In this video, Google’s expert, Matt Cutts says, both no and yes about whether poor spelling and grammar will affect your blog’s search ranking. Google does look at the quality of your blog posts as part of your overall ranking. However, he explains, spelling and grammar are not major influencers for Google now, for a variety of reasons.

On the other hand, bloggers who are careful with editing their posts and pages for correct spelling and grammar tend to naturally rank higher, because they respect their readers enough to give them the best possible content and user experience. In turn, readers are more likely to bookmark, like and tweet about well written posts.

Watch Matt Cutts explain more about the merits of careful editing of your posts and web pages.

What do you think?

Do misspelled words turn you off? Do you cringe when you read poorly written content? Or does the thought count more than the way it’s written? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

Posted in Social Media Tips | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Graduation Day for the First Group of Seven Social Media Workshops!

first graduating class of Group of Seven Social Media Workshops in Toronto

These courses offered by Triskele Consulting allow you to become more competitive in this time of globalization. With the click of a mouse you can connect with customers regardless of age, interest, spending habits, geography and computer literacy.

This series reduces the fear of being caught in the Web. The four workshops are a must for people to stay up to date and help them socialize by using new tools such as Twitter, Facebook business pages, LinkedIn, blogging and videos. It connects people to each other and from all walks of life.

Through these workshops we’ve created our own web on the Web.

Contributed by the graduates of the July 2011 Group of Seven Social Media Workshops.

Posted in Social Media Workshops | Tagged , | Leave a comment