Social Media is a powerful tool to reach prospects and customers

Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. It can also be a painful and time-consuming monster you don’t have the capacity to understand it, let alone master it.

In order to understand social media, we must understand Digital Marketing first. So, what is digital marketing? In a nutshell, it can be defined as a method to create awareness and promote a brand or product by using all available digital channels.

The major components of digital marketing are:

Internet Marketing – Website, SEM (search engine marketing – includes SEO and Pay per click advertising), smartphones, mobile markets (i.e. Google Play, Apple Store), email marketing, online banner advertising and Social Media.

Non-Internet digital channels – Television, Radio, SMS, digital billboards (indoor and outdoor).

The difference between digital marketing and social media is that social media is just one of the available channels of digital marketing. Many people believe that by engaging on social media they are doing digital marketing but this is not 100% true, as there are many more components that make up a digital marketing campaign.

Ready to get started with marketing on social media? And if you’ve already begun, how can you maximize your time and energy you put into your social media marketing?

Here are five social media marketing tips to kick off your social media campaigns.

1.   Social Media Content Planning — Building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and competitive research to help brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. What are other businesses in your industry doing to drive engagement on social media?

2.   Great Social Content — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns supreme when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you post regularly and offer truly valuable information that your ideal customers will find helpful and interesting. The content that you share on your social networks can include social media images, videos, infographics, how-to guides and more.

3.   A Consistent Brand Image — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’s core identity, whether it's friendly, fun, or trustworthy, should stay consistent.

4.   Sharing Curated Links — While using social media for marketing is a great way to leverage your own unique, original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees, it’s also an opportunity to link to outside articles as well. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Curating and linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.

5.   Measuring Success with Analytics — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without tracking data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure your most triumphant social media marketing techniques, as well as determine which strategies are better off abandoned. Attach tracking tags to your social media marketing campaigns so that you can properly monitor them. And be sure to use the analytics within each social platform for even more insight into which of your social content is performing best with your audience.

Your customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you're not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you're missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, create devoted brand advocates and even drive leads and sales.

If you need guidance or want more information with your digital marketing goals, contact Katie Taylor, Marketing Advisor at Community Futures Entre-Corp.

APEX, the Regional Innovation Network (RIN) collaborates to put their collective resources together to support and improve the development of innovation and technology among small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in our region.

For more information about this event, or how our programs can help your business, please call Katie Taylor at 403-528-2824.

Katie Taylor is the Marketing Advisor for APEX Alberta.  APEX Alberta supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta.  APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.

A summary of “Cost-effective Intellectual Property options for protecting your ideas and growing your business” session in Medicine Hat

A summary of “Cost-effective Intellectual Property options for protecting your ideas and growing your business” session in Medicine Hat

Every entrepreneur needs to know that their most valuable asset is their Intellectual Property (IP).

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you need to know how to protect yourself if you are concerned that a competitor may try to scoop your invention. 

What are the types of Intellectual Property that you might be developing?

Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Industrial Designs, Trade Secrets, or Contractual Rights.

Mentorship can be a contributor to success and achievement

What do you think you might have in common with Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah Winfrey? Maybe you are a creative entrepreneur with bulldog tenacity. You believe you can accomplish great things, so you press forward to rise above the crowd. Or perhaps you are a “pro” at what it is that you do, and you expect to be noticed because of your talent and skills.

There is no doubt that Oprah and Zuckerberg are talented. They both stepped into opportunities when they encountered them, sometimes taking significant risks along the way. Some might even say that they were simply in the right place at the right time. Were they just lucky?

There is an ancient saying attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca that “luck is simply what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” It would be difficult to argue that both Oprah and Zuckerberg were both prepared when opportunity knocked. One thing that both have attributed to their success is having been under the guidance of a good mentor.

 From the time we are born, we learn most everything we know from someone else.

 Who taught you how to use a fork? Or ride a bike? Or say your ABC’s?

Do you remember the first time you cooked a meal on your own? When did you learn to boil water or pre-heat the oven?

If you have ever learned to drive a car with a manual transmission, I bet someone sat in the passenger’s seat right next to you and talked you through it.

There are many things that we might learn in life as a result of time in the classroom or reading a book. But many of the greatest lessons we learn in life, the most powerful transformation opportunities, come as a result of someone sitting in the seat next to us; someone who encourages us, speaks into our lives and shows us a better way.

Oprah once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

And isn’t that something that we all long for?  Hope. Hope for a future. Hope for success. Hope to reach the full potential with our talents and abilities.

Oprah was personally mentored by the great American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou. She often recounts the first great advice she ever received from her mentor.

“When you know better, you do better.”

Out of context, a simple statement like that may not seem terribly profound, or impactful. But in the context of a personal mentoring relationship, it became counsel to Oprah that changed her approach to life and set her career in motion to the success we see today.

The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple served as a mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The two developed a relationship in the early days of Facebook. In 2011 when Jobs passed away, Zuckerberg posted on his own Facebook page, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

David McMillan, Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters Alumni Association cites three powerful reasons why you should become a mentor:

1. You have the potential to change someone’s life.

2. It will get you to stop thinking about yourself all the time.

3. The life you end up changing could be your own.

Whether you are starting a business or currently a business owner, mentorship provided or received can lead to growth and success.

APEX, the Regional Innovation Network (RIN) collaborates to put their collective resources together to support and improve the development of innovation and technology among small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in our region.

Elizabeth Blair is the Regional Innovation Network Coordinator for APEX Alberta.  APEX Alberta supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta.  APEX Alberta is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College and Alberta Innovates.