Coulee Communications Blog

teach

Learning about Social Media and Marketing from Teaching

The marketing field changes every day with a new social media marketing tool, trend or fad to learn that will help our online business grow or that of our clients. Teaching the basics of social media and marketing isn’t easy but recently, I had the chance to try my hand at it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

For the past couple of months, I have been immersed in teaching social media, marketing and essential skills on the Blood Tribe Reserve as part of a partnership between Lethbridge College’s Corporate and Continuing Education centre and Blood Tribe Social Development, along with some other agencies that helped organize and fund the program.

Going into this, I was a bit intimidated. I’ve only taught social media one-on-one to a few local clients and while I have a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL/TESOL), I’ve never used it before. I did have some presentations under my belt from Lethbridge College‘s Merging Realities conference and the Lethbridge Chamber‘s Social Savvy Summit, along with my numerous BNI Platinum presentations. I was a little more confident due to my recent speaking experiences but my knees weren’t quite steady.

Thankfully, my first day went well. My students were various ages and skill levels with technology and marketing but were all eager to learn. Their desire to acquire new skills and apply themselves was inspiring. As their instructor, it was easy to feed off of the energy of the room because my students seem to enjoy what they were learning.

We started off with essential skills, which included active listening, showing confidence, some writing, and basic math skills. While these may not seem important to a social media and marketing course, I found myself constantly reflecting on these skills once we moved on. The essential skills were a backbone that made it possible to really dive into the world of marketing.

  • Active listening skills are used in customer relations, client meetings, interviews with media, and speaking with co-workers.
  • Basic math is what makes us able to understand all of the facts and figures from Facebook and Instagram Insights to Google Analytics.
  • What really made an impact on me, as a marketer, was the importance of empathy. Understand your customer’s problem, empathasize with it and solve it. This is at the core of any business or work interaction and as marketers, we sometimes want to push our product or service without considering the emotion involved or benefit to the audience.

Once we got into the real meat of the course with marketing and sales, internet marketing, social media marketing, and public relations, I found that there was a lot of correlations between the skills they were learning and the careers some of them had chosen. Most of the students were planning on going into other fields rather than marketing, yet the parallels were there, such as computer skills; the importance of copyright; and internal and external communications.

Marketing is an ever-evolving field and that’s one of the reasons why I made the switch from journalism to communications five years ago and then to a combination of social media marketing, public relations and copywriting with Coulee Communications. Now that my career has also lead me to teaching, I feel blessed for all of the opportunities I’ve been given. Here’s to many more adventures in my future! I can’t wait to see where my career in communications will take me next but my main goal is to keep writing for both myself and other businesses.

writing content that tells your story

Why don’t you blog for your business?

Blogging is time-consuming and planning out what to say to your audience can be difficult. We took a poll on our social media page, asking followers if they blog regularly for their business and if not, explain why they don’t. Only 27% said yes and 73% said no. While it was a small group that replied, many business owners are likely in the “no” column.

Here are some of their reasons why they don’t blog regularly:

  1. No time
  2. Industry compliance regulations/access
  3. Don’t know what content to share

Others commented that they do want to blog more and see the value in sharing their expertise with their customers.

Blogging does share your story, but it also has other uses. In terms of search engine optimization (SEO), blogging allows businesses to incorporate keywords into their site, which helps the website rank higher in search results. This is a long-term game so don’t expect to top the rankings list after one 200-word blog. It takes time and consistency to move up in search results.

If time and content are your biggest barriers, try hiring someone to write regular blogs for you. If you can also find a copywriter experienced in your field that understands any industry regulations, such as those in financial fields or health, even better! A copywriter should suit your needs so ask about their background and what their specialty is to see if it’s a good fit. Be sure to include keywords and a good image (see my next blog for details on why this is important).

To learn more about how Coulee Communications can write your business’ blogs, get in touch with us on our Contact Page.

Copyright matters.

Do you remember making grade school presentations when you would copy and paste whatever picture a search engine found and never worry about it? You were very likely infringing someone’s copyright. Meaning, you were using their work without paying for it or crediting them. In higher grades, we started to credit images and put them in our works cited list. We learned how terrible plagiarism was so we made sure to cite quotes properly.

Then why do we think as adults that we can just go back to using search engine results on social media? Especially as a business, copyright infringement can lead to being sued so why put your business at risk where there are so many free options such as Unsplash or Pexels?

One of the easiest things to spot on a business’ page are copyright infringed images. These might be something as simple as a holiday post or as complex as a local landmark taken by a photographer. Creatives should be paid for and credited for their work. If you don’t know the rules of copyright in your country, I recommend hiring a social media manager to take care of your business’ image for you and make sure the person or agency you hire is well versed in the rules of copyright and of the social media platforms you use.

You wouldn’t steal a photographer’s image and use it on your billboard, so why would you on your social media channel?

If you have any questions about your business’ social media pages get in touch with me at brittany@couleecommunications.ca and remember, if you’re not sure about the image usage rights, don’t post it!

“Manage my business on Facebook? I can do that… I think… Maybe…”

One of the first things I hear from business owners is yes, they do have a business page on Facebook, but when I ask the last time they updated it, there’s a long pause. If you’re not updating your page, you aren’t doing yourself any favours.

Did you know that Facebook searches for products and services are climbing every day? Google is still a top contender, but how many times do you see a friend’s post asking for a recommendation for a hair salon, a veterinarian, or a plumber? Facebook communities are a way for recommendations to fly quickly and freely, and if you’re not in the mix, opportunities can pass you by.

People love Facebook! According to HubSpot, in 2015, 70% of users log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day. Those numbers are obviously higher two years later, which begs the question, why aren’t more businesses active on their social media accounts? It’s simple, social media takes time.

It can be difficult to plan a strategy, log on, create posts, reply to comments and messages, and make sure you aren’t being roasted on top of all of that, while also running your business. I completely get that.

While it isn’t easy, posting a few times a week should be a top priority. If you don’t have the time or a dedicated team member that can take care of that for you, I would love to meet with you and see how I can help.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017!

With the first full work week of the year half over (for most of us), it’s time to start seriously planning out marketing strategies.

What are your business goals for this year? May it’s an increase in sales, or keeping up on industry trends, or expanding to a new location.

Whatever your goals are, it’s your customers that make these dreams a reality. Creating a relationship with them helps retain customers and keeps them coming back. We all know this, but are we practicing it?

There are so many forms of customer retention, but of course, I’m referring to interacting with them on social media. If you’re a business, your clientele is pretty much guaranteed to be using some form of social media, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, or one of the many other platforms available. Creating conversation with people online makes them feel like they know you and creates a virtual or real closeness depending on the person.

So in 2017, maybe try a new customer retention strategy and create a Facebook page for your business or share what you’ve been doing on Instagram.

If you’re not sure how to do it, ask a professional to set one up. Protecting your brand and helping it grow is your business’ lifeblood.

Feel free to email brittany@couleecommunications.ca or call 403.360.1940 to see how Coulee Communications can help you get started.

Facebook and Instagram booming in Lethbridge and area

Social media is not just for the “youngsters” and hasn’t been for quite some time. This means more opportunities for businesses like yours to reach customers from all walks of life and interact them.

A quick search in Facebook Ads of Lethbridge and area (+80 km radius) shows a potential reach of 83,000 people over the age of 18 through Facebook. Per day, 1,500 – 3,900 of these people are active on the site. Crazy right? Facebook in our area is widely used and people sign on multiple times a day.

We have numerous local interest groups and pages related to everything from pets to knitting to roast and toast groups. With such an active Facebook audience, it just makes sense for local businesses to engage with the public through a platform they’re already using.

Meanwhile, Instagram has 26,000 users in the area, with a daily reach of 1,200 – 3,100 people. That’s no small number either.

Another great feature of Facebook ads is you can specify your target audience to whatever radius you want, age range, gender, language, even their interests listed on their profile. Best of all, tracking your results is easy.

Whether you’re interested in ads or social media engagement, there are thousands of potential customers you could be reaching through Facebook and Instagram each day!

Fill out our contact form here, or email brittany@couleecommunications.ca to set up a meeting and learn more about we can help you grow your business through Facebook and Instagram – platforms your customers are already using daily!

Let me introduce myself

Do you run a small to medium sized business? Are you trying to get your name out there on social media, but just don’t have the time to sign on to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and all of the other social media platforms every day?

Well, that’s where I come in.

Hi, I’m Brittany! I’m a communications professional and former journalist with several years of experience in representing both private and public businesses on social media.

As your Web 2.0 representative, I manage all of your social media accounts and pitch online marketing campaign ideas to help you grow your business and retain customers – and followers.

Give me a call or email me to set up a free consultation to see how you can reach your target audience through social media management!

403.360.1940

brittany@couleecommunications.ca

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My trip to Italy last summer, as you can tell I loved it, especially seeing Capri!