Tag Archives: Social Media


Marketing Workshop Presented by SAHMedia & Women in Biz Network

Last fall I had a wonderful time organizing the Women in Biz Network’s first event in Vancouver.  It was a great success due to our amazing speakers Heather White and Rebecca Bollwitt.  Since then I have been working towards ensuring that we have much more to encourage Vancouverites to join WIBN and provide the type of events that people want.  The next Vancouver event is amazingly sold out already.  On April 12th, we have the pleasure of presenting and evening with author and speaker, Danielle LaPorte at the Opus Hotel.

However, I do have another event coming up on May 5th. This will be a workshop format.   I have had a few people asking me about the ins and outs of YouTube and I was frankly not to sure on the marketing aspect of this, but being that YouTube is HUGE, I knew I had to find people that DID know about it all and could help.  And that I did.

On May 5th between 9 am and noon at the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown we are presenting four amazing speakers who will get you and your business ready for the cyber screen.

Next Level Brand Marketing with Video Internet Radio and YouTube  wants to give you a visual edge over your competitor and  help you engage and speak face to face with your potential customers/clients.  Our speakers will be able to take you through every step to get you ready to shine above your competition.

Christine Till Portraits025FINISHED_PRINTINGChristine Till is with Practical Podcasting. Christine’s goal is to help small business find their unique position in the marketplace through the use of podcasting.  She has 20 + years of marketing experience was a business consultant with the Fraser Valley College and taught marketing and business there. She specializes in podcasting and public speaking. She teaches people how to use podcasting to build relationships with their clients.


Mick HeadshotMick Lolekonda is the driving force behind Red Sneakers Mediaworks.  Red Sneakers believes that people have natural gifts that they can leverage to not only lead fulfilling and meaningful lives on their own terms, but to also make a difference in other people’s lives around the world.  They believe that these people and their businesses are worth promoting because the world needs to know they exist.


Pamela WisePamela  Wise of Personal Brand Stories.  Pamela Wise is a triple threat expert: marketing people for the screen, lifestyle advertising and the boardroom.  As a talent agent for print and TV, and acting coach specializing in auditioning, she has matched hundreds of people and brands.  In social media our client want to connect with us more then ever thru video and images.  As we emerge from behind our logos, understanding our personal brand and how what we are projecting is paramount to building solid and successful business relationships.

Jaeny Baik says learning how to be great on camera is a crucial life skill that goes beyond video. She’s experienced it herself. As a former CBC TV host and seasoned journalist, Jaeny worked 10 years at the CBC as a host, reporter and producer.  Her first TV program, “Living Winnipeg” won a prestigious Gracie Allen Award from New York City. When she took the hosting helm at “Living Vancouver” viewership shot up by 40%. Jaeny also spent years helping to produce million dollar film shoots for advertising commercials. She knows what to say and how to say it with fun and impact! Jaeny now coaches on-camera performance, creates online video strategy and web videos for businesses through Jaeny Baik Media,http://www.JaenyBaik.com


As the Vancouver Director for Women in Biz Network, I want to keep doing more events and workshops.  I urge you to take a look at their membership page and sign up.  Businesses are more successful when we can network and support each other.  WIBN is a great organization for that.   They are also on their second year of their two day conference in Toronto and it would be fabulous to have a similar conference here in Vancouver for us West Coasters.  They key to social media is engagement and that is why I am passionate about organizations like the WIBN and the networking and educational opportunities they allow.




hootsuie owl

Hoots or Tweets?

Social media and social networking are all about getting YOU out there. The challenge for many social media users today is how best to juggle the many multiples you’s out there and do it in a coherent manner that makes sense to you and to your network.   Multiple personality disorders of the tech kind are an issue many of us face when dealing with multiple accounts on the various social networks.

Thank goodness for the sharp minds who quickly realized this and for Twitter users, developed Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Both are free platforms. Both have their fans.  Myself, I prefer Hootsuite over Tweetdeck.  I like the interface better and the layout.  Tweetdeck feels a bit clunky to me when managing multiple accounts or streams.  Not to mention the white writing on black…what the hell people!

Why multiple accounts you ask?  Well for people like me who not only have more than one website that I want to network, I also manage other Twitter and Facebook accounts for individuals and also companies.   Hootsuite and Tweetdeck let me manage them easily on one page…from monitoring to scheduling tweets.

The free versions of both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck have lots of customizable options for you to use when setting things up to suit your needs.  The free Hootsuite allows you to have five social profiles or streams.  I upgraded to the Hootsuite Pro because I thought that being a “professional” social media gal I could use the extra analytics, reports and streams.

For $5.99 a month, I can’t complain too much.  Mind you, I have hardly used their analytical abilities and have instead been playing with sites like Sprout Social which have much to offer when it comes to USEFUL analytics.   That said, I have though run into a bit of an issue with Hootsuite and I can’t seem to get it resolved.   It isn’t a HUGE deal, but is annoying none the less.

One of my clients was already using Hootsuite before I began managing their social media account and already has a team member, thus using up their freebies.  Because of this I cannot access their account.  and thus cannot use Hootsuite to manage their Twitter stream.  Again, this is annoying in a first world problem sort of way, but nevertheless annoying for a professional attempting to manage multiple social media streams.

I have contacted Hootsuite support and been told that either my client or I need to upgrade so that the client can me make a team member.  I don’t think either of us want to pay $15 a month for this.   I have a feeling that their support and I are talking at cross purposes.

Here’s my bigger issue: With Hootsuite Pro you can have one team member assigned who can manage your accounts.  If you require more team members you have to pay $15 a month extra for each subsequent team player.  From where I see things paying two times more to addONEteam member seems a tad excessive to me and too rich for my blood.  Leaping from $6 bucks a month to $20 for one issue is a bit of a leap for me and probably for many people.  Worse still, after their inexpensive pro plan, the leap to the mystical Hootsuite Enterprise Plan is even further away.  Stratospherically far away, to an astonishing $1,499 a month! (Though apparently they give you a degree inHootsuiteUniversityor something.)

Right now I am working around the problem (for free).  I am concerned for the future because as a growing business, I can see this becoming a bigger issue as I manage more and more social media streams.  And, as a growing SMALL business, I don’t have the capital to be chucking a lot of money for too many of these ‘helpful’ social tools.  Like much in the world of social media, I find the need to constantly explore and reexamine the tools available.  This constant research is time consuming. and can put off people who are trying to be a part of and use social media for their own needs.

What I find with so many social media applications is that they are developed by people who are not fully immersed in the real world.   So much software doesn’t get tested out in practical business situations, especially for smaller business purposes, to see just how useful they really are.   Also,  the developers of many ‘free’ applications need to find means to monetize their program without losing followers and often lose sight of the common challenges facing their target audience of users.  We have gotten so used to free software and free applications, that our spoiled selves really do need some good salesmanship to convince us to actually (gasp) pay to use a product.

Still, it doesn’t stop me grumbling about things.


First published at Women in Biz Network.

Getting the Most out of Linkedin

I wrote this post for Women in Biz Network.  I have been trying to cover the various platforms and aspects of social media……

When I first signed up with Linkedin, I felt very stupid and very unworthy.   Here am I, a mere blogger with a pathetic resume….a resume that I really did NOT enjoy inputting into my Linkedin profile…put it all out there for people toSEE.  People who I thought I really should be trying to impress.  Needless to say, I did not do much with my Linkedin profile and it took me a while to see the benefits and best uses for the network.

Why the fear?  Linkedin is set up so you really do have to ASK to be connected to someone.  You can’t “connect” with someone you don’t know.  You HAVE to be introduced.  As soon as you click on that ‘I don’t know’ button, you are asked for an email – if you don’t know the person – how do you know their email?  This drives me nuts. For me, and many others, it kills the whole point of the network.  You can ‘INMAIL’ someone to ask to connect, but that service will cost you extra, and when starting out on networks, the majority of us prefer not paying until we know we like a network.  The having to know a person or having to be introduced via someone else you do know on Linkedin can defeat the whole purpose of business focused networking.

Suffice it to say, it takes a bit more finesse in building up your connections on Linkedin.  I used my Facebook and Twitter connections to build out Linkedin.  I focused on mostly local people who were involved in areas that I was interested in career wise.   My ‘in real life’ networking group made this job far easier.  Connecting with someone you have met at an event is like getting that golden ticket for Linkedin connection building.

What I have learned is that business focused networking is different from social networking.  Social networking can be used for business, but Linkedin works best when kept purely as a BUSINESS networking tool, in my opinion anyway.  Thus, I do not have my twitter stream on Linkedin.  This was trial and error for me.  I had to grow into the services available on Linkedin.  The more I was focused on career and networking building the better and more useful I have found it.

I have not been offered my dream job as of yet via Linkedin.  I do love their job boards.  Linkedin has helped me rethink and rejig my resume and reading other profiles gives me a great help in seeing how to market myself, my business and my skills.  My profile is something that I am constantly tweaking.  Getting to see how someone who IS in a position you crave or admire presents themselves online is a great teaching tool.

Another great feature is their groups. There are groups and lively discussions on almost any topic you can think about.  It pays to be a part of these discussions as this is precisely what builds those connections and enables you to find more people.  I have met potential speakers and people willing to share their knowledge on various topics I was interested in.  Networking equals knowledge.  Knowledge equals opportunities.

Their events page came in handy and for me really showed the power of the platform.  That and their ad network, however the ads can be pricey.   I posted the Women in Biz Vancouver event there and I did receive a fair bit of interest.  It definitely helped open up my marketing to a wider audience that was not just my own networking circle.

The more focused you are on your business and business networking, the better a social media tool Linkedin can be.  It is not another Twitter or Facebook.  While potential employers can find you anywhere online, the first thing they probably will look at is your Linked in profile.  Make sure that it projects the right image that you want to project to them.  Think about that when you are posting, think about that when you want to connect your Twitter stream or blog posts.  Do your personal blogs or tweets belong on your professional profile?  Do they match your professional image?  Linkedin takes a bit more care and upkeep than other social platforms.   I find it is best to treat it like business and the rest as fun.  Linkedin is work.  Twitter is afterwork with your coworkers for drinks.




Women in Biz Network

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of striking up a conversation with Leigh Mitchell the founder of the Women in Biz Network.  Women in Biz is a Toronto based network that offers their members various networking and enrichment opportunities both online and off.

I really liked Leigh’s passion for networking and community building and her idea that connecting women and the many women’s networking organizations out there is key to developing a strong basis for entrepreneurship.   When women work together. When we reach out and help another women…..it makes us all stronger and better, no matter our fields of interest.

Our conversation led to her ideas for Vancouver and she asked if I was interested in helping setting up a Women in Biz Network event here.  I said yes.

I am thrilled that I was able to help out with this project.  I will say right away, that I could not have done this without the power of networking. Because of the various organizations like Enterprising Moms Network and Momcafe and tools like Twitter and Facebook, I would never have been able to get such great speakers as we do.

On November 1st at the lovely Opus Hotel in Yaletown, we will have Rebecca Bollwitt of Miss604 fame and the equally amazing Heather White of Ghost CEO and 2020 Communications.   Rebecca is one of the most well known bloggers -about-town in Vancouver.    She has built up her Miss604 brand  and made it work for her and her business.   I follow her on Twitter and have met her at a few events.   In Vancouver, she is a social media mover and shaker.

I first heard Heather White speak at a Ghost CEO seminar.   Boy does she wake you up!  If she could bottle up and market the energy and passion she puts into business ownership, well we would perhaps all be as successful as she is.

For our event, I have asked them to speak about brand building.   Online and off, creating a strong marketable brand is key to building your business.  Social media networks are all about brands…be it your own or your businesses.    Creating an image that works in both mediums is key.    The ladies are going to focus on online brand building.

I do hope you all sign up!

This is an evening event….and we want to have fun.  We will have wine and appetizers and there is a rumor of swag bags too!!


Big Business Sees the Power of the ‘Mom Blogger’

Mom Blogging is the ultimate in networking and community building. Corporations, and PR companies saw this rather quickly and swooped down.  Thus the mom ‘review’ blogger was born.

I am currently working with a PR firm that’s slogan is ‘Influencing the Influencers.’  That is what it is all about.  Mom bloggers and review bloggers have networks and communities of people who trust what they have to say.

Mommy Perks does an amazing job explaining the power of social media based on the these ‘influencers.’  Social Media is about finding your market and becoming PART of it.   Not preaching TO it.  Not SELLING to it…but making people aware enough in a positive way so that your brand name and product or service is what is forefront on their minds.

For example.  The other day my husband was upset that he had lost a coupon for Banana Republic…one of his favorite stores.  I went on Twitter and asked if anyone had any online coupons…and bingo…people on my Twitter Feed came forward with a variety of choices.   Social Networking helping out and making sure Banana Republic didn’t lose a customer and a sale.

Another great example of corporations using Twitter was when I was asking about the quickest place that I could get passport photos for my kids.   London Drugs tweeted me about their hours of service.  That was where I went.

Hallmark Canada is working with Crunchy Carpets at the moment in a purely brand awareness campaign.  I share my thoughts and the kids thoughts on the variety of Hallmark products, share links and the images.

The Disney Store asked some of us local bloggers to a sneak preview of the newly re-launched Disney Store at Metrotown in Burnaby.  I was told by readers of my blog that it was because of my post alone that they decided to go check it out.

Disney Cruise Lines has asked Crunchy Carpets to travel on the Disney Wonder on it’s journey from Vancouver to Alaska in May.   Again, to share my experiences with this incredible brand that from what I have seen is very conscious of building relationships with the influencer’s.

Brand awareness doesn’t have to include giveaways and reviews.  Advertising on blogs costs the fraction of the price it does in main stream media.

Because of the experience that both Crunchy Carpets and A Lot of Loves has with our blogs and social networking, we feel that we can truly help out any business – small or large – to build strong community and relationships online, through blogging, SEO, Twitter, etc.


Brand Building & Social Media

When I started blogging about 5 years ago, it was a dizzying world to enter.    There was finding the right platform to blog on, learning HTML (no matter what anyone says – you need some idea of how it works), learning about FTP, about Page Ranks, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Analytics, SEO, Key Words…the list goes on.

Some things you needed to learn to just get your blog off the ground (or get help from the ‘professionals’).  Others have shown up along the way.  Other things are more to do with getting people to visit your blog, which really is the whole purpose of a blog.   For some, it goes further still.  The term ‘monetize’ soon sprang into being.   Everyone was talking about whether to ‘monetize’ or not.  Ways to do this have ranged from advertising on the blogs, to pay-per-post, hidden links, sponsored posts, the list goes on.

Cyberspace was filled with people selling quick fix ways to ‘monetize’ or easy ways to drive traffic to your blog.   Most of this was technical. Most of it was to do with code and maximizing the system that Google basically controls when it comes to search engine rankings.

Nothing much was said about content.

So, the bloggers who blogged for the sheer love of writing.  The bloggers who were true writers plodded along and their popularity grew and so did their Page Ranks and their Page Views and so on.

Content.  Content was what drew the readers to these sites.  Good quality content.   There are no special codes to make a good writer.

The good writers of the blogging world have managed to control the quality of the content out there and the big push for cheap and easy monetization seems to have died down a bit.

This is partly due to the new(er) kids on the block.  Social Media platforms and what is now called microblogging.  This term comes from the fact that platforms like Twitter only give you 140 characters to use per post.

Twitter and Facebook have become the place where you build your brand.

A brand is more than your Nike’s or Coca Cola’s of the world.  Your social media presence is now your brand.  Or your brand is now your social media presence.

Case in point. Crunchy Carpets – my own blog – does not have HUGE stats.  My Page Rank is only a four.   But what IS big is my brand.

Crunchy Carpets is a fun and unique name.  It gets attention.   Anywhere the name is mentioned or listed…it makes people wonder, or chuckle.  On Twitter, this has been a big draw to getting new followers.

People know my brand.  People includes moms, marketers and corporations.  My brand is why people ask me to do reviews, work with them on blogger campaigns and pay for advertising.

Twitter helped people get to know the Crunchy Carpets brand.  Twitter also helps people find my blogs.

Social Media is Brand Building.

Platforms like Twitter allow you to reach out instead of just waiting for people to find you.    If you follow the right people….the right people will follow you and that means eyes on your brand, product or message.

Inc.com, my new favorite online magazine has great article on getting the most out of your social media and making it work for you.

Maximizing platforms like Twitter and Facebook do take a bit of effort.   There are lots of case studies on how NOT to use Twitter.  The best thing about social media is there are loads of people who will very quickly tell you if you are doing it wrong!

If you want to build your online brand, SAHMedia can help.   Myself and the many bloggers I work with are now old hands at social media. We keep up with the ever changing playing field.  We know how to reach out.  We know WHO to reach out to.

Let SAHMedia build your brand.