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Small business owners, especially those businesses with under 10 employees, find it extremely difficult to justify the time on social media because it doesn’t lead to predictable, measurable cost savings or revenue.
Social media and content marketing is about becoming an engaging resource for your customers. What’s the yield of a relationship? If you can figure out what a relationship is worth in revenue dollars, you should be blogging about it.
The truth is, we can’t. Not exactly at least. But we know people buy from people they know, like, and trust and that’s why it’s important to invest time in building these connections and affections.
Finding that time is easier said than done. Still here are a couple of suggestions on how to carve out some time to increase your efforts on social media.
Keep Content Handy
The first thing you’ll need is a place to keep content you find. Not all content will be applicable for sharing the moment you come across it. We’ve all seen people on Twitter who post 10 tweets at a time and figure they are done for the day. It is better to deal out your posts at multiple times than all at once. Often you’ll find content that you’ll want to share later so select a system in which you can easily access your content gems in the future.
Upload content to DropBox, use Evernote, or keep a notepad handy (paper or electronic). Doesn’t matter if you keep fortune cookie messages in a shoe box. Never let what you deem to be a valuable piece of content escape. Keep it somewhere handy and build a cache of it.
Find a Scheduler You Like
There are many options to help you pre-schedule posts. Scheduling is important because you can’t spend your whole day posting, nor do you want to be that person who bombards others with a firehose worth of content once a day.
Find a scheduler you’re comfortable with. Many systems allow you to control when you post and often give you the ability to do it several days out. One of the most basic is Buffer. It allows you to schedule across multiple platforms. It offers a free and paid version, but even the paid is only about $10 a month.
The most popular is Hootsuite, and while I use it occasionally because it offers greater capabilities than Buffer, I do prefer Buffer’s minimalist design. Hootsuite’s interface is busy but allows you to monitor in real time. If you’re developing relationships, this is a powerful ability to have.
I’m not telling you to turn off the TV when you get home, but there is no reason if you’re “vegging out” that you can’t use that time to schedule a few posts for the next day. Don’t let mindless tasks, like television watching, steal your productivity.
We all have moments where we’re waiting – before doctor’s appointments, before meetings, on the phone, while the kids finish up with practice, you get the idea. Many of us fill this time with other mindless tasks like scanning pictures of our friends’ pets on Facebook. Instead, use this time to be productive by finding content, scheduling it, or responding to people on social media. I am a firm believer in scheduling posts but the interacting cannot be scheduled, so use this stolen time to reach out and connect with people.
Look for Content Everywhere
Content ideas are everywhere – airplane magazines, overheard conversations, commercials, popular TV shows, as well as all over social media. Use the many messages that bombard you daily to find gems you’d like to share. Retweets are only the beginning.
Along that line, take pictures of everything that moves you and some ordinary things that don’t. Pictures you take can be used in blogs, memes, and image quotes without concern over cost or copyright. Links with pics are more likely to get shared and clicked. Encourage staff to do the same.
You don’t need huge chunks of time to make connections on social media. The key to success in this area is the same in most business- or relationship-building. Give people what they want/find valuable; do so without expectation. Become a resource for them and help them. Be consistent in your efforts so they know they can count on you. This take minutes a day. Schedule good content and steal time for interacting. Then watch your relationships grow as people share your resources with others.
-Christina R. Green
Wouldn’t it be great to join a free trade agreement with
12 countries in the world’s fastest growing region—
one that covers 40% of the world’s GDP and one-third
of global trade?
The Peterson Institute for International Economic
estimates that by 2025, the Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) could boost Canadian incomes by an additional
$10 billion per year and raise global incomes by $295
billion per year. Given our challenge with exports and
a slowing economy, who wouldn’t want that?
However, the problem is that TPP is very ambitious. It
would be the largest regional trade deal ever and
would set a new standard for what trade agreements
One of the fundamental challenges of trade agreements
is that it’s easy to point to the industries or companies
that struggle with new competition because they’re so
vocal. We hear a lot less about who will benefit and
who will gain new export deals five years into the
future. Canada’s trade with the United States has
quadrupled since we signed NAFTA, but nobody
could have predicted which companies would flourish.
Some benefits are clear: the high import tariffs paid by
Canadian exporters of meat, grain, oil seeds, seafood
and certain forest products will drop significantly.
Over 65% of Canada’s agricultural exports go to TPP
countries. The TPP could double beef sales to Japan.
But for other industries, tariffs aren’t a big deal
because they’re already low after years of trade
liberalization. For them, the big barriers to trade come
from a complicated web of regulations and red tape,
like inconsistent customs procedures or regulations
that don’t let companies send business data back to
Canada. Companies are also worried about risks to
their investments and intellectual property and about
having to compete with companies that have an unfair
advantage because of subsidies or weak environmental
and labour standards. By tackling these problems, the
TPP will significantly improve the business
environment for Canadian financial services,
manufacturing, natural resources and high-tech
The stakes are even higher because the 12 members of
TPP are just the beginning. Everyone hopes the TPP
will expand, bringing in countries like the Philippines
South Korea, Thailand and, eventually, China. An
expanded membership would boost Canadian incomes
by $26 billion and global incomes by $1.9 trillion
annually. With all these massive traders, the TPP
would be the new rulebook for global commerce.
That’s why we were so excited about last week’s
meeting in Maui. The TPP could have been the biggest
trade agreement sealed anywhere in the world in the
past 20 years. But the deal failed to close because of
disagreements, notably on dairy, sugar, automobiles
We shouldn’t point fingers because every country has
its sensitive areas. And it’s harder for politicians,
particularly now that Canada and the United States are
going into election season.
That’s why it’s more important than ever that
Canadian business and Canada’s chambers of
commerce raise their voices to say that free trade will
help us win more deals, make us wealthier and help us
create better, higher-paying jobs. Our future depends
on it, so let’s keep trying.
-Hendrik Brakel, CCC
Here at the Chamber, we are gearing up for a VERY busy September.
In partnership with our Ambassadors, we are hosting our very first Wedding Expo & Fashion Show. Those in the industry, or soon-to-be married, should not miss this!
Another special event we're hosting in September is a pre-election forum which will be moderated by no-nonsense news veterans Phil Johnson & Gord Vizzuti. We will have a few business-related questions for the candidates, and attendees will also have an opportunity to pose questions! To read what happened at the first leaders debate, click here.
We would also like to remind everyone to conserve water wherever and whenever you can as Okanagan has officially been declared at a Drought level 4, the driest rating. Further declines in stream, lake and aquifer levels could lead to water shortages and affect people, industry such as agriculture, wildlife and fish stocks.
For a list of all of our upcoming events, click here.
When Canadians go to the polls on Monday October 19, some results from this summer’s two major economic earthquakes will be known to us. Or at least, more clear.
Greece: Is it still in the Euro community after the July emergency meetings? Did August see it go back to drachmas and a more local economy? It is currently insolvent with 26 per cent unemployment, and a debt to GDP ratio of 180 per cent, despite the last-hour agreement with the EEC in mid-July.
China: shares have dropped more than 30 per cent since June. US$340 billion has been lent out by brokers for stock purchases, and the downturn is forcing shareholders to sell to cover losses. Share prices would be even lower except the government halted trading in 1,300 companies and directed state-owned financial institutions to buy shares.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognizes that many factors are contributing to uncertainty in the economic landscape, at home and abroad.
BC’s economy continues to be robust compared to many other jurisdictions in Canada. But we need to strengthen both it, and our Canadian economy, and to this end, the Canadian Chamber is calling on all federal candidates to take action with practical solutions in four areas: Access to a powerful workforce, Access to capital, Access to technology and innovation and Access to markets.
Federal parties must make it an essential to invest in transportation infrastructure, strengthen export and international tourism promotion services, tackle internal trade barriers, and streamline regulatory processes around natural resources.
We are committed to competing – and winning. We must invest in our local economy, and invest in our young people. Here at the Kelowna Chamber, we have now spent one full year introducing new, remarkably far-reaching innovative programs to entice, and retain, young people as they emerge from education into their business lives right here in the central Okanagan.
Developing local wealth and opportunities means we can pay for new technologies here at home, and produce income streams to pay for the education, infrastructure, health care and other advantages valued by Canadians.
The upcoming election is a unique opportunity to shape a Canada that is stronger, more economically stable and more competitive. A Canada that wins.
Potential leaders will have to explain how they will make Canada work between now and October 19. We’re helping that process by hosting a Federal Candidates Roundtable Breakfast September 25, which will air on valley radio and be well-attended by our members, who will arrive questions in hand.
We’ll all have questions; it will be an enlightening exercise in democracy to hear the answers. And to know how our candidates are planning to repair the economic cracks that continue to appear world-wide, especially in Greece and China, but most importantly, here at home.
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