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Posts Tagged ‘Social networking’


Women in Business: Striking a Balance Between Entrepreneurship and Motherhood

May 19th, 2010 :: Monika Jansen
If you’re lucky, every once in a while you meet someone who totally changes your life.  Staci LaRue is just one of those people.  As a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer who specializes in Pilates, Staci helps lots of people change by helping them live healthier, more balanced, and less stressed lives.  She changed mine in a big way after a consultation this past winter.  After 17½ years of being a vegetarian, I did a 180˚: I started eating meat and stopped eating soy and wheat (not as hard as I thought it would be!).  Because LaRue Wellness is such a niche business, and because Staci manages to balance the demands of running a new business with being a wife and mom to a toddler, I wanted to share her story with you.
 

 

Staci LaRue

Staci LaRue

As 2009 was coming to an end I realized that as much as I was enjoying motherhood, I also enjoyed my career as a fitness and nutrition professional.  My former office space only allowed me to hold nutrition appointments, and I really wanted to add the personal training component back to my client programs.  I needed to expand, and the only way it made sense financially was to do it on my own.  LaRue Wellness unofficially launched in January 2010, but thanks to Mother Nature’s snow generosity things didn’t really get going until February.  

I like being in control of my client relationships, scheduling, and having everything I want and need in my space to create the perfect atmosphere for wellness.  As great as being your own boss is, it also adds some extra pressure and schedule demands, even more so for a one woman operation like mine.  It is always a challenge to find time for client emails, accounting duties and maintenance, along with all the requirements of mommy hood.  It’s a hard balance but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love the challenge and being my own boss keeps me busy and I think makes me a better mom and role model.  

Spreading the Word

Thus far I have done a little social networking on Facebook, but the rest has been word of mouth. I have been blessed with some great clients who have helped me spread the word about my new business.

Growing and Changing

My goal is to maintain the balance of being a mom and wife while continuing to help my clients become and stay healthy.  In the immediate future, I would like do more corporate and group wellness programs.  So far I have only had one corporate client for a 5 week weight loss workshop, which was a success.  I have also hired an evening trainer who can utilize my facility while I am home being mom, which will help LaRue Wellness grow.

Advice for the New Business Owner

Set realistic goals, make time for your home/personal life, and don’t forget to pack a lunch!

As told to Monika Jansen via email

How to Leverage Facebook for Inbound Marketing Success

April 15th, 2010 :: Steven Fisher
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

As we continue our monthly theme of Inbound Marketing we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about Facebook. If you are on the web and do anything social networking related, you have probably heard of Facebook.

It started out as a social network for college students and then opened up to corporations and then to the general public. Over time they opened up their back-end and launched the F8 developers platform and the gold rush of games and all kinds of applications launched.

This was the catalyst for millions of people who never considered getting on a social network before. I will be that you probably have a Facebook profile and you might have even let your mom be your friend (if you are on Facebook you will get the joke). You can probably guess that the impact of Facebook is staggering but I will bet you don’t know the real size and reach of this social network that seems to be a place some people live and play (even while at work). Here are some basic stats from their site:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 60 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month
  • More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans

Yeah, that is pretty impressive isn’t it? This is why this is the new tool for marketers to leverage and create an outpost for their inbound marketing activities. While I could write a book on Facebook (and many people have) there are a few things that you should be familiar with as you explore Facebook and incorporate it into your inbound marketing strategy.

Facebook Groups

The concept of groups have been around for a long time and they are a basic way to gather people together. Groups have an advantage in that any group member can send out “bulk invites” to their friends which means that this is better for growth via viral marketing. You can message your members via a private message and you can host a discussion and use the wall like you can do with a fan page (more on fan pages in a minute). However, you can’t get statistics, use social ads (more on that in minute too) or create related events or invitations.

Bottom Line Use: Groups are generally better for hosting active discussions and getting attention quickly.

Fan Pages

Fan Pages are the most popular feature on Facebook because of a primary function that it has over any other function on Facebook – fan pages are visible to everyone, even unregistered vistors and are indexed by Google. Yes, that is sweet and fantastic for reputation management. Facebook pages also let you use vanity URLs – CAVEAT: These vanity URLs can only be set once and you can’t change it once you set it. The allow for inclusion of Facebook applications, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about Facebook apps. You can message all members via updates, get statistics, create events and promote the page with social ads.

So you have probably deduced that this is your home page on Facebook and people are creating pages for companies, products, celebrities and just about any brand or wanna-be brand that is looking to build a community around it.

Bottom Line Use: You can see that fan pages are fantastic for building long-term relationships with fans, readers, customers and anyone else that you want to connect with.

Ads

While advertising has been in social networks forever, it is how many social networks business models operate. However, with the growth of the F8 developer platform and the incredible growth of its use base it is really a self-contained ecosystem. This means that people can run ads within Facebook to advertise their pages (and any other web page) within Facebook.

The advantage of these “Social Ads” is that from your profile they know everything you let them know (age, gender, religion, interests, relationship status, location) which makes advertising super-accurate and with ongoing attention, better results than almost every other type of advertising.

Bringing it “Back to the Hub”

As you work through your inbound marketing strategy think about how this content outpost can help your business. This can bring people to your site and be the place they discover you and your brand. What I want to emphasize is that one tool is not better than the other and your organization could use all three of these or just one but at the very least I would recommend that you sign up for one and begin experimenting. But take note, you need to have dedicated resources to participate and update the site.

Are You Utilizing Facebook?

Are any of you readers out there using Facebook Groups, Fan Pages or Social Ads in your current social media strategy? We would love to hear your perspective and experiences to share with our readers.

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Social Networking Etiquette 101: 5 Ways to Mind Your Manners While Online

December 2nd, 2009 :: Monika Jansen
When I first joined Facebook, I got a friend request from a total stranger.  Turns out she was a “2nd”, aka, the friend of a friend.  That’s really ballsy, I thought, but I wasn’t totally surprised.  It’s happened to all of us.  While having a total stranger follow you on Twitter is flattering, LinkedIn and Facebook are a bit more intimate.  Being approached by a stranger on those sites is kind of stalker-ish.  Needless to say, I blocked the person who tried to “friend” me.

I do wonder, though, why social networking causes so much mindless behavior.  Perhaps it’s because we’re in a rush, or perhaps we’re just trying to stay active on all those social networking sites, or perhaps it’s because some of us were raised by wolves in the outback.  Most of just really want more connections on LinkedIn and more followers on Twitter.  Whatever the reason, though, gazillions of people out there don’t think before they type…or click…or send friend requests.

So, here you go: 5 ways to mind your manners while online.

  1. Don’t automatically subscribe someone to your e-marketing or e-newsletter program.  Engage with that person first, then ask if they’d like to be added to your distribution list.  And be sure that instructions for unsubscribing are clearly stated somewhere in your email.
  2. Do not attempt to “friend” someone on Facebook or connect with someone on LinkedIn unless you personally know them.  If you’d like to meet them, figure out someone you have in common and ask for an introduction.  If that fails, email them through Facebook and introduce yourself.
  3. Don’t ignore attempts to connect.  Respond to someone’s note with a note of your own and suggest an alternative way to connect.  However, if you don’t even know the person (see above), go ahead and block them.
  4. If you are attempting to connect with someone you only met briefly, remind that person how you know each other.
  5. Don’t attempt to connect two business acquaintances, colleagues, or friends without a heads up to both people.  Fair warnings are always appreciated.

If you have any other etiquette tips, email me at [email protected]. If I receive enough suggestions, I’ll write them up in a future blog post.