DIY Digital Marketing

7 To-Dos for Every Entrepreneur

This Thursday, I had the opportunity to present a workshop at SVI Women in Vancouver, a three-day conference dedicated to women committed to social change in business.

Here’s the presentation in case you’d like to see it. As always, the best part of any presentation isn’t what I’m saying or showing but the active participation with, and among, the attendees.

For a sense of what we discussed in person, jump below the slides.

A few of the questions that I can remember are:

  • Should I be on Twitter?
    Only if your business goals include reaching an audience active on that network AND you have the resources to commit to daily engagement.
  • When is the best time to post on my social networks?
    Depends—there are lots of studies that can give you general guidelines, but you should experiment with when your particular audience is most active and likely to see your posts in their stream. But here are a few great infographics to start: The Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Networks and The Science of Social Timing.
  • What can I do to protect my intellectual property on Pinterest?
    Tough one—only you can decide if it’s worth the risk of posting content on Pinterest. Some creative are watermarking images to highlight copyright ownership, but is that enough? Check out Creators Against Pinterest to see what other artists think.

The most divided opinions centered on who should be handling social media for your organization: I maintain that this isn’t a task that you want to delegate to either interns or outside agencies.

After all, you’re using social media to build critical relationships with customers, partners and stakeholders. Entrust the task to those who are invested in your organization, closest to your brand and clear about evolving business goals.

Unfortunately, interns and even agencies come and go—when they leave, you’ll have to start over again.

But that’s just my opinion and there were folks in the workshop who’d had excellent experiences using interns and outside experts, including Denise Taschereau of Fairware.

And that’s the best lesson: what works for me may not make sense for you. There’s never been a single formula for success, especially not in the fast-paced arena digital media.

Vancouver’s hungry for open dialogue on media and ethncity

Me in Media: The Team
Photo credit: Jeremy Lim

Last Tuesday, the United Nations Association in Canada and Schema Magazine co-hosted Me in Media, a public town hall to explore how we can make Vancouver a more inclusive city through media.

CoopCulture helped sponsor the event and, as its Director of Online Media, I put together the social media strategy to promote this free event.

As always, it’s gratifying to see an event come together after months of patient planning over coffee, Skype calls, phone calls and Google Docs.

But most importantly, it’s invigorating to be in a room filled with likeminded people who are passionate about the same thing that drives us to volunteer our time: how we can use media to make positive change.

Over the course of two hours, people sent out 352 tweets that included the event’s hashtag, #meinmedia, and we became a trending topic in Vancouver.

Screenshot of Trendsmap showing trending topics in Vancouver

Five days after the event, the number of total tweets has risen to 661. In fact, the most recent 50 tweets have reached 20, 453 people and produced 47,707 impressions according to TweetReach.

Screenshot of Tweetreach, showing reach of most recent 50 tweets for #meinmedia

 

The numbers show how hungry we are for more events like #NetCulture and Me in Media where we can come together, be candid and brainstorm new ideas.

Check out our live blog below for a tweet-by-tweet transcript of the evening.

What do you think our next town hall should tackle?

Rebecca and Tracy Speak: Headstart 2011

Cupcakes!!!
Last year, I met Rebecca Johnston right before a panel hosted by Third Tuesday Vancouver got underway at Ceili’s Irish Pub & Restaurant .

This September, we’ll be co-presenting at Headstart 2011, a grassroots conference run by and for Royal LePage realtors across Canada.

During the intervening months, Rebecca and I have become good friends, sharing war stories from our professional lives as well as our personal aspirations, interests and foibles. When she asked if I’d be interested in working together with her on a presentation for Headstart 2011, I jumped.

We’re now putting the final touches on our presentation entitled “Making the Message Matter: Five Dos and Don’ts of Successful Communication for Realtors.”


Working with Rebecca, I’ve learned (or been reminded of) a few key lessons:

  • Tell a story. When planning your script, don’t forget that people love a good story. We’re wired for storytelling and listening, not dry statistics. I can geek out when it comes to social media and content so Rebecca has pulled me back from the ledge a few times.
  • You are your presentation—not your slides. God knows, I despise PowerPoint. But it’s easy to get sidetracked and let the software drive your story if you let it. Rebecca has prompted me to remember that the slides should play a supporting role like a prop in a play.
  • Set the ground rules for collaboration early. Rebecca and I are both writers  and both passionate about content. We worked together during the early brainstorming stage and then decided to draft two complete scripts on our own. We’re in the process of collating the two scripts together now. This has worked out very well for us—Rebecca is great at setting the stage and providing context whereas I like to dive in to the “body” of the presentation right away.

I’m sure there’ll be more to make note of as we get closer to September and start practicing how we want to deliver the presentation. Do you have any tips to share? Drop a comment to share your killer presentation ideas or tell me what you hate presenters do!

Social Media for Social Change

Tweet Transcript of a Community Workshop

Last week, Social Media Club Vancouver and the Projecting Change Film Festival (PCFF)  co-presented a workshop to help change agents learn tips and tricks for using social media to support their projects. For a full recap, see my friend Yuri’s comprehensive post.

Proceeds from the workshop went to support PCFF which starts Thursday, May 26 and runs to Sunday, May 29.

Since I love using Storify to document events, I put together key tweets, pix and vids for anyone who missed the event.

Live Blog: #NetCulture: Stories of Culture + Diversity in Social Media

Woot! On Tuesday, April 5, I’ll live blogging #NetCulture: Stories of Culture + Diversity in Social Media right here. Speakers from our culturally diverse communities will share how social media has helped them strengthen their identities, roots and friendships. Go to coopculture.com for the full agenda and list of speakers, bios and presentation topics.

Social Media—Where We All Share Status

Immigrants among Vancouver’s highest social media content producers

Twitter escultura de arena

Last week, Delvinia and Environics Analytics published a new online study about Canadians’ social media habits. Among other trends, the study revealed the high rate of adoption of tools like Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn among immigrants trying to maintain old networks and establish new ones.

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity

The results struck a chord immediately given the fact I’m volunteering to support #NetCulture, an upcoming event on April 5 where six local speakers from Vancouver’s culturally diverse communities will share how social media has helped them strengthen their identities, roots and friendships.

Based on the study, it’s no coincidence that #NetCulture will take place in Vancouver. In fact, Canada’s three largest and most diverse cities— Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal—are responsible for producing “more than three-quarters of all Canadian social media content.” And as major urban destinations for immigrants moving to the country, these cities are natural hubs for events like #NetCulture.

Stellar Speakers

Veronica Heringer, one of the six speakers at #NetCulture, immigrated to Canada from Brazil and now runs madameheringer.com where she writes about social media marketing, PR, advertising and the ups and downs of being a foreigner in Canada. From documenting her quest for citizenship to publishing periodically in Portuguese, Veronica epitomizes the “young, upwardly mobile immigrants” building a network by creating engaging content online.

Immigrants are also more likely to meet in person with people who they connected with online than rural Anglophones or upscale suburban Francophones. This thread will weave through Paola Viviana Murillo and Norma Ibarra’s presentation at #NetCulture. Latincouver.ca is a virtual plaza that links Latinos and educates local Vancouverites about Latin America. Paola and Norma will discuss how they help create virtual connections on Latincouver.ca that translate into successful offline events.

“A disproportionate number of older immigrants are also contributing to the online dialogue,” the study reveals.

Aptly, retiree Ashok Puri who came to Canada in 1969 will speak at #NetCulture about his experiences couch-surfing in Nepal, Mexico, China and India. Plus, he just launched his own blog, Papa Puri’s Kitchen, where he’ll post on travel, food and Ayurvedic health topics.

Jay Catalan and RJ Aquino—recently profiled with other emerging leaders from the Filipino Canadian community in Living Today—are using tools like Facebook to drive awareness of their initiative. Tulayan, Tagalog for “bridge,” is a volunteer-run group that hosts cultural events as diverse as a 10-week language program and Pinoy story time at VPL to networking over wine and keso (cheese).

Way Too Azn’s Ray Hsu and Zi-ann Lum will showcase how they harnessed social media to respond to recent portrayals of Asians in the media—helping to spark a national debate about multiculturalism and inclusiveness.

For the “interculturally minded,” Jordana Mah will uncover how Schema Magazine has used social media and the web to highlight people, events, and issues that speak to a generation that is moving seamlessly through cultures rather than between them.

C U @ #NetCulture

The survey of 23, 144 Canadians’ social media habits nicely sets the context for next Tuesday’s discussion. But statistics are only half of any story. For a far more intimate and lively look at how each of us can use social media to share stories of culture and diversity, I’ll be in a front-row seat at #NetCulture.

To register for this free event, please visit http://netculture.eventbrite.com/

Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nrivera/4424270252/in/photostream/
Photo Credit: nrivera

On April 5, local storytellers from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds will share how they’ve used social media to create meaningful communities online with interested members of the public at the Vancouver Public Library. #NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media is a free event co-sponsored by the VPL, Net Tuesday Vancouver and Cooperative Culture—an initiative spearheaded by my friends, Ajay Puri and Sean Stiller.

The event is designed to showcase how individuals (and organizations) are using tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to strengthen and celebrate their diverse identities, roots and connections. In Kety Esquivel’s words, “multicultural social media looks at difference and acknowledges we are not all the same.”

As the VP of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy Public Relations and a long-time advocate for the Latino community, Kety will join the event as the keynote speaker via Skype. She will take questions so I’ll be re-reading her article, 3 Reasons You Should Care About Multicultural Social Media & 3 Tips for Multicultural Social Media Success in preparation.

The main act is six rapid-fire talks loosely based on the “PechaKucha” style of presentation. Each of the speakers will have seven minutes to share their personal stories. Stories will range from Ashok Puri’s tips on joining the global couch-surfing community through Facebook and YouTube to how Jay Catalan and RJ Aquino are using social media to create a bridge for young Filipinos in Vancouver to connect with their culture, heritage and history.

Kety & Ashok
Kety Esquivel
Kety Esquivel
Ashok Puri
Ashok Puri
Jay & RJ
Jay Catalan
Jay Catalan
RJ Aquino
RJ Aquino
Ray & Zi-Ann
Ray Hsu
Ray Hsu
Zi-Ann Lum
Zi-Ann Lum
Paola & Norma
Paola Viviana Murillo
Paola Viviana Murillo
Norma Ibarra
Norma Ibarra
Veronica & Jordana
Veronica Heringer
Veronica Heringer
Jordana Mah
Jordana Mah

Once all the presenters have spoken, they will form a panel and field questions from the audience. For me, this is another excellent example of peer-to-peer sharing in the local community that complements events hosted by industry experts.

What will you ask #NetCulture speakers? Step up to the mic on Tuesday, April 5 at the VPL or post/tweet your question to @CoopCulture. On the day of the event, you’ll also be able to follow along via live blog.

#NetCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media

Date
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Time
7-9PM

Location
Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch

The event is free, but advance registration is required.

#NetCulture Registration

#nowyvr with @jaybaer

Last night, I attended the Vancouver leg of Jay Baer’s book tour, promoting The Now Revolution. Funny and bright, his presentation was packed with solid, clear advice. Social Media isn’t cheap, easy or optional–companies who move fast, smart and get more social will excel in today’s reality. Following his presentation, a great panel moderated by Kemp Edmonds talked shop–from how to tell the gurus and experts apart and QR Codes to cross-posting on different social networks. I created a story via @Storify, capturing the highlights I thought you’d find most interesting. Thoughts?

My Convo with #WiringSE Organizers

Wiring the Social Economy will be held for the first time this Saturday, December 4, at W2 Storyeum, bringing social entrepreneurs and techies together to share challenges and best practices that move community economic development forward. I had a few questions when I first read about the event so I emailed Leah Nielsen (@LeahLink).

She looped in a few of the other organizers so now I can share answers from Leah, Steve Williams (@Constructive) and Tom Kertes (@tomkertes) with you. Sincere thanks to all three for providing thoughtful answers to my questions.

@tbains: How did you get involved?
@Constructive: I came up with this idea while taking the SFU Community Economic Development Certificate and am lucky enough to have attracted a great group of volunteers to make the event happen!

I’m also a big fan of unconferences and helped put on Vancouver ChangeCamp this year and last year. It’s important to break down barriers between groups and bring out the knowledge from all attendees, not just “the experts.” Behind these events is a commitment to engage people in discussions around change, make those conversations as inclusive as possible, bring together diverse groups, and link these discussions to concrete change—social, economic and environmental.

@LeahLink: I like the unconference movement in Vancouver. I appreciate the foundation behind these events and the open, intelligent, feel-good vibe they carry. I wanted to see what the organizing side of things looked like and the people behind this event were an excellent group that I wanted to work with more.

@tbains: One of your goals is to educate the social media and technology community about challenges faced by social change agents. What specific challenges come to mind?
@Constructive: A big challenge is access—how to ensure that technology is inclusive for all and not only those with iPhones. For example, in social services there is already a big perceived barrier between those controlling access to housing, etc. and those in need of services. How can technology break down rather than contribute to that barrier? Also, how can we go beyond social media into technology that helps organizations run, manage services and optimize finances?

@tomkertes: Challenges include having the technological knowledge to implement wired solutions and new technologies, having the resources required to implement solutions (and how to budget for costs and benefits), and understanding “paradigm shifts” that occur when deploying new technologies that fundamentally challenge existing operating models. Also, social change agents must understand the limits of adoption, including how to avoid pitfalls or mission shift that could occur with poorly executed adoption.

@tbains: Another goal is to help these agents see where technology can play a positive role in their work. Are there any specific areas of interest to attendees?
@LeahLink: I believe attendees will be particularly interested in how technology can be used to spread awareness about an issue or campaign and, related to this, how it can help with group mobilization and fundraising efforts. Another area of focus will likely be how technology can be used internally to help coordinate staff and volunteer efforts within organizations, keep records, communicate among a selected group, and more. 

@tomkertes: I think another area of focus will be how to conduct strategic planning and analysis with technology. What can be appropriately and usefully measured using new technologies? How do new technologies shift the overall ecology of social change? How can decision making be streamlined and optimized using new analytic tools?

@tbains: The registration form lets individuals identify areas that they may wish to discuss or learn more about during the event. Are there any trends that you see?@LeahLink: One theme that has been mentioned a number of times during registration is bridging the digital divide and building the capacity of non-profit organizations to use technology.

@tbains: What outcomes are you hoping to see following the event?
@Constructive: From my side, a big goal is understanding between groups. There are lots of people with good intentions that may not fully understand the needs and challenges of community organizations. Conversely, groups may not understand the potential that technology can offer and—in fact—are outright scared of it. Creating a space for open dialogue and shared understanding is key to creating partnerships and collaborations that will truly make change happen.

 @LeahLink: One of my goals for the event is for people to form partnerships with other individuals or organizations that they may not otherwise have contact with in their day-to-day lives. I think this is an important element of bridging the digital divide. More specifically, I’d like to see someone from the tech/social media sphere connect with someone from the non-profit/social enterprise world and have them collaborate on a tangible project that benefits both parties.

@tomkertes: There is a need for social change agents to have access to the powerful tools and opportunities provided by new technologies. There are lost opportunities when these tools are not implemented. But implementation also involves risks, which are best managed when social change agents understand new technologies.

Now, what would you ask them about Wiring the Social Economy?

[Answers edited for clarity and length.]