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COWICHAN SOCIAL CONNECTION
Social media, for me, is about people connecting to people
      
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Brenda Burch
This week is Small Business Week and I am proud of the various events and recognition that small businesses in the Cowichan Valley are receiving.

Small Business is an odd term and can be descriptive of everything from a one person owner/operator shop to anything that isn't the size of Walmart. In the Cowichan Valley small business are often owner/operators, but just as often fabulous and unique one operation businesses that add huge benefit to the Valley and far beyond.

Recently both Vancouver Island Salt and the Teafarm were recognized amongst huge B.C. competition as real innovators in their segment. And Manuka Honey from Wedderspoon has a worldwide reputation. But what about great destinations like Hilary's Cheese new Wine Bar, Just Jakes, The Old Firehouse Wine Bar (best hamburger in the world!) and world class chefs like Bill Jones, Brock Windsor, Ben Brown, and Dan Hudson. I'd like to think of a new term for these independent and fabulous companies - does it have to be Small Business? Couldn't it be Amazing Business?

Hats off to all of us that add value through our less-than-huge businesses. I am honoured that many businesses in this intro have used Social Media is Simple to learn the ins and outs of Social Media. Enjoy our October edition........

How Small Business Can Leverage LinkedIn

There is a continued misconception that LinkedIn is a platform best suited for large corporations. But, if you are a small business, you may be missing out on all the features LinkedIn has to help connect you find new employees, connect new clients and gain wider exposure.


 

Like all "free" social media platforms, LinkedIn will cost you in time and effort. You want to maintain your company page, update profiles and engage in relevant industry groups. You can pay for enhanced features but it is not necessary.

 

Consider aligning your business goals with your LinkedIn profile. You can "expand your network with key contacts, build your credibility with content and expand your reach by leveraging your employee base".

 

Five things you can do

  1. Create a company page: You can use your company page like an online brochure. It's another place to showcase your business to others. You can include this link in emails, on your website and on your invoices. You can share it through other online platforms.
  2. Consider joining Groups: You can follow like-minded business owners, share content and ideas or seek advice. Most industries have a group (or groups) of which you can join. For instance, there is a group for business owners in the Cowichan Valley.
  3. Optimize SEO:  A LinkedIn profile can help you to optimize your SEO. Consider key words or phrases that customers may use to search and include them in your profile. This will help to move your small business up in search engine rankings.
  4. Add value: Like all social media, LinkedIn is not about the "hard sell". It's about interacting with all of your stakeholders. Instead, try to position your and your business as a valued resource. Create and share content you think is relevant to your audience.
  5. Endorsements and Recommendations: You can endorse and recommend people and businesses with whom you work. Conversely, they can do the same for you. This becomes your digital "word-of-mouth" referral. People are more likely to do business with a small business when they know other people who have used your service. Encourage people to provide an endorsement or recommendation for you.
The key point to remember, LinkedIn is for business. This is not the platform to share about the minutia of your life. Through LinkedIn, you can showcase your business through slides, interviews, video and written content. Consider this, 53% of B2B businesses have secured leads through LinkedIn. 

Around Town
Me with Sonja Nagel, Duncan Cowichan Executive Director
October 24 - Small Business Showcase
Social Media is Simple is pleased to have a booth at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase.  Stop by the booth for answers to any and all your Social Media questions, a chance to win a very wonderful Cowichan-centric prize, and the opportunity to buy gift certificates.  Perfect stocking stuffers for those on your gift list wanting to improve and stay current with their social media skills. 

 Details here

Cowichan Valley Social Media Club



As an active member of the Cowichan Valley Social Media Club, I am supporting our 4th annual Toys Toiletries & Toques  fundraiser. I am devoting some of my time and the Social Media Is Simple Big Blue car as a pickup and delivery vehicle.


 

What I am excited to be doing, to ensure every #Cowichan kid doesn't have to suffer during the Holiday Season, is to BUILD A BASKET.


I will have it at my booth at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce 's Small Business Showcase on October 24th. Anyone buying a ticket to win - which will only be $1.00 - will have their 'donation' matched by Social Media is Simple and all proceeds will go to Toys Toiletries & Toques for the 5 Food Banks in the Cowichan Valley.


Don't know what items we will be collecting? Here's a shopping list you can download and take with you.

Toys, Toiletries & Toques
Date: December 6, 2014
Where: WalMart, Cowichan Commons
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Testimonials

 

Thank you so much Brenda for the informative teaching you gave us all, "Saving Time When Using Social Media".  It was so helpful, I am grateful that you keep on top of all the changes and we get to glean from your knowledge, yay! I also appreciate the PowerPoint slides you always provide.  Beverlee Caron, Marketing and Communications Manager, Duncan Christian School 




Social Media is Simple is a consortium of talent lead by myself and including design, digital, communications, and PR professionals as required. We take pride in our business network and we tackle every new consulting project with passion and developed expertise.  I look forward to continuing to focus locally on the Cowichan Valley for Simplified, Effective Social Media for Business. 

 

 

2014 Social Media is Simple. All Rights Reserved.