Tag Archive: Facebook


Major thanks to those who voted for us so far in the Mission: Small Business challenge;

@FederalGear, PeekabooPictures.Com, Alan Bouda@WildAls, @CowAndLizard, REAL DEAL@REALDEAL7786, Webics Web Design, FamilyMint, Dr. Quinn Weight Loss, Rock Me! Made with love in the USA.  These businesses are using the power of Social Media to improve the economy and their community.  If you haven’t voted yet in this program, please go to Mission: Small Business, sign in with your Facebook login and vote for small business today.

Search by your state and vote for anyone who has less than 250 votes.  While you’re at it, stop by DKemp Designs and vote for us.  Let’s leverage Social Media to change our communities.

Thanks, Techsnoop.

Kismet is a Turkish word meaning fate or destiny.  It usually refers to two or more happenings intersect in a way that seems beneficial.  Right now, Social Media and small business have the opportunity to create kismet for some entrepreneurs.

The great folks at Chase and Living Social are awarding small business grants.  To qualify, a business must be operating for 2 or more years and receive 250 Facebook user votes.

DKemp Designs is in need of all friends to go to Mission Small Business and vote for DKemp Designs, Taylor, Michigan.  You may also vote for other businesses you wish to support.  Please act on this right away, the deadline is June 30, 2012 to get all 250 votes in.

Techsnoop thanks all supporters in advance, and let us know if you are in need of votes also.

Social Media can be a daunting maze for the new small business owner.  With all the details of starting a business and actually providing service to customers, who has time to learn how to connect on the myriad platforms?

To simplify things, Techsnoop has gathered some basic steps to go over when deciding when, how and how much to jump into the social media pool.

First, develop a social strategy by deciding where your target market will spend the most time.  You can find out general demographic information on the various platforms here

Next, decide what you are willing or able to offer your audience.  People need a compelling reason to follow you.  Great expert content is one reason, but you may not have the time to put this together.  Instead, maybe offer discount codes for newsletter signups or Facebook likes.  Be sure to put an expiration date or time limit on any coupons or discounts.  Also, have an online privacy policy in place with website security.  Whatever you offer, make sure your audience will want it.

Finally, remember that social media is about socializing.  If you don’t interact with followers, they won’t interact with you.  They may not drop you, but they may ignore your content.  Having 200,000 followers or friends is useless if only 3 of them actually read what you are offering.  Ask questions, request feedback and give shout outs to those who help you or provide great content.

It used to be enough to just have a Social Media presence, now you must engage your followers and offer them something they want.  If this post helps your small business, leave a comment.

Stay tuned to Techsnoop for great social media tools to keep you organized.

Now get social!

If you have not heard, LinkedIn was recently hacked and some passwords were posted on a hacker site.  LinkedIn has responded very well, but this is an opportunity to take the time to change all of your social networking passwords.  Additionally, download AVG Linkscanner, a free software that alerts you if a link you click on is a potential threat.

To make your password more secure;

  • Use something you have not used in the past
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers
  • Use a capital letter
  • Use one special character if allowed
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Don’t use your name or children or spouse names.

Online security is vital.  One small intrusion can create problems from your computer being used to route spam to depleting your life savings.

Make changing passwords part of your spring cleaning routine.  Or, use daylight savings time changes to cue you to update passwords.  Have one type of password for low level sites such as Facebook and Twitter and a much more complicated password system for online banking or personal information sites.

Surf Safely!

Techsnoop

Social media takes a hit again with the announcement that a couple with an 8-month old baby were murdered for un-friending someone on Facebook.  While all of the details are not known yet, the couple unfriended a single woman whose father and cousin then went and executed the couple with a gunshot to the head.  While the mother was holding the baby.  The baby was not harmed, but is now without parents over someone being “unfriended”.

Let’s face it.  They weren’t friends at all to begin with.

There is no circumstance where the act of taking someone off your Facebook page should lead to violence.  Social media is a tool to keep up with activities and events of your friends.  With Facebook, you may connect with people you don’t know well, or at all, through the games.  This is an area that Facebook needs to address.  While there are several levels of privacy settings, I personally don’t find them sufficient.

With the level of programming available today, it should be a simple matter to have a completely separate profile for gaming associates who only get game updates and no personal information.  Such a category would eliminate the grey area between actual friend and casual acquaintance.  Since this group would not have access to your truly personal information such as address, age, location and phone, it narrows the opportunity for personal space intrusions.

That said, please take every precaution to customize your privacy settings.  Choose carefully who can see your posts, and personal information.  When in doubt, do not accept the friend request.  True friends do not commit violence against each other.  Treat social media as a large public nightclub.  You have your friends you came with and everyone else is suspect.  Don’t turn your back on them.

Surf safely.

Free StuffThe economy is improving, but you still need to watch the entertainment budget.  Here are a few free resources for you and the family to stay entertained and on budget.  And who doesn’t like to get free stuff?

Amazon.  Yes, this is a huge shopping site and they have great deals.  But two of their best deals are free.  The Amazon App store for Android offers a free premium app every day.  Just visit the site every day from your Android device or your computer and add the app to your device.  You can install it as needed and it doesn’t expire.  Some apps are games, some scaled back versions of paid apps and some are full versions.  Too good to pass up.

Got a new tablet and need books?  Ereader News Today.  If you “Like” their Facebook page, you can get updates to remind you to visit the site each day. Ereader lists books that are offered on Amazon for free each day.  Many are limited time freebies so you should download as soon as possible.  Check the price before downloading to make sure the price has not returned to normal or that the free price is not limited to Prime members.  If you don’t have a Kindle, the Kindle reader is free to download to your laptop or Android device.  And if you have 2 or 3 bucks to spend, Amazon offers a bargain book of the day usually discounted 75 to 90%.  A good way to try out new authors or genres.  If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the iTunes store also offers free eBooks on a frequent basis.

Designers, try out Psd Tuts a great site for sharpening your skills and creating dramatic Graphics and Websites.  And of course, the tutorials and resources on this site are free!

Whenever possible, leave a small donation on free sites to help keep the resources flowing.  I commit this year to donating $10 per month to free, Small Business sites.

So, happy after Christmas specials and get productive in 2012!

small businessEntrepreneurship is a great way to increase lifestyle flexibility, stabilize or supplement your income or just change careers.  There are many ways to get started in your own business and it is best to try a home based business or a cubicle rental if you are short of start up funds.

Be ready to work long hours to get started so prepare some frozen meals ahead of time so you won’t waste money on fast food or get run down from eating junk food.  If you are choosing a field where you have little experience but lots of interest, go back to school first.  A one or two year certificate program and an internship can gain you experience, credentials and contacts.

Networking is key in starting a business.  New businesses will have a small marketing budget so key in on trade shows and other events where you can hand out materials face to face.  People will be more likely to utilize a new business from someone they have met and liked.  Use Social Media.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can all be great free marketing essentials.  If you don’t understand how to use them, network with those who can show you.

Here are some top business markets for up and coming entrepreneurs.  Some may offer franchise opportunities if you have some money to invest.  Only put your money into well investigated franchises.  Also, make sure your market area is not saturated with this particular business type.

Finally, get ready to succeed.  This is harder than it seems.  Many business owners don’t know what to do when the money starts rolling in.  Have a reinvestment plan, a growth structure and, if you plan to retire from this business, a sell out or phase out plan so that you don’t leave your loyal customers high and dry.

2012 The Year of #SmallBusiness

stars in galaxyBusiness competition for customers is at a premium today, so it’s critical to stay on the cutting edge of new trends and technologies, except one.  There is a huge trend toward using texting slang and atrocious grammar when posting on business related sites and blogs.  As small business owners, putting on a polished on-line appearance can create opportunities and increase the respect we receive as a group.  One of the primary attractions of freelance work is the ability to work in sweats or jeans, but no one on-line needs to know how casual your dress is.  Projecting  an on-line persona that is pin-striped suit sharp every day makes your business look larger and more globally oriented.

I was inspired to write this post after reading several months of painful statements on major social networking sites.  Many requests for work seem as though they are made by 13 year olds to their friends.  Browse some of the posts and comments on LinkedIn by people seeking jobs or freelance work.  The websites and portfolios of these individuals show their talent, but their communication skills are below high school level.

As small business owners (freelancers this means you), let’s make a group commitment to always use proper grammar and spelling in all business posts.  This means on your business Facebook page, business Twitter page and any other sites where you refer to your business, seek referrals or post as your business.  Use all the tools at your disposal; Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, spell check, and if necessary, translation tools from Google and Yahoo for other languages.

Reach for the stars in 2012.

Yes, I am an addict.  I hope you will take this as a cautionary tale and save yourself.

So, I want to start a blog, but there’s no time.  Well, drop the games use the time to start a blog.  About what?  Well, blog what you know they say.  What I know could fill a library, large library.  But, OK, I know tech.  In fact, I have been dubbed the family Geek.  So, blog about technology, gadgets, resources, reviews and trends.  Got it.  But some stuff I have to say doesn’t fit into the tech category.  Start a new blog about culture, politics and news.

Now the cat wants in on the action.  He has much to say and demands a voice.  Since I have the opposable thumbs, I have to do the typing.  He’s snarky.  Hey, I have a new family addition coming.  Blog about that.  Brain about to explode.  Must add Empire Avenue and Klout to keep up with stats and add followers to Twitter and Facebook.  400 followers, have to keep up and engage.  Send thanks, mentions  and RTs.  Need to organize these, add Crowdbooster, Tweetdeck.

Uhmmm, real life calling, I have customers who need work done.  Tweetdeck keeps popping up to let me know about tweets and mentions.  Made mistake of linking blogs and Twitter to smartphone.  Now, beeps keep coming all day.  Catch up on blogging on the run, what was that great idea?  Can’t recall, start new post, find links make pics and post to Facebook pages.  Oh No, don’t invite me to Google+, I have no time, HELP!.

The shiny new toy is now tarnished, ribbons tattered, wrapping paper shredded.  The buttons are worn and dirty and the toy isn’t so pretty.  But like your favorite teddy bear, I’m compelled to keep dragging it around until all the stuffing is gone and the eyes are lost.  My Intenet love affair has become routine and we take each other for granted.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but like all true love, lasting relationships take hard work.

So, now my friends I have to make some hard choices as to which of my playthings will get the hatchet and which will be shined back up to full usefulness.  The toys are all so pretty even now it is hard to choose which to put away.  Help me if you can, if not save yourselves, choose the toys wisely and keep the list small.  Gotta go, Tweets coming through phone.

Click here to read part one.

No matter what business area you are in, you need a website.  Web presence makes your business larger and global immediately, for a relatively small cost.  Factors to consider are cost to build and set up, hosting fees and maintenance of the site.  Maintenance is the area least considered by small businesses.  Everyone knows that Google analytics exist, but few understand that fresh and updated content factor into your search rankings.

If your business is very small and service oriented, you may make do with one of the free template sites until you can afford a web designer.  Keep in mind that you won’t be able to develop a “brand” look with this, but it can quickly get you up and running so that you can market yourself.

Next, learn how to use social media for your business exposure.  If y0u have a Facebook page, you will need a new one for your business with only business related p0sts and commentary.  Invite your friends and family to “like” your page, but hide their posts unless they are responding to your business comments.

Find meaningful tips and content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  There is a wealth of information on optimizing your social media.  Google “how to use Twitter” and see how many listings come up.  Search the Twitter listings by tag or topic and find specialists in your business area.  Follow them, converse with them and mention them.  You will gain knowledge and followers.

Part 3 coming soon.  Missed part one?  Find it here.