Social media

Fridays with Dr. Glass: How to Use Facebook to Grow Your Small Business

Facebook Image

(Photo Credit: PMC Network)

What impact has your use of Facebook had on your small business and your non-profit corporation?

Facebook is an incredible social media source to use. Almost every age and ethnic demographic uses Facebook., even though many have recently (the past 3 years) learned the basics: how to update a status, how to change a profile and cover photo, and how to use the hashtag (#). From small business to non-profit, Facebook has provided beneficial engagement and interaction between consumers, non-profit contributors, and I.

In what ways can Facebook be used to grow a small business?

Facebook can be used to grow small businesses in the following ways:

Personalized web address – Some small businesses do not have established websites or blogs for customers to peruse. When a small business owner creates a free Facebook business page, Facebook provides a website address that consumers can use to find said business; for example, https://www.facebook.com/magnoliassweethaven was created for Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC.

Networking – Creating events, sponsoring giveaways, and connecting to other industry professionals present excellent networking opportunities. Cross-promotion of small businesses is an additional way of networking on Facebook. At Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, for instance, we work with cake pop, linen, and custom cookie vendors to create dessert tables for our clients’ weddings.

Be resourceful – Being an expert in your respective industry is information that should be shared as well as information that is wanted by consumers or readers. Facebook can be used to publish engaging industry information. The amount of times per day that small business owners choose to post is relevant to how often they appear in their followers’ Facebook feeds.

Market events – Consumers who follow a small business on Facebook are sometimes given incentives for free products or services. Food trucks will often post partial photos of where they are and ask consumers to comment with a correct guess for free food.

Link love – Small business owners should use their personal Facebook pages to link back to their Facebook business page as well as their website in the “Work and Education” bio section.

Are there any reasons a small business should not use Facebook for professional purposes?

I do not foresee why most small businesses would not want to use a free resource, marketing tool, and website for their entrepreneurial venture. Sometimes people find using social media off-putting, and there are some who find using social media will not contribute to betterment and success of their business. Bullhockey! You can reach a wider targeted demographic and make additional connections with the use of social media.

For an economical fee, would you be willing to help small businesses setup their Facebook business pages? For a monthly economical fee, would you be willing to help small businesses to maintain and add content to their pages?   

I am actually in the midst of launching a consulting and public relations firm with YOU, Dr. Daniels. I’m not sure if this is the appropriate time to announce it, but I just did. Services will include helping small business owners setup and maintain their social media pages, public relations, and start-up business plan writing. As time progresses, we SHALL make a more formal announcement.

Stay Connected with Dr. Glass…

Facebook: Magnolia’s Sweet Haven

Website: www.pamperedsweettooth.com

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Small Business

Instagram and Small Business

(Photo Credit: Hype Beast)

Small business owners need to engage with Instagram to unlock the power and growth this social media platform offers to their businesses. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a social media and small business expert, about how to use Instagram in profitable ways in small business. Her doctoral research and dissertation investigated the power of using social media, including Instagram, in small business to promote growth, sustainability, and success.

What are some of the ways in which small business owners can use Instagram to grow their small businesses?

There are several things small business owners can do in using Instagram to grow their business:

FREE! – Instagram is free. Why are small business owners NOT using it!? Some people lack the knowledge of how to use Instagram, others feel Instagram would not be beneficial to their small business (and that’s alright), and some people are just lazy in pursuing absolutely free means of marketing for their small business.

Capitalize on the power of a hashtag – I implore business professionals, specifically those in the food, hospitality, and beverage industries, to USE HASHTAGS! Jason Miles wrote, “A hashtag is represented by the “#” preceding a word or several words without spaces in between them.  It allows simple categorization to be applied to an image.” This means small business owners can create brief or extensive, funny or serious, colloquial or formal hashtags for their brand.  Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, for example, uses the following hashtags that I’ve created:

#Sweetspreneur

#TheKitchenIsMyHaven

#DrGBakes

#EpicureanSweets

#PamperedSweetTooth

Unlocking the full potential of hashtags helps with gaining new followers and reaching a larger demographic.

Visual platform advantage – Instagram offers small business owners more than a filtered or non-filtered portfolio of photographs. A great photograph accompanied by a catchy caption or, as I often use, mouthwatering descriptions draw potential followers to the Instagram (IG) business or brand page feed. Instagram provides an immediate virtual portfolio for future clients and current patrons to peruse.

Linking back to website/blog – When people post pictures, they often use the location feature per post to link back to their website or associated blog post.

@ing other business pages in bio link – I do have more than one Instagram profile and I often “@” each of them from my personal page. Most people DO read the brief bios that small business owners are able to provide at the top of their IG profiles. I maximize on both my personal and business Instagram pages by #GoalDigger @magnoliasweethaven and #GoGiver @cheesecakeforthecure in the bio section.

Connecting with other industry professionals – I cannot stress how many awesome industry professionals and hobbyist I’ve met on both my personal and professional Instagram pages.  Individuals who I would have never potentially connected with had it not been for their pictures or hashtags drawing me in.

What has been the impact of your use of Instagram on your small business?

Using Instagram for Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC has proven beneficial, specifically “the power of the hashtag.” The visual commerce does help in selling mini cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, boozy berries, wine-infused and traditional cupcake flavors as well as marketing dessert tables for special events like bridal showers and weddings.

Are there any potential pitfalls small business owners should watch out for when using Instagram? If so, what are they and how can they be avoided or mitigated?

One of the disadvantages of small businesses using Instagram is operating their business page as a private account. Not only can this be off-putting to potential clients, but it could also hinder the development of the small business brand.  On the one hand, an immediate rebuttal would be that depending on the number of followers and IG posts shown on the business page, people should “request to follow” such an exclusive account. On the other hand, most people want to see the immediate loading of photographs, especially if the business page had a food or dessert-specific, catchy name of curiosity. Private business pages are missing out on unlocking the full potential of the hashtags they are using if the general public isn’t able to view them when they use the “search” feature on Instagram.

Is there any empirical research available pertaining to Instagram use in small business? If so, share what the professional literature has said about this area of research?

Yes! There is a wonderful book by Jason G. Miles that discusses using the power of Instagram to your advantage.  Also, I’ve always enjoyed this infographic from Social Times about the power of the hashtag.

What are some of the critical gaps in the professional literature pertaining to Instagram use in small business?

There are few dissertations of reference that address Instagram as well as the use of social media in small business. There are also numerous industry professionals who have proven to be successful as social media marketers and social media consultants.

STAY CONNECTED TO DR. GLASS…

Email: msweethaven@gmail.com

Instagram: instagram.com/magnoliassweethaven

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Entrepreneurs Should Capitalize on the Power of Blogging

Santresa L. Glass

Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

Today, I had the distinct honor of interviewing Dr. Santresa Glass, a social media and small business expert, about why it’s important for entrepreneurs to engage in blogging. Each Friday, Dr. Glass has agreed to lend her expertise here at Revolutionary Paideia on sundry issues pertaining to social media and small business. If you have questions and/or comments for Dr. Glass, leave a comment on the site and she will respond.

Provide a brief summary of your academic training and professional experience.

My academic experience started long before graduating from high school and college. I stem from entrepreneurs, both street and academically adept. My passion for food, cooking, baking, giving back, educating, empowering other people, events and meeting planning, entrepreneurship, public relations, and writing will always rest at the core of who I am as an individual. No, I didn’t need ANY formal education to glean some of the things I’ve learned. However, the information obtained and applied from my collegiate experiences is proving invaluable to me. Earning my bachelor of arts in English from one of the best historically black universities, Albany State University, served as the foundation of my academic matriculation. I then proceeded to earn my master’s degree from Troy University in Business Management, and most recently, my educational doctorate from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership.  The combination of my layered passion and academic accomplishments have served as fuel to live my life fearlessly, love unabashedly, and laugh boisterously.

How can entrepreneurs benefit professionally from blogging?

One of the greatest ways in which entrepreneurs, the risk-takers, the doers, can benefit from blogging is to establish themselves as experts or burgeoning professionals in their field. Over time, as you continue to share your expertise, your consistent insight will make clear to industry peers and readers that you are truly an expert in your respective industry.

In your own experience as a successful small business owner and non-profit corporation executive, have you benefitted professionally from blogging?

I have benefited from blogging and most recently learned the lesson of backing up ALL files to prevent losing your hard work and priceless photographs. Blogging has helped me make connections nationally and internationally, both personal and professional.

Are there additional ways in which you’ve benefitted professionally from blogging?

One of the most invaluable ways in which I have benefitted professionally from blogging is the connections that I’ve made with industry peers and readers.  The interaction and engagement with people that you’ve never met, people you only know virtually, becomes invaluable.  Blogging and other social media platforms have opened flood gates for individuals, like myself, with layered passions to pursue them resiliently. I have also become a better writer.

What should entrepreneurs blog about? Are there things they shouldn’t blog about? 

Entrepreneurs should blog about those things, people, places, etc. that are relevant to their respective industry, interest, passion, and purpose.

Name some quality locations online entrepreneurs can begin a blog.

I would suggest that entrepreneurs start with hosting sites that are user-friendly such as Blogger or WordPress.

How can blogging be used as an effective marketing medium for entrepreneurs?

When done consistently, blogging is an incredibly effective marketing medium for entrepreneurs. The use of blogging combined with active use of social media cultivates turning passion into profit.

Stay Connected with Dr. Glass . . .

Facebook: Magnolia’s Sweet Haven

Instagram: @magnoliassweethaven

Twitter: @magsweethaven

Facebook: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Instagram: @cheesecakeforthecure

Twitter: @cheesecake4cure

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 Related Articles

Introducing “Fridays with Dr. Glass”

Santresa L. Glass

Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

Beginning Friday, January 9, 2015, Revolutionary Paideia will have the distinct pleasure and honor of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a social media and small business expert, every Friday. Recently, Dr. Glass completed a pioneering dissertation unveiling the powerful advantages of using social media platforms as vehicles for significant growth in small business. Her dissertation is one of few seriously discussing leveraging social media platforms in small business. Every Friday, Dr. Glass will provide expert insights about social media and/or small business.

Dr. Glass completed her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership at Argosy University. She earned a master’s degree in Management at Troy University and an undergraduate degree in English at Albany State University. Dr. Glass has graduate management certificates from the University of Georgia and Clayton State University. Glass has 11 years of experience in the hospitality industry, events management, small business, organizational leadership and entrepreneurship. Dr. Glass has one year of executive leadership experience as the Founder and CEO of Cheesecake For the Cure, a non-profit corporation committed to bringing year-round awareness about cancer. She has 11 years of passionate and effective service as an educator.

On Friday, Glass will provide extant and future small business leaders with valuable insights about how to use blogging to advance their small businesses.

Revolutionary Paideia looks forward to interviewing Dr. Glass this week and each week in the future.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Congratulations to Dr. Santresa L. Glass: Social Media and Business Expert

Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Credit: Santresa L. Glass)

Today, Dr. Santresa L. Glass passed her doctoral dissertation defense and has been conferred a doctor of education in Organizational Leadership degree at Argosy University. The title of her dissertation is “Investigating the Effectiveness of Social Media: The Impact on Brand Identification and Organizational Performance in Small to Medium Business.” Less than 10 other dissertations have been written about social media; therefore, her dissertation positions her as one of the early leading experts in this area of research. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from the research she has conducted, especially small and medium-sized businesses.

Dr. Glass highlights the importance of having a sound strategic strategy for using social media platforms as vehicles for marketing, and she emphasizes how essential it is for businesses to empirically evaluate their social media marketing. She plans to have her dissertation published in book form soon, and Revolutionary Paideia will be the first media source to announce its publication and how you can obtain a copy.

Glass obtained her undergraduate degree in English at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia and a master’s degree in Management at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. She has over 10 years of executive business experience and over 10 years of experience as an educator.

Although Dr. Glass had to endure many challenges in her pursuit of the doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership, she found the perseverance and courage necessary to make it to the end of this rewarding journey. What lies ahead for her is endless possibilities.

Santresa, this is a day you will never forget. Never allow any overt and subtle negative messages from anyone to distract you from the significance of your accomplishments and from the bright future ahead of you. This is your day—make the most of it! Take time to celebrate Jesus and your accomplishments He made possible.

I would like for everyone to join me in congratulating Dr. Glass on her truly great accomplishments.

Today, you join a small percentage of people across the United States and world who have earned a doctoral degree.

You did it, San! Congrats!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kids and Technology: Set an Example While They’re Young

Children and Technology

(Photo Credit: Digital Trends)

As most parents know, your kids are watching you all of the time.  You don’t have to sit down and have a formal conversation with them to teach them things; even kids who seem like they rarely pay attention are observing and learning from your behavior.

As your kids start getting their first smartphones, tablets and laptops, you want them to be responsible. You don’t want them to spend all day in front of a screen, and you want them to be kind to others over the Internet.  One of the best ways to ensure that your kids are responsible with their technology is to be a great role model with your own devices.

With this in mind, the following tips can help parents set an excellent example with their use of technology.

One of the best things parents can do to be good technology role models is to turn their devices off as often as possible—and definitely during family time.  While you might be excited about your new LG Optimus or the latest iPhone and all of the features and apps that can help your busy schedule, if you are on it all of the time, then your children will mimic your actions when they get their own phones.

Moreover, each time we take a quick peek at our texts while aiding our kids with their homework, or each time we interrupt them to say, “I’m sorry, I have to answer this email really quickly,” we’re sending a clear message that we prefer technology over people, claims Dot Complicated.

When your children get their own devices, you will still want them to pay attention to you, so when they are speaking to you, make sure to be fully present with them.  Resist the urge to constantly check emails and texts, and instead give them your full attention.  You also can avoid the distractions by setting some family rules about screen time.  For example, no phones or tablets at the dinner table.  Be sure to follow the rules you establish.

Limit Your Game Time

Yes, you’ve been trying desperately to get past level 199 in Candy Crush so you can crow about it to all of your friends on Facebook.  However, as DigiParenthood notes, keep in mind that your kids are keenly observing how much time you spend playing games on your phone.  Show them the importance of discipline, and that work should come before pleasure by finishing your necessary tasks first.  Finish your chores around the house, help your kids with their homework and walk the dog all before sitting down to play a game.

Many time limit apps out there such as TimeLock, allow parents to designate a certain amount of time their child can use the device.  This is a wonderful tool for you to track how long they spend on the Internet each day, and you can set your own time limits to show your kids that you limit your game time as well.

Be a Good Social Media Citizen

We can talk to our kids about the importance of privacy on social media sites until we are blue in the face, but if our Facebook page is full of posts about personal experiences and situations, our words will probably fall on deaf ears.  Use social media very carefully, and never post anything you wouldn’t want your young children to see—because chances are they will.  Also, be kind and polite while online, even when others are rude; this will help to show your kids the importance of online etiquette.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Use of Social Media in School

The Use of Social Media in School
(Source: Best Masters in Education)

The use of various social media platforms consumes a considerable amount of many people’s time.  At every level of education, especially higher education, several social media platforms are integral to how students learn and how teachers teach.  The above infographic offers an excellent understanding of this.

Do you believe the use of social media in the classroom is beneficial?  Outside of the classroom, have you been able to learn from various social media platforms, including blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and/or YouTube?  Share your thoughts.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison