Tag Archive: social media

There are many reasons to attend networking events, seminars and conferences.  I always ask myself:  “What’s the ROI. What is the return on my investment (time and financially) to attend”? 

If you are involved in the franchising industry you may be very interested in the event to be held in Atlanta next week called FranCamp.

Below is a quick overview of the presentations for FranCamp. We have strong franchise industry leaders as speakers and/or round-table moderators. The list of attendees is equally impressive. The Goddard School, Learning Express Toys, Mr. Rooter and Nothing Bundt Cakes are a few of the franchisors that are registered to attend. There are several IFA Supplier Forum Members such as Engage121, Fish Consulting and FranNet that will be present.

There are seats still available. Registration can be found http://fransocialcamp.com/register/

Special thanks to AK Stout and FitDesk for the great door prize donation! If you are not familiar with the FitDesk, watch AK’s review by clicking here.

If you will not be in Atlanta for the event, watch the Twitter stream and tweets #FranCamp. We will do our best to share the information as we hear it live!

I mustn’t forget to mention the TweetUp! Thursday, May 3rd 7pm at the JW Marriott in Buckhead Atlanta! Open to the public so bring a friend and have a great time networking over cocktails. http://tweetvite.com/event/francamp

Every business or brand wants customers that are raving fans and social ambassadors. Some brands create their own social ambassador campaigns by enlisting bloggers or customers with a strong voice. The best social ambassadors are the average customers that sincerely love the product and/or service and willing to share their experience.

Become a social ambassador

Are you the type of person that likes to shout from the roof tops when you find a great product or service? Are you an influencer in your family and community? Do you enjoy blogging, tweeting, posting updates to Facebook or LinkedIn? Are you using the latest social platform, Pinterest? If so, then you can easily become a social ambassador.

Personally, I LOVE to share videos. Not necessarily videos of myself but videos where I am behind the camera sharing a great experience.

Squeeky Clean Service

While at work a few months ago the local Fish Window Cleaning franchise team were working diligently cleaning the second floor windows of our office building. I took notice of their lack of fear of heights and the care they took to get my windows squeaky clean. Personally, I would never venture that high up and I hate cleaning windows! I took the video below and shared on their Facebook page, Tweeted and sent a word of thanks to their corporate team. It took all of 10 minutes of my time to share my great experience and become a Fish Window Cleaning (franchise) social ambassador.  I received a note of thanks for the postings and exchanged emails and tweets with the Fish team.

A little Tasti Love

Another passion is networking and meeting new people in the franchise industry. Last week I had the pleasure meeting Tammy Friedeck at the Houston Social Media Club TweetUp hosted by Michele Price aka @prosperitygal. Tammy recently relocated to Houston to serve as the Communications Coordinator for the Mattress Firm. Tammy and I met for lunch a few days later and I was able to introduce her to Tasti D-lite. I asked if I could film her very first bite and if she didn’t like it, I wouldn’t publish. As you will see below, she did enjoy it and of course the video was Tweeted and posted to the various platforms.   We don’t expect the video to go viral but it does demonstrate how we are social ambassadors for Tasti. Our tweets were re-tweeted by @tastidlite and we received a note of thanks from the Tasti team.

Don’t be that company!

Earlier this month, I attended a wedding of one of my son’s best friends. It was superb! The decorations were beautiful. The food was outrageously delicious. The music was fun and I witnessed my grandson experience “getting down” on the dance floor. At 21 months the kid has some moves! The day after the wedding I sent an email to the wedding coordinator and copied the management team. I thanked them for a job well done and congratulated them on the event.

My next move would have been to post glowing remarks to their Facebook page or maybe blog about the facility. I did not. Why? I never received a response to my email. I know for a fact the email was received by all the recipients and was shared with co-workers. How difficult would it have been to reply to me?

Engaging with customers who could potentially do damage AND could be social ambassadors should be a priority.

Are you a social ambassador? What have your shared recently? I would love to know!

Promotion alert: Attend FranCamp in Atlanta and meet Fish Window Cleaning and Tasti D-lite. They will share their expertise on local marketing and building social ambassadors!

What You May Not Know About Me

As the year comes to an end, I realize there are a few things on my “to do” list that I can still accomplish.

In July, I read a great blog post by Amber Naslund called “What I Wish More People Knew About Me. I shared the post on Google + commenting that I couldn’t find the nerve to write a similar post. Amber and Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive encouraged me to try. As Carrie said; “what’s the worst that can happen?”

 So here goes!

I’m a wife, mother and a GiGi (grandmother)  – My family is my first priority. I am insanely proud of my kids, grandson and husband. Translation – I brag about them incisively on Facebook. There are two rescues, a 100 lb Doberman (Emmett) and six month 50 lb German Sheppard (Bullet). They are very much part of the family and get equal bragging rights.

Bullet and Emmett

My husband tries to convince me to cut back on the videos and photos. The great thing about Facebook is that if my updates annoy my family and friends all they have to do is hide my posts.

I’m extremely passionate – I have been involved with Computer Explorers, a technology education franchise since 1996. I have yet to present an opening or closing at one of the annual conferences without shedding tears. Why? When I look into the audience I don’t just see a roomful of franchisees. I see a roomful of friends. I see people that I worked closely with when I was a franchisee (from 1996-2004). I see people that work hard and I want to work even harder to help them succeed. I think about the smiling faces of the children in their classes and the difference each franchisee makes in their local community delivering a quality technology education program.

My passion comes from doing work I love.

I want to be a Geek! – My third anniversary with Twitter was this month. Yes, I know what my anniversary date is and if you want to find yours use this link: http://www.tweetstartdate.com/

In May, 2010 I decided to take the next step with social media and start a BlogTalkRadio show, Social Geek Radio. I was thrilled that one of the franchise industry best social geeks, BJ Emerson agreed to co-host with me. My responsibility was to be the social co-host and BJ’s job was to “GeekItOut”.  Each week BJ shared geeky sites and tech tips. Not only did the audience learn something but so did I.  I quickly became a geekwannabe. Today, AK Stout is my co-host and my Geek mentor.  I’m constantly amazed by what AK knows about social media and technology.

Social media and technology are a big part of my business and personal life. It’s exhilarating to think about 2012 innovations and social platforms.

I love meeting strangers – This is the total opposite of my husband. He cringes at the thought of attending a big event where there is a crowd of people he has never met. On the other hand, the very same event excites me. Spending the time getting to know new people seriously interests me.  I can’t stand in line at a store without socializing with the person next to me. My daughter once asked me “Mom, can we please go shopping without you chatting with the person next to us?”  I’m not noisy or a chatterbox, I’m social and very interested in other people’s stories. It’s amazing what you learn with a smile and a simple hello.

In February I will attend the annual IFA (International Franchise Association) convention in Orlando. As one of the Ambassadors I will have the opportunity of greeting people attending IFA for the first time.

Too often I speak without thinking – It’s a bad habit. It’s totally embarrassing to scramble like a cartoon character trying to pick up my words after they have spilled out of my mouth only to find that I can’t shove them back in. I’m getting better and my hope for 2012 is to learn how to pause, think and then speak.

When I retire I want to own beachfront property – When we lived in NJ it was a short drive to the beach. One of the best ways to relax was to sneak off on a work day with my beach chair, a good book and listen to the waves. I miss that.

Today, my book would be replaced with the Kindle or the iPad but the beach and the chair would be the same.

There you have it, a few things you may not have known about me. Hopefully, we are connected and there is more you know about me than I have listed here. If we are not connected, then let’s take care of that in 2012.

Happy New Year!

FranCamp Follow Up

We did it! We held the first FranCamp in Nashville last weekend and it was a success! There are so many things that I learned even as one of the presenters.  I promise to share everything in my book: Franchising Goes Social: Franchise Leadership As A Social Geek!

For now, I have the video below that I recorded this morning on UStream with my key take-aways.

Below are some important links to presentations, tweets, and videos that you missed.

FranCamp site: www.fransocialcamp.com

You can find the Tweets:  here

Live recording archived of all the sessions via  UStream:  here

10 Best Twitter Tactics presentation by Jack Monson, Engage 121:  here

Inspire Change, Engage Your System presentation by Deb Evans:  here

Facebook Strategies presentation by AK Stout, Saying It Social:  here

Blogging for Business presented by Thomas Scott:  here

LinkedIn Strategies presentation by Paul Segreto:  here

BlogTalkRadio -” What Happened At FranCamp”  with guests BJ Emerson, Alissa Ramsay, Stephanie Ramirez, Dana Lopez and Lorri Wyndhamhere

An extra bonus is the Facebook eBook provided by AK Stout can be found here

Don’t forget to take the survey (http://fransocialcamp.com/where-is-the-next-francamp/) and vote for the next city that FranCamp travels to.

Sure you can watch the videos from FranCamp. You can view all the presentations and glean lots of great content from the tweets. But in reality you are missing the great discussions and networking from a group of like minded individuals.

Thomas Scott opened the day explaining that the FranCamp committee put the event together so that we could “give the recipe away and provide tactics and strategies that can be used immediately!” A bond was formed and new friendships and business relationships were made.

Please join our circle and register for the next FranCamp, volunteer to be a speaker or sponsor!

Steve Cunningham

Last week I had the pleasure to speak to one of my Twitter friends Steve Cunningham, CEO at Polar Unlimited. I have followed Steve on Twitter (@stevecunningham) for a few years now. His business book summaries have been very influential in my purchasing decisions and I totally enjoy his Webinars interviewing best selling authors like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki.

Bill Taylor, Founding Editor, Fast Company Magazine shares this:

“The question for everyone in business is, Are you learning as fast as the world is changing? Well, one way to learn is to read—except that there are so many new books to keep up with. Read it For Me is a powerful way to stay ahead of the idea curve. Its video summaries and audio conversations highlight crucial ideas and hands-on lessons from the most provocative thinkers, in a way that saves you time and is actually fun. If you want to keep learning as fast as the world is changing, join Read it For Me now.”

Steve has extended a special program that I can share with you!  I have 50 free 3-month memberships to give away. Everybody who signs up for the free 3-month membership will get a collection of social media book summaries to keep, forever. This is a $110 value.

Visit the following link to learn more about Polar Unlimited and Read It For Me program –  http://www.polarunlimited.com/deb-evans-gift/

Feel free to share the link with your colleagues and friends.

Thanks Steve!

In 2005 COMPUTER EXPLORERS expanded into the UK. They operate under the brand ComputerXplorers (CX). The Master Licensee, Nigel Toplis has actively recruited new franchisees and they attend new owner training at our US headquarters in Texas.

New UK Franchisees, Wendy and Alan  Crocker attended our summer training. During the pre-training process we discovered that Alan was very involved with social media. He connected with us via LinkedIn, established his Facebook business page and had established a Twitter account. Lorri Wyndham, Operations Manager needed to modify training. Social Media 101 would not be appropriate for the Crocker’s!

As we worked with Alan we discovered many things and quickly realized that Alan is very involved in his community. Alan is the Founder and Chair of Derry Hill United FC, a children and youths football club. Over the years in the Club he has  increased player and volunteer involvement from 10 players/2 coaches to 220 players/35 coaches, improved the ground facilities through the fundraising and construction of a  Clubhouse and created an organization recognized and highlighted by the Football Association for the quality and breadth of what it delivers.

Alan is determined to use community involvement and experiences to build ComputerXplorers in Wessex. He is also determined to share his experiences and what he learns with the franchise system. Not just his fellow UK franchisees but with the U.S. franchisees as well.

Recently, Alan posted the following motivational message on the COMPUTER EXPLORERS LinkedIn Group Discussion:

Alan Crocker, UK Franchisee

“On Sunday, I searched press for items to tweet/blog about over the coming week. Found several ‘likely’ articles of an educational interest to see me through the next seven days. I decided I would tweet/facebook one of them as it was a timely piece talking about the change in primary school application process in my County (the changes take place this week when schools return). I thought this was a useful service to those parents who were about to experience this activity.

Today a local BBC Radio journalist rang me to ask what my interest in this topic was. She explained she was running a radio piece on the changes and had been scanning social media to find leads and research material and MY TWEET had come to light!

The opportunity was grasped with both hands. I offered to get her some vox-pop candidates from my football club and then gave her the CX pitch, new business, exciting technology clubs et al.

She’s going away to do her piece as planned but has said she is really interested in doing a piece on CX and tech. We’ve exchanged email addresses and I’m now looking forward to a radio interview on the BBC in October ;o)

Have hope everyone, keep throwing out the bait. There are fish out there ready to take a bite at any moment, they just need time to find your part of pond!”

I know I am a social media fiend

I started a Twitter account in December 2008 which opened my world to social media. I visited Twitter and Facebook off and on but  did not became a serious user until March 2009. In a very short time using social media I’ve learned a great deal and met some very influential people. I spoke at another franchise annual conference on social media, receive emails and calls requesting assistance and some have actually labeled me “an expert”! That is far from the truth but I am working very hard to learn as much as possible  positioning  myself as a leader in the franchise industry using social media successfully for marketing and branding.

My Twitter Friend Sue Young recently posted “You Know You’re A Social Media Fiend When ….” on her blog. Her list of 30 indicators  is hilarious and is almost spot on for me.  I thought about her  list and below is  my personal top 5 indicators that is proof I am becoming a social media fiend (and proud of it).

#1 I have panic attacks if I can’t log on to everything! (I start my day with coffee, Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc)

#2 When purchasing a new handbag the criteria is first and foremost that my blackberry, Flip and digital camera fit comfortable and easily accessible.

#3 I am asked  constantly: “Are you going to  Tweet or Facebook that?”

#4 I live by the transparency rule.

#5 I shamelessly try to out tech/out social media friends and family.

Hello I am Deb and I am a social media fiend and  I don’t want to join a support group.

Blog Lesson #5 Don’t give up! Blogging takes commitment and a little dedication.

I have been exceptionally busy since my last post.  I watched my last child leave the nest. He’s off to Air Force Officer Training School. It’s so bittersweet. Three grown children off exploring the world on their own without me. It’s exactly what their father and I prepared them to do but where did the time go and how will we survive empty nest syndrome?

Last week I had the opportunity to do my own exploring. I traveled to a state I’ve never visited and conducted a presentation to The Entrepreneur Source. I have a confession to make…it was the largest group I presented to that wasn’t part of COMPUTER EXPLORERS! Another confession…I loved it! The presentation was on social media and I found it very exciting to share what I’ve learned over the last year.

Some leaders speak easily and better than others. I will admit I need practice and challenge myself to venture outside of my comfort level. I worked on the following presentation tips and pleased that I did my very best:

  • Know your topic and audience
  • Practice several times and rehearse in front of someone who can critique you (honestly)
  • Plan for the use of visual aids and equipment
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Stay in control
  • Speak naturally and most of all be yourself

All I need now is to schedule my next presentation!