Social Media: Choosing the Right Sites to Drive Business

Are you new to social media and overwhelmed by the number of sites to choose from? Is your time too precious to waste on social networking without payback? Come to the Powder Room in Algonquin and learn about the choices that are best for your business.

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April M. Williams of CyberLife Tutors will give you the basics to make an inform decision. Find out what the most used social media sites are, know how to tell if they are a good fit for your business, see how they can increase your credibility in your field and how you can use them to increase revenue.

The Powder Room is at 328 South Main Street in downtown Algonquin. Their phone number is (224) 241-8242.

Join us Oct 11, 2012 6:30-7:45. Tickets just $20 in advance. Get both an autographed copy of April M. Williams book “Social Networking Throughout Your Career” ($9.99 value) and the seminar just $25.

Seats are limited. Click below to register.


Who Uses Social Networking Sites? You Might Be Surprised

Older adults are using social media sites despite the myth that they are offline. The Pew Research Center recently published these internet usage statistics by age. These statistics may surprise you. According to their research, 34% of adults over 65 years of age now use social networking sites. This is a dramatic rise from just 1% in 2006. Computer usage in schools led to high internet and social networking use among younger adults. It is less startling to see the highest social networking usage is for those between 18-29 years of age. As you can see from the Pew Research Center graph below, the social media adoption rate among older age groups is must steeper than for younger users.

Social networking usage by age group 2005 – 20012. Graph courtesy Pew Research Center

For businesses, these statistics are valuable for knowing how best to reach your target audience. Few of us have the time or energy to actively participate on every social networking site. We are more effective with our time by selecting social media sites which are most likely to reach our desired audience. For instance, there are almost twice as many men (63%) using LinkedIn as there are women (37%). Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board social networking site only two years old and already almost one fifth (19%) of women have accounts.

Can your business ignore Facebook? The Pew Research Center says that 92% of adults use Facebook. With 100 million members, can you afford to miss out on the opportunity to reach so many people?

What is luring older adults to the internet and social networking? The wish to connect with others. Grandparents want to see real-time photos and get updates on their grandchildren. We can share experiences with friends and family whether they are across town or on the other side of the globe. In a typical day, I interact online with friends in Japan, England, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, California and beyond.

Click on comments and let us know which social networking sites you find are best for your business.

Twitter Lauches Cover Photos for Profiles

Twitter cover or header images launch follows the Facebook and Google+ cover image roll out. The new Twitter header image displays at the top of the Twitter profile. Your profile image, bio, location and website appear as an overlay on top of your Twitter header image.

Unlike Facebook, the Twitter header image roll out does not include restrictions on what is included in the image. Facebook does not allow calls to action (click here), contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that Facebook believes should go in your Facebook Page’s “About” section.

Update your Twitter profile cover image and let your followers see what you are about. To update your Twitter header image, log in to your Twitter account.

  1. Click on the “Settings” wheel at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Click on “Design”.
  3. Click on “Change Header”.
  4. Select “Use Existing Image.” Navigate to the location of the image you would like to use. Use the slider bar to zoom in or out of your image. Note the minimum dimension are 1252×626 and maximum file size is 5MB.
  5. Click “Save”. Your new Twitter header image will now show on your profile.

As autumn approaches, I uploaded an image highlighting fall foliage. I plan to update my header images on occasion. Check out the images we are using now at @aprilmwilliams, @cyberlifetutors and @waytb.

Click on comments and share links to your favorite Twitter profiles with great header images.

Twitter header image
Twitter launches header images

Social Media Personalized

Social media marketing is challenging for small businesses in McHenry County. Just keeping up with Facebook changes is almost a full-time job. Did you know there assistance for businesses in McHenry County and it will not cost you an arm and a leg?Bring your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, FourSquare, YouTube, Twitter questions and more.

Check out the social media marketing programs offered at the Shah Center in McHenry just for small business owners. The Shah Center is a part of the Illinois Small Business Development Center.

Social Media Roundtable: A no-cost seminar to discuss the latest trends in social media marketing and share various approaches with your peers. A social media professional will help facilitate the discussion and be available for questions. There is no fee to attend, reservations required as seating is limited.

Social Media for Small Business: Do you have questions about social media? Want hands-on help? Bring your questions to our computer classroom and work with a social media expert. Learn new ways to reach and engage an online audience and boost your bottom line through the use technologies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Cost: $30.

Consulting: The Shah Center consulting services are free to all clients, start-up entrepreneurs, owners and managers of businesses. We’ve helped businesses in our area attract customers, improve their operations, increase sales, and get financing. We can review your business plan before you talk to your banker to help you prepare. Use our research and contacts to strengthen your plan, improve your operations or develop your marketing and e-business strategies. Plus, we catalog and track all federal, state and local government business assistance programs. We offer counseling and seminars/workshops on these and other topics:

  • Business planning, people and other business management issues
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Finance and accounting, regulation and taxation
  • Production and operations, office automation and computer training
  • Business data analysis, technology and other issues necessary to promote business growth
  • Operational, project and strategic planning techniques

All classes are held at the Shah Center.  The McHenry County College Shah Center at 4100 W. Shamrock Lane in McHenry, near Centegra Hospital. For more information or to register, please contact the Illinois Small Business Development Center at (815) 455-6098 or sbdc at

For information on all of CyberLife Tutors presentations, workshops, classes and events visit our events calendar.


Fall Back to School Triple Play Special Offer

It’s a special Back to School Triple Play offer for our CyberLife Tutors readers. Get all three career boosters for one low price.

  • Autographed copy of “Social Networking Throughout Your Career” paperback by April M. Williams $9.99 value. Learn how to make the most of social media tools for your professional life and take charge of your career.
  • Networking for Results” 51 minute DVD with April M. Williams recorded live at the North Suburban Career and Networking Center Northbrook $9.99 value. See how to use networking to get the results you what when looking for a new job.
  • Bonus 1 hour webinar “Leverage LinkedIn: Don’t be Linked Out” hosted by Loyola University and presented by April M. Williams $19.99 value. LinkedIn is a recruiters first tool for finding job candidates. Whether you are currently looking for employment or not, it is important to have a LinkedIn profile. In this webinar session, April M. Williams of CyberLife Tutors demonstrates the benefits of using Linkedin for professional networking. Topics covered include basic account types, creating your profile, getting connected, and joining groups. We will cover researching companies and applying for jobs using LinkedIn tools. At checkout you will be directed to the site to view. Learn how to really use LinkedIn as a job seekers tool and land your dream job.

Special back to school pricing all three for just $17.99! Limited time only. Click below to buy now.

Social Networking Throughout Your Career book cover
“Social Networking Throughout Your Career” book cover
Networking For Results DVD
“Networking For Results” DVD 51 minutes recorded live

How to Use Google Plus for Marketing Your Business

How to use Google Plus for marketing your business was one of the topics we covered at this months free Social Media Roundtable at the Shah Center in McHenry. Few of the attendees were aware of Google Plus and how to use it as a marketing tool. Visit our CyberLife Tutors calendar to learn more about our upcoming Social Media Roundtables and another events.

Google indexes updates and photos shared on your Google Plus business page for Google search. When someone does a Google search for the words included in these posts, they may see your Google Plus comments in their search results. Free search engine optimization (SEO) for your company!

Customers often tell me they do not know what to say on social media sites. It is exhausting to creating new content for your social media sites. Instead, post links to interesting articles you read and add your own two cents. That is what I did with the infographic below. Start with an idea then package it with your own learnings and knowledge.

The best time of day to post is not the same for all businesses. As dallas seo expert advises us, “Consider your audience and when they log in. During the class, attendees said they check social media sites before work (7AM), at lunch (noon), about dinner time (5PM) and before bed (10PM).” If your audience crosses time zones, adjust your post times to match so your content is more likely read.

Google Business Pages consolidates content from former Google Local pages including photos, hours, maps and reviews. Connect with customers and prospects to build relationships. Build a customer service hub. Create a public forum for others to gather, share and learn.

The infographic below suggests we spend an hour on Google Plus each day. For most business people, I find that amount of time excessive considering they are also using other social media sites and have a job to do. Certainly,  devoting 15 minutes a day to your Google Plus account would be a great start.

Google is beginning to roll out vanity URLs for Google Plus to a small number of members. You can get a Google Plus vanity URL today.

Connect with CyberLife Tutors and April M. Williams on Google Plus. Click on Comments and tell us about how you use Google Plus in your business.

How to Use Google plus for Business Infographic

8 Top Pinterest Tips for Beginners

Pinterest is a content sharing service where members “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboards. Pinterest also has standard social networking features so you can share with your friends. Learn how to set up your Pinterest account. Once you have an account, you can pin your cool finds on the internet.

Many interested patrons attended my Pinterest session at the Algonquin Library. For more information on upcoming sessions, visit our events calendar. Here are 8 top Pinterest tips for beginners to get you started.

  1. Create unique Pinterest boards for each of your favorite topics. Pin photos and videos about that topic to create a collection.
  2. Select a cover image that represents the theme of your Pinterest board. Our minds grasp visual concepts faster than text on a page. Be sure readers can tell at a glance what your board is all about.
  3. Pin clear, easily recognized images for your Pinterest boards. Bright colors and high contrast images are easier on our eyes.
  4. Describe your images and videos accurately without complex words. Pinterest allows up to 500 characters in the object’s description.
  5. Include words that invoke emotions and feelings in the reader. Choose colorful terms which inspire the imagination and memories.
  6. Increase your search engine visibility by using keywords and internet links in your description. Keywords may actually be a phase or group of 2-5 words.
  7. Post links to your Pinterest pins on your Facebook or Twitter accounts to share them with your friends. Ask others to LIKE and COMMENT on your pins and SHARE your pins with their friends.
  8. Design a unique visual resume and pin to your Pinerest board. Log on to Pinterest and search “resume” to see some incredibly creative ideas others have showcased their talents and skills.

Using these 8 top Pinterest tips for beginners to create your first Pinterest boards and pin your favorite pictures, movies and more. Click on COMMENTS and post a link to one of your favorite boards. Please tell us why this Pinterest board is your top pick.

Pinterest Logo

How To Get Join Pinterest Create Boards and Pin Pictures

Pinterest is a content sharing service where members “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboards. Pinterest also has standard social networking features so you can share with your friends. This weekend I will be demonstrating the features of Pinterest at the Algonquin Library. For more information on this session, visit our events calendar.

Pinterest members create virtual boards for different topics. Create a board for your hobbies, favorite restaurants, post your resume or to show off your professional portfolio. Search Pinterest for topics of interest. When you find an image or video you like, you can repin the object to one of your boards.

My Pinterest boards include food, travel and McHenry County happenings. Here is how you can get started with Pinterest.

How to create a Pinterest account:

  • Open a web browser and type in the URL bar
  • Create your Pinterest account by connecting with Facebook, Twitter or using an email address.
  • Click on a few of the images that capture your attention

How to create a Pinterest board:

  • Click “Add”
  • Click “Create a Board”
  • Enter your new board Name, select a category and add other pinners (those who can add pins to this board)
  • Click “Create Board”

How to add Pinterest Pins to your board:

  • Click “Add”
  • Click “Add a Pin”
  • Type or paste the URL
  • Click “Find Images”
  • Scroll and select an image
  • Choose a board
  • Enter a description up to 500 characters
  • Click “Pin It”

Have fun with your new Pinterest boards and pin what is interesting to you. Share your pins with your friends on Facebook and Twitter for greater visibility. We are always interested in hearing your ideas for using Pinterest. Click on COMMENTS and tell us how you are using Pinerest for yourself or your business.

Enter your email in the box on the right and click subscribe for more tips on Pinterest and other social media tools.

Pinterest Logo

Pinterest Marketing Cheat Sheet to Opitimize Your Pinterest Boards

Pinterest virtual bulletin boards are all the rage in the social media world. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan Learn how you can use Pinterest to market your business and gain attention.

The Algonquin Library hosts a Pinterest session Sunday August 12, 2012 where you can learn what Pinterest is and what it can do for your business. For more information or registration visit our CyberLife Tutors events calendar.

Below is a Pinterest Marketing Cheat Sheet from Pinely to give you a few ideas before the live session.

Pinterest Marketing Cheat Sheet from Pinerly





Ideas How to Create Content For Your Blog and Social Media

Do you struggle for ideas when writing content for your blog or social media profiles? Bloggers often get writer’s block when it is time for a new post. Clients often ask me for suggestions for types of comments they can share on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media profiles and pages.

Once you have your topic, use an editorial calendar to plan and schedule a date for publication. Include publication date, time, where you plan to post and any information you need to gather. Download our free editorial calendar template.

Here are 12 tips to aid you in generating ideas for new blog or social media content.

  1. Let your readers know about an upcoming event including who, what, when, where and why they would want to attend.
  2. Ask your readers what they want to know more about.
  3. Search Technorati for bloggers similar to you and write on the same topic using your ideas and distinctive voice.
  4. Search Stumble Upon for inspiration.
  5. Enlist your employees to write a blog post once a month.
  6. Refer to another blog post and take the topic further or deeper.
  7. Interview the characters in your fiction novel.
  8. Write about a recent experience and your learnings.
  9. Provide educational or how to material.
  10. Share a best practice.
  11. Post a video or picture of the week.
  12. Check the calendar for upcoming holidays and write an article that ties in with that theme.

When an idea for new content comes to me, I make a note of it and use these topics when I have writer’s blog.

Here are 22 more ways to generate content ideas for your blog or social media page.

How to generate new content for your blog or social media profile

How do you find inspiration for blog posts? Click on comments and let us know your suggestions.

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