B2B Case Study: Optimizing Social Media Channels via Content

IMG_6965Ryan Pena is our speaker on Thursday, January 26th! By now, most of us have heard it, “Content is KING!”. That’s great, but what steps should we take to not only put content out there but actually drive leads and site traffic back to the organization? Take the journey with Ryan as he shares the struggle, push-back, budget restrictions, and testing his team went through, which ultimately led to going from 48 social media leads in 2015 to nearly 1,000 social media leads in 2016!

Expect to leave understanding:

  • How to craft a content strategy centered around a default CTA
  • Hacks to leverage free blogging sites & communities to repurpose content while driving people to CTAs leading to business results
  • How we got featured in a private LinkedIn Healthcare group by Philips, which lead to a flood of new leads
  • How to leverage video to develop a broader reach
  • Influencer marketing tactics

The Social Media Breakfast Central MN is free and open to anyone who would like to attend, learn, network, and use social media and marketing to further their work. Pre-registration is required.

Bio: Ryan Peña is a Social Media Manager and international speaker with over 6 years of experience in the field.  He’s known for implementing highly innovative social media platforms into rapidly changing environments. Key accomplishments are implementing an online community that grew to over 15,000 customers in just one year, growing leads generated from social media by over 1,500% year over year, launching employee advocacy programs, and recently launching a social media presence for a complex software solutions company.

Social Media is not only Ryan’s career but also a hobby and he truly enjoys helping people connect with each other. Recently, he was featured on several social media podcasts and speaks internationally.  If you’re looking to bring social back to social media, talk to Ryan.

A New Year and a Bunch of New Trends Coming Your Way

The topic for the special year-end SMB on Thursday, December 15th will be 2017 Marketing Trends!

2017 will bring more changes in online marketing, search engines, and social media than what we’ve seen the previous couple of years. Change is happening faster than ever and user expectations are taking a front seat. Consider this, for the first time in history, television advertising budgets will be less than budgets for digital and mobile ads.

The staff at Vivid Image; Heidi, Cory, and Steve are energized and ready to share about the changes they are seeing and the new trends coming our way this next year. This session will cover new things with Google, Facebook, Design, Mobile, Website Usability/Accessibility, Emotional Marketing, and so much more. There’s even going to be a shift in the photos used to market online. Say what? Leave the session ready to embrace the new trends in 2017 from this interactive, information-packed, casual and fun holiday SMB!

twoHeidi Arndt is an Online Marketing Specialist who focuses on local search and online reputation management.

Cory Dammann is an Account Director who works with a wide variety of businesses and industries, helping to jump start their marketing plans and make sure everything coincides with customer expectations to drive sales.

Steve Gasser loves to help businesses and non-profits reach their goals by utilizing both proven methods and the newest of trends and technology.

Get registered today! As always, the Social Media Breakfast Central MN is free and open to anyone wishing to attend. Please arrive by 7:30am at the Crow River Winery.


Embrace Your Unique: Ali J Boutique

Ali J Boutique New London MNThe Team at Ali J Boutique in New London, MN will be our next featured speakers at the Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Ali J owner, Alison used to be “The Scarf Lady” with her traveling boutique and scarf tutorials with over 750,000 YouTube views. Today she runs Ali J Boutique, on Main Street in New London and an online subscription based program called My Midlife Closet. Her team of 5 Stylists are on a mission to teach women to wear their worthiness. Their marketing toolbox is full of options to stand out from the crowd and get into closets across the nation.

Maybe you’ve seen one of Ali J Boutique’s creative ads or videos on social media? If you’re wondering how small businesses like this seem to make expressing their brand online flawless, then make sure you get registered to learn more about their unique ecommerce, digital and social media strategy.  Recently featured on Jerrid Sebesta’s program “Two Week Notice”, Ali J shares her entrepreneurial story and the reasons she went into business. At the SMB, her social media team will share the social media and marketing side of Ali J Boutique and how they have grown her devoted customer base and online followers.

As always, we ask people to pre-register for SMB, but everyone is welcome and it’s always free! NOTE: SMB in November and December are one week early due to the holidays. See you at 7:30am on Thursday, November 17th at the Crow River Winery!

Thank you to our generous sponsors for keeping this a high-impact, expense free resource for our area organizations and businesses! MVTV Wireless, Southwest Initiative Foundation, Vivid Image

Influential Strategies for Winning Through Social Selling

Don’t miss the Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, October 27, 2016 when JoAnn Funch presents on “INvest in your connections – Influential Strategies for Winning Through Social Selling.”

Social selling is NOT about selling, rather it is about connecting and serving others in a deeper, more meaningful way.  To understand that concept it is important to view how the buying process has changed. Today’s buyers regardless if that is B2B or B2C are socially driven, they are searching online for a product or service well before contacting you. The decision you want to pay attention to is “will you be the one they buy from?”

Social selling has taken the place of a traditional cold calling strategy.  Sales cycles are often long and building long term relationships are and will continue to be game changers. Just think about it, most of your prospects are already doing research online for what they want, so your job is different, it is to build trust and credibility that you are the person or company they want to do business with.

Social Selling is the new revolution in sales and we must embrace it now, or get left behind.

In this SMB session you will cover these key objectives:

  1. Why adopting a social selling strategy matters
  2. LinkedIn has now become about relationships and engagement
  3. Social selling is about investigative research
  4. Engagement – why, where and how to be more effective and involved
  5. How content creation builds your credibility
  6. Staying top of mind with targeted messages
  7. Developing a serving mentality

New PictureJoin digital marketing specialist and LinkedIn expert JoAnne Funch as she teaches us how LinkedIn can build your individual credibility, manage your reputation and fill your pipeline with the right people, insights and relationships. As always, there is no cost to attend Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota and everyone is welcome to attend. Please pre-register so we have enough seats, materials, breakfast, and coffee for attendees.

JoAnne has worked with hundreds of small business clients since establishing her marketing business in 1996. She’s a marketing consultant, experienced social media trainer and online marketing strategist specializing in LinkedIn.

She has also served as the LinkedIn workshop trainer for the University of Minnesota, Business & Economic Development Department, and continues to be a sought after trainer and speaker locally and nationally.

JoAnne works with both private companies and individuals on LinkedIn profile development, corporate training, social selling strategies and more.  She stays at the forefront of this ever changing platform to ensure her clients stand out and are leveraging the latest updates.

You can learn more about her at https://www.linkedinforbusiness.net and she welcomes any questions in advance of her presentation and should be direct to her email:   joanne@linkedinforbusiness.net

Connect with JoAnne on LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/joannefunch

What Does It Take to Hire the Next Generation?

michelle-fallingMichelle Falling will be our fall kick-off presenter on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota, sharing with us about what it takes to hire the next generation and understanding how Millennials want to work and live work. If you’re interested in how to attract top talent, what makes millennials stay at their current jobs, and what companies/organizations need to do to engage them through social media and other avenues, this session is for you!

About the Presenter: Michelle Falling is a Recruiting Manager and Career Development Specialist at Life-Science Innovations & Affiliate Companies, with many years experience hiring top candidates for a wide variety of positions.

As always, the Social Media Breakfast is free to attend and open to anyone interested in learning more about social media, online marketing, and technology to network and grow your business. Pre-registration is required. The SMB is at the Crow River Winery on September 22 starting at 7:30am and done by 9:00am. Thank you to our sponsors for making this month event possible: Vivid Image, Inc., MVTV Wireless, and Southwest Initiative Foundation.

SMB Fall Kickoff!


Beyond Social Media: A Focus on Direct Mail, Email, and Direct Selling that Works in 2016

Duane HoverstenThe Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, June 23, 2016 will feature Entrepreneur, Educator, and Innovator, Duane Hoversten. Duane is a dynamic speaker who will leave you energized.

This session, “Beyond Social Media: A Focus on Direct Mail, Email, and Direct Selling that Works in 2016” will cover these helpful topics:

  • How to get more traffic to your social media and websites
  • How to get to potential customers who are not on social media
  • Identifying your target market
  • How to correctly do a direct mail letter
  • How to correctly do an email campaign
  • How direct selling can help your social media traffic and web traffic

Having taught Small Business Management at Ridgewater College for twenty years, Duane assisted SMB organizers and Vivid Image owners, Steve and Beth Gasser for a number of years with invaluable business planning and marketing insight. He’s ready to give you some great ideas that you can use in your business or organization the next day!

Speaker Bio: Duane has started and owned a number of businesses.  These businesses included 3 fertilizer plants, 5 computer stores, a software company, a spice company, a consulting company, a campground and currently a storage business. All of these companies but one are still operating and having longevity of up to 40 plus years. He has been very active in his community serving on many boards, including the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Hospital Board, Hutchinson Economic Development, and a Bank Board.  Duane taught Small Business Management for Ridgewater College in Hutchinson  for 20 years. He also has been doing consulting for the Small Business Development Center in Marshall for the last 22 years and is also working with the Small Business Development Center in Fort Myers Florida for the last 3 years. Duane has his BS Degree from Mankato State University and his MBA from Cardinal Stritch College. He’s created and given numerous seminars including “Why Small Business Fail and What you Can do About It” and “Don’t Let the Economy Crash your Business”.

Learn the Most Important Steps to Getting Found on Search Engines

We all know that it’s important to get found in search engines in order to get website traffic. At the next Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, May 26, SEO Specialist, Steve Slater will walk you through how to get started with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the ongoing process for getting your target market to your website, and there are lots of tasks involved. Steve has refined the tasks into a concise, easy to tackle checklist. This session is perfect for:

  • Those who have websites, but haven’t started any SEO
  • Businesses or organizations with new websites
  • Website owners who have started some DIY SEO, but aren’t sure if they are doing it correctly
  • Those currently doing SEO, and want to make sure the focus is on the most important tasks first and create a plan for taking the next step.

You’ll leave with a “Getting Started With SEO” Checklist, have an opportunity to ask questions, and leave inspired to tackle at least one actionable item to make a difference in your online marketing!

1102385_10100646271209671_1265337147_oAbout Steve Slater: I am an SEO Specialist at Vivid Image where I focus on all things related to Google and search trends. The growing use of search engines, tied with social media and mobile technology, makes it more important for people like me to dedicate time to understanding how search engines work. In order to effectively use them as a marketing tool, it’s my role to stay on top of the ever changing SEO trends, guidelines, and information. Email me at slater@vimm.com

Get Registered!

The SMB is always free and open to anyone who wants to attend. Breakfast, speakers, facility, and materials are all no cost, but pre-registration is required so we can plan accordingly. Thank you to our premium sponsors who make this event possible every month: MVTV Wireless, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and Vivid Image, Inc.

*There will be NO Social Media Breakfasts in July and August.

Stamp-n-Storage Marketing Overview: From Garage Shop to Ecommerce Success

Stamp and Storage, Hutchinson MNStamp-n-Storage owner Brett Haugen and Marketing Manager Carly Koeberl are our featured speakers at Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Brett and Carly will share the story of starting this business and using social media and other marketing channels to gain traction. Find out how their marketing efforts evolved and grew over time and how they encourage their customers to provide marketable content.

About Brett: Stamp-n-Storage Founder, Brett Haugen, is an OCD mechanical engineer who enjoys woodworking. His wife, an avid paper crafter, was looking for better ways to organize her supplies. He built a prototype for her, and the company blossomed.

About Carly:  Stamp-n-Storage Marketing Manager, Carly Koeberl grew up in Hector, MN and earned her bachelor of science in Marketing at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul.

Stamp-n-Storage has four core values: Customer Happiness, Attention to Detail, Stewardship, and Safety.  “Organize your craft.  Unleash your creativity!” is their tagline, and Stamp-n-Storage is passionate about providing paper crafters with high-quality, space efficient, desktop craft storage and organization solutions which allow them more time to enjoy their hobby.  Learn more about the Stamp-N-Storage Company and their products.

TidyTightwads, Professional Organizing and Cleaning business is our featured Breakfast Sponsor in April. It is through our monthly breakfast sponsors and ongoing sponsors that we are able to keep the monthly Social Media Breakfasts Central Minnesota free for everyone to attend. Thank you to MVTV Wireless, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and Vivid Image for their ongoing support!

You can register for April SMB here!

Content Marketing Tips: How to Run a Successful Content Marketing Program

christinamilanowskiAt the next Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota on Thursday, March 24, 2016, Christina Milanowski will share tips and tricks for leading a content marketing strategy that pays off big in ROI. From gaining internal buy-in to leveraging employee experts to craft quality content, she will share first-hand experience running content marketing programs with Minnesota companies, as well as the latest stats and lessons from leading industry experts. You don’t want to miss this interactive discussion on content marketing for social media and public relations professionals.

Whether you are new to social media and marketing or have years of experience, every SMB has something for everyone. Learn, get inspired, network, grow, experiment, ask questions…Feed Your Brain!

About Our Presenter: Christina Milanowski is the Vice President and Social Media Director at Maccabee Public Relations in the North Loop of Minneapolis. She directs social media and online marketing campaigns at Maccabee, helping clients leverage the use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Slideshare and YouTube, as well as content marketing and blog strategies. She has guided campaigns for agency clients RBA, Greenwald Wealth Management, Hazelden and the Gold’n Plump and Just BARE brands of chicken.

Previously, she worked as Senior PR & Communications Specialist in the legal industry. Christina holds a Masters in Business Communications from St. Thomas and Bachelors of Arts degrees in Journalism/Strategic Communications and Spanish Studies from the U of M.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/christinamila
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/christinamilanowski
MaccaPR Blog: www.maccapr.com
Bio: http://www.maccabee.com/our-team/christina-milanowski

You can arrive at the Crow River Winery by 7:30am on Thursday, March 24th to grab coffee, breakfast, and network. Invite a friend or co-worker to attend with you. The SMBCMN is free, thanks to our sponsors MVTV Wireless, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and Vivid Image. It’s open to anyone interested in learning more about marketing, social media, and technology to further their business, organization, or professional skills. Pre-registration is required.