Allie Nosek Wins our $50 Gift Card at the 2011 Business Growth Expo

“At TOCA our mission is Serving our Patients through innovative and comprehensive Orthopedic care. This mission is the foundation for ensuring the highest quality of care for our patients. By employing the most innovative procedures and true state-of-the-art technology, our staff of general orthopedists and subspecialities have earned a reputation for providing consistent specialized orthopedic care. TOCA’s reputation is built on treating each person’s specific need and one of many reasons we are the team physicians and surgeons for The Phoenix Suns, The Phoenix Mercury and ASU.”

Congratulations Allie Nosek on winning our contest and receiving a $50 Gift Card to The Thirsty Lion, located in Tempe, Arizona.  Allie entered the contest by dropping in one of her business cards at our booth at the 2011 Business Growth Expo.

Allie does Marketing and Graphic Design for The Orthopedic Clinic Association(TOCA).

At the Expo, Allie mentioned she understood the importance of social media, but also expressed her concerns about effectively demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) social media can bring to her company.  We are in the process of scheduling a phone interview with her to discuss how we can evaluate the impact social media can make for The Orthopedic Clinic Association.

Many companies express the same concern with ROI. It becomes difficult to justify the use of social media when thought of in those terms.  However, there are many tools companies can use to evaluate how people are connecting with their business using social media.  If you or your company would like to understand how to better manage or understand how to use the data that is available through social media outlets – ask us.

The 2011 Business Growth Expo was an eye-opening experience for us.  It was our first business expo and we had no idea what to expect.  We were thrilled to meet so many helpful and friendly people.  And we look forward to keeping in touch with them for years to come.

We chose a $50 Gift Card to The Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill  for our contest. It is a new establishment located in the Tempe Marketplace at 2000 East Rio Salado Suite 1041, Tempe, AZ.  They have a large selection of food and more than 50 beers on tap.

After the Expo, my sister and I made our way to The Thirsty Lion. We were hungry and ready to relax, we were not disappointed.  The food, service and atmosphere was phenomenal . . . exactly what we needed on a long, productive day.

Cisco Recognizes WireSpeed Systems (Our Client) as Their SuperFan!

WireSpeed Systems chosen as Cisco's SuperFan on Facebook

Cisco’s Facebook Photo

Our client, WireSpeed Systems, is a small hardworking business that sells new and refurbished networking equipment.

Cisco is a multinational corporation and the world’s largest manufacturer of networking equipment.

When we began implementing our Facebook strategy for WireSpeed Systems we followed Cisco closely because our clients work with their products often. With well over 225,000 fans, Cisco has a terrific Facebook presence. Last year they began featuring SuperFans on their Facebook profile. SuperFans are their most active and engaged followers.

On Tuesday Cisco changed their profile image to the one seen here and they posted, “We changed it up this month for the Cisco SuperFan! Instead of an individual, we are highlighting WireSpeed Systems, a company who has been extremely active on our page and has even been sharing our content on their Facebook page as well. Thanks for being such a fabulous Cisco SuperFan, WireSpeed Systems!!”

Obviously our clients are thrilled. We are very excited and proud to get one of our small businesses noticed by the biggest company in their industry. Having the WireSpeed Systems logo alongside the Cisco logo on Cisco’s own Facebook page adds a great deal of credibility and instills trust in WireSpeed Systems.

We’re very fortunate to have such wonderful clients. It makes the job of getting their name out there and recognized by new people so rewarding.

A big Thank You! to Cisco and their Social Media team. Highlighting smaller businesses is such a wonderful thing for a huge corporation to do. Thank you!

Preparing for Our First Business Expo

After driving for six hours, I finally reached Tempe, Arizona.

Tomorrow, my sister and I will be participating in the 2011 Business Growth Expo, our first Business Expo and we’re excited.  We signed up to be an exhibitor last month and have no idea what to expect.  We have spent countless hours preparing for the experience and are excited to meet with other small businesses in the Phoenix area.

2011 Business Growth Expo

For those of you interested in attending, the show takes place Tuesday, November 8 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Fiesta Resort & Conference Center, 2100 S. Priest Dr., Tempe AZ 85282.

We received a packet with information about the show which provided tips on how to get the most out of the expo.  The tips seemed very helpful and we plan on implementing a lot of them at the event.  If you stop by our booth you can expect to see a visual presentation of the services we provide, an opportunity to win prizes, and free consultations on ways to increase your online presence.

Stop by and say “hello” if you plan on attending.  We’d love to help you or your company connect with people using Social Media.

 

Discussing Social Media with Vendors

At Welborn Social Media, we love discussing social media with all different types and sizes of businesses.  If you’d like us to present to your business, organization, group or discuss social media with you, please let us know.

This is from an email we sent out to Vendors from the approaching Scrapbook Expo in Ontario, CA. The Expo is happening November 3rd and 4th at the Ontario Convention Center. We’re hoping we can help some of these businesses with Social Media tips and consultations.

Dear Vendors,

Zeb and Lacey Welborn, the sibling team from Welborn Social Media, will be available at the Thursday meeting to discuss Social Media and answer any questions you may have. They work with several companies doing everything from running Facebook pages and writing blogs to doing web and graphic design.

Zeb Welborn got into Social Media after he started his own tutoring company. Wanting to gain more customers, he devoted his time and energy into learning the ins and outs of Social Media.

Lacey Welborn is the creative force at Welborn Social Media. Besides staying up to date on the latest best practices for Social Media, she also does web and graphic design.

www.WelbornSocialMedia.com
  

Should My Business Use Social Media?

When I first talk to business owners about Social Media, most realize Social Media is benefiting other businesses, but do not understand how it can help theirs.

Each business is unique and it is important for each company to determine whether or not to use Social Media based on the goals it has established for its business.

If you’re looking for the quick answer to the question, feel free to scroll down to the bottom, but I would like to share with you some examples of how and why businesses started using Social Media.

Example #1 – Grandma C’s Cookies

My sister met Grandma C at an event put on by the Arizona Small Business Association in Tempe, Arizona. She was very interested in the possibility of using Social Media to promote her cookie making business.  Grandma C was retired and wanted her business to earn some extra income.  She loved baking and built her business in her kitchen.

The Goal:  Grandma C had no desire to expand her staff. She wanted to be making cookies and sharing her baked goods with the local community.

The Answer:  Lacey suggested that using Facebook would be a great way to develop a relationship with the local community. She encouraged Grandma to try and get each of her new customers to join her Facebook page.  Then, when she had free time, to post photos and share her thoughts, ideas or inspirations regarding her baking.

Example #2 – System 1:  Acoustic Ceiling Removal

Richard McKinnon III, the President of System 1 Acoustic Ceiling Removal fell on rough times when the economy started to nose dive in 2007.  Richard was a fixer and when he started getting less business, his solution was to invest more in advertising to generate new business, cutting into his bottom line.  The money he spent in advertising for his products was not coming back to him the way it did pre-recession. Richard does not have time to devote to increasing his Social Media presence because he is constantly out on the road giving bids to home-owners across Southern California.

The Goal:  Richard has enormous responsibilities to his family and the people he employs; he needs to keep his business afloat and continue to provide for his family.  He knows his business is the best in the area and wants to maintain his business until the economy turns around.

The Answer:  We worked with Richard to create a Social Media campaign that incorporates a blog and Facebook.  The Facebook page is designed to reach out to potential customers who are homeowners and existing customers.  The blog is designed to allow users to find System 1 using search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Example #3 – WireSpeed Systems

WireSpeed Systems buys and sells new, used and re-furbished computer networking equipment to companies and individuals all over the world.

The Goal:  The market for computer networking equipment is highly competitive and WireSpeed Systems was looking for a leg up on its competition.

The Answer:  We worked with them to enhance their Social Media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Any person or business who is in a similar industry or who is interested in the products offered by WireSpeed Systems can find them easily on any of those platforms.  As a result, WireSpeed Systems has generated more leads and a better opportunity to convert those leads to sales.  They are also connecting with their customers in a more engaging and interactive way.

Example #4 – The Tutoring Solution

The Tutoring Solution Logo


I started tutoring students in 2009 and had generated a small clientele.  Tutoring is not the most lucrative business, but I really wanted to help students succeed in school, so it was a perfect fit for me.  At the beginning of the school year in September, 2010, I decided to start a website and try to build my tutoring business using Social Media.

The Goal:  To expand my business to help as many students possible succeed in the classroom in Southern California.

The Answer:  Before I started using Social Media, I had roughly four students that I tutored regularly and all were referred to me by word of mouth.  Today, a little over one year after my Social Media experiment started, The Tutoring Solution has worked with 63 students on a consistent basis.  During that time, I have had to hire 17 tutors and my client base is continuing to grow.

If you want your business to expand, you have to use Social Media. If you want your business to survive, you should use Social Media.  And if you want your business to die, you should stay away from Social Media.

In a chart designed by HubSpot, based off of information from EMarketer, the amount of companies that used blogs has more than doubled from 2007 from 16% to 39% in 2011.  Every Social Media site has seen a massive increase in the amount of companies that are using these tools to generate more business.  If you are not one of these companies, you are getting left behind.

United States Companies Using Blogs | Source: EMarketer, August 2010 by HubSpot

The real question you should be asking yourself is not whether or not you should be using Social Media, but whether or not you should pay someone else to do it.

It doesn’t make sense for Grandma C’s Cookies to pay someone else to do Social Media since she wouldn’t be making enough revenue to pay for someone to do Social Media for her.  Nor did it make sense for me to hire someone to do Social Media for my tutoring business, since I had no money to spend on advertising of any kind.

But, because I took the time and initiative to start a Social Media campaign on my own, my business thrived, just like Grandma C’s will if she does it right.

For any company that spends money in advertising it makes sense to devote money towards expanding your Social Media presence.  Unlike Newspaper, TV, or Pay-Per-Click Advertising, you can reap long-term benefits from using Social Media.  All the “Follows”, “Likes”, and “Connections” your company receives are likely to stay and can be reached out to at any time.  All blog articles that are written will be available for users to find, months, years, and decades down the line.

Should My Business Use Social Media?

The Answer:  Social Media is essential for any business, regardless of the industry and the goals of the company.  Deciding on whether or not to pay for someone to run Social Media for you is the only question your company should be asking.  

We can develop and implement a personalized Social Media strategy for any company.  If you think Social Media is something you’d be interested in finding out more about, please contact me, Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089 or WelbornSocialMedia@gmail.com to discuss ways Social Media can benefit your business.

 

2011 AZ Business Growth Expo

On November 8th we will be attending the Business Growth expo at Fiesta Resort in Tempe.

I put together a webpage about the event. Please visit: WelbornSocialMedia.com/BusinessGrowthExpo for all the information. If you’ll be attending the expo send us a message or contact us before the expo, we’ll review your current Social Media activities and tell you ways to improve your internet presence.

Leave a comment if you’ll be at the expo. We’ll look for you.

Designing Welborn Social Media

I’m Lacey Welborn, Zeb’s younger sister and co-owner of Welborn Social Media. I represent the creative side of Welborn Social Media. My tasks consist of graphic design and website design as well as everyday Social Media activities. My most recent project was designing Welborn Social Media.

Creating this website was the most difficult thing I’ve designed. It was difficult because of my own desire for it to be awesome. I so badly wanted it to be perfect, to express our company, to be the best thing I ever designed. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is. There are things I like very much about it, but there are other things that I’m not as confident in. I love my idea for the background; it’s Facebook and Twitter posts, tiled together, stylized and at an angle; a perfect backdrop for the Social Media work we do. I like the layout of the footer, it has links to 15 different things, but it’s clean, very clear, and easy to understand. There are a few design elements that I feel unsure about.

The thing I realized is that if I’m not designing for an art project, but for a very practical purpose, there are things that are more important than a perfect design. Like time. The truth is, it could take me months to create something that I feel is perfect (more likely, a lifetime). That would be wasted time. Our company has already started, we work on the web and we need a website. We need our own internet presence. Realizing that getting this website up ASAP was the number one priority meant that I’d have to let some things go. I decided that as long as the information was there and the message was clear, then it would make it to the next round of my design process, which is getting approval from friends and family. When I showed it to them, they all thought it was great. That and the knowledge that you can always make changes to a website helped calm my inner critic.

Designing Welborn Social Media was a difficult project and the realization that I couldn’t make our Welborn Social Media site perfect was tough to swallow, but it was necessary. I think all commercial designers have to learn the lesson that sometimes it can’t be perfect.

I still need to finish the design for the Our Clients page. I really really want that page to be perfect since it features the wonderful companies we work with, and the killer Social Media work we do for them. But, since the purpose is to share that information with the world wide web, I know it is more important to get that page up sooner rather than later.

Since this website has gone up, I’ve gotten more positive feedback. I feel a little better about the things that I felt unsure about. And, now we have a website! Yay!

Please comment and let me know what you think about the website. I would really appreciate more input.

The Story of Welborn Social Media

My sister and I were unemployed and living at our parents home.  My life had completely changed, I had gone through a difficult divorce and left my full-time teaching job.  Lacey had been working an exhausting job as a video editor at a local news station when they cancelled her show.

Zeb and Lacey Welborn Barbecuing Our Turkey on Thanksgiving Day

In February 2009, I began tutoring my first student and found I really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that came along with developing students in a one on one setting and experienced a lot of success.  Referrals came freely and my schedule became very full.  I decided to expand.

Lacey went back to school, taking graphic design classes and had been learning website design on her own.

I asked if she would help me with my business.  She created The Tutoring Solution logo and built a website. When the website went up, almost immediately, people began to find us online.

This was cool!

For months we added content to our website; using blogs, pictures and videos.  But, I also wanted to direct people to my website and needed to find an inexpensive way to do that.  Facebook and Twitter provided me with a free way to promote my business.

That’s when The Tutoring Solution took off.

My sister and I attributed our success to our efforts in Social Media. We did more research and began to attend classes, read articles, communicated with successful companies and kept up to date on best practices for Social Media.

Jennifer Davis from Scrapbook Expo was the first business owner we talked to about developing a Social Media campaign for their brand.  Jennifer was already active on Facebook and had generated a massive following.  I asked her if she would be willing to let me run a Twitter campaign for her company.  Welborn Social Media was born.

Many other companies began hearing about us through a variety of different avenues. Currently we do Social Media and graphic design work for the Creative Scrapbook Source, DLT Growers, Los Serranos Country Club, Scrapbook Expo, System 1, The Tutoring Solution and WireSpeed Systems.

Our story has only just begun.

Our mission is to build connections for our clients with potential customers and develop stronger relationships with current customers and to help their business grow.

If you’re looking to expand your business, schedule an appointment with us today.  We will work with you to create a personalized plan designed to help your business grow.

Schedule your free appointment today by contacting Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089 or WelbornSocialMedia@gmail.com