Social Media marketing is playing a bigger and bigger role in the marketing mix. It’s also becoming  more “pay to play platform, especially Facebook.
These are just some of the trends that you need to consider when planning your marketing for 2015.

Here are 10 trends that you must pay attention to:

As we settle into the new year, it’s time to take a look at what experts have to say about what’s new and what they foresee in 2015. Social media is a dynamic and ever-changing industry that we must always keep tabs on because what is relevant today can just as quickly become old news tomorrow.

Here’s a compilation of the latest trends and predictions in social media this 2015 straight from the experts.

1. Facebook Is Set to Dominate with an “Advertising Triforce”

Facebook purchased two companies recently: Atlas, a Microsoft online ad measurement suite, and LiveRail, a mobile video network. Combined with Facebook’s over 1billion users, it has the potential to “dominate with data, measurement, and engaged ad delivery.”

– Erin Mulrooney, Digital Media Supervisor at ab+c Creative Intelligence

 Read the other nine here


facebook marketing, social media marktingWhat are the Three Best Ways to Achieve more Engagement  on Facebook?

According to a study by after evaluating 10,000 Facebook and twitter posts by 8,000 small businesses across 50 industries they found that if you wanted to drive more engagement then these are the top tactics.

  1. Photo posts – they received 50% more impressions than any other post type or media type
  2. Quotes – these provide 22 percent more interactions when compared to all post types
  3. Questions generate almost twice as many comments as any other post type

The report also showed that if you want to have your published content shared across fan’s networks then links were 87% more likely to be shared than any other type of post.

Social media marketing, Kevin Toney SmalL Business MarketingFacebook marketing can be effective for small businesses if done correctly. But it seems that Facebook is going out of its way to make it more and more difficult for businesses to get FREE marketing on their site.

So you really need to do lots of lead generation on Facebook so you can build a database of all your “LIKES”

Read more to understand what Facebook is doing and how it will affect your business in negative ways.

Pros and Cons to Using LinkedIn

kevin toney the marketing coachIf you are like many other small business owners, you may have reservations about using LinkedIn to put your brand on the map online. Using LinkedIn, of course, has its share of advantages that you should be aware of and that you should consider before deciding whether to join or not.

What Do You Want To Achieve Through LinkedIn?

The LinkedIn website’s service, like any tool, is only as useful as the skill of the person operating it. If you sign up for LinkedIn and immediately expect to see thousands of orders flying in your expectations are too high.

When using LinkedIn, you want to clearly identify what the scope of your usage is. That usage can fall into any of the following categories:

• Connecting With New Business Partners – Perhaps you need product distribution in an area where you have no influence. LinkedIn can provide you with the contact information you need to make a presentation to the decision makers in charge there.

• Hiring New Employees – If you have specific needs for new employees to fill, LinkedIn has powerful filters that make it easy to narrow your search down and find exactly the people who carry those set of skills, live in your area and are available to work.

• Communicating With Your Audience – If you are a brand that is fortunate enough to retain a following that you would like to see grow, then LinkedIn offers you a great number of tools that you can use to cater to your audience and give them content and material to share.

After you have identified your goals, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of using LinkedIn.

Clearly, the benefit of using a site like this is that you have a busy web portal readily available to help you raise awareness of your brand, service and products without costing you anything.

You can strengthen the connection with your existing contacts, find new employees and contact potential business partners at the click of a button, maximizing your efficiency and reducing waste.

Disadvantages are hard to come by, but they may appear if LinkedIn is not properly used. For instance, it may be tempting to spend all of your time on the website, sending generic presentations en masse to every person who could possibly benefit from your service. This would hurt more than it helps, since it would feel like spam and associate your brand with negative feelings.

It should be pointed out that most LinkedIn users spend only a few hours a week on the site, yet, they enjoy enormous benefits thanks to having built an effective profile that does most of the work for them.

If you approach LinkedIn this way, it is always a good idea to sign up. To make sure you get the most out of your membership, it will not hurt to benefit from the services of an online marketing consultant, at least until you get the hand of it.

6 Benefits of Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business 

If you want a solid online presence with more activity on the professional front, LinkedIn is the best place to start. 

When you communicate with your followers, you are communicating with the first level connections who serve as a powerful force when it comes to spreading the word about your brand. You are also likely transmitting to a handful of your own employees, as well as potential employees who are following you on the site. 

If you are interested in gaining a larger and more effective social following for your business, LinkedIn has tools that can help you achieve that.

Are you still wondering why LinkedIn is ideal for almost any business looking to gain traction on the internet? Here are some benefits of using LinkedIn for business:

1. Lead Generation – LinkedIn opens the doors for networking as long as your profile and Company Page are optimized and active. Posting unique and relevant content on a regular basis will result in more people finding your business amongst the crowd.

2. Increased Exposure – Having a LinkedIn Company Page is one more way to gain attention for your business. Not only will this bring more prospects, but it will also help to send more traffic to your website.

3. Higher Level of Credibility – LinkedIn is a great place to show off your business and gain trust amongst customers and prospects. One feature that helps is the “Recommendations” feature. The more recommendations you have from past customers and clients, the more of an opportunity you have to generate more serious leads and sales.

4. Show Off Your Accomplishments – Another way to build trust with potential customers and clients is to display your achievements and portfolios right on your profile. This will give everyone a birds-eye view of exactly what you have to offer.

5. Filtered Search Results – Generating sales effectively means reaching your customers effectively. LinkedIn makes this easy by offering a very thorough series of advanced search options that you can use to hone in on your target demographic with exacting precision.

It is worth noting that some of the most advanced search tools are only available for premium members who pay for the privilege. This powerful, efficient indexing, however, can often pay for itself if it is used effectively.

6. Quality Business Connections – The most important benefit of LinkedIn is the fact that it is populated almost entirely by forward-thinking professionals such as yourself, who are similarly looking for ways to grow their businesses. This creates a unique culture of individuals who, in representing their respective companies, make business easier for everybody.

The connections that you make on LinkedIn are noticeably more effective than those that you could get by cold calling or even references. This is thanks to LinkedIn’s meaningful use of information and to the people and brands the service has attracted so far.



Author: Kevin Toney is “The Marketing Coach”. Kevin coaches small business owners and sales professionals on how to find and attract new customers, increase repeat business and generate a steady flow of referrals. Call 204-783-6342 for a FREE 30 minute over the phone Coaching Session.


 What Is The Difference Between a Mobile Website And a Mobile App?

Mobile marketing, Kevin ToneyMobile websites and apps can seem very similar at first-glance, but they are totally different. Determining which is best suited to fit your needs depends upon a number of factors, including the make-up of your target audience, your available budget, how you plan to use them, and required features.

If possible, it’s not a bad idea to get both if they fit your goals and budget; the more mobile exposure you have, the better.

Generally speaking, mobile websites are regular sites that have been streamlined and optimized for mobile use. The display and functionality on mobile devices and mobile apps are often used in a complimentary role.

For instance, a delivery restaurant, which offers online ordering from their main website might offer the same functionality in a stripped down fashion for mobile users.

They will likely eliminate most bandwidth-intensive images and only include a basic menu instead of one with in-depth descriptions of each dish. The goal for mobile websites is to give the user the basic functionality of your main website while compensating for mobile limitations.

If that same restaurant had a mobile app, as well, users might expect to find deeper descriptions of the types of food they sell, or other information relating to the food, region, or restaurant itself.

Mobile apps are not intended or suited to be a replacement for a mobile website due to the fact that the end goal is different for both.

Blogging, kevin Toney marketing Coach, Small business blogging

I Have A Website, Why Do I Need A Blog Too? 


I`m reading a great book by Jeff Korhan (Built In Social, Essential Social Marketing Practices for Eve y Small Business). The following article is a page from that book. I highly recommend you buying this book.

Most people think of a website as a digital storefront—a place for offering products and services and other commercial activities that you can also accomplish with a blog. So then, you may wonder, what exactly is the difference between a blog and a website?

Blogs and websites are both considered websites, with the former being interactive and the latter predominantly static or inactive. That’s one important distinction.

If consumers are ready to buy, and are therefore primarily interested in product details such as specifications and pricing, then a traditional website is the ideal means for converting that interest into profitable sales. Whereas if those consumers are doing research and otherwise taking the time to educate themselves, a blog is going to be more likely to hold their attention.

The most promising option for most businesses today is a hybrid site that combines the best of both, and it’s a matter of knowing your customer to determine which is best for your business. Buyers need to know what you are selling because that tells them more about how you can help them. You can profile that front and center on the home page of your site, in the sidebar or on secondary page.

However most important is  to not think of your blog as something that sits on your website. This compromises its value. Instead consider it for what it is, a source of valuable information that attracts and educated interested buyers and holds their attention, while also providing significant SEO benefits. Now consider if that should be primary or secondary to the home page of your site.

Advantages of a Blog as Your Social Media Hub

Ownership. You own your blog content for life when its online address is a unique URL that you own. This allows you to even switch blogging platforms and take all of your content, comments, and valuable links with you.

Flexibility. There is more functionality possible on a blog than most people will ever need. WordPress  plugins make it especially easy for anyone to add and remove features.

Content Management. A search feature on your blog allows visitors to find just what they are looking for from hundreds or thousands of blog posts. You can and should also use it to link back to your previous work to further engage your reader.

Community. A personalized blog becomes a destination that you inhabit, and that helps to humanize your business to make it more attractive to your community.

Multi-Media. You can host audio, video, images, and other forms of content on your blog to keep your audience more engaged.

Sharing. Readers can easily share your blog posts with friends to extend your message and introduce you to new communities.

Expertise. When you blog on a regular basis you develop new perspectives that liberate your expertise.

E-mail Capture. You can capture e-mail addresses on your blog to build your list.

Reputation Management. Google acknowledges flogs as respected sources of news. As such, your blog is a representation of your accumulated experience as a professional in your industry.

 Control. Unlike most social media networks, you have complete control over your blog. You determine the culture, functionality, and overall look and feel.

Blogs were distinct from traditional websites in their early days. Now they are seamlessly working together as one—serving up informational content along with offerings of products, services, and advertising. They also easily integrate with your social media channels and digital newsletters—both of which also combine well with each other.

*** If you need some help setting up your blog or social media strategy, please contact me for a FREE Marketing Coaching Session.

Source: Jeff Korhan (Built In Social, Essential Social Marketing Practices for Eve y Small Business)



small business marketing Winnipeg companyI lost my cool with a client; first time ever in 25 years of doing business. I read her the riot act for listening to one of her friends instead of following my advice.

For years I’ve been providing her with informed, expert marketing advice based on the numerous books I’ve read seminars and workshops I’ve taken. And the many videos and audios I’ve consumed.

My client just hired a friend as her assistant. The friend has been offering my client marketing advice contrary to mine.

This friend has no significant marketing background or experience. Oh and by the way, my client’s friend just had to close down her business in the same industry, that’s why she’s now working for my client.

I asked my client’s friend what she has been basing her advice on and she says “on what I like.”

Here lies a very common marketing problem.

Don’t just base your marketing strategies on your personal likes and dislikes or those of your friends and family. It’s not smart business.
Your marketing should not be about you; it should be about what will make your target market respond to your offer. Your personal feelings and the anecdotal opinions of others should take a backseat to researched, tested and proven marketing strategies. Just because you don’t like something does not mean it can’t help your business grow.

Case in point; I added a pop-up offer to one of my restaurant client’s website – a chance to win a $50.00 gift card. My client’s initial reaction was “I’m not going to do that I hate those things and so do most people” I convinced him to trust me. To date that offer has allowed us to build an email and cell phone number database of over 6000 people.

It’s ok to ask or take marketing advice from friends and family, their intentions are good, but keep in mind that it will probably be based on personal feelings and anecdotal opinions.

Providing expert, professional marketing advice is a skill that has to be developed over years of studying and learning. Experiencing the good and the bad and learning from it. So beware of who you take marketing advice from. After all, you wouldn’t take medical advice from your neighbour on important medical issues if she wasn’t a doctor. Would you?


No matter what you sell, our end goal is getting people to say yes to our sales offer.

Getting people to say yes to your marketing request is becoming more and more of a science. Check out this awesome video that explains six scientific shortcuts to persuade people to saying YES! The Science Of Persuasion

Let me know what you think of the video.