Join In The Discussion: Cyberbullying/Bulling At The YMCA In Mason City

National Cyber Safety Awareness Month kicks off  in October. Our community here in North Iowa is not immune to cyber bullying and/or bullying. I am pleased to have partnered with the YMCA in Mason City, Iowa. We are presenting a program on cyber bullying and bullying on October 7, 2014, 6:30 p.m. in the Teen Room at the Mason City YMCA.

Cyber/Bullying Bullying


We will talk about all of the social media platforms that are out in cyberspace and discuss how families can take charge. Let’s face it, no family is immune to cyber bullying. Laptops, tablets, and smart phones are often within reach of all family members. We will talk about how we, as community members, can learn to be upstanders as opposed to bystanders.

We will discuss the privacy policies and terms of use for the social media platforms that our teens and tweens insist on using. Instagram is a particular hot hangout for young teens today. Facebook is still widely used by kids under the age of 13, because Mom and Dad think since their child’s friends are on it, it must be ok. We will address all of these issues.

This will be a start for our community here in North Iowa. Social Media has been very vibrant throughout the first six weeks of the new school year. Each of us needs to take a look at the examples we are setting for our kids and make sure our kids are safe online.

Join us…. hop in on the discussion! We are tackling cyberbullying/bullying head on, on October 7th at the YMCA in Mason City at 6:30 p.m. A brand new state of the net survey  shows that more than 1 million children were harassed, threatened, or bullied on Facebook in the past year. That, my friends, has got to stop! Our kids are our future and we have to stand our ground now. Be a part of the solution, as we strive to make North Iowa a safer place for families.

Five Tips For Meeting New Friends At A Conference

I’m personally attending a couple conferences in the next month and I’m also hosting an afternoon one in my hometown, Creating The “Buzz” In Social Media.

Creating Buzz Logo


I hope to make new friends and help others make some connections that they have not been able to make. It’s no secret that many folks that are involved in social media are introverts, so when the opportunity is placed out there to interact in person, it’s easy to freeze up. Here are five tips to help you meet new friends when attending a conference.

And if you don’t think you can meet new friends at a conference, think again! It’s been through networking events in North Iowa that Jeni of JeniEats , Beth Ann of It’s Just Life, Finding The Extraordinary In The Ordinary, myself and Donna of have became good friends!


Bloggers North Iowa

#1: Be Yourself

You are probably saying, “Of course I will be myself.” Seriously, don’t spend hours trying to change who you are. Wear clothes that you know fit and are comfortable. Chances are you have a beautiful profile picture on your social media platforms, so it’s also not the time to get a fancy new haircut. Be yourself and who you are! If you can do that, things will fall into place.

#2: Shake Hands

When you meet someone new, provided you don’t have a cold, reach out to shake their hand. A personal connection, with a hand shake and eye contact goes a long way.

#3: Introduce yourself to a stranger

A conference is one place you don’t want to think about stranger danger. The attendees have spent money and taken the time to come to this event and are probably there for the same reasons you are. If you need to practice your Elevator Pitch, do it before you leave home! BTW- An elevator pitch is a short introduction of who you are and what you do.

#4: Invent Your Own Schedule

You should stick to a schedule for an event that is only a few hours. If the event is a couple days or more, it may benefit you to step away from the conference schedule to meet face to face with someone you’ve been wanting to get to know better. Keep in mind, most conferences don’t allow the participation of passing out swag or attending off site parties- understand the rules of the conference you are attending, before you make plans. I have found some of the best networking I have done is through conversations in a hallway that have lasted a couple hours.

#5: Ask for Business Cards And/Or Social Media Connections

Hand someone your business card and ask for theirs. I personally appreciate it when someone says, “Hey, can we follow each other right now?” Both attendees take out their smart phones and connect with each other on the spot- makes the connection super easy! Business cards work, but it’s no secret that they do get misplaced.

Most importantly go to a conference with an open mind and be prepared to meet new people. If you feel like you have had to step out of your comfort zone, that means your money and time have been well invested!

So, tell me! What’s the last conference you attended and did you meet new friends?

Thank you to Bill Schickel of KCMR Studios for the picture!

Social Media Breakfast Is A Happening Event In North Iowa

I started our social media breakfasts in North Iowa in June of 2013. And in one years time I think it’s fair to say that all attendees, including myself, have learned a lot. It’s no secret that social media is continually changing, so there is always something new to learn! Just when you think you understand a particular social media platform there is an announcement with changes coming.

We met yesterday, July 15, 2014, and it was fun to reflect on where one year has taken this group.  I love heading out of my driveway and going to Social Media Breakfast in North Iowa!

Sara Bestlaminate Shirt


Bestlaminate flooring company was our sponsor yesterday (we can’t wait to show you our social media creativity, in regards to Bestlaminate, at our next meeting). We have had more than 60 people attend throughout the course of the year. The neatest thing about this group of people is that many are working together because they met at social media breakfast. Had they not stepped out of their comfort zone to attend, they would not be working on these amazing projects.

Yesterday we discussed paid posts and boosting posts on Facebook. To summarize, it’s worth trying a paid or boost post for your business. You will not know if the fans of your business will respond until you try. It was interesting to hear the success stories that several in North Iowa are having when they do opt to boost a post.

We also discussed online etiquette and touched on cyberbullying. I personally see several Facebook groups on a daily basis that I would consider groups that are bullying others.  Two pages that stick out in my mind are pages that were started as Business Facebook pages and they are not actually businesses. Groups like this should have a “secret” group when it comes to engaging through Facebook. Problem being, we live in a transparent society where everyone thinks they have the so called “right” to know everything about everyone. Not the case! The best example I can come up with, is that it’s not my business when it comes to how the President of the United States is handling a specific foreign affair; as there are parts of his job that should remain private. That is no different than 99% of businesses and organizations across the United States.

And to top yesterday’s meeting off- We made a video!  The folks of Udderly Smooth sponsored our June 2014 social media breakfast. And it’s fair to say that attendees are enjoying their Udderly Smooth Hand Cream!


Yes, our meetings are in North Iowa, but we have attendees that drive two or more hours to attend. So, if you have ever wanted to meet new people and learn how to use social media. Join us at Social Media Breakfast in August (date/time to be announced). Like Social Connections, LLC, on Facebook to stay in the loop in regards to meeting times and upcoming events!

Did I mention that there is no cost to attend? Bestlaminate will sponsor our breakfast in August- there will be fresh fruit, rolls, coffee, and a cold drink! Beautiful flooring samples will also be available and some fun door prizes. If Social Media Breakfast Club interests you, we’d love to have you as a part of this group!

* A special thank you to Everalbum, Bestlaminate and UdderlySmooth for sponsoring our breakfasts in June & July 2014! 


Creating “Buzz” In Social Media: September 9, 2014 (1-4 P.M.)

North Iowa will be buzzing with all types of Social Media on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Social Media is changing how we all interact and we want to help you be safer and smarter online. Join us from 1-4  P.M. on this afternoon to be challenged and inspired. We have a lineup that we think you will find fun and exciting- check it out!

Where: 9 North Federal
Regional Commerce Center
When: September 9, 2014 from 1-4 P.M.
Cost: $30 Per Attendee (Payable at the door)


Melody Jone

Melody Jones is the CEO of Melody Jones/Social Media Management Services and resides in Parker, Colorado.  Melody is a connector and she’s going to offer tips on how to make new connections and maintain them. She has worked with clients in several industries, which includes several authors. We are excited to bring Melody to North Iowa, as she will get your wheels turning and inspire you to dig your heels into Social Media.

Pat Palmer

Pat Palmer is the CEO of The Computer Guy from Hampton, Iowa. Being safe and smart online is something that we are all concerned about. Pat will share the latest when it comes to internet scams and bogus offers you find on the internet. He will also give you some tips on how to keep your computer safe from some of the latest viruses and malware that are circulating. Pat is an expert when it comes to keeping you and your computer safe while online.

Katy Flint

Katy Flint is the store manager of Cell Tech, Inc.- Verizon of Hampton, Iowa. Katy is an expert when it comes to using your cellular devices. Katy is going to be sharing tips on using your cellular device and more. Have you ever wondered how to silence your phone in a second? Katy will show you how and show you some tricks of the trade! Connect with Katy on Facebook through Cell Tech, Inc- Hampton, Iowa.


Sara Broers of Social Connections, LLC has worked with several large and small companies when it comes to utilizing social media. Sara is going to show you why you and your company should invest in a blog. Sara has been blogging for more than five years. She will show you how a company blog can be a part of your business. With a little creativity and a desire to succeed, a blog will help you grow your business.

An opportunity to meet Iowa author, Joy Brown, author of My Face To The World will have books available for purchase and  to sign!

My Face To The World

Joy Brown shares her story of her battle with cancer. Her story is “real” and it’s quite evident that your faith will guide you through anything. Joy is always willing and ready to help others, her passion for life and her family are shown through her book. I have read her book and she is a genuine friend. Meet Joy and have her sign a book for you!

Hope to see you on September 9, 2014! It’s an exciting time for in North Iowa for Social Media and businesses.

*If you and your business would like to be a sponsor of this event. Sponsorships are available for $200. Your business name with your company logo will appear on a banner across the front of the room for the event and you will receive three tickets to the event.

Connections Are Vital To Growing a Successful Business

All because of blogging, Social Connections, LLC came about. My passion for connecting others and helping businesses grow is what I love to do. After all, who doesn’t like to be a part of something grand, right? I know I sure do!


Social Connections Connecting

I have met many leaders in the blogging industry over the past five years and it’s through their dedication that I was able to see myself in a leadership role. North Iowa is where I reside and I love that local folks are embracing social media and are grasping the idea that social media does matter. There is a lot of work to be done and I look forward to being a part of the positive changes that social media can bring to North Iowa. Social media reaches far beyond North Iowa, as it allows us to connect with folks all around the world.

Businesses and bloggers are working together 24/7. It’s through these partnerships that amazing things can happen! I am continually asked, “Where can I learn more about social media?” I can tell you that Social Connections, LLC, is planning several events that will help business owners understand and better utilize social media. There are also several events all around the world where you can meet industry leaders and learn a lot of information!

Pat Palmer, of The Computer Guy, recently attended EntreFest in Iowa City, Iowa, and this is what he had to say about this Iowa event. “It was a great time for entrepreneurs to get together to exchange ideas, learn from experts and to pick up valuable nuggets from the many guest speakers they had at the conference. This was my 7th time and I’m going back next year as well!” This is just one, of several, social media events where you can learn more about the industry.

Donna Hup, of, attended an event that Social Connections, LLC, hosted in Mason City on May 20th and she had this to say, “It was so great to see local North Iowa businesses come together to better themselves and our region.”

And then there was this from the great folks over at UdderlySmooth.  A huge to thank you to UdderlySmooth for offering such a “grand” door prize at Creating The “Buzz” In Social Media

Landon With Udderly Smooth

Bloggers often ask me, “What blog conferences are out there?” Here are a few that are out there and I might add, I have attended most of these or known bloggers that have, and highly recommended these conferences. These are the places where you meet fellow leaders in the blogging industry, connect with brands, and learn about social media.

It is true, when you step out of your comfort zone to learn new things and meet new people, exciting things will happen in your life. The people that I have met while networking at conferences have literally changed my life. The connections I have made, have helped me grow a successful business. If it can happen to me, it can also happen to you.

I challenge you to attend a social media event in the near future. Locally, nationally, or internationally- you will be grateful that you did!

I look forward to seeing you at one of the events that Social Connections, LLC, will be hosting in the near future!

Creating The “Buzz” In North Iowa: How To Run A Successful Facebook Contest & More

Contests are a popular way for businesses to bring awareness to their products. Facebook and other social media platforms have rules that many do not know exist. It’s important to be smart when you use social media to promote your business.

On June 17, 2014, you have the opportunity to learn more about using social media to engage with contests. Attendees will learn how to run contests through Facebook that meet Facebook’s current (TOS) Terms of Service. Other platforms will be discussed, but not in as much depth as Facebook. We are offering a HANDS ON class at the North Iowa Regional Commerce Center at 9 North Federal, Downtown Mason City.

Donna Hup will be our lead presenter! Here’s the expertise that Donna brings to this class:



Donna Hup blogs at She blogs about giveaways, recipes, reviews and much more. She has 2 years experience of running daily giveaways on and with Facebook as well as other social media channels. She has worked with numerous companies including Disney, Staples, Build a Bear, Suave, Hasbro, P&G, Hickory Farms and more. She has run more than 3,000 giveaways and all have been Facebook and FTC compliant. She builds bridges between companies and their consumers. She is able to increase both fan base and interaction through giveaways on multiple social media platforms.




Sara Broers of Travel With Sara and All In An Iowa Mom’s Day will also present at this session. Sara has worked with several companies to help them grow their social media presence by hosting giveaways through social media. From Universal Studios Orlando, Cedar Point Amusement Park, to  U.S. Cellular, Sara has participated in several social media promotions to help promote several businesses. Jane Fischer Century 21 and Hoover’s Hatchery are two local businesses she continues to work with.

Social Media promotions are a fun way to grow your business and even a better way when you do them the right way! Be smart and your presence through social media will continue to grow!

What: Creating The “Buzz” In North Iowa:  How To Run A Successful Facebook Contest & More

When: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 2:30- 3:45 p.m.

Where: North Iowa Regional Commerce Center 9 North Federal Mason City, Iowa

Cost: $35 per attendee, payable at the door (cash or checks made out to Social Connections, LLC)

Please register here, as there is limited seating for 22 people!

To get the most out of this hands on session, it is recommended that you bring your laptop with you.

Once you attend this class you will understand why it’s important to understand the rules of contests through social media. You will also be inspired with new ideas on how to make your next Facebook Contest a successful one!

See you on June 17th!




Creating “Buzz” In Social Media: May 20th, 2014 (1-4 P.M.)

Creating “Buzz” In Social Media is coming to Mason City on May 20th!

Creating Buzz In Social Media

We are bringing together three of North Iowa’s finest presenters for a one day event. Social Media is changing how we all interact. We have put together fun topics to motivate, inspire, and challenge you in your day to day use of Social Media.

Where: 9 North Federal
Regional Commerce Center
Mason City, Iowa

When: 1-4 P.M.


Andy O'Brien

Andy O’Brien of Coach Action Andy is an expert when it comes to growing your business and working smarter on a day to day basis. Andy will be speaking on how customers, employees, and employers can all get along and grow through social media. We are excited to have him presenting! Andy will excite and motivate you to smile everywhere you go.


Randy Martinson

Randy Martinson of Culligan Water of Mason City is an expert when it comes to growing your business through Facebook. Randy will show you how to best use Facebook to gain the traction you need when it comes to using social media on a day to day basis. Randy will show you some ins and outs of Facebook that you may have never heard of. We are excited to have him on board on May 20th! Randy brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to bringing the “buzz” in social media to North Iowa.


Sara Broers of Social Connections, LLC has worked with several large and small companies when it comes to utilizing social media. Sara is going to show you why social media matters. Social media impacts all of us every single day. Sara will show you why it’s important to harness the energy that social media has to offer. From Twitter to Google+, Sara will show you insight as to how all of these social media platforms can work for you.

An opportunity to meet Rachel Smith, author of Home. Rachel will have books available for book signings. If you have always wanted to meet an author and find out what writing a book is all about, this event is for you. Rachel will be available to answer your questions and share about her experience.

Rachel Smith Home

Cost: $30.00 per attendee (Payable at the Door)

Checks/Cash accepted- Checks payable to Social Connections, LLC

Space is limited- RSVP Here!

Parking is limited in the downtown area for three hours or more. We would suggest parking in the Southbridge Mall parking lot. You can walk through the mall and continue North 1 1/2 blocks to the Regional Commerce Center.

We hope to see you on May 20th! It’s an exciting time in North Iowa for social media and businesses.