Social Media

Tips For Rocking Your Facebook Group

Facebook Groups are all the rage right now. If you don’t have one attached to your Facebook Business Page, now may be the ideal time to get it going. Let’s face it, we are all struggling with the constant change of the algorithms of Facebook and looking for the best ways to connect with our customers. Here are some tips on how you can keep the group active.


I cannot stress this tip enough. Often times business owners wonder why they are not reaching their customers through Facebook marketing and the answer is often that they are not present. Posting one thing, once a week is not going to help you reach your customers. Facebook recognizes the fact that you are asleep at the wheel and therefore, does not show your content to others on the social media platform.  Make it a point to have a minimum of one daily post to keep your group active. The North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club Facebook Group is an active group that shares relevant content related to social media.

Social Media Thrivent


Ask questions that are related to your business. For example, if you own a Tupperware business, your Facebook Group would love to learn more about food storage. You could ask, “How long would you keep a container full of chili in your fridge?” This opens up the doorway for discussion about food safety, food storage and allows you, the business owner, an opportunity to share your knowledge. Again, you will need to be present to respond to the comments and questions your Facebook Group Members respond to.


The members of your Facebook Group expect you to be the expert. Share current content that is relevant to your industry. This can be an article, video, blog post or photo that relates to your industry. When you share the content of others, it shows that you are always learning what is new to your industry and willing to share what others are producing. After all, wouldn’t you like others to share your content? You can share from your Facebook Business Page, as this is a good way to build community. Keep in mind, that you don’t want to share everything from your Facebook Business Page, share the content that will make the most difference.  In the world of social media, it’s important to remember that everything that goes around, will come back around.

If you have been asleep while trying to lead your Facebook Group, I’d love to hear how you will be changing things up. If you are present, ask questions and share relevant content on a regular basis, your Facebook Group will grow and you will quickly become the expert in your field.

Laptop and Phone Social Media

Tips For Using Facebook For Your Church

Facebook is evolving and continues to evolve at a very rapid pace. Many churches have not hopped on the Facebook train due to budget constraints or the fact that they don’t have members that can run the page. In our world today, a Facebook Business Page is part of marketing. Churches do have to market themselves and Facebook needs to be included in that plan. Here are some tips for using Facebook for your church.


The first thing that church members tell me, is the fact that they do not have money budgeted for a Facebook Business Page. Do not give the “ok” for the 13-year-old in your congregation to be in charge of Facebook or hire someone because they are “cheap.” A 13-year-old barely crosses the “legal” line to be using this social media platform and cheap, speaks for itself.  Hire a professional that understands marketing and why your church has a Facebook page. In an ideal world, this person is a church member and would love to “give” their time to this. Keep in mind, running a Facebook Business Page is more than posting status updates, it takes a lot of time and attention.


Churches have activities going on every day. You can post the activities that are happening in the status updates on your Facebook page. If you are posting pictures that include kids, be sure you have the parents sign a consent form before you share their child’s photo online. Keep in mind, your events should be welcoming for members and future members. Ideally, an event should be created through Facebook and then shared to your church’s Facebook page. You can then share the event to your Facebook page. Events do show up daily in reminders through Facebook. Is a Thrivent event on your calendar? Share, share and share!

Social Media Thrivent


Let your church members know that they are welcome to share on your church’s Facebook page. Relevant content from happy church members is always attractive.


The page needs to be monitored regularly. This is something that needs to be discussed when the page is off and running. There’s nothing more frustrating for a church member to inquire about something through Facebook and to not get a response. This is where your church has the opportunity to shine and be a resource for people.

If you and your church are getting your feet wet in the world of Facebook marketing. We have put together a step by step guide for beginner Facebook users. It’s a class that is accessible on your time and your pace. Mos importantly, hop on Facebook and watch your church grow! It’s a tool that you can have in your marketing toolbox, so why not invest today? It’s an easy way to reach new members and a great way to stay connected with your current members.

desk black and white

Building Your Online Community Organically

There’s a lot of discussion about building community organically or paying to build that community. In today’s social media world, it seems that it’s all about the numbers. Truth be told, the numbers do matter. We live in a society where the number of friends, followers and likes often determine if we do business with a brand or company. Which leads us to ponder the thought of, is it possible to build a community on an organic level? Of course it is! Here are some tips to help you build your community organically.


This should be simple, but it becomes difficult as we get busy going about our day to day lives. If you want to grow your online community, it’s a fact that you do need to be present. I often hear business owners complain that their online communities are shrinking or not growing. A glance at their online activity will show that they have been non existent. Take some time to be present and you will be pleasantly surprised at the growth within your online community.


With Facebook’s Algorithms changing so frequently, it’s important to keep track of your reach. For people with smaller Facebook pages, under 30,000 “likes”, shareable content will help your reach.

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If you share from a Business Facebook Page with more follower than your page, your reach should be very good. Keep in mind, the content you are sharing,  should be of interest to your followers. Try it and see if it works for you.


Engage your community with questions. Facebook Business Pages and Facebook Groups will grow when you involve your community in the growth. Most importantly, be ready to engage with your followers when you ask a question. There’s nothing worse than asking a question and the community goes dormant.

As always, if you are like most, you enjoy doing business with those you like. When you begin to have conversations with people online, your community will grow. Go ahead, give these things a try and let me know how they worked for you.





Social Media

How To Manage All Of The Facebook Groups That You Are In

Facebook groups have gained in popularity over the past 18 months, due to the ever changing algorithms that Facebook continues to have. If you belong to a group of two, there are some things that you do need to know.


Do not request to a join a group and then think that you can post whatever your heart desires. Facebook groups do not work that way. If the group administrators have said you cannot post ads in the group, this means you do not show up posting ads in the group. Saying, “I’m sorry,” is often not enough to let you stay in the group. Facebook Group administrators do not have time to babysit members, so make it easy on them and know the group rules.

If you are in a group that is working on sharing each other’s content, make sure you offer new content to share AND have updated information on your social media platforms.


I know this sounds like a broken record, but there are still people adding people to Facebook Groups without asking for permission. If you own a business, this is the quickest way to send business the other way.


When you give, your life will become much fuller. Seriously, Facebook Groups make it easy for people to be takers. Do not fall into that trap. Get to know the other members of the group, talk to them and work together as a team.


Remember, we’d all like to think that everyone in a “secret” Facebook Group will keep everything secret. It’s a good idea to remember that screen shots do exist and often times people are not afraid to take them.


The Facebook Group administrators are there to help you. If you have an issue, be sure to go to group members and click on Admin. Here you will find out who they are. If you have a question about the group, it’s perfectly acceptable to send them a direct message through Facebook. If you don’t have to, do not clog the feed of the group with please call me, please return my email, etc……..

So you see, Facebook Groups can be fun. Use some common sense and play nice! Are you enjoying Facebook Groups? I enjoy the groups I am in, although I will say that I get frustrated when people do not follow the rules of the groups. I’ve noticed more Facebook Group administrators are no longer giving people second chances when they post something they should not. Therefore, my advice is to follow the group rules and your life will be good!


Why I Deleted The Facebook App From My Smartphone

I work in the space of social media and it’s a large part of my life. I enjoy Facebook and I like the fact that I can stay in touch with people all around the globe. I recently found myself trying to check my personal Facebook feed, way too many times per day while out and about. So, I deleted the app.

If I want to have things to write about here, I need to get out and experience life. If I want to have travel adventures to share with all of you, I need to be able to step away from social media now and then. Writing is a passion of mine, as is social media. If I want to get to know someone, I need to meet them at a local coffee shop and talk; not check Facebook every 10 minutes.

By eliminating the app, I will think twice about going through the extra steps to log in to Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, the Facebook app is super easy and convenient to use. I love social media and all it has to offer, but I know that enough is enough. Spending three-four hours on my personal Facebook feed should be ample time on a daily basis, straight from my desk top or lap top. This does not include the time that I spend on other social media platforms, writing and gathering information.

I would like to think that I am getting smarter at how I am working. There’s something to be said that another week of auction school made me think about how I am working. It was so much fun to be around encouraging, hard working individual students that attended World Wide College of Auctioneering this past week. Thank you to the June 2016 Class of World Wide College of Auctioneering for showing me the power of SnapChat and encouraging me to change up my marketing game.

I still have Facebook Messenger, Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages on my smart phone. So, as you can tell, I have not left Facebook, I’m just changing how I am using it. I’d love to hear how you are working smarter. Are you embracing new social media platforms? Are you changing things up a bit?

And who knows? Maybe I will find myself bored in an office while waiting for an appointment and guess what? The Facebook App is only a download away. I will keep you posted and let you know how this is working for me.


Social Media

The Good + The Bad= Social Media

The past few weeks social media has been interesting to watch, from a political point of view to a local point of view. When people are passionate about something, they can use social media in a really good way or a very bad way. Unfortunately, from a local stand point I saw more folks using it in a bad way. Would someone enlighten me as to why people think it is OK to encourage people, through social media, to harass people at work when it has to do with a local “hot” issue? Fellow employees do not deserve to be treated that way and it makes my stomach churn, as this is the world we now live in. Because we have Facebook, people think that it’s OK to post anything and everything. Wrong- it’s not.

Business connections through social media

Respect goes a long way when it comes to our world today. It should not be a secret that respect is the key word to many successful happenings all around us. We have many people that think it’s fun to take photos of others and share them through social media. Chances are that 99% of the people posting the photo have no clue who the person in the photo is. Photo shaming is becoming a serious issue. Before you share a picture through social media, ask yourself if you would want the photo posted if it were you in the photo.

You all know that I love social media and I love that we are all intertwined through this fun maze. We reconnect with classmates from years ago, we find new business partners and we even get to take virtual tours that seemed impossible a few years back. I wish and maybe it’s a dream, that people would respect and accept others in a community.

The past month, I have watched social media divide the community that I live in. I do hope that time will heal some of what has taken place. Social media was the avenue of many disrespectful comments, harassment issues and just plain lack of empathy.

I hope that you will make a more conscientious effort to listen and not toss out words through social media. It’s proven, when we listen, we all become better people. Often times, the conversation belongs sitting at a table and not through Facebook. Those face to face conversations still matter. Remember, as the famous Mary Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Something to ponder as our community heals.


Tips For Finding A Job Online

You can find a job online. I found one, a few years ago, when I was not looking for one. Did you know that businesses have a hard time finding people that know how to behave online? I learned early on, that many do.

I hopped on the Twitter train several years ago. It was quite evident that a lot of Twitter users did not comprehend that Twitter was a doorway to the world wide web. Several people that I followed were swearing and being very rude. Now, what could be debated, is what is rude in the year 2016 and what is not. Respect goes a long way in my book!

I later had a discussion with the company that hired me. I asked them, “Why did you ask me to come work for you?” Their response was, “You were the only person that had been engaging with us that had a trail of clean Tweets”. Really? I was stunned. I do not swear on social media channels, simply because, it’s not going to get me anywhere.

Social Media

If you choose to swear on your social media channels, keep this in mind. Many reputable companies will not hire you. Business owners want people that will respect themselves and others. How you behave online shows your true colors. It’s true… look around, you will quickly see what I am referring to.  If you have an online business and are looking to work with other companies, keep in mind, your online behavior is the first thing they will be looking at.

I often hear millennials say, “It’s how we are.” OK.. I understand that. But, I can also tell you that I know several millennials that are getting some very nice jobs because of their positive behavior online. The ones that are not getting the jobs they desire, are the ones complaining that nobody will hire them.

Think about it…. I would not be where I am today had I started swearing on my Twitter account seven years ago. I was hired because of my positive online behavior on Twitter. At that point I had not hopped on Facebook, and Instagram was not even a thought in 2009.

If you are not getting the jobs that you are looking for, you may want to look at your online behavior. If it’s less than respectable, change it now. In today’s online economy, you need to be smart and safe online. If I was looking to hire someone today, the first thing I would do, would be to comb through their social media channels. Photos and words speak volumes. The Grandma rule matters! If you don’t want to share it with Grandma, why post it online?



Social Media Was A Game Changer For The 2016 Caucus Season In Iowa

The Iowa Caucus was held tonight and all I can say is, WOW!

crowd at Iowa caucus

My last experience at an Iowa Caucus was much different from this year. I am sure it appeared to be more crowded as I had always went to a room or building, not a high school. At our local high school several precincts and townships checked in at a table near the entry of the school. With maybe two dozen people to check in at the last caucus, I stood in a line with hundreds this year. I did inquire as to if this was normal, and was told no, as there was typically a very short line.

So.. this got me thinking! I had 45 minutes to stand in a line and observe. Guess what? The people in line were conversing with each other OR looking at their smart phones. I could see that many were scrolling through Twitter and several were surfing Facebook status updates.

I have to believe that due to social media, there has become an increased awareness of the Iowa Caucus. Through social media, people have been able to see all of the selfies that have been taken with the candidates, and they have also been able to listen to speeches that have been given at Town Hall Meetings that were held all across the state of Iowa.

I do not share a lot of political information on my social media pages, as I choose not to go there. I do not have time to debate the topics with my friends, so I steer clear. Tonight was different. I arrived at our local high school and was greeted with break lights and a traffic jam.

traffic jam at Iowa Caucus

All of this, due to caucus goers. After sitting for five minutes, I decided to take a picture and post it on Facebook. Guess what? A lot of people near and far were very interested to see what was going to unfold in Iowa.

I arrived in my assigned room to caucus and met a gal who was working on a high school government project. Her high school teacher had given them assignment ~ to tweet at the Iowa Caucus using the hashtag #Gameday4USA. Tip: If you see any tweets with this hashtag on Twitter, please re-tweet it! 

This gentleman here was expressing his reasons for supporting his candidate of choice, as that’s what folks can do at a caucus.


So, tell me! Did you learn about a candidate through social media for the 2016 Iowa Caucus? I truly believe that social media was a game changer in Iowa Caucus 2016!

Social Media

Tips For Personalizing Facebook For You

Have you ever wondered why it seems you see different things daily on Facebook? I have put together some tips to help you personalize your Facebook experience. Often times, it’s a simple reset on your Newsfeed setting. For whatever reason, Facebook decides that you need to see Top Stories, as opposed to the most recent posts that your friends have made. Here’s where you can find it.

Go to Home on your personal Facebook page and then over to the left, find Favorites.

Top Stories Recent

I often hear people complain that they seem to never see Facebook Business pages that they have followed. Here’s how you can make sure you see these pages in your feed. Go to Home on your personal Facebook page, then go directly to the right from the word home to the little arrow that points downward. When you click on the little arrow, you will see Use Facebook As: Here you will find your News Feed Preferences.

News Feed Preferences

You can also see the Facebook Business pages that you have liked. Here is where you can choose Prioritize Who To See First. If we have liked a Facebook Business page we should be able to see it, right? Well, in the grand scheme of things, this is probably better for all of us. This way we can choose what pages pop up in our feeds on a daily basis. And of course, I would love to assume that you have prioritized Social Connections, LLC Facebook page!

Social Connections Page

While you are visiting Facebook News Feed Preferences, you can also unfollow people to hide their posts and choose to reconnect with people you have unfollowed. Facebook is trying to make your experience more personalized. Hopefully you will be able to see a difference in your feed, when you prioritize some of the Facebook pages that you have followed.

Facebook is a great way to connect with people of all ages. It’s true, the younger folks are not on Facebook as much as they used to be, but they are still present. I’d love to hear how prioritizing Facebook pages has worked for you. I can personally tell you, that I love the feature and I do see posts from pages that I have prioritized on a regular basis.

Sara in Galena

Facebook Post Ideas For Your Main Street Business

Facebook algorithms make life interesting, as they always seem to be changing. The one thing that is consistent is the fact that you have customers that are looking for your advice. What’s the easiest way to share what you know? Share it through Facebook. If you provide regular, informative content, your customers will consistently check out your Business Facebook page. I’ve put together some ideas that you can use for your Facebook Business Page.

Sara in Galena

Here’s an example of a photo that was used on Travel With Sara’s Facebook Page. I showed myself on the street and showcased Galena, Illinois. I not only had a photo to share on a Facebook Business Page, but I also had a photo to share on other social media platforms. This shows that I am a real person experiencing Main Street in Galena and it also showcases the architecture and history that Galena has to offer.


Your company has some sort of history. If you are new, maybe it’s you, the owner. Share your company history through a status update on Facebook. Pictures, video and/or a letter from someone that supported you early on make excellent Facebook posts.


Chances are that you have several different products that you would like to turn over. Each week, at a specific day and time, feature one product that you would like to sell. Your Facebook followers will quickly realize that they need to be sure to check out your Facebook Business Page on that day. This can be through video (Facebook loves video loaded directly from your phone to Facebook) and then store the video on your You Tube Channel. Give your video extra miles, as it will help you grow your business.


Be sure to share the special events that are happening in your community. This event may be why your customers travel to your community and stop into your Main Street business.


People love seeing what you do behind the walls of your business. Do you ship things out? What’s the process when a specific item arrives? People want to see why your business is successful. Don’t be afraid to share how you make things work. 


Selfies are fun, as well as photos of your employees. Your customers and potential customers want to know that they are doing business with real folks. An employee of the month feature, is a good way to spread some love for your employees and people that shop in your Main Street Business.

Most importantly, remember that people love doing business with people they like. Plain and simple. If you are approachable, friendly, and open, you can thrive on Main Street today. I’d love to hear what your Main Street business is posting on Facebook and what your response has been. Leave me a comment or two, as we can all learn from each other.