Putting Your Business on the Map

or .. putting your town on the map! 

Sheila Scarborough, of Tourism Currents, will be in Webster City and Hamilton County on September 17.  She will lead a workshop designed to teach small businesses, non-profits, and others how to use tourism and online marketing to increase visitors to their stores and locations.   This event is funded by the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce and grants from Enhance Hamilton County Foundation and Travel Iowa.  It will be free for all Hamilton County businesses and residences.  Those outside the county may attend for $25.   
The in person workshop will have beginner/advanced beginners slated for the morning session and intermediate/advanced for the afternoon session.   Every attendee of the workshop will also have access to a four part online course in social media which is just about everything fundamental that a front-line tourism-related business would want or need to know. Their access will never expire and the materials are kept current.  This access would be granted through the Chamber of Commerce.
Finally each attendee will receive three 60 minute group coaching sessions for their group over the course of three months.  This is hosted via GoToWebinar. 
To register to attend, please visit this link and sign up.  This will be limited to the first 250 people and promoted around the state of Iowa.  

Four part online course in social media:  

Introduction- Lesson 1:
You don’t have to be an expert to get started. These lessons and videos help you understand and escalate your tourism efforts. This is an excellent lesson to share with board members/owners and others who need a boost to “get it.”

What is this social media stuff, and who cares?
Explaining blogs and microblogging (Twitter)
Explaining Facebook, Flickr and YouTube
Video: How a city gets started in social media
Video: How a communications director monitors Twitter
Video: The benefits of Flickr photo-sharing

Lesson 2: How to Listen
How big are your listening ears? If you don’t know what’s being said, you can’t respond. And just like a party, it makes sense to listen for a while before you jump in to the conversation.

Google listening tools
Listening on Twitter and Facebook
Alltop, plus more free and paid listening services
Improve and refine your listening
How to respond to what you hear
Video: How @SeattleMaven monitors Twitter for Seattle tourism
Video: Morning coffee with @SeattleMaven

Lesson 3: Building a Home Base
Your home base can be much more than just a website. See how better images, video, audio and blogs make your presence as welcoming as home to your visitors.

Tips for a better website
Building a better blog
You’ve started a blog, now what?
Why you probably need a Facebook Pag
eUsing images, video and audio to enhance your home base
Video: Blogging lessons learned from Sheila

Lesson 4: Intro to Outposts
If you have a solid home base, you can start reaching out into the online world and build outposts. You’ve heard so much about Twitter, Flickr and YouTube – how do you make them really work in tourism related businesses?

Twitter for tourism: why and how, and an introduction
Twitter starter pack: ideas for two weeks of tweets
Best ways to use Flickr photo sharing for tourism
Best ways to draw visitors with YouTube and online video
Other outpost services you can use to reach visitors
New!  LinkedIn for destination marketingVideo: How the Lynchburg, Virginia CVB uses outpost sites

Sheila Scarborough is a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. She's written for many blogs and print publications and is also a certified Navy Master Training Specialist, with years of experience as an instructor.

Winner of the "Austin American-Statesman" Texas Social Media Award and an AWC (Association for Women in Communications) Clarion award, Sheila trains and speaks regularly about social media to a variety of audiences including journalists, public relations and marketing professionals, tourism and economic development experts and Chambers of Commerce.
Along with Leslie McLellan and Becky McCray, Sheila is part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person training in social media for tourism and hospitality.
She is the Vice Chair for the AWC National Board of Directors, co-founded and still writes for the Perceptive Travel blog, is active in Freelance Austin, and serves on the Advisory Board for SXSWi (the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference.) She founded and runs #awcchat, a weekly online Twitter chat about a variety of communications topics.
A U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two children, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan because there's one winner, one loser and no whining.

Tips from Sheila
It is your organization’s public storefront on the oldest and biggest social network for business, with over 277 million people in 200+ countries.

It’s a LinkedIn Company Page, and too many of them are sad, pathetic, ignored bits of online real estate.

In tourism and hospitality, marketers fall all over themselves to build up Facebook Pages, but its B2B and sales equivalent – the LinkedIn Company Page – is usually ignored. This is a major missed opportunity; meeting and event planners are quite active on social media including LinkedIn.

The most precious thing you can earn and keep today is your visitor or guest’s attention, and even once you earn it if you don’t continue to bring value, entertainment and helpful customer service, you’ll be Unsubscribed, muted, Unliked, switched off, Unfollowed and ignored.
On your blog, make more of an effort to encourage subscribers by email or RSS; don’t just wait for readers to fall from the sky via search engines.
These tips have been taken from Sheila's Guide to the Good Stuff found at http://www.sheilasguide.com/