Our Family of Niagara

My Musings on Mother's Day 2012

One of the key descriptives utilized to characterize the Niagara Economic Summit this past week was the term “regeneration”.  The symbolism contained within this word is certainly fitting for the transformative phase that is currently happening within our Niagara Region.

In a biological sense, regeneration is a process of organic, systematic recreation at the cellular level. Similarly our Niagara cultural economic and political structures are currently transitioning themselves fundamentally at the grassroots community level.

New communications mediums such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linked are creating impactful opportunities for opinion sharing, vetting of ideas and ultimately consensus building. Emerging community leaders are finding voice and peer support that is unprecedented compared in the traditional elitist networking models of past generations.

The diversity of knowledge and talent pool that is rallying among the ranks of the presumed “silent majority” in Niagara right now is astounding and indeed, inspiring.

As a Mother and second generation family business entrepreneur, the term regeneration also conjures up parallels between family dynamics and the need to effectively mentor the succession of our next generation of leaders.

I believe most of us would agree that one of the fundamental qualities of a good mother is the ability to treat each child as an individual. We teach our children that their ideas are valuable and care about their point of view. In turn, they feel supported and empowered.

Equally important, is the need for us to lead by example. By having a firm belief system and demonstrating our commitment to authenticity we earn our child’s respect and appreciation.

The regeneration of Niagara will continue to evolve much like families learn from and adapt to each others strengths and weaknesses. The blossoming emergence of a wider diversity of community leaders is a phenomenon to be encouraged, facilitated and embraced.

Are we making progress in Niagara? The answer depends on who y’all are listening too.


Cathy Berkhout-Bosse

Community Manager, MyPelham.com

Broker, ReMax Welland Realty Ltd.


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How to create “engagement”?

 by The Marketing Bit

I hear small business operators who have made the leap into social media (good for them), complain that no one comments on their posts, no one

Social Media EngagementSocial Media Engagement

shares their updates or re-tweets their tweets, etc.  Without any interaction or payoff, small business begins to wonder if social media is really worth the effort.

What’s lacking is ‘engagement’.  Without engagement, social media becomes tiresome and boring.  Over time, people will stop paying attention.  But how does one stimulate engagement?

If you’re a small business and before you throw in the towel, I’d like to encourage you read the following engagement suggestions and test them out with your social media audiences.

It’s all about You or them?

One factor is the small business is not tweeting or posting items that are of interest to their audience.  Chances are it is all about the business or the product and not about adding value. The rule is to add value by sharing information that enlightens, educates, informs, shares and updates your audience.  Twenty percent (20%) or less of the posts and tweets can promote your business, products, store, but with care and not like a used car sales man.  Remember, social media is about building online buddies.

Take time to Buddy-up

Speaking of buddies, I don’t believe many small business proprietors are taking the time to really make buddies with their fans, followers, connections.  What do I mean?  Going beyond just thanking someone for joining your social community.  In addition, visit their profile or website.  See if you can find anything of interest to share with others in your network.  Talk directly t to them through the direct messaging tools that are available and become true buddies in the same way you would talk face-to-face if they were in your store or place of business.

You certainly can’t do this with everyone in your social media community, but you can cherry-pick those who are already the most engaged.  Start there and span out.

What do you want them to do?

Another factor that leads to a lack of engagement is there are few, if any, calls to action.  If you want your social media community  to take action then explain what you would like them to do, how to do it and give them a reason to do it.  Want your updates shared or re-tweeted?  Ask them to do just that and explain why.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Ask first.  Then deliver.

Few small businesses are asking members of their social media communities what they would like to know or learn about.  Instead, assumptions are made as to what folks want to hear about.  Ask and then respond.

Get them talking to each other

Create opportunities for them to interact with one another.  This could be some sort of collaboration or perhaps they could join forces to select a new product, a new color, etc.  Offer contests rather than discounts.  Get them hyped about some happening or cause.  Stir the pot with something controversial and get them to share their points of view.

Try a couple of these ideas and see if your engagement doesn’t increase.

Do you have some additional engagement ideas that have worked for you?  Then share them below so we can all benefit.

Original Article published at this LINK:

Link: http://www.themarketingbit.com/social-media-marketing-2/engagement-social-media/%0A%0AFive ideas to stimulate social media engagement.%0A%0A–%0Asent via Shareaholic

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If you are looking for anything in Pelham we invite you to make MyPelham.com your localized search engine. Our social enterprise delivers continually updated, internet exposure to all sectors of our local community – business, non-profit groups, service clubs, sports organizations, farms, churches, schools, artists- you name it – it should be here.

My co-founding business partner, Melissa Wells www.exnihilodesigns.com and I began building the MyPelham community site in November 2009 in order to create a fully inclusive on-line environment where all community groups could share content and attract a common user base. In turn, all participants benefit by having the opportunity to cost-effectively promote their events, services and sales offers to a our growing local internet audience.

We are thrilled by the response that we have received from our local community. We now have over 50 business sponsors, more than 40 non-profit groups and several local bloggers actively submitting content.

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About MyPelham.com

Over the past two years our MyPelham.com community website has developed to become a comprehensive on-line source of information about all aspects of life, work and entertainment in the Town of Pelham.

MyPelham.com also provides promotional support to Pelham area businesses and organizations via social media. Our www.facebook.com/mypelham Facebook page serves as a free resource for local community members to share links and Melissa and I also actively utilize our @MyPelham Twitter profile to promote local events and the sales offered by our business sponsors.

One of our primary long term goals for MyPelham.com is to create a sustainable, marketing resource that actively collaborates with other Niagara regional initiatives. MyPelham.com is now linked with Tourism Niagara, Niagara Economic Development Corporation and MLS-Niagara. As the marketing strategist for MyPelham.com, I also proactively interact with other regional organizations such as the Tourism Partnership of Niagara, Social Media Club Niagara, Climate Action Niagara, Niagara Original Brand Advisory Committee, Niagara Escarpment Commission, and Brock University to further enhance opportunities for future partnerships.

From Day One, we stated that we were not simply creating a website. We have established a social enterprise that provides long term economic development and tourism benefit to our Town. Our intention is to generate sufficient advertising revenue to function as a self-sustaining entity that limits the potential tax burden of Town promotion.

At this time, Melissa and I would like to express our deep appreciation for all the MyPelham.com community members who have supported our efforts throughout the past two years. We are excited to embark on another year of collaborative community growth and new development opportunities.