Social Media Impact on Business

It seems obvious that companies should and are spending time and money on social media, but determining what the impact and success of these tools are on businesses still remains a challenge. The most basic form of assessing social media impact is looking at hits, page views, and visits, which is not the most reliable way of determining the impact social media is having  (Moorman, 2015). In some ways the information businesses get from these types of metrics are more like “vanity metrics” (Madison, 2012). Vanity metrics are the pieces of data or information that look good on paper, such as saying how many likes you have, but don’t tell you anything meaningful about what social media is actually doing for your business.

There are several ways social media metrics can really have an impact on a business and their marketing and promotional strategies. Some of these include:

  • Using social media to compare how a brand compares with other competitors
  • Look at Shares rather than Likes to determine how deep your content is going
  • Look not just at how many new customers you have, but what your current customers are doing that impacts getting new customers  (Huggestien, 2014)

With new social media tools being formed so quickly and how instantaneously current tools are adapting to new users, technologies, and platforms, the depth of what social media metrics can tell you is significant.

For more information check out some of these library resources:

  • Search “social media metrics” in Octopus

BrilliantSocialMedia  UnderstandingSocialMediaTheSocialMediaBible


Haggestuen, J. (2014, February 21). These Are The Metrics That Really Matter For Social Media [web log post]. Retrieved from

Madison, I. (2012, December 18). Why Your Social Media Metrics Are a Waste of Time [web log post]. Retrieved from

Moorman, C. (2015, January 18). Measuring the Impact of Social Media on Your Business [web log post]. Retrieved from


‘Tis the Time of Year: APA Citations

As we are coming in to the final stretch of assignments and course work I thought I would do a quick post reminding everyone of the APA citation resources available to you at the library and elsewhere. One of the unique challenges of APA citations for business sources is that a lot of the guides available for APA citations do not touch on some of the sources that are quite specific to business such as annual reports, company profiles and industry reports.

To help with that the library has created an APA citation guide specifically for business sources which you can check out here. On this guide you will find examples of how to cite both in text, and in your reference list, a variety of different business specific sources including annual reports, company profiles, and industry reports as well as how to properly insert a table, cite personal communications like non recorded interviews, and images.

One question that comes up a lot for APA citations is how to cite an entire website.

If you are citing an entire website it is fine to give the address of the site in text and not include it in the reference list.

Example: To learn more about how to cite things in APA take a look at the APA Style Blog (http://

SFU also has a great resource for citing business sources in APA, which you can find here.

Don’t forget the library APA guide that covers how to cite many other sources such as books, journal articles, YouTube videos, blogs and more.

One last thing to point out is that the Library News blog has recently put up a great post on how to make hanging indents without using tab, which is a key part of formatting your APA citations for your reference list. Check out that post here.

Still having trouble? Don’t worry! Come see as the reference desk Monday – Friday from 9-5, contact the library, or AskAway.

Small Business Month

October is Small Business Month here in B.C. and Small Business Week is nationwide starting Sunday October 18th through till the 24th. This is a time for entrepreneurs from all over the country get together in person and virtually to collaborate, find new business opportunities, and explore new developments in small business entrepreneurship, management, and leadership.

There are lots of events being held nationwide but you can use this interactive map to find all the ones taking place  here in B.C.

Small Business BC also has some great in person and online events that you can check out here.

If you are interested in starting your own small business, or are researching one for class, there are lots of great resources available through the Library and the web.

Online you can check out the Small Business Profile for 2015 from the government of B.C., where you can find information on how many small businesses are in the province, how many employees they have and their contribution to the provincial economy.

The Canadian Revenue Agency also has lots of resources on how to start a small business in Canada and the different types of business structures available for small businesses.

Of course the Library also has tons of great resources that you can use to research Small Business, Entrepreneurship and SME’s (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises). Here are a few books the library has that can help you get started…

SmallBusinessintheCitythe art of waryour small business






Don’t forget there are also subject and course guides on Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship and general Business Administration that are always available to you through the library.

New Library Research Guides!

The new school year has officially started and we are diving right in to a new semester. With all of your new classes and assignments the library has created two new guides to help you with your course work.

The first is an APA Citation Guide for Business Sources. This guide goes over several resources that are unique to business and how to cite them in text or in your reference list.

The second is a Regional Data Guide for OC Locations. This guide aims to help you find the demographic, economic and some social information on the different regions that Okanagan College has a campus.

Don’t forget, there are also lots of Course and Subject Guides related to business that are also available to you.

If you have any questions or see something missing that you would like to add please contact Sajni Lacey, or drop by the research help desk.

Last of the Summer Reading List

The back to school ads are upon us, and with the school year just around the corner we all need a few things to keep our minds in summer mode for the last few weeks.

Below are some great reading lists that cover a range of topics in business, and that are not all heavy in content.

JP Morgan 2015 Summer Reading List

10 Business Books For Your Summer Reading List from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

A Summer 2015 Reading List For Creative Leaders from Forbes

Here are some previous business summer reading picks that are in the library, click on the images to find out where each book is in the library.

Talk Like Ted

Things a little bird told me

Big Data

Lean in






And don’t forget Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books List, several of which the library has. Check out a few below…

Dealing With ChinaGang Leader for a Day

Creativity Inc.


Podcasts: Summer Listening

Podcasts, I’m sure most of us have our favourites (This American Life, 99% Invisible, Freakonomics Radio and Serial are some of mine), but did you know that there are lots of amazing business related podcasts that are not super heavy in industry talk and can give you some great information to stay current on trends and developments in your area of study? Plus, you can listen to them anywhere, whether you are on the beach, on your way to work, or even while you are at the gym. The following are just a few of the many, many options available to you, absolutely free.  If you want to be kept up-to-date over the summer these are a great place to start.

Happy listening!


HBR IdeaCast

This podcast by Harvard Business Review interviews people who are the leading minds in business and management.

Twitter: @HarvardBiz


Conversion Cast

Focusing on digital marketing, this podcasts covers tons of information about optimizing conversion rates in short, 15(ish) minute episodes.

Twitter: @TimThePaige

Small Business

The Small Biz Express

Two small business owners break down various topics related to owning, running, and surviving the small business process.


Accounting Best Practices

Covers accounting best practices, financing, metrics payroll, technology, etc.


Inside PR

Aimed at listeners in business communications for public relations, social media and digital media.

Twitter: @Inside_PR


The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

From the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, every episode has a different entrepreneur who speaks about their organization and the larger world of business.

Twitter: @ECorner


Planet Money

An NPR show that discusses a variety of topics related to the economy, in fun, easy to listen to stories.

Twitter: @planetmoney

Human Resources

HR Happy Hour

Looking at HR management, leadership, and workshop technology.

Twitter: @HRHappyHour

Hospitality and Tourism

Profitable Hospitality Podcast

Information on hospitality trends related to restaurants, hotels, cafes, and bars.


Not enough options? Here are the sites I looked at to create this list, which have tons more options to choose from.

The Top 7 HR Podcasts

Top 40 PR, Marketing & Social Media Podcasters to Follower

14 Podcasts to Make You a Better Social Marketer in 2015

Top 100 Small Business Podcasts: 2014 Edition

7 Top Marketing Podcasts and the Lessons They’ve Taught Me

Industry research: Hotel industry

Have you heard of “braggies”??

I came across the term in a report on global travel trends. Apparently hotel chains are rewarding guests who share their “braggies” on social media– “braggies” are usually pictures taken from a hotel window to show off the views, or pictures of the room and amenities, which are shared within minutes of checking in. Some hotel chains are rewarding “braggie” posters with room upgrades or mini-bar credits.

A riff on the selfie, braggies are being used as promotional tools for hotels. This got me thinking about what other trends are going on in the industry? Are Airbnb and other peer-to-peer accommodation sites having an effect on the industry? What about the industry in the Okanagan, or Kelowna? Here is a brief breakdown on how you might start researching the industry, with both library resources and free online resources.

As I would start any type of research, my usual thoughts go to: who would gather information on this topic, and who would publish it? You could start with a search online, but spending a few minutes thinking about and researching associations or research groups who deal directly with an industry can save you time. Instead of weeding through pages of irrelevant information, try going right to ‘those in the know’.

In terms of library resources, my thoughts go to our subscription database, Passport. Passport contains industry and company reports and statistics about consumer products such as drinks (alcoholic, soft, hot), appliances, beauty products, pet care, and also services such as finance, foodservice, and travel and tourism. I know they have trend reports on the travel industry, as well as information about the travel industry in Canada and other countries. The first thing I see when I click on the Travel and Tourism link is an article called “Millennials – A New Breed of Travelers”. Interesting– this post provides more details on the impact of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1990) on the travel industry, including information on social media and the importance of being connected (bringing us back to that “braggie” trend). I haven’t even got to the in-depth industry reports and I’ve already spied on the first page a videocast on the travel sharing economy (Airbnb, Uber) and an infographic on consumer spending increases on hotel bookings due to online booking systems. More traditional reports include Travel Accommodation in Canada, World Travel Market Trends Report (which has information on trends such as “braggies” and “poshtels”), and reports on Airbnb and various global hotel chains.

Other databases like Business Source Complete and ABI/Inform will have reports on the hotel industry written by market research firms, as well as articles in trade publications discussing trends and current events from those who work in the industry. It’s good to get views from inside and outside the industry for a more rounded look. For example in Business Sources Complete I can find reports by searching for: hotel industry, and then limiting to industry reports:

Marketline. (2014). Global Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines: Industry Profile. Retrieved from

Marketline. (2014). Hotels & Motels Industry Profile: Canada. Retrieved from

I would also try a search for hotel trends, or travel trends, and limit to trade publications and magazines, to see what those in the industry are talking about, on a global or local scale.

So those are a few examples of what library databases can help find… what about free resources online?

I would check out industry associations for more information, as they are likely to distribute information for their members, and often have reports available on their websites. For example, the BC Hotel Association has some statistics on international visitors to BC, as well as links to recent news on the industry (I see an article on “Li-Fi”, smart coffee makers, and other new tech trends in the industry), and their own online magazine with trends affecting BC hotels (with articles like: “Targeting Business Travellers”).

Other industry associations:

Hotel Association of Canada

American Hotel and Lodging Association

Destination BC (great reports on tourism in BC by region, market, activity, and travel motivations)


And check out the library research guide for Tourism, which has more information on finding stats and resources related to travel and tourism. The Data & Statistics tab has links to various BC and Canadian Government sources for finding information on tourism, such as room revenue statistics for BC and tourism indicators.

Now I want to go check into a poshtel, connect to the Li-Fi, and post a braggie…