COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are becoming more and more important in our daily lives. A conference in Columbia this week is teaching small business owners in the Midlands how to use the power of social media to reach new customers.
When she shut down her bricks and mortar clothing stores years ago to sell online, some in the Midlands thought Barbara Rackes was taking a pretty risky step. Today, she's one of about 300 attendees at a social media conference called SocialCrush.
Now she's trying to keep up with rapidly changing technologies while sticking to basic marketing principles. "You need to maintain your brand, and one of the easiest things to do is to get involved with way too many elements of social media and marketing and lose track of who you are or what it is that you're trying to deliver to your target audience," said Rackes.
While Rackes runs an Internet communications company, others at the two-day conference might have far less familiarity with social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
They're here to find out how to use them to locate and build relationships with customers and clients. Organizers say those relationships can really pay off for everyone involved.
"I spoke to a group a while back, this lady could not wait to 'like' the Wendy's fan page because they were giving away a free burger," said SocialCrush technologist Ty Downing. "And she liked the burgers.
"It's very easy to localize that marketing message," said Michael Brito of Edelman Digital. "It's powerful. Because if I come to Columbia South Carolina and I tweet that I'm here, and a restaurant says hey, glad you're here. Come in for 15 per cent off, since it's your first time in Columbia, nine times out of ten I'm going to go to that restaurant and spend my money."
"Social media makes the consumer in control of whatever they want to digest," added Downing. "They can like your brand or not like it. But they're in control and that's why business like the smart crowd here in Columbia today jump into these channels as brands and businesses to see what their consumers want."
Originally posted on WISTV.com
By Jack Kuenzie