To continue an effort to help local business owners tap into new technologies, the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce hosted a business education sesson about the basics of social media.
Melanie Diehl, the instructor and owner of the Wake Forest-based social media consulting company, Social Media Gal, hosted a session to help buziness owners see which social media platforms would be the best fit for their use.
“It seems to change every day, so trying to keep on top of trends is hard enough for me, let alone someone who is trying to run their business at the same time,” she said. Diehl has worked with businesses and the chamber for about five years.
Diehl told a group of about 15 business owners about the top five most popular social media platforms, but focused her presentation on Facebook.
She briefly reviewed sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Diehl made sure to explain how some of those platforms can work together (she mentioned it was especially easy to link Instagram and Facebook since Facebook recently acquired Instagram). She also gave the group tips on how best to use some of the more unfamiliar sites.
With Pinterest, for example, she explained businesses that create material products may have a good chance to attract buyers through a photo linked to the business site. She told the group that Pitnerest now drives twice as many sales as Facebook does.
“(The importance of social media) is that it works,” Diehl said in her introduction.
Kim Valentine, the executive director of the Zebulon Chamber, said sessions like the social media one are help clear the fog on a topic that is sometimes hard for business owners to tackle.
“A lot of people are confused abut social media and which ones are best for their business … so we try to have experts in from different areas to guide them to how best to utilize those resources,” she siad.
Valentine herself has taken on implementing a more thorough social media strategy for the Chamber.
When she took her position five years ago, she said the chamber had some social media accounts set up, but they weren’t regularly used.
Now, the Chamber has a Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.
“I too am still learning how best to use some of these things at the chamber,” Valentine said.
The classes are integral to a business operation because it doesn’t cost money and it allows the business to take ownership of its presentation, Diehl said.
Valentine said that dynamic, of free, controlled promotion, makes social media a no-brainer.
“You’re crazy not to take advantage of it,” she said.