February '17

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44 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 F our months ago, I was frustrated dealing with social media for my business. But the more research I've put into it, the more enlightened I've become. In the last of this series on social media, we will finish untangling the various social media sites. We'll also take a closer look at a site that seems to be a waste of time for the blue-collar, wrench-turning crowd, but can actually have a very big effect on our business profile. Lastly, I'll give an update on the progress of my social media experiments over the past three months. Tracy Tuescher runs a public relations firm called the Buzzmaker. One of the reasons Tuescher is so fantastic with PR is that she is one of the most positive people I know. Positivity is a big factor in being successful in business and social media. "Just like other advertising, marketing or PR investments, select social channels because that's where your customers are," she says. "Commit to creating and main- taining a quality brand presence within the social environments where your customers are, and focus on doing it well and making it count." SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER Here are Tuescher's takes on the various platforms and some very eye-opening facts. (Facebook owns Instagram? Facebook as a search engine?) Facebook During a recent professional development conference, one young panelist said, "If you're a business and you don't have a Face- book page, you're not even real." True fact (that a young panelist made such a state- ment). Facebook is optimized for mobile, for connectivity with Instagram (since Facebook owns Instagram), and for search engine response, which makes a quality Facebook presence an important part of any brand's digital footprint. Also, this is where the pre-sale process often takes place. According to Facebook, 49 percent of in-store purchases are influ- enced by digital interactions—more than half on mobile. Brick and mortar retailers can use campaigns to reach people on mobile and promote products and services that lead to sales. The great selection of call- to-action campaigns let business owners tailor campaigns more effectively. Facebook lets businesses target consumers based on age, gender, interest areas and geo- graphic location, to name a few, and offers some robust analytics, too. Business page content is now optimized for search with Universal Search, introduced in October 2015—an added value. This is because people often use Face- book as a search engine, searching for topics of interest, or specific products or services within Facebook before they try or buy. Facebook also offers consumers a great point of contact for quick resolution of questions or concerns via messaging—fast, Making sense of the choices. By JoAnn Bortles

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