Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dive into social media to better your business!

It's been very gratifying to be able to serve our members by brokering information about social media as an absolutely free marketing tool to grow their businesses. This is a no-brainer for the Chamber, since we have always positioned ourselves as a clearinghouse of information for our member businesses. It's exciting to see our staff helping both members and the general public understand these tools.

In fact, literally as I type this I am listening to our Director of Workforce and Small Business, Gretchen Laffoon, explain to a job seeker that LinkedIn is an "online resume that is changing the face of job hunting." I agree - think of it as your virtual business card.

To many, social media is written off as the fad of the day. In fact, an article by Steve Millard in the Summer 2009 issue of Chamber Executive magazine regarding social media reads:

The topic might surface at a staff meeting, or in a board discussion, or at a workshop... and all of a sudden, someone is saying how their chamber needs to do this "social media thing." The twenty-something program coordinator looks up with a glimmer in her eye - after all, it's about time! The senior leaders and volunteer leaders over fifty arch their eyebrows and wonder aloud what the value of getting involved with this new type of tool will be, while those in between are both excited and vexed about what it all means for their chamber and their members.

Here's the next sentence in Millard's article, and it is a gem:

These are the same types of conversations we were having just ten to fifteen years ago regarding websites and email! And in most cases, we all came through that evolution reasonably well.

At the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, we don't see social media as a way to make a buck or position ourselves as expert in something we are not. We DO see an absolutely incredible opportunity to serve our members by offering easy, painless access to information (in layman's terms!) on how to use social media to the benefit of your business. While there are plenty of purely social sites out there, we focus on what works for professionals and businesses.

And here's the caveat: we're not tech wizards or media experts, but we do know where you're coming from. Let us help you navigate the social media waters (and save you plenty of time in doing so). Whether you've explored these tools a little or don't have the foggiest idea what they are and how to use them, this is a learning environment for every level. Join us at our next workshop on July 24 by registering here:

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