Why Do I Need the Internet?

Approximately 20 people gathered at Central Community College Columbus Campus last May to learn more about Social Media Marketing. Sally Cohen of eGrowth Marketing (www.egrowthmarketing.com ) shared information about the Social Media venues (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) and how they can increase sales for your business.

Social Media is defined by Wikipedia as “an umbrella term for mixing technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value. Media means digital words, sounds and pictures. They are typically shared via the internet, and the value can be cultural, societal, or even financial.”

Social media has several potential business benefits. These include communicating with your customers, finding new prospects, testing new messages and delivering information quickly. You can also keep an eye on your competitors, network with other businesses and vendors, and ask questions to get targeted research.

Traditional marketing principles apply to internet and social media: Engaging content, mix of delivery mediums, appropriate tracking and great Return on Investment (ROI). Social Media differs from Traditional Marketing venues in three ways: immediacy of the information; vehicle separate and not controlled by the company; and interactivity. Social marketing tools should link into your existing marketing strategy.

One of the key questions of the day was “which one should I use?” Ms. Cohen’s response was to define your target market. By knowing the demographics and psychographics of your target market, you can more likely determine which venue to use. Ms. Cohen also discussed evaluating the effectiveness of social media through Google Analytics and other tools.

Dennis Kahl, Extension Educator with University of Nebraska-Extension, assisted with the hands-on portion of the day. Participants were able to create Facebook pages and familiarize themselves with the marketing potential.

The day was sponsored by Nebraska Business Coaching, LLC, Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, Central Community College/Columbus Entrepreneurship Center, SBA and the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP).

Social media learners
Attendees at Social Media Marketing listen intently. Sally Cohen of eGrowth Marketing talked about how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can increase sales for small businesses.