Business leaders hear pros, cons of social media

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Cassie Davison, with the University of Central Missouri's Missouri Small Business Technology and Development Center, speaks to Concordia Chamber of Commerce members about the benefits of social media for small businesses. (Sarah Reed/The Concordian)

Social media tools have fast transitioned from personal use to professional, and it's a topic Concordia Chamber of Commerce officials have had on their minds in recent months.

In early March, Val Day, with Perfect-A-Line, spoke to members about the benefits of online advertising. On Thursday, April 18, the group learned more about Facebook.

"If you create a Facebook page, you can learn more about your target audience," said Cassie Davison, who was the Chamber's guest speaker Thursday evening. "You can build a community ..., and your competition already has Facebook."

Davison works for the Missouri Small Business Technology and Development Center, which assists businesses in 30 Missouri counties.

Facebook has 950 million users worldwide and five new profiles are created every second, Davison said. During the meeting, she discussed the simplicity of analyzing your account data such as how often visitors view your page, and the demographics of your audience.

"I think there's a kind of psychology to Facebook." Davison continued, adding most people visit the site on Thursdays and Fridays.

Social media tools aren't right for every business, especially those with little time to keep them updated or use them proactively. An out-of-date website or Facebook page, Davison said, could do more harm than good.

"You need to know who you're targeting," she said. "A lot of business owners think (it's) not going to help. It helps significantly ... it's free advertising."

During the meeting, board president Marsha Trautman stated the chamber will be refurbishing 10 Christmas decorations with LED lights. The decorations line Main Street, and five of them weren't displayed this past year due to their condition. Other business discussed included progress toward a new Interstate 70 billboard.

"We are working with three different billboard companies, getting quotes," Trautman said.

The tourism committee will partner with the chamber on the billboard project.

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