Small businessmen attend a seminar on social media marketing

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Two organizations have partnered up to make sure small business men and women know their way around the Internet.

A seminar was held at the Delta Center for Economic Development at ASU on social media marketing.

This seminar was hosted by ASU's Small Business and Technology Development Center.

Instructor for the class, Abbi Siler of Pleth, spoke to attendees about five small business strategies for social media.

Siler says some people are unaware of what all is available to them.

"We'll be discussing how small business can utilize social media in their marketing efforts. Also, on how to get started before you decide on Facebook or Twitter or Linkden or all the other ones, basically how to make a strategy before you get started so you're not just shooting in the dark."

Center Director for the Small Business and Technology Development Center, Herb Lawrence, says they first began these seminars because they noticed a need for them in the community.

"We found there's a lot of interest, obviously, on how do I market on social media and not a lot of information out there on it. That was why we developed this with Abbi. This is definitely an overview of what social media is, how are people using it, but more importantly how can a small business leverage social media marketing into their own overall marketing plan."

Abbi says since they began these seminars, they've discovered a lot of things people just don't know.

"Herb and I have seen a lot of misconceptions with social media. One is that Facebook is the only one out there, especially with the clients that we see coming in and out of the Small Business and Technology Development Center and over at Pleth. We definitely see people who don't really know about twitter or linkden or a blog for that matter. And so, we like to educate on the multiple different platforms they can get started on."

Abbi says people are often unaware of the things they can and can not do.

"There's a lot of rules and etiquette issues that people don't realize before they get started and then they get a nasty little email from Facebook that says you've violated our terms of service and then they don't know what to do. So, if you know ahead of time then you can prevent that from happening."

Herb says social media has grown in leaps and bounds and small businesses need to catch up.

"The challenge we have is the fact that while seventy-eight percent of all households in the United States are on the Internet and ninety percent of those are on a social media, only about one third of small businesses have really started using social media marketing."

Abbi's advice to those planning to get online is to make sure you're aware of all the possibilities out there, first.

"My number one message is to educate yourself first. Don't just get started and think you can do it and then stop in the middle. It's really important that you have a plan, that you know what you're marketing efforts are both traditional and online and then how do they all work together."

This seminar place from one to four and also from six to nine.

For more information about ASU's Small Business and Technology Development Center and the programs they have to offer, log onto their website.

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