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Local professionals at marketing workshop

April Heavens-Woodcock, managing partner of Touching Clients, offered social media marketing tips to a group of local professionals at a seminar sponsored by the Durham Economic Development Commission on April 24.

While emphasizing the importance of websites and email for business marketing, she discussed the panoply of social media opportunities that have revolutionized business operations for the largest companies, like Coca Cola and small local businesses, like a package store that rebuilt its business with video and Twitter.

Heavens-Woodcock began by citing the most popular social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. She described the benefits of each channel, the number of people who access them and how they can be used by businesses. For Facebook, she outlined the development of a Facebook business page, which includes cover and profile photos as well as apps/tabs, a timeline and posts.

She said Twitter is the best social media search channel with hash tags that can be used to find out about individual products and who is searching for them. “Watch the conversations and learn about the business that is happening on the social channel,” she said.

Pinterest and Instagram are picture sharing story boards with Pinterest skewing to a female audience. LinkedIn is a networking site that provides one on one interaction and specializes as a recruiting and sales tool.

When asked what social media applications are best, she said, “Figure out where your audience is and where you want to be.” She also suggested businesses owners should start with Facebook or Twitter if their audience is there. They should post three to five times a week to start and then increase their presence over time.

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