“Be as authentic as possible, you are building trust and relationships,” said Susan Long-Molnar as she led the class on Social Media Trends and Techniques to Increase your ROI. The Chamber Education Series launched the 2018 series on Thursday, January 25th led by Chamber board member and industry leading consultant and communications strategist, Susan Long-Molnar. The topic was presented to a sold-out crowd with representatives from local businesses ranging from the non-profit sector and city government, to tourism, hospitality and consulting. “Targeting, plus strategy, plus efficiency equals return on investment,” Long-Molnar said.
With so many small businesses in the Chamber, being effective with social media allows for better networking and connecting and identifying more closely with your target market. Long-Molnar discussed life before social media and presented a vastly different perspective on how businesses reached clients and connected with each other. In 2018 social media is not just a platform but a real way to distribute information, create understanding, share gratitude and can even be conducive to product development.
“For 2018 you must be thinking mobile,” Long-Molnar said. She asked the class to pull out their mobile phones and review their company websites and Facebook pages. She stressed the importance of presenting the face of their company in a mobile friendly format. “I want individuals to grow in their careers,” she said. Micro-targeting strategies and testimonials on social media platforms are key to impacting your business.
One of the biggest trends for this year and beyond 2018 is the importance of live video. “This is taking the place of YouTube,” Long-Molanr said, “and keep it short, sell it between 30 and 45 seconds.” Long-Molnar praised The Port of Virginia for a recent video they posted, that captured her attention. One of her passions is STEM education and she shared the video on her social media platforms using the hashtag #STEMED. To her delight, her post appeared under the #STEMED forum later that afternoon. “The importance of hashtags can’t be underestimated.”
It is social media that builds touchpoints, and in this global digital environment, the more we can build relationships, emphasize those touchpoints and, as Long-Molnar said, “Be authentic, initiate a discussion, ask thoughtful questions, make it happen and keep it simple. This gives you the opportunity to show your company as an expert.”
The event was presented by Southern Bank, and Banking Officer, Darian Fisher discussed his take away from the class. “The biggest thing is knowing your audience and target marketing for them.” When asked if he would put any of Long-Molnar’s advice into practice, he said, “People’s attention spans are shorter and knowing now the importance of video in social media, we’re going to explore the value there.”
The Hampton Roads Chamber means business and works as an inspiring ignitor and powerful economic partner for businesses of all sizes.
The Chamber Education Series continues next month with Tax Reform: Winners and Losers on February 20th. For more information and to register, click here.