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Blog // Connect Michigan

Reaching Out with Social Media

By

Samantha Stemler, Connect Michigan Communications Intern

Connect Michigan works with local economic councils, libraries, and governments to improve broadband availability and use and simultaneously advance digital literacy. Marketing and social media experts at Courtland Consulting collaborate with local tech teams and Connect Michigan to hold social media workshops for businesses across Michigan. Courtland Consulting gives local and rural businesses the tools to extend their personal touch and local service to new customers through social media. 

“Being properly trained helps businesses optimize their time,” said Michelle Le Feve, Courtland Consulting’s executive director. Many small business owners can’t find time to organize their social sites while running their business, but finding the right sites and organizational tools can cut down online networking time to as little as a couple of hours a week.

Courtland provides basic instruction in its workshops and individualized training by appointment. Le Feve offers a few tips on commonly asked questions during workshops:

Use the right platforms. “People get really confused about which platforms to choose.  I tell them to pick one or two and start devoting time to learning those and start using them well.” As one of the most popular social platforms, Facebook is a great first choice.  

Try different things. “Don’t be afraid to experiment with your posts. You can’t really do it wrong.  Eventually your analytics will show you when you should post and what your base responds to.”

Engage with customers. “You have to make your posts personal and take the time to build relationships, just like you would in person. Don’t just focus on your own messages; comment and share on your friends’ posts and messages.”

Make posts matter. “Select content that is helpful to your audience, that benefits them.  You can’t measure ROI on likes and followers.” Free giveaways, webinars, or coupons help drive engagement and turn followers into customers.

Claim your fame. Even businesses that aren’t deliberately online are still online. “Many people aren’t aware of what’s being said about them or their business online.” Claiming your listing on review sites, recognizing critiques, addressing any problems, and highlighting success helps to build up your presence from the start.

As Connect Michigan continues to advance broadband in rural Michigan, online tools and connections will play a larger marketing role. Courtland Consulting offers a variety of tools, classes, and workshops to help businesses integrate and optimize technology. Learn more about Courtland Consulting online and join Connect Michigan on Facebook and Twitter to find out about workshops near you.

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