Expert Christi Tasker makes sense of social media landscape during AmericasMart By Zeke Jennings

Trying to stay up on social media can lead to social unrest for small to medium business owners. That’s why there are experts on the subject, such as Christi Tasker of PuTTin’ Out, a social media marketing firm.

Tasker was at the AmericasMart complex to lead several seminars during the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, July 7-14, 2015. One of them was geared toward understanding best practices for the growing and ever-changing landscape of social media.

Tasker addressed the highlights and differences among the major social media players, namely — the list is long — Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare, Skype, Yelp, Flickr, YouTube and Tumblr.

Tasker talked about an array of topics, but here are a few highlights from her hour-long presentation and subsequent Q&A:

  • The biggest mistake businesses make is not setting up their social media pages properly. Specifically, Tasker said any business that’s an actual brick-and-mortar store needs to be set up as a “local business.” This will help when folks Google search for businesses in your vicinity.
  • Pinterest — “It’s a must” for retailers, Tasker said. Don’t make the mistake of just uploading photos to Pinterest. The idea is to pin a webpage where browsers can see and then purchase the product.
  • Even if you haven’t set up a business page on the location-driven sites Yelp and Foursquare, chances are there is a page for your business on there. Anyone who wants to say something about your business can enter the business name and address, which creates a page others can then share their thoughts. In other words, if you haven’t been on Yelp, people are probably writing reviews, ratings and complaints on your business that you aren’t even aware of. Tasker recommends claiming your business Yelp and Foursquare page — it’s free — even if you don’t intent to regularly update them. That way, at least you can be aware of what’s being said and respond.
  • Customers want transparency on social media, studies find. They want a taste of what the atmosphere is like in your store. It should be consistent, though. If you post jokes and present a fun-loving attitude on social media, and then customers show up to find a serious atmosphere and cold employees, they’re going to feel misled.
  • Videos. If you use YouTube to showcase videos of your store, that’s good. But it’s no longer effective to just share the link on Facebook. Now that Facebook has added video capabilities, you should upload the video to both YouTube and Facebook separately. Facebook tends to push posts that keep browsers on Facebook to the top of news feeds.

For more information on Tasker and PuTTin’ Out, visit www.puttinout.com.

— Tasker on TwitterFacebook

Zeke Jennings





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