Mercer Island Chamber members learn social media strategies

Social media marketing specialist Blake Messer spoke to the Chamber of Commerce on April 4 about how to use technology, including Facebook, search engine optimization and email campaigns, to attract new customers.

Messer, of Newfangled Commerce, said social marketing can help businesses target customers, capture them and call them to action.

“Good advertising is what you say times how many times you say it times whom you say it to,” Messer said.

Messer said that his career began in traditional media, and that he still loves it and uses it, but that consumption habits have changed.

He suggested that business owners learn the basics of social media marketing, focusing first on email, then Facebook, then Instagram and Twitter.

Still, he cautioned that “likes don’t pay the light bill.” It’s more important to engage customers on social media with promotions and incentives to get them in the door. He also suggested paying to “boost” certain Facebook posts to reach more people.

He gave examples of a mattress company and a pizzeria that had both successfully used social media to gain customers. The pizza restaurant “bribed” customers to vote for it in a “Best Of” contest by giving away free food, and subsequently won the competition.

The mattress factory hosted a Facebook contest, and gave away a free queen-sized mattress to the winner. They then sent 20 percent off coupons to everyone who had entered, with two weeks to use them. Messer said that recent social media sensations, including the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino, are popular because they have a short shelf life.

The next Chamber of Commerce meeting on June 1 features 41st district legislators Judy Clibborn, Tana Senn and Lisa Wellman. The Chamber will also host an After Hours Business Social from 5-7 p.m. on June 14 at S.R. Schill and Associates. For more, see www.mercerislandchamberofcommerce.org.

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