The Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their latest monthly meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. April 19 in the Stone's Throw at 79 Albany St. Over 50 members came to rub elbows with fellow area business owners, enjoy the hors d'oeuvres supplied by Dan Kuper of the Lincklaen House and listen to a presentation by chamber members Tom Lyga of emarketmybiz.com and Kate Brodock from the othersidegroup.com on the importance of social media networking in business.
"Social media doesn't have to be an intimidating thing to think about; it's not just for the younger generation," Brodock said. "It can be very useful to an area like Cazenovia for a lot of different reasons. If people can begin to think about some of the ways they can connect with potential customers, I think that would be a great start."
Websites like Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs have exponentially grown in popularity within the past 6 years, she said. Recent political uprisings in Egypt were widely facilitated by Twitter users and millions of people worldwide have created Facebook accounts. Many business owners have noticed these trends, and have begun to advertise accordingly.
During the presentation, a few chamber members in attendance expressed some confusion with the technology. Lyga clarified that while these websites are relatively new developments, social networking is a business practice as old as society. "Social networking is nothing new. For 2,000 years, we've known that word-of-mouth advertising is by far the best kind of promotion," he said. "People talking, interacting and communicating are effective means of sharing information. Social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are just new approaches to word-of-mouth advertising."
According to the statistics Brodock presented, the usage of Facebook with adults ages 55 to 64 increased by 88 percent last year. These are all consumers, she said, exploring the internet, looking for things that interest them and in many cases, looking for things to buy.
Both Lyga and Brodock detailed the advantages of departing from "yellow page" advertisements, and using social media networking websites to find new clientele. Instead of putting ads in phone books and hoping to cultivate a call, they explained that proactive online promotion can be the key to increased commerce, they said.
For more information on Tom Lyga and his business, visit emarketmybiz.com, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tomlyga, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 427-3385. For more on Kate Brodock, visit theothersidegroup.com follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/just_kate and twitter.com/othersidegroup email her at email@example.com or call 380-0760.