Attendees of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the America’s Small Business Development Center’s business workshop on social media management learned the finer points marketing on social networks.

Down Home Digital Owner Amanda Coers and Howard Payne University communications senior Reagan Grisham, who also works for DHD, gave more than 20 attendees tips on marketing with various social media platforms.

“For us, we always want to help local businesses,” Coers said. “Small, local businesses are very important. Even if we don’t get paid to do so, if we can offer information that will help them, it helps all of us in the long run. 

“Social media is all about connections. You and I might not know each other, but we might have friends in common. Through social media, we get to know each other as well. It’s a great way to share ideas, philosophies, get connected and know more about your neighbors and your community.”

Grisham, who manages social media networks for Apollo Computers and Good Samaritan Ministry through DHD, said Facebook remains the most dominant platform in regards to business marketing, but there are other options.

“Seventy-five percent of Americans use Facebook,” Grisham said. “… If you’re looking to market toward a certain demographic, Facebook is really good for that. However, InstaGram is a great tool to use as well for young adults, Hispanics and African Americans. It’s important to know your target audience when deciding which social media platform is best.”

For instance, businesses using images to promote its products may prefer Instagram to Facebook due to the complex algorithms on Facebook potentially burying the post. Grisham said Snapchat and Twitter might not fit some business models because of the network’s self-imposed limitations.

“Twitter is very limiting because you are limited to 280 characters per post. That includes, spaces, comas, periods, everything,” Grisham said. “On Facebook and Instagram, you can write an entire story and your message will get out there. Snapchat may be a little controversial because it started out as way to send inappropriate photos to people and they would go away really quick. However, that has changed and now it’s a place you can get on and see live events.”

Regarding what to post, Grisham and Coers said photos with very little text are best because they are simple to understand and least likely to get rejected by Facebook when it comes to boosting a post. Grisham also said using the same graphic in multiple posts will increase the likelihood viewers will remember something they saw online.

“If your company has an event coming up, I would say scrap posting a flyer and take all of the information that was on the flyer and just put it on the post,” Grisham said. “The actual image that is your flyer, the graphic, put that as your graphic. People probably aren’t going to read the picture. They’re going to look at the picture and think it’s pretty. If they’re curious, then they’ll read the post.”

Those new to social media or those who feel overwhelmed by the plethora of networks can subscribe to Hootsuite. The website consolidates many social media networks into one manageable page making it easy to simultaneously post to multiple social networking sites.

“This really takes the hassle out of that,” Grisham said.