By Mallory Peebles
Channel 2 News
4:44 PM AKST, November 27, 2012
Tips to stay on top of social media were the focus of a Tuesday seminar in Anchorage, held by the Alaska Small Business Development Center.
The seminar taught Alaskans about using Facebook to create a page, putting their brands before the online service's more than 1 billion users worldwide.
At the seminar, speakers pointed out that on the Internet, businesses' reach goes far beyond who they directly see while using social media.
Speaker Tracy Williams, a social media coach, explained the do's and don'ts of Facebook marketing. She suggests having separate personal and business pages, and never posting controversial opinions on topics such as religion, politics and finances. Keeping people interested in a business means showing interest in them, so Williams advised having conversations with fans on Facebook.
People in attendance had varying experience with social media -- some are already using available services, while others are just learning.
“Coming into it I didn't think I'd learn anything but the main message I've got from it is to just dive in, you know,” said Jamar Hill with Alaska Legion. “Create forums for people to talk and for people to be engaged in the things that you do and it'll pay off -- you know, you'll have more interest business-wise.”
“I do have a Facebook page for my business, but I'm fairly new at it and that is so much the direction that really reaching others is going,” said Gayle Nauska of Nauska Counseling.
While some businesses are just learning how to utilize Facebook, others have it down cold.
Cakes in Love, an Anchorage bakery that only opened its doors last year, already has more than 3,000 likes on its Facebook page. Owner Amy Grue says she appeals to an online audience by sprinkling in pictures of her baking artwork, along with posts about deals and events.
"We get to make this fun cake and then it's fun to give it to the customer, but then it's fun to show the rest of the world what we got to make," Grue said. "And they get to be a part of that even though it wasn't for them. Then that gets them thinking, 'Oh, my daughter has a birthday and she loves this,' and then they call and they're like, 'Can you do this?'"
The main take-away from the seminar was to engage Facebook fans or friends: it's not only a great way for businesses to meet prospective customers, it's also a way to help cater to them.
Contact Mallory Peebles
Copyright © 2013, KTUU-TV