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Author: The BCW

Social Media Panel Offers Advice on Effective Online Strategies

Seated, L to R, Bruce Segall, Maggie Carey, Hillary Millman, Domenick Cocchiara; Standing, L to R: Jack Jones, BCW Chairman Jamie Schutzer, Liz Woods, BCW Executive VP and COO John Ravitz and Mike Dardano

The Business Council of Westchester’s Tompkins Community Bank Power Breakfast recently hosted social media experts who offered advice on the latest online strategies.

Social Media Powerhouses: Growing Your Online Presence & Engagement offered ideas on strategic content creation, platform-specific strategies and the latest best practices on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

The featured speakers were Maggie Carey, CEO of Master It Media and Creator of Painless Posting; Domenick Cocchiara, Manager of Social Media and Digital Advertising at Thompson & Bender; Mike Dardano, Founder & Marketing Executive of BuzzPotential; Jack Jones, Communication Specialist at Tompkins Community Bank; Bruce Segall, President of Marketing Sense for Business, LLC; Hillary Millman, Owner of In Better Words; and Liz Woods, Founder of Ryemarkable Moms.

Dardano, the moderator, kicked off the event with a question about the essential elements of good social media content.

“Whenever you’re creating anything for social media, think about your audience first,” said Millman. “I see a lot of content starting with something about when an organization was founded or some other kind of piece of information that’s not exactly relevant or interesting to someone.”

Segall emphasized sharing original thoughts. “It’s important on a crowded platform like LinkedIn not just to repeat and parrot your company’s elevator speech or what other people are saying. Bring your real opinion—your real self—into your post or else it will just get lost in the sea of other posts that are out there,” said Segall.

Woods offered three rules of thumb. “You should educate, empower people and entertain,” said Woods. “As a business owner, you want people to like and trust you. You need to share your story. How did you get where you are today? That’s the stuff that gets the most engagement.”

Jones said that Tompkins Community Bank recently changed its social media posting practices to meet audiences on their preferred platforms. “Six months ago, we were extremely specific on what content went where. LinkedIn was purely business development and recruitment. Facebook was far more community based,” said Jones. “About six months ago we switched…. We cross post everything and for us it’s more about meeting our customer base where they are.”

For companies that are regulated or that work with sensitive information, Cocchiara noted that an established content-creation process with checkpoints is essential. “A lot of the work that we do in healthcare is making sure of the legal compliance of what you can say when you can’t say, so that you’re not going through this whole process only to be shut down right before you post because you’re not allowed to say something,” said Cocchiara.  “Things like that can be mitigated earlier on by having a clear set of processes in place.”

Dardano suggested that people in compliance-dominated sectors focus their social content on nonwork-related topics.“Take a picture going to a local pizza shop, doing stuff with charity,” said Dardano. “That’s where Instagram is wonderful because a lot of people showcase who they are as a person…. If you’re just doing promo, promo, promo, it’s not going to work.”

Carey said that measuring success with social media is only possible by reviewing data. “It’s tough to figure this out on your own. That’s why all major platforms have some form of analytics. The analytics are telling you who your audience is,” said Carey. “You can find–not only things about how well your social media is performing–but you can find out about your business, these little secrets that you may not even know.”

The program was held June 14 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown.

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