Oakland Businesses Learn to Use Social Media

Social Media at Small Business Week
BridgeGood’s Shaun Tai leads class on Social Media

San Antonio Senior Center, Oakland, CA May 7, 2019

By Stu Sweetow @avcvideo

Business people looking to better market their services gathered at a class on social media, part of the City of Oakland’s Small Business Week celebration. Shaun Tai, best known as the force behind Oakland Digital, explained his company’s re-branding as BridgeGood.

He showed how his “handles” for the new brand are displayed on Facebook and other social media. Tai asked the participants to think of their handles–their company name that is common across several of their social media pages. Then he encouraged them to share with the class, within 140 characters, their company’s unique selling proposition.

While websites may work for e-commerce and analyzing a company’s performance on the internet, according to Tai, social media leads to better engagement. He showed how internet searches for his company lead to his social media posts rather than to his website.

Facebook

Tai suggested that marketers try to limit their posts to 40 characters to attract more visitors. He said to try to posting 2-3 times per week and that video posts get the most engagement. Promoting other organizations can get replies and more Facebook friends.

Twitter

The immediacy of Twitter makes it a natural medium to post real-time events. Tai spoke of the Oakland A’s baseball president Dave Kaval maintaining a customer support channel for fans. Tai suggests putting hashtag links in the “About” section of Twitter, and he says to experiment with different posts to see what gets re-tweeted the most. He also talked about TweetDeck.com as a way to organize your tweets in columns, but you’ll need to use a computer for that, rather than a mobile device.

Instagram

Instagram, which relies on photos, can be the lifestyle medium for your organization. It offers analytics in the form of “insights,” and Tai suggests you use Instagram to generate calls to action (CTAs) for your business. He added that Instagram Stories are designed to go away in 24 hours unless you use the “highlights” tool. Tai shared a tip: Thursdays between 3:00 and 4:00 is the optimal time for Intagram postings.

Google Business

Google has a free service called Google My Business where you can claim your business name and add your location and hours. Tai suggests that your profile photo be your logo, and he says to add a CTA button such as “Call” or “Email.” Google My Business insights are free analytics, and Google Reviews can be an alternative to Yelp.

LinkedIn

Separating itself from Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn uses the term “connections” rather than followers. It is a “high value” platform, according to Tai. LinkedIn encourages users to write both posts and articles. LinkedIn has groups organized by business category, and people find colleagues and prospects through mutual connections.

Generally, posting photos, current stories and relevant hashtags throughout all these social media helps marketers boost their company’s presence on the internet.

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