Other than the "standards" in social media, what are some ways of connecting the new tech-savvy customer of the future to business in a ­market that does not lend itself to being trendy or to a follow-type structure?

Dale Tyler

Crossroad Striping


When used well, social media can help increase brand recognition. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. For tips on getting started, I spoke with Martha McCarthy, co-founder/owner of The Social Lights, a local social media firm. Here is what Martha had to say:

If you're looking to get in front of and acquire new customers via social media, your content should focus on establishing credibility and trust. While bite-sized content is perfect for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, several other platforms are suited to longer-form content that can help get your message in front of the right audiences.

Our go-to professional platforms for long-form content are: LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube and a company blog. The key is producing content that speaks to your (prospective) customers' concerns or answers their questions.

To put this into practice, take the top three to five questions you receive and develop a set of blog posts that provide an answer to each question. Include a photo or video with each post, and sign off with a call to action.

Once published on your company blog/website, be sure to share a link on your personal LinkedIn profile, Linked­In company page and other active social channels.

To spread the message even further, "boost" the content by spending some ad dollars to get in front of a larger audience. Be sure to target by geography and/or job title to ensure you are sending the right ­traffic to the post.

Another underused social platform is Slideshare, a tool that lets you upload PDFs and presentation decks to be hosted and shared online. You can embed the content on your website or blog, and ­easily share it via e-mail and social channels. Take your "FAQ Blog Posts" and repurpose the content as a short slide show or simple infographic to publish on Slideshare.

About the author

Gino Giovannelli is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of ­Business.