Internet marketing guru, Julia Pile, of Stinger Media.

Internet marketing guru, Julia Pile, of Stinger Media.

FLORENCE – How do small business owners figure out how best to use traditional media, social media and internet tools to promote their company or products?

“The center of all your information should be your website,” said Julia Pile, founder of Stinger Media. “All (social media) postings should link back to your website.”

Pile offered advice on how to use social media to brand a business at a Florence Rotary Club meeting on Monday, May 2. The key to success, she said, is to determine where the business’ customers are, where the competitors are and what social media platforms reach which audiences best.

The website should serve as the centerpiece for the company’s online business presence, according to Pile, who started Stinger Media four years ago to help individuals, small businesses and service professionals harness the power of social media. A website “doesn’t have to cost thousands,” she said, and enables the business to provide key information in an established location.

For example, the website always should include a call to action and contact information. The business owner also should update the site frequently with the latest news, upcoming events, promotions and awards and recognition.

Pile recommended supplementing the website through a variety of social media and outlined the strengths of each. Among the most popular are the following:

LinkedIn – a business-oriented networking service, which is ideal for personal and company profiles.

“Your profile isn’t just your resume,” Pile said. “People want to know who you are, what makes you tick … what’s your personality.”

Facebook – a social networking service useful in making business connections and building relationships.

Periscope – a live video streaming application (app) that enables others to watch a meeting, event or promotion.

Twitter – a social networking service that enables people to send and read short messages. Twitter is a valuable for sharing information and starting conversations, including conversations with reporters and sources in traditional media.

Traditional media – radio, television, and newspapers – are still a good source for company news, employee news, community involvement and awards, Pile said.

She advised the Rotarians to follow an 80/20 Rule when using social media: 80 percent content and participation, and 20 percent self-promotion.

“Be yourself,” she said. “Let your personality and passions shine through.”

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