Rotary gets update on social media uses

Published 7:00am Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Using social media in marketing was the broad topic presented at Rotary this week by Paul Blough of Blough Tech, Inc., an IT consulting firm with headquarters in Cairo, that serves the Southwest Georgia area.

He gave brief explanations of the different forms being used today, starting with Facebook, the format with which most of the Rotary generation are most familiar, as most probably use it to keep up with family members.

Blough said the next generation (those in their twenties) is leaving Facebook for more immediate programs such as Twitter, whose appeal is described as being quicker. Texted characters are limited to 140, so it is very quick.

That generation prefers texting and immediate responses to any situations. Blough noted that they can barely ignore any messages that come in, and are usually multi-tasking by texting on their phones wherever they happen to be, no matter what they are doing.

That brings up Instagram, which Blough described as Twitter and Facebook together. Its use is mostly for posting of photos. This is recommended especially for those in retail.

The next program described was LinkedIn – or Facebook for business professionals, where they can make business connections, even to those they don’t know so well. He described it as an ice-breaking tool, with the added benefit that users are able to post endorsements of other users. It is great for networking.

Pinterest is like a corkboard, whose best usage is for planning an event. He also highly recommended those involved in retail use it to show their favorite wares.

YouTube is considered the No. 2 search engine after Google, according to Blough. He noted students could now watch videos on YouTube to learn different processes. Google is also being used to find phone numbers, thus causing a huge decline in the use of Yellow Pages advertising.

He recommends businesses post videos about their people and products to YouTube as well as to their websites, Facebook and other social media. He also recommends posting frequently, indicating the industry protocol is seven times a day.

Using social media in business is seen as using tools to connect with people.

“It’s just a tool, used for good or evil,” Blough said. “Proper use of the tools puts a human face on your business and makes you stand out in a world that is getting smaller.”

His advice is to pay attention to your postings. Do a local search and see what people are saying about you and your business. Check for accuracy and any comments, and above all, manage your reputation or it will manage you, he cautioned.

Blough said that any comments posted online are probably going to be negative, because people will usually tell you compliments in person. If the comments are negative, you must respond to them. He said it is best to pay attention and enlist and post any positive comments yourself from satisfied customers to offset the negatives.

Editor's Picks