Recap of Social Fresh Portland: Social Media for Small Business - A Fresh Conversation


The third session of the day for me was "Social Media for Small Business - A Fresh Conversation" moderated by Ryan Lewis of Bonfire Social Media. He took an informal poll of the room, which was made up of mostly small businesses, with some agencies. Since the format of the session was a roundtable, we went right into questions from the room. An audience member asked, for a small business strapped for time, how do you find a balance between hiring an outside consultant to handle social media versus doing it in-house. Another audience member responded with a success story of how doing social media in-house has really worked for them, with their preferred medium being Twitter. There has been a lot of debate recently about this very issue, and I also fall on the side of doing social media in-house - when people engage with someone on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels, even when they are engaging with a brand, they want to be talking to someone who represents the voice of that company, and knows the company well. There's an implied sense of trust that comes along with following or becoming a "fan" of something, and if those clients/customers find out that they're dealing with a consultant and not someone from the company, that trust can be broken with serious consequences. I talked about this issue in a little more depth with respect to ghostblogging.

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