Guest columnist Ashley Rector is the founder of Laura Alexandria Marketing and newly launched Plum Hill Creative Studio in Lakewood.
As a small business owner, reaching your ideal customer in a world full of 6-foot social distancing restrictions and mandatory masking was a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The warm smile of a friendly face or the firm grip of a handshake did not exist. Many of us had to find new ways to connect and stay in touch with our customers in an authentic way.
Social media was practically the only way to do it — and I would know: This is tip No. 1 thing I tell my clients looking for marketing help.
After only three years of running my own social media marketing business, I have seen so much growth with my clients. Business owners from all over the world came up with new ways to showcase their products and get in front of their customers.
From comic book owners sharing their favorite vintage comics every week to artists hosting painting classes for youngsters, it was amazing to see brands thrive when thrown into the toughest of circumstances.
By far the biggest transition I’ve seen over the last few years is the adoption of social media. This pivot can be daunting, as it is a steep learning curve for some organizations. But once shown the ropes, it becomes easier to see why it’s important to compete in the wonderful wild west of organic and paid social media.
I’ve even gone through this transition myself. I went from a freelance social media manager running everything myself to a team of 12 people in less than three years.
The secret sauce of how to post — but post in a way that engages your audience — is something everyone wants to have on hand. When I talk to potential businesses to see if they’re a good fit for my social media micro-agency, one thing is always true: Consumers look for you on social media before they even consider your website.
The shift in trust and credibility from the web to the social network is astounding.
The need for new and engaging content has grown dramatically, leading me to open Plum Hill Creative Studio in Lakewood, a boutique studio that focuses on renting space for content creation and meetings by bringing together the creative community and local business .
It’s no secret that along with the good of social media can come the bad. As a result, there are always ongoing debates about regulation on social channels, which can have a tremendous impact on how we interact with social media.
As an Ohioan, it was important for me to meet with Senator Sherrod Brown’s office as part of the Meta Boost Gather in Washington DC A group of small businesses met with Brown’s staff to talk about issues important to us.
Sitting at a long table, we shared the huge impact social media has had on our ability to not only run our businesses, but thrive. Story after story had an underlying message: these businesses wouldn’t have survived the pandemic if it weren’t for social media.
These businesses took the plunge to dive into social media and really use it to their advantage, and their success stories allow a business like mine to grow and help other businesses.
Social media is important for small business owners in Ohio, and it’s important to use your voice to speak up. I could see the ripple effect right on the table. And I hope the senator’s office has seen that ripple effect as well.
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