This month’s Member Spotlight is The Social Media Institute, a local organization on the bleeding edge of Web-based marketing and technology that provides affordable, ongoing new media, social media, and internet marketing training for local businesses. We caught up with SMI’s co-director Jake Crawford to ask him a few questions:
R2KTC: Tell us a little about your organization.
SMI: The Social Media Institute is a group that educates and empowers businesses in the local area with new media and social media platforms. We meet twice a month to help network and teach each one another about our successes. SMI looks to help businesses take advantage of the tools that they have in front of them. We strive to see businesses succeed. The best way to get to know us is to attend one of our meetings on the first or third weekends of the month.
R2KTC: What do you see trending in your industry?
SMI: The trend we see is more and more businesses are moving to social media and that goes for all industries. Business-to-Consumers and Business-to-Business are both using social media and new media to help promote, connect and engage with their customers. There are 83% of businesses that have social media as part of their business. There are many ways to use social media and the trend is that people are there and now businesses are following to stay in the eyes of their customers. With the current trends with social media its not a matter of will businesses use social media for marketing and connecting with customers but when.
R2KTC: What is your specialty?
SMI: Our specialty is teaching and educating small businesses in the area on how to take advantage of social media. We want to see local businesses being able to compete with the big national brands online. Advertising and marketing online is the most effective and measurable way to market. Our skills are at taking advantage of social media, SEO, SMO, web design, new media and internet marketing.
R2KTC: How has your industry changed in the last year or two?
SMI: This industry is always changing. In the last year or two the industry has changed drastically. It would be hard to say it hasn’t changed in the past 3 months. Social media and internet marketing is constantly changing and that’s why we are here to serve the local community. We are here to teach them about the changes and keep businesses and individuals up to date.
R2KTC: What do you like about living and working in Region 2000?
SMI: Working in Region 2000 has really allowed us to connect with some great people and great businesses. We appreciate everyone who comes and attends our meetings and events. We wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for them. The Region 2000 has been a great experience and we enjoy it greatly.
R2KTC: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
SMI: We have developed a new meeting style that is all about the newest technology and business methods called New Media Lynchburg (@NMLynchburg). Its a meeting every third Friday at Bentley Commons at 9 in the morning. It’s a great place to learn how to keep your business up to date and relevant in the current business world. It’s a place to learn how to engage, connect and educate with your customers. We look forward to seeing more and more Region 2000 people there! It’s a great place to meet others and to learn how to stay ahead in your business. We encourage active social media accounts to follow us on Twitter (@SMILynchburg) and Facebook – we love to connect! We also want to give another shout out to Region 2000 and a big Thank You!
For more information on The Social Media Institute visit: www.TheSocialMediaInstitute.org
(Note: All Region 2000 Technology Council member businesses and organizations that are listed in our Member Directory (which is everyone but individual members) qualify for the Member Spotlight. If you have not participated yet – now is the time! This is a free service to our members that will allow you to expand your member profile and promote your expertise to other members and the wider community.
Your Member Spotlight will show up in our monthly newsletter, our social media channels, and here on the Tech Council website as a post (with a link to your interview added to your profile). We currently have openings for September and October. If you are interested in being interviewed by email for your Member Spotlight please contact Jason Fowler as soon as possible. Don’t miss out!)