Social media applied to business

Many people consider social media to be just that — social. But Lorelei Fiset-Cassidy thinks Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook and the like can also be valuable business tools.

Gusty Yaskowich gets help with his Twitter account from Lorelei Fiset-Cassidy of Pinnacle Communications during a social media seminar at the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Gusty Yaskowich gets help with his Twitter account from Lorelei Fiset-Cassidy of Pinnacle Communications during a social media seminar at the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Many people consider social media to be just that — social.

But Lorelei Fiset-Cassidy thinks Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook and the like can also be valuable business tools.

The owner of Pinnacle Communications & Media has been urging business owners to tap into the world of social media, including at a seminar she conducted on Thursday at the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce office.

“It’s a fascinating opportunity, I think, for business to become more engaged online.

“Social media is one aspect of your marketing/communication plan and it’s one that a lot of businesses are just starting out at.”

Taking advantage of those opportunities is something that should be done with some thought, said Fiset-Cassidy.

“It’s easy to set up the accounts, but a business needs a strategy to make sure they’re applying the resources where they’re going to get the best results.”

Developing that strategy involves identifying your goals, resources, timelines and tactics, she said.

“Depending on your business goals, we want to apply the right tools online to help you achieve those business goals.”

Despite public perceptions, social media isn’t only for young people, said Fiset-Cassidy. Twitter, for example, is popular with users ranging in age from 24 to 54.

But businesses should assess the tools available to them and choose the ones that are most appropriate for their needs.

Gusty Yaskowich was among those taking part in Thursday’s seminar. A certified business coach with FocalPoint in Red Deer, he’s looking for ways to increase public awareness of the benefits of business coaching. He also sees social media as a tool that his clients can benefit from.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t going to go away,” he said. “It’s only going to get bigger.”

Yaskowich thinks business owners need to learn about social media before discounting its benefits.

“To say, ‘No, that’s never going to work for me,’ without knowing what it is, is dangerous.”

Brenda Graf, a partner in Printing Place Print and Design Inc. in Red Deer also sees social media as an opportunity.

She wants to use it to engage existing clients and attract new ones.

Graf also believes that social media could be a good way to develop business-to-business relationships and tap into other resources.

A lot of businesses recognize that they need to utilize social media, but aren’t sure how, said Fiset-Cassidy.

“I’m seeing increasing interest.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com