As more rural people join social networks, small town business people are looking to build in person networks with their fellow social media users.
Chris Cornell shared his story in the Brag Basket:
I own and operate a small business (custom picture framing) in the Village of Pleasantville, NY. I’ve been attempting to build community through the use of social media for the past eight months. One of the tools I’ve used is my website http://TwitterProfessor.com, which has featured articles about individuals and organizations in the local community using Twitter and other forms of social media to communicate their message. Through TwitterProfessor, I’ve been able to build a network which has led to the formation of a social media group called Westchester140 (we’re on Facebook). This group organized the highly successful 1st and 2nd Westchester TweetUps (both were booked to capacity), and is now in the process of putting together the 3rd Westchester TweetUp (150 people are expected, and there will be a moderated panel of social media speakers).
The reason I am posting this (in addition to bragging) is to reach out to others who might be interested in discussing ways local groups can build community and promote businesses. If you are working on similar projects, and would like to exchange ideas, please feel free to contact me.
How are you reaching out to other social media folks in your small town? How are you building community?
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Bobbie Stacey says
Getting people turned on to Twitter in a small town can take some real effort. I know this from first hand experience. Featuring individuals and organizations is a brilliant step in the process. People introduced to this media need something to tweet about, and what better incentive than asking your friends & family to “take a look at me” on such and such website?
Thank you, Chris.
Becky McCray says
I’m toying with the idea of putting together a social media group in the Alva area. We have a few businesses using social networks for promotion, and I’d like to connect. But with just a few people, it’s hard to make a group work. And there is the “too busy” barrier to overcome. So it’s still just an idea.
Good stuff. Thanks for highlighting it for us Becky and Chris. I’ll be sure to recommend Twitter Professor to rural organizations seeking to use Twitter.
Becky McCray says
Laurie Bixler sent this comment via email:
I think Charleston SC is still small town USA….even though we are growing quickly. And last week Boeing announced a relocation to charleston which may change everything. But for 20 years in business it has been a small town struggle against the chains and big boxes that have moved in.
I have been doing anything and everything I can to keep our biz going.
1. I formed a new/group that is still growing: www. BLNrewards.com blnrewards I think it would be more successful in a larger city, but I am using it to gain customers and bring our suppliers together. I formed it just around the big crash last year.
2. Our long time business is : flooritnow I am working to revamp our website and hope to have it mega improved in the next couple of months.
3. I have gone onto facebook with both businesses and myself and all. You can friend me. -:)
4. I have started a blog: http://www.iWorkWithMyHusband.com http://sleepingwithmyboss.blogspot.com/I work with my husband
5. I have not done Linked-in
I am reading and learning to blog and trying to catch up to a world I missed somehow while I had my head in the sand doing biz the old way.
I am incredibly impressed by your success and what you have achieved and I hope to learn from you.
I signed up for your newsletter I think. Some of this is still way over my head, but I can be a fast learner!
Please stay in touch and help me grow. We are in survival mode.
I just read a fab book: Profits aren’t everything…they are the only thing. I highly recommend it. It super charged me up.
I and the other local “Interneteers” in my community plan to start two local MeetUp groups (which we will promote heavily offline as most of our market is not currently online). One group will be geared toward those of us in the industry and one group will be geared toward small business owners.