Business Center, Darton to host social media seminar

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, in conjunction with Darton College, will present a daylong Marketing with Social Media program on Aug. 25 at Darton's Student Center.

The continuing education program will offer businesses and individuals information on how to use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and Internet-based tools such as websites and blogs to enhance their businesses.

"The idea is to help businesses optimize the use of websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media," SBDC Area Director Debbie Finney said. "When you look at how consumers are shopping now, it just makes sense. Facebook alone has more than 500 million users and 1.5 million businesses with fan pages."

Suzanne Barnett and Scott Manley, who are associated with Valdosta State University, and Kyle Hensel, who directs an SBDC at Clayton State University, are scheduled to make presentations at the seminar, which kicks off with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in Building C of the Darton student center.

Darton officials say the program should have a positive impact on area businesses.

"Darton College's continuing education division recognizes the value social media have on the future of businesses," Krista Robitz, Darton's director of communications and philanthropy, said. "Facebook, Twitter and other components of the Internet have engaged millions of users.

"Businesses today must capitalize on all available resources to communicate their product with their customers. We are honored to partner with the SBDC."

Topics scheduled for discussion at the seminar include "How to Use Facebook for Business," "Search Optimization and Search Marketing," "The Future of Social Media," "Brand Building with Twitter and Blogging" and "SOS! I Can't Believe They Said That About Our Business on the Web."

"Everyone is welcome to take part in the program, but it is geared to businesses," Finney said. "The point is to get over fear of new technology and learn to use social media correctly.

"The information we offer will be easy to understand, so people who may have rejected this technology will learn how it can benefit their business. The information provided will be personalized in a way that will help participants understand how the various social media can impact their specific business."

Cost of the program, which concludes at 4:30 p.m. and includes breakfast and lunch, is $109 for "early birds" who sign up by Aug. 20. After that, cost is $149.

Interested businesses or individuals may contact Finney at the Small Business Development Center by calling (229) 420-1144 or register online at www.georgiasbdc.org/ce/albany. Darton's continuing education division is available by calling (229) 317-6730.