A course in the ABCs of social media strategy and analytics is among the educational programs on offer at the American Booksellers Association’s 10th annual Winter Institute in Asheville, North Carolina.
Sarah Benoit of Asheville-based Internet marketing company JB Media Group will walk booksellers through the basics in her presentation, “How to Create an Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy and Track the Results.” The session is scheduled for February 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Omni Grove Park Inn’s Heritage Ballroom.
Business owners should not be doing social media just for the sake of doing social media; instead they should be trying to find ways this tool can best be used to their particular advantage, said Benoit, the director of training at JB Media Group and lead instructor for JB Media Institute, the company’s comprehensive in-house Internet marketing training program. “One of the biggest mistakes is not having a strategy,” she noted.
The one-hour presentation will teach booksellers the keys to executing an effective social media marketing strategy, with the goals of building a strong, qualified social media network; engaging that network with relevant content; and, then, tracking the results via such online tools as Google analytics, Facebook insights, and Twitter analytics.
“The focus of the presentation is really going to be on how to create a social media strategy and how to appropriately track that strategy and know that it is effective,” said Benoit, who has worked in the Internet marketing field since 2003. Her experience includes presentations to groups large and small on referral marketing, website analytics, writing for the web, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media. Benoit began teaching on related topics in 2006, and she designs and develops small business websites for a variety of industries.
JB Media Group owner and founder Justin Belleme said his company has services to offer booksellers outside of the immediate Asheville area as well.
“For local retail businesses, as well as those that are not in the area, [JB can help with] local search engine optimization, which will help them show up higher on Google Maps results,” Belleme said. A remote client works with one of JB’s specialists on a three- to five-month project that also includes improving results via local search algorithms for other listing sites, such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, and TripAdvisor.
“If a business has been in the same place for 15 years, they probably don’t need this particular service, but if a business is new or has moved or rebranded, then it’s crucial, absolutely critical, work,” he said.
Plans are in the works for JB to begin offering an online Media Institute program for remote users outside of Asheville.
JB will begin testing the remote version of the online program this spring and will likely launch it in late summer, and ABA and JB Media Group plan to work together to offer a special, discounted trial program to bookstore members.