Columbia business leaders learn to boost social media presence

5 months 1 day 6 minutes ago August 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016 Monday, August 22 2016 Monday, August 22, 2016 7:19:00 PM CDT in News
By: Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is trying to help businesses improve their social media platforms. 

The PRSA will host a round table discussion Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Veterans United from 11:30 a.m-1 p.m. According to the event page sponsored by the PRSA's Mid-Missouri Chapter, admission prices are between $10-$15.

One panelist, Harold's Doughnuts' owner Michael Urban, said he looks forward to the event and meeting other Columbia residents interested in utilizing social media. Urban said one goal of the round table is "to get a local perspective on how businesses here handle social and digital media."

"We often think of big brands when it comes to online presence, but a lot of local business try to take advantage of those channels," he said.

Urban said social media can be tricky, but being transparent and listening to his audience has helped Harold's Doughnuts.

"We do a pretty good job of getting our message out I think, and more importantly telling our story about who we are and why we do what we do and leveraging those digital spaces to communicate with new and existing customers," Urban said. 

Patrick Palmer, a manager at Seoul Taco, said his business uses social media on major platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"We try to update stuff pretty constantly," he said. "It's mainly an easy way to reach out to people and talk about it on social media."

Palmer said networking on social media helps create a chain that reaches and connects a broader audience.

However, he said challenges do exist within social platforms, particularly on review accounts.

"Everyone doesn't have a perfect experience at a restaurant," Palmer said. "You can get your negative reviews and opinions from comments online." 

For the most part, he said it hasn't been a big problem. "At the end of the day, it's a positive thing for the business."

Urban reiterated that social media can come with the good and the bad, but the purpose of the round table discussion is to look at it optimistically. 

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