Photo by Theo Tate
Kelly Meier (left) and Mary Meyer of the Six Mile Regional Library District talk to Madison County businesses about how to use social media during a seminar March 16 at the Granite City Housing Authority.
GRANITE CITY — Since the early 2000s, social media has played a big role for businesses across the country.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have helped businesses create, share and exchange information, ideas and media.
On March 16, Six Mile Regional Library District employees Kelly Meier and Mary Meyer visited the Granite City Housing Authority to talk to Madison County businesses about how to use social media.
The seminar was part of the Eggs & Issues program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County.
Meier trains public and staff members with computers and software programs. Meyer is the research librarian, providing reference and information service to patrons and holding genealogy classes.
For 45 minutes, Meier and Meyer talked about how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and how important they are to businesses.
“All of these social media platforms have a lot of suggestions about how to write your stuff and I recommend that you take the time to read it because they know what their platform can or cannot do the best,” Meier said. “So I would recommend you to take some time and look at some videos and read about what they suggest on how to write a post.”
Meier first talked about Twitter, a service that enables users to send and read 140-character messages called “tweets.” Twitter, which celebrated its 10th anniversary March 21, has more than 500 million users.
“Twitter is down low on the totem pole, but they’re working at it to get better,” Meier said.
Meier said when setting up a Twitter account, it’s important to include email contacts.
“Obviously, if you want to build your business, then I would recommend sharing your contacts,” she said.
Meier also talked about LinkedIn, the oldest of the four social media platforms. It was founded in December 2002 as a professional networking service.
“LinkedIn is more of a business-oriented site,” Meier said. “I think of LinkedIn of having two different features. One is for individuals looking to connect with people. For businesses, they’ll get to connect with other businesses.”
Meyer discussed how to use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook, founded in 2004, is the world’s largest social media service with 1.4 billion users and more than 900 million visits daily. Instagram was founded in 2010 as a photo and video sharing service.
In Facebook, businesses are able to create their own page and post videos and photos. Meyer said there’s an important tip for businesses to make a post on Facebook.
“Make sure you’re posting for the right audience,” Meyer said. “Your posts are more effective when the people who care see them and link directly to your website. Post more of what customers want. The more you post, you’ll begin to see the trends on how customers respond to your post. Posting is more about quality than quantity.”
Meyer said Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook four years ago, has become the most popular social network device among teens.
“It’s important to craft an Instagram strategy,” Meyer said. “Establish the goals you would like to achieve by using Instagram, create a mission statement for your Instagram account and let this app as your guiding principle for your Instagram activities. Don’t treat it the same way as you would Twitter and Facebook.”
Meier and Meyer graduated with master’s degrees in library science. Meier graduated from Indiana University and Meyer earned her degree at the University of Illinois.