MSAA General Membership Meeting, September 11, 2014, 8am, Conor O’Neill’s

“Getting Social for the Holidays”
Join us for an informative presentation on maximizing your exposure on social media from our friends at Plaid Fox Marketing.

September 11, 2014

Those present: Tom Murray and Caroline Kaganov, Conor O’Neill’s; Amy Cameron, Ithaka; Jessica Wade Johnston, Falling Water; Trevor Step, Running Fit; Ron Stevens, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center; Chris Dempsey, Academy of Early Music; Sarah Miller, AAACVB; Tony Derezinski; Rob Boonin, Dykema; Fran Stacey, Butzel Long; Amanda Reel, United Way of Washtenaw County; Nathan Rice, Ann Arbor Art Center; Mark Passerini, Om of Medicine; Lynda Cole, WSG Gallery; Julie Chang, Comerica Bank; Rhonda Foxworth, Plaid Fox Marketing; Elmo Morales, Elmo’s Main Street T-Shirts; Susan Pollay, DDA; Nancy Shore, GetDowntown; Doug Martelle and Tom Kooy, Ann Arbor Police Dept.; Carl Ent, BOAA; Elin Walters, Vie Fitness and Spa; Nicki and Frank Wilson, IT…The Boutique; Angela Pierro, Zero Gravity; Pippa Creffield, Abracadabra.

President, Tom Murray starts meeting with introductions

Rhonda Foxworth, Plaid Fox Marketing, Presentation on Social Media for the Holidays
Nearly 65% of shoppers use some form of social media to find the perfect gift. This presentation is geared to give practical strategies for the upcoming holiday season. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube are the most widely used social media channels right now. You need to find out which channels match your business the most effectively. For example, the Art Center would most likely be very effective on Pinterest and Instagram. Once you have figured out what channel/s you are going to focus on, then you will want to clean house, evaluate what is working, build a community around your brand, expand your reach, and decorate for the holidays.

The first thing to do in any marketing strategy is to clean up. This means you should update all of your information (store hours, phone number, etc.). Make sure you have listed a clear and concise description of your business. Within your profile pages use keywords that relate to your business, helping direct people to your page when they do searches. Schedule a time every year or few months to review all of your information. For an example, refer to Rock Paper Scissors. They do a good job using keywords in their bio information on their Facebook page.

Second, you need to look at your metrics to figure out what is working. What kinds of posts are getting viewed the most, and/or what are people interacting with the most? By examining what is working the best for your social media posts you can figure out how to move forward for the holiday season, what kinds of posts to really focus on.

Third, build a community around your brand. This means to focus on building your social media audience among your current customers and friends. Ask your existing fans to invite others to like your page. Add a tag to your email signature inviting people to “like” or “follow” you. Build friendships with other merchants downtown and promote each other.

Fourth, expand your reach by purchasing marketing on Facebook and/or Twitter. The cost can be as low as $5. There are a number of different things you can try when purchasing ads (promoting your Fb page/posts, events, website, etc.), see where you get the best results. Also, note, take your time when selecting an image and writing the ad, post, or tweet that you plan on promoting. Have a clear call to action that is to the point and talk about the benefits.

Lastly, decorate for the holidays. It is important to engage your fans for holiday shopping. Just like you decorate your store, decorate your social media pages with fun profile pictures, banners, or posts. Another idea is to decorate your logo, add some holiday greenery or a Santa’s hat. Also, if you are donating during the season, make sure to mention it to your friends and followers.

Questions: “With all the different social media outlets is there a way to simultaneously post to more than one at once?” Rhonda explains that there is, but if you have the time it’s better to tailor each post to the social media type (twitter, Fb, Instagram). It is suggested that you tweet 6-12 times daily, but set your own goals, even if it’s only once or twice a day.

Doug Martel and Tom Kooy New Community Engagement Officers (AAPD)
Doug Martel explained that he and Tom now hold the new Community Engagement Officer positions at the Ann Arbor Police Department; it is for a three year term. The difference between the Community Engagement position and that of a Beat Cop is that the Engagement Officers are dedicated to the entire City, rather than just downtown like the Beat Cops. They will be doing educational programs throughout the community in schools, senior centers, etc. Additionally, they will be on patrols and visible to the public. They are not responsible to respond to calls, like Beat Cops, they can just focus on outreach.

November the Main Street Area Association will be hosting their annual walk around to all the retail shops. You will learn what each other are selling and what specialties everyone offers so we can all help direct shoppers to business around downtown.

Welcome Nicki and Frank Wilson from IT…The Boutique. They will be having an open house in November. They sell a little bit of everything, including; invitations, jewelry, clothing, interior design…

Academy of Early Music has a concert at St. Andrews on Sept. 21 at 3:30PM, Marie et Marion: Motets and Songs from the Montpellier Manuscript. Tickets are on sale.

Fran Stacey from Butzel Long is offering free consultations September 22 and 23. If you have questions on employment policies give her a call to set up a meeting.

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