Workshop teaches businesses social media sales strategies

S.C. small business owners have been learning how to make their companies’ tweets sound less like chirps and chatter and more like the cha-ching of a cash register.

It’s part of a series of free workshops, presented by the city of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities, aimed at helping businesses use social media like Facebook and Twitter to target and connect with potential customers.

“The more smart you are in terms of operating these tools, the better you’re able to grow your business,” said Angelo McBride of the Office of Business Opportunities.

Kiosha Gregg, owner of Digitize Marketing in Columbia, leads the two-hour workshop, describing it as “Social Media 103,” a class for those who know the basics but want to do more.

During Tuesday’s session, Gregg taught 11 professionals, including one from Charleston, how to use promotions to build a social media following, how to search Twitter hashtags to find potential customers and how to create an online store on their business’s Facebook page.

She also offered tips about tailoring Facebook and Twitter messages to the target audience and using analytical tools to determine how best to reach users.

Facebook claims more than 2.2 million users in South Carolina with about 220,000 in Columbia, Gregg said.

Molly Jackson, an account executive at a Columbia area TV station, attended Tuesday’s session to learn more about social media and see how others are using it to connect with customers.

“It’s harder than it was 30 years ago to have your voice heard above all the noise,” Jackson said.

A final workshop is set for July 16, but the Office of Business Opportunities is considering a possible session in August, as well as an evening class.