Who are you and what does your company do?
My name is Kory Aversa, I am the CEO and President of Aversa PR & Events. Our services include managing social media, public relations, events and consulting for neighbourhoods in Philadelphia and beyond. We also serve non-profits, restaurants, retail and tourism entities.
A short description of how and why you got started in social media.
I used to be a fundraiser until my company was sold, I had a cross path in my life where I could change careers and decided to use my previous experience in social media and PR.
My first job in social media involved working with a circus school, then a children’s museum. I helped double their audience successfully from 5,000 to 10,000 by using different strategies. From there I decided to start my own company in PR and social media, now we run social media for 25-30 different accounts on any given day and depending on the time of year, this can be up to 100-150,000 users on Twitter and Facebook.
What do you believe are the benefits of using social media for business?
Social media is great for a PR strategy because it helps keep the business at the forefront of consumers’ minds, whether it’s a new dish at a restaurant they need to check out or an information update about new hours.
Great social media campaigns can place one business ahead of the other, by raising awareness, so the next time a consumer wants to shop or eat they think of the brand.
It helps with increasing sales and launching new products. We have had many restaurants who have doubled and tripled their results from online promotion.
We also invest in taking photos with either a professional or semi-professional photographer, for traditional press but also as part of our strategy. We want to be able to tell stories with great looking content.
What do you think are common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness on social media?
A common mistake would be failing to understand who your audience is and what they’re looking for. Some small businesses don’t look at the analytics to find out who is looking at their page, at what time and which content is the most popular. If they don’t understand their present audience, they will struggle to target new people in the future.
Another mistake is approaching social media too ambitiously and getting overwhelmed. Sometimes when we train new companies, we observe that their social media activity is great for the first two weeks but then it drops off. Their mistake is that they don’t work consistently. They have to make a decision on how often they want to appear online and stick to the plan.
And finally, I would say some businesses are too focused on themselves, they should think more about their audience and learn what it will take to add value to their consumers.
I tend to view social media pages as a story board, where people share the story of their business, rather than have random, isolated posts.
What qualities do you think a social media manager should have?
They need to have great attention for detail. For example when promoting they need to make note of the facts, such as the price and launch date. They may not choose to use it in their post but if they are asked specific questions, they will be ready with answers once they have that background information.
For us, it’s mainly about listening and keeping your eyes open. For example, if I walk into a small store with one or two items for sale, some might find it basic but I would see stories everywhere. Whether it’s the story about the owner, the night time manager or the events in the neighbourhood and the city, that are related to the business, there is always content everywhere. It’s about choosing the best piece and using your imagination with it. It’s important to listen, observe and use your creativity.
How do Business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
We work with small businesses who can see immediate results, just from more people walking through their door.
We advise businesses to monitor and track where their customers are coming from, by giving out surveys and questionnaires. They can also use analytics to check the number of clicks and shares.
How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years… what do you hope to see?
I think the small businesses who are now focused on Facebook will use Twitter more. I also think the quality of images and videos will continue to improve. Videos are great if people have the budget, we will see more of them on social media.
If you can share one best practice about using social media to grow business, what would it be?
The best practice is to develop a strategy with engaging content. Make sure you are consistent with a high standard and post content with a purpose.
What is your favorite platform for social media marketing?
For our clients it would be Facebook, it can be very engaging for business start-up pages and sometimes it’s where most of their audience can be found.
As a company however we rely on Twitter and we have a strong blog account. We also use the platform for content creation and focus on clients rather than ourselves, we’ve become a resource for learning about restaurants, retails and other industries.