Posted: 06/21/2017 By: Mary Charles Howard
In the 80s and 90s marketing professionals embraced the idea of guerilla marketing; spending countless hours developing previously undiscovered and unique ways to reach their target audience. Largely free, these techniques led to today’s popular “company ambassadors” and word-of-mouth promo campaigns. And though these marketing tactics are still used, there is an entirely new promotional platform that requires its own unique methods for success: social media. Those two little words excite some and aggravate others. Some find social media marketing essential. Still others consider it to be more trouble than it’s worth. But the results are in, and social media is the new black of guerilla marketing. According to Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers say they have increased exposure while more than half of all users have seen an increase in sales after a few years of consistently using at least one social media platform. Athens, a college-town-slash-family-community that proudly plays host to a growing number of diverse small businesses, is a place where shop owners, professionals, students, and so on can jointly benefit from the symbiosis of social media. However, even those businesses that admit the importance of a vibrant social media presence often have no idea where to begin making the various outlets work for them.
Recognizing this trend, Athensmade and several partners have sought out the best social media marketers in the Athens community, and this month will launch a five-part lecture and idea series, Social Lab. Social Lab will take on various forms from lectures to round-tables, and is designed to help Athens’ area homegrown brands, entrepreneurs and creative professionals increase their social media suavity. Focusing on the latest hacks, tips and trends of today’s ever-growing social media landscape, these hour-long learning sessions will be served up at Creature Comforts Brewing Company one Wednesday per month at 3pm.
On June 28th, Shayna Hobbs, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Sons of Sawdust, will lead off the Social Lab series,
focusing on this family of wood-rescuers’ wildly successful use of Instagram. With over 131,000 followers, Sons of Sawdust has one of the largest followings of any small company in Athens, attracting the attention of their now sponsors Carhart, Ridgid Power Tools and more. Grab a seat as Shayna provides Instagram insight that can’t be found anywhere else.
Then, on July 26th come back for more as Alice Stapleton, Athens Technical College’s Director of Industry Training and long-time owner of a successful boutique marketing firm, explains the importance of personal branding and self-marketing via LinkedIn. Alice has helped scores of creative professionals, artists and nonprofits – many in the idyllically hip beach communities of the Florida Panhandle’s 30a and Destin enclaves – perfect their personal brands and use them with purpose. Other sessions of the Social Lab will focus on popular outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as well as emerging media trends like podcasting.
Tickets are $5, and proceeds go to support the mission of Athensmade. Come for Social Lab and stay for the Athens Farmers Market and a cold beer brewed onsite by Creature Comforts Brewing Co. For more information on the entire series, its partnering agencies and businesses or to purchase tickets, visit Athensmade.com/events. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.