Jeremy Turner talks social media plans with attendees at the Keizer Chamber Luncheon Tuesday, Sept. 10. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Jeremy Turner’s message to local businesses using social media at the Keizer Chamber Luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 10, was relatively simple even though it can seem like a Herculean task: have a plan.

“Social media is done reactively and it needs to be proactive. It doesn’t mean you have to be online three hours a day, you have to know when your audience is online,” Turner said.

Turner is a social media consultant and owner of J Turner Solutions. Fortunately, he added, many of the social media platforms provide the tools to target the customers businesses want to reach – if the site managers know where to look.

Turner’s talk focused primarily on Facebook, but touched on other types of social media as well. Within Facebook, the “Insights” page can tell business owners about the demographics of the people who land on the page and the most common times they are there.

“Create a content calender and preset posts to go up at a certain time. Plan your exposure,” Turner said.

Turner suggests content be focused on what a business can do to help prospective customers even before they need services. As an example, he talked about senior care facilities and adults caring for aging parents in their own homes.

“Figure out how you can support those customers now so that when the care needed becomes too great, they know who they can trust,” Turner said.

In another example, he referred to a recent conversation in a local barber shop. He asked the barber how he handles toddlers getting their first trim. The barber said he suggests to parents that they plan to get their hair cut at the same time so that the kids can watch and learn before they have a loud pair of clippers next to their head.

“That could be turned into an ad titled Five tips for first haircuts, and target users with kids age 2 and younger,” Turner said.

Only about 10 percent of content should be direct calls to bring someone into a business, he added.

q“It should be about helping other people rather than promoting yourself and the business,” Turner said.

Given the ever-growing social media landscape, Turner suggested focusing on one or two sites vs. trying to be everywhere at once.

“People follow food carts on Twitter to find out where they are going to be every day,” which makes a Facebook presence less of a necessity, Turner said.

When it comes to online reviews – particularly negative ones – Turner said being proactive is the only way to combat them, “Ask the people you know are going to say ‘yes’ to go out and write good reviews.”

Freebies are also an excellent way to capture direct contact information. One organization he works with offers a free ebook in exchange for the visitors email address.

“Once we have that we can direct them to the other places we want them to go,” he said. “A major thing to remember is not to build your business or brand entirely on someone else’s property.”