Facebook tops list of Reno-Tahoe social media tools | SierraSun.com

Facebook tops list of Reno-Tahoe social media tools

Milena Regos
Special to the Bonanza

Each year businesses around the world work hard to develop and perfect their social marketing strategies. As social media expands with applications like Snapchat and Vine, the amount of time companies need to stay online to broadcast their message also increases.

In the midst of these changes, what should Reno-Tahoe businesses do to compete — and is it worth it?

The answer is yes — social media is here to stay, and the businesses that properly use social networks to connect with customers will definitely benefit in the long run.

For the third year in a row, Out&About Marketing hit the streets to interview and survey 100-plus local Reno/Tahoe businesses, and compiled a report to show what strategies they were using, while creating some beneficial social media tips.

Businesses all over the Reno/Tahoe area answered survey questions about different aspects of social media like, "How are you currently measuring your social media efforts?" and "How much do you spend on your social media marketing?"

The result is the third annual "State of Social Media Report for Reno-Tahoe" report that details the advantages and main challenges local businesses are facing.

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The "State of Social Media" reports some major findings that are expected, and some that are surprising:

1. Top 5 social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and blogging.

2. Social media marketing takes a lot of time and the majority of businesses are spending over 1-7 hours a week online.

3. Top 3 challenges for businesses are: time, measuring effectiveness, and increasing engagement.

So, what should locals make of the report and its findings? That the third annual Reno-Tahoe report provides good insight into what Reno-Tahoe businesses are currently doing on social media so that everyone can use the information as a benchmark and guide to improve their effort, and reach out to their customers.

Along with the 2014 "State of Social Media" report, companies and marketers should also read these 5 simple pro tips and take them into consideration as they move to the next level of social marketing:

1. Social Media Takes Time: Social media comes with a big time commitment. Decide how much internal resource you can commit to your social media efforts and evaluate your external resources. Be strategic with your time and commitment.

2. Start Slow: You don't need to be on every single social network. Research where your customers are and start with 1 or 2 networks. It's better to engage and have good presence than to overcommit.

3. Respond: Too many businesses are simply trying to share their messages on social media by broadcasting them to their Twitter feeds and Facebook walls. People want to interact and engage, so create trust and engagement with your online community by responding to questions and requests.

4. Go Visual: The web is changing from text to photos and videos.

5. Measure and Evaluate: The best advice is to set your goals at the beginning, make sure they are tied to your overall business goals and evaluate your progress on a regular basis.

Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at milena@outandaboutmarketing.com. To read the full "State of Social Media 2014 Lake Tahoe/Reno" report, find more tips and more, visit outandaboutmarketing.com.