Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

PHCC offering its first social media workshop

NEW PORT RICHEY — Many small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have come down with a case of the "social media flu." Those infected don't know a lot about the widely used platforms and are unsure how to establish an effective presence.

To help with the healing efforts, the Corporate Training Program at Pasco-Hernando Community College has assembled a team of "lab doctors" to dole out prescriptions at its first Social Media Lab, running from 8 a.m. to noon June 20 at the college's West Campus.

The workshop is designed to cover the history of social media, teach the best practices for usage and help participants combat common pitfalls. Attendees can bring phones, laptops, and tablets to get hands-on training during their choice of a break-out session. Sessions include LinkedIn; Facebook and Twitter; YouTube; mobile apps and blogging; and Google+ and Analytics.

Loran Tripp, chief creative scientist at Lab3 Marketing, is one of six "lab doctors" participating in the workshop. Tripp co-owns the Lutz company and has nine years of marketing experience under her belt. She knows first-hand how crucial it is for businesses to use social media effectively.

"In today's world, your website is your storefront," Tripp said.

As as social media guru, she knows social media stats, such as the best time for a business to post a Facebook status (3 p.m. on a Wednesday) and the best time of day to post to Pinterest (8 at night).

One of Tripp's most important tips is to understand the implications of using the Internet as a platform.

"I think it's extremely important for people to remember how much larger their words are than they ever have been," she said. "Your audience is now global, whether you like it or not. You have to be more cognizant about what you are posting and putting out there."

Additionally, Tripp suggests that having a robust presence on a couple of platforms is more valuable than having a sparse presence on every website. She recommends LinkedIn and Facebook for those who don't have time to manage a multitude of profiles.

Just as it's important to know how to use social networking sites, it's also important to know how not to use them.

Many businesses focus on trying to push their products on their social media accounts, rather than having a conversation with their users. It's more valuable to focus on building a brand and a presence, rather than barraging the Internet with sales pitches, Tripp says.

"I think that if people go in and just keep trying to sell stuff, nobody wants to be sold to," Tripp said. "People do business with people who they know, like and trust, so if you can build that somehow, then you have now come closer to converting someone to being a lifelong customer."

These tips and many more will be featured at the workshop.

Corporate training director Lori Bainum also sees an opportunity for attendees to network.

"It's probably going to be a great opportunity to meet other people in the audience, who either could help you out or are suffering from the same flu," she said. "They'll be able to kind of commiserate and collaborate together."

Bainum hopes to continue offering social media labs in the future and wants to create other labs to build on the skills learned in the first one.

"We're really excited about this because we just think there is a big need," Bainum said. "We're really happy as a community college to be able to provide a service like this."

Samantha Fuchs can be reached at (727) 869-6235 or [email protected]

Comments
Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsidies of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Published: 12/15/17
Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Pigs can be therapy animals too. So can horses and rats and cats and llamas and … (w/video)

Shrieks of laughter echoed off the walls of the hospital as Thunder the mini pig flopped onto his side and the children huddled around him, scratching his pink, hairy belly. He and his wet-nosed partner, Bolt, drew patients in wheelchairs and bandage...
Published: 12/15/17
Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

Vology landlord challenges property tax assessment

LARGO — Eight months after paying $10.15 million for the office building that houses IT services company Vology, a New York company is suing the Pinellas County Property Appraiser and Florida Department of Revenue contending its $5.5 million tax asse...
Published: 12/15/17
Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

In 2010, Florida was in the throes of an unprecedented housing crisis. One in every eight homes was in some stage of foreclosure. Today, the foreclosure rate is one in every 83. Because of that enormous drop, Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund will s...
Published: 12/15/17
Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

Report: Rich will get still richer unless policies change

By ELAINE KURTENBACHTOKYO — Global inequality has stabilized at high levels in recent years, a report said Friday, despite gains among the poor in China and much milder disparities in incomes and wealth in Western Europe. The World Inequality Report ...
Published: 12/15/17
How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

How the Disney/Fox deal will shake up Hollywood

Associated Press NEW YORK — After years of tremors, the earthquake that had long been predicted finally shook Hollywood. Disney’s deal to purchase most of 21st Century Fox ends the era of the "Big Six" major movie studios, toppling one ...
Published: 12/15/17
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Published: 12/15/17
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Published: 12/15/17
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Published: 12/14/17