If you're a business owner or an artist, experts say reaching out to consumers through social media is a must in today's digital age.
But not everyone knows how to use these tools to create an online presence, putting them at a slight disadvantage.
There are more than 120,000 registered Facebook users within a 10 mile radius of Rockford. With the right use of social media, they can become potential customers, if you know how to reach them.
Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, and Twitter all are social networking sites used by individuals and businesses to market goods and services.
"I think that social media though does have the power to reach a lot of people. and a lot more than people even realize," says David Griffith, a Managing Partner at Studio Fyra.
Dee Santorini, a local artist, wants to share what she's created with more people, beyond what she can accomplish through face to face interactions. "We all need social media in out lives, and we know that. and some of us especially some of us older people really don't have the experience or don't know how to go about learning," says Santorini.
To help her get started, Studio Fyra invited social media expert Theresa Carter to give a helping hand. Nearly a dozen area business owners and artists, like Santorini are seeking that help. They're trying to stay current in the digital age.
"I just really think it's a great opportunity for all of these artists to really learn how to show what they're doing, what they're passionate about to a much wider audience than they could reach any other way," says Carter.
After creating a profile, Carter says work to make your business stand out, and establish yourself as a leader in your industry. This will build your credibility, attract more clients, and potentially increase sales.
"You can't always email somebody, there are other media to do that with. I guess that's what I've learned here today," says Santorini.
Most social networking sites are available to use at little or no cost. Carter says this translates into free marketing for your company.