February 10, 2010

Business owners can learn value of social networks

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Feb. 18 workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will help business owners discover what social networks can do for their businesses.

“Our business counselors and specialists field questions from business owners on a daily basis about the benefits of incorporating social media into their overall marketing plans,” said Lynn Andersen Lindberg, director of business innovation and research at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. “This workshop is designed to answer many of those questions and show examples of how some small businesses are already seeing results from their social networking activities. The focus of the workshop is on several of the most popular social networking possibilities including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogging.”

The free workshop is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. Participants will learn how social networking can be an important marketing tool for their businesses. They’ll ponder questions including: “Why should I invest in social networking? Can I calculate a return on investment on social networking? And what business objectives can I meet by using social media?”

Presenters include Jenni Janssen and Aimee Wigfall. Janssen is assistant director of the College of Business’s Center for Innovation and earned her bachelor of science in marketing and her MBA at SIUC. She plans to complete her master’s in international business in May through Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France, with her thesis focusing on the use of mobile marketing and social media by small businesses.

Wigfall is a certified business specialist with the Illinois Small Business Development Center where she assists with small business start-ups, marketing and loan packaging. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with specialization in management information systems, from SIUC. She’s experienced with a variety of social media marketing venues to maximize exposure and client base for clients.

The workshop is free to attend but seating is limited. Call 618/536-2424 or e-mail sbdc@siu.edu to reserve a seat.

The SIUC Illinois Small Business Development Center, Small Business Incubator and the College of Business Center for Innovation along with the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce are sponsors for the event.