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SMC Knoxville program explores Knoxville-area small business social media habits

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SMC Knoxville program explores Knoxville-area small business social media habits

A recent study found that 80% of small business owners in the nation are using some social media in their business, but only 57% have formally made the tools a part of their overall marketing strategy. Social Media Club Knoxville is providing an opportunity for small business owners and leaders to learn from area small business executives who have successfully made social media a part of their business plan at a free program on September 20.

Knoxville, Tenn.Social Media Club Knoxville (SMC Knoxville) is launching a new speaker series, “Local Talent,” focusing on the social media savvy minds who call Knoxville home. The series will begin on September 20, 2012, with a panel discussion featuring local small business leaders offering insight into lessons they’ve learned as they adopt social media in their marketing and communication habits. The series will be held at Calhoun’s on the River in downtown Knoxville with networking at 6 pm, followed by the presentation at 7 pm. Admission is free.

A recent study by business media publisher The Business Journals found that 80% of small business owners and top executives now say they use social media to some degree, with 57% using the tools as part of their overall marketing strategy. Today’s small business leaders seeking to connect with their existing and potential customers, increase visibility and stretch their promotions budget are continuing to turn to social media as a viable option. But, social media solutions are not one-size-fits-all. The SMC Knoxville panel discussion will explore past successes and obstacles that local businesses have experienced.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Shane Rhyne, digital strategies manager for Ackermann PR. Panelists will include Kathleen Atkins, owner of JoPhoto; Josh Cantrell, marketing coordinator of Claris Networks; and Suzy Trotta, a realtor for Coldwell Banker Wallace and Wallace.

“Each panelist brings a different perspective and set of experiences to how they’ve used social media within their business building strategies,” said Rhyne. “These three have worked as solo practitioners, husband-and-wife business partners, and with start-up tech enterprises. They can deliver great examples how they have succeeded and stumbled along the way so that others can benefit from that knowledge.”

Atkins is one-half of the Knoxville-based, husband-and-wife photography team JoPhoto. She and her husband have used social media to build their business’ brand identity and better reach their target markets. As marketing director for Knoxville-based Claris Networks, Cantrell has managed a strategy to keep the local B2B cloud computing provider at the top of Google search rankings and fostered a community of online advocates for the business through social media. Trotta, an agent for the West Town office of Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace has converted her blogging skills into lead generation and positioned herself as a local media expert resource on the Knoxville real estate market. As digital strategy manager for Ackermann PR, Rhyne works daily assisting area small businesses in developing their digital marketing and communications skills.

Panelists will discuss their experiences and answer questions from the audience. Social Media Club Knoxville is open to anyone with an interest in developing or sharing their skills in social media for a business or personal use. The free series will continue every other month, leading up to April’s Social Slam, the organization’s annual business conference spotlighting some of the best-known social media practitioners in the nation. For additional information about SMC Knoxville, the Local Talent series and Social Slam, visit the organization’s website at www.smcknox.com.

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About Social Media Club Knoxville: Founded in Spring 2009, Social Media Club Knoxville in a non-profit, volunteer-based professional organization for Knoxvillians using social media and those seeking to learn. Our mission is to build a community both online and off that provides a platform for members to learn, share ideas and network.

Media Contact:

Shane Rhyne, Ackermann PR

(865) 584-0550, srhyne@ackermannpr.com

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