Local businesses coached in social media use

Representatives of more than 20 Fluvanna businesses gathered at the library June 29 to learn how to use social media to promote their work. 

In its first Lunch and Learn, the Fluvanna Department of Economic Development partnered with the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce to help support and grow local businesses, said Jason Smith, director of community and economic development.

During the first hour of the workshop, Irene Borys, of Cyberbility in Fredericksburg, took the class through the primary social media sites of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Borys explained the unique characteristics of each, who uses them and how to bring attention to your business through them.

 “One of the top tips we shared in class is how to think of what to share about your business or non-profit,” Borys said. “I ask, ‘When you're at a cocktail party and are mingling with people in different fields or professions – what are the most useful, relevant and unique pieces of information you can offer about what you do?’ This is great material for social media.”

Besides learning valuable skills for free, attendees were treated to a box lunch provided by Troy Market and Deli. 

During lunch, Borys guided participants through an online audit of their business. By searching online for their business, they could see what information shows up, if the information is correct and how appealing it is. 

Borys said every business should do such an audit yearly.

“It was a delight to help put together this seminar,” she said. “A social media basics course serves both businesses and non-profits to gain the knowledge and also get a little hands-on practice in harnessing the power of social media for increased visibility and growth. It's one of the things I love to do in my work with Cyberbility – share the knowledge in our industry to folks in the footprints in which we work in central Virginia.” 

Smith said the collaboration with the Chamber was positive and they plan on making such workshops a quarterly event.

“We reached out to our local Chamber office to see how we could collaborate and this is one of the initiatives they recommended,” Smith said. “We're excited about the opportunity to work with the Fluvanna Chamber team on more events like this to assist our business partners in moving forward.”

If you’re interested in the next workshop, sign up for the free Fluvanna Area Newsletter through the county website (www.fluvannacounty.org) or check out the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce website (www.fluvannachamber.org).