By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL — For the business community, it is no longer a question of “whether” to become involved in social media, but rather, “how” to become involved in social media.
That is a key focus for the upcoming East St. Tammany Chamber Tech Smart conference, set for Tuesday, June 19 at the Northshore Harbor Center.
This is the second year a similar topic for a business conference has been brought back by the Chamber, after the local business group held something close to this prior to Hurricane Katrina.
“The Chamber had sponsored a conference before Katrina that focused on technology, but it was mainly about different software and how you used them,” Chamber CEO Dawn Sharpe-Brackett said. “Since we brought this back last year, the entire overview of the conference is much different with the advancement of technology.”
Without doubt, social media is at the center of the conference and Brackett said attendees will not only learn all about things like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but more importantly, find out just where their business needs to fit in with them.
“The question we get asked the most is whether these forms of social media are good for a particular business,” she said. “And that’s a good question—not every business can utilize every social media the same. The conference will answer the question about whether you should use it, and how to use it.”
The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with several sessions repeated in the afternoon to give attendees plenty of opportunity to fit the conference into their schedule.
The fee is $59 for early bird registration for the first 100 registrants and Brackett said there are still a few of the lower prices tickets available. Once they are sold out, entry fee is $70 a person.
Attendees will have a choice of classes in three tracks including: Social Media, eMarketing and Getting Started.
Social Media will begin at 9 a.m. and explain basics and differences in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, showing how to separate your personal and business interests.
In the eMarketing track at 9 a.m., attendees will learn how to advertise their business electronically, how to build Facebook ads, use text messaging and effective e-mails.
The 9 a.m. session for Getting Started will help business leaders understand how to determine which social media is best for their business, while reviewing the pros and cons of each.
A 10:35 session focuses on website reviews, how to create and manage your site, and how to create the most positive image through your website.
Another 10:35 class reviews the best way to maximize your financial investment in any of the media venues.
Sessions continue in the afternoon with topics covering Etiquette and Your Business, Analytics and what the future holds.
“We will also discuss legal aspects of hiring and the language you can use, as well as ethics on all these social media outlets,” Brackett said.
Tickets can be obtained on the Chamber website at estchamber.com, or by calling the Chamber at 985-643-5678.