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With a background in Information Technology and a 30-year history that includes consulting for some of the largest and most recognizable organizations in the tri-state area such as the NYC Mayor’s Office, KPMG and Guardian Life Insurance, Patricia has always been a step ahead of her peers when it came to technology. “My girlfriends would be out shopping for shoes and handbags while I stood with my nose pressed to the windows of electronic stores checking out the latest gadgets,” she admits. During a recent interview, Patricia shared her views on social media and small business.
She says, “There is tremendous value in using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and many other social media avenues available today for business marketing. Unfortunately while children, teens and adults are spending ample amounts of time using it, I noticed that within my own community very few businesses were taking advantage of how powerful and effective social media is and it’s so inexpensive there’s just no reason not to incorporate it into a marketing plan. When I’m in New York City, for example, you can’t even go into a restaurant or salon without seeing Twitter and Facebook links on menus and business cards, posted on walls and sometimes even printed on the receipts! They know what they’re doing and their businesses are benefiting from it.”
“Word of mouth advertising is invaluable,” she continues, “so the more people talking about a company’s fabulous services, delicious meals, after-school programs or even how well Fluffy was groomed, the better. It directly influences the bottom line – profits. If companies are not aggressively staking their claims within their marketplaces, they’re leaving the door open for someone else to do so. Companies have to make that connection and aim to be on the tips of more tongues every day of the week.”
It’s a different world today and we have to work with what works now. Many companies have it wrong. They spend a lot of time and money looking for customers when, if they only plan their strategies well, more customers would be hearing about and looking for them!“What’s more, print advertising continues to decline. There are far less expensive ways to market and promote now. No one’s reading all the menus left on doors and we barely flip through neighborhood handouts with the coupons in them. But if I get a ttweet or a Facebook message telling me my favorite local diner is having an end of the day meatloaf special, I’m looking for my keys and I’m out the door! I might bring a friend and stay for coffee, too! And you know what they say – no one wants to eat at an empty restaurant.”
When asked why it’s so important to her to see such practices develop in her own community she adds, “I want to see the shops and local businesses that I patronize stay around for a long time, especially those that provide terrific service and friendly smiles every time I walk through their doors. The world has become very transient. There are new neighbors and businesses closing down and cropping up all the time. If those paths don’t cross that’s money spent elsewhere. Regardless of how bad this economy is on both businesses and consumers, we all purchase services, meals and products. We need our pets taken care of, a relaxing massage, gifts for friends, coaching, professional services, after-school programs. When locals recognize they can get so many top quality services right at home and are kept aware of discounts and specials without having to go look for them, it’s a win for all of us!”
Patricia ends with, “It’s a different world today and we have to work with what works now. Many companies have it wrong. They spend a lot of time and money looking for more customers when, if they only plan their strategies well, more customers would be hearing about and looking for them!”
On a more personal note; Patricia was born and raised in New York and currently resides in North Carolina. She is an avid writer, enjoys listening to audio books and loves gardening, albeit in her apartment.