The Daily Gamecock

Breakfast series highlights social media impact

Moore School hosts monthly talks for local business owners

There are 2,393,880 Facebook users in the state of South Carolina, comprising 45 percent of the population. It’s this  statistic that brought 25 local business owners, including Patrick Mason of Carolina Living Magazine, to the Darla Moore School of Business Thursday for a breakfast session on social media.

Pursuant to business owners’ interest in the newer form of communication, the Darla Moore School of Business kicked off their new educational series, helmed by the college’s Corporate Solutions Division. Margaret Dawson, the division’s executive director, has been working with the university for about a year with the charge of overseeing partnerships with the business community. The division handles executive education and research for community partners. It also assists students with job and internship placement.

For the first installment in the series, Dawson hosted USC alumna Kiosha Gregg, owner of the newly renamed GoDigital. Formerly Kiosha Gregg Digital Media Consultancy, it is Gregg’s platform for helping companies enter the digital arena.

The new name more accurately conveys the company’s mission, Gregg said. “GoDigital really reflects more of what the company is about,” she said. “I want to help companies figure out the entire digital process. Social media is just one part.”

Gregg is no digital business neophyte. She says she has integrated social media in every job she has had. That, coupled with certification by and her popular blog about social media, spurred her to start her own company. So far she has worked with the Free Times, The State, the National Network for Youth and USC’s TRiO programs.

Marc Himes, manager of undergraduate career services at the Darla Moore School of Business, helped to organize the series.

“We wanted to start with something that would be relevant,” Himes said. “[Gregg] is young but has a lot of great experience and a lot of business people are misinformed about [social media].”

Her talk, entitled “Stand Out: Use Social Media to Grow Your Business,” outlined eight steps for the 25 attendees, saying that the question is no longer about whether to use social media, but instead how much.

“People are avoiding traditional routes of advertising, so now we have to go to where they are going,” she said. She called the transition a move from outbound marketing to inbound marketing.

Gregg likened social media to a cocktail party, saying that it is about developing relationships, connecting and hoping that those relationships turn into leads. She instructed the attendees to approach their social media strategy by determining a purpose, finding which aspects of social media suit that purpose, being consistent and making sure to share.

Among her tips, she warned of excessively automating with scheduling tools like Hootsuite and the importance of keeping in mind high traffic times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Topics for next month’s session are being discussed.