Social Media Breakfast Madison

Thanks to a panel of local experts, two small businesses have a few more tools and strategies to help greatly expand their reach, engagement and overall social media programs.

THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES and J. Henry & Sons both received a social media audit in front of a live audience at Wednesday’s Social Media Breakfast at the Discovery Building in Madison. Big thanks to UpStart for their co-sponsorship on this event.

Digital marketing experts Rachel Werner, Devin Renner, Matt Nelson and Sara Peck offered the two small businesses advice on their websites, social media outlets and ways to engage with their members, customers and the community.

The live audit kicked off with THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES. The Jills is an online platform that brings together freelancers and consultants so they can find each other, and clients can find them. The company works to empower women and believes “working independently doesn’t mean you have to work alone.”

Owners Corinne Neil and Megan  A.C. Boswell, said they are confident in their voice, message and tone but were looking for strategies to add more depth to their platforms. The panel gave them the following advice:

  • Find out where the Jills (members) are and engage with them.
  • Feature the Jills prominently on your website and other platforms and tell their stories (ex: Jill of the Week).
  • Focus on the channels that are most meaningful to you. If you’re not using a particular platform, don’t have it active.
  • Determine your objectives and priorities and work from there. Lead with your message. Put it in the forefront so people can see it.
  • Create a social media content calendar.
  • Use the content you have and drive people back to your website. Also, create more original content (blogs, Podcasts, web series) and drive people back to your website.
  • Make website content searchable.
  • Maintain consistent branding across platforms. Messaging needs to stay the same regardless of where you are.
  • Use LinkedIn. Engage with your members and other businesses/organizations and share content.
  • Expand your reach beyond the Jills.

“We make bourbon.” That’s how Liz Henry explained her business to the crowd before the panel began the live audit of J. Henry & Sons. The company produces Wisconsin Straight Bourbon Whiskey made from heritage red corn, rye and wheat grown on the family farm in Dane, WI.

Liz manages the company’s social media platforms and enjoys connecting with people in the industry, but said she has room for improvement. Here are the panel’s takeaways for J. Henry & Sons:

  • Keep branding across platforms consistent (ex:use same version of business name and logo).
  • Know your message, your intention and who you’re talking to.
  • Drive people to your website through social media posts and emails. Put your email list to work and put a contact form on the website.
  • Use saved audiences on Facebook to target people who like bourbon.
  • Ramp up information about what makes J. Henry & Sons different. Also, push tastings on Facebook.
  • Make company video a focal point of the website and your Wisconsin grown story a central part of your message.
  • Figure out a budget for boosting posts on Facebook. Spread out boosted posts where it makes sense. Don’t just boost posts to boost them.
  • Continue to tag and cross promote the restaurants and bars that sell J. Henry & Sons. Also, increase interaction within the Spirited Women group on Facebook.
  • Continue to build relationships on Twitter by engaging more with fans.
  • On the website, make a list of places where J. Henry & Sons is sold. The list can be done by state, as a drop down, etc.
  • Post authentic content – videos and pictures of events – while they’re happening. Also, use images with blogs and posts.

Hywania Thompson
Written by Hywania Thompson, Writer and Editor, @hywania