Dillsboro merchants embrace social media


WCU students Katie Weigel, Haley Brooks and Dillon Slattery (from left)

Dillsboro merchants are facebooking, tweeting, and pinning galore, thanks to social media training from Western Carolina University public relations students.

On March 19-21, as part of the ongoing WCU-Dillsboro partnership, WCU students hosted a series of social media seminars for Dillsboro merchants on the Cullowhee campus.

The seminars covered the basics of using Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The students showed a brief presentation and video summarizing different types of social media and how they can benefit small businesses. The students in charge of the seminars worked with the individual merchants one-on-one following the presentation.

Sixteen Dillsboro merchants attended the workshops over the three-day period. Volunteers from the Communication department and the Public Relations Student Society of America helped with the training.

“The one-on-one teaching approach seemed to be beneficial because the shop owners were able to have their immediate questions answered and it was fun being able to get to know them,” said Katie Weigel, a public relations student.

Katie Weigel and Haley Brooks work with John Miele of the Golden Carp

Katie Weigel and Haley Brooks work with John Miele of the Golden Carp

The social media seminars provided measurable results. Three merchants created new Facebook pages, two created Twitter accounts

WCU students provide social media training

WCU students Jarred Teague and Dillon Slattery provide social media training

and five merchants joined Pinterest. In addition, merchants with existing accounts focused on updating their profiles more frequently.

“The students really helped my understanding of social media, and I feel that I have a good concept of these topics” said Mary Hartbarger of the Jarrett House.

The social media seminars emphasized the use of social media for promoting and marketing businesses in Dillsboro. The training is part of a larger public relations campaign to increase communication via social media in Dillsboro.

Readers are encouraged to like Dillsboro merchants on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and see their pins on Pinterest.

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