Class will help local businesses strengthen their social media efforts

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Is your business looking for ways to better take advantage of the social media movement?

Learn more at a social media and digital marketing class hosted by the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Jan. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Cobblestone Inn and Suites in Marquette.

Facilitated by Brian Stoll, with Illuminate Digital, LLC, of Cedar Rapids, the class will instruct people on how to efficiently market their businesses through social media and incorporate that into a digital marketing plan.

“We’ve found there’s a wide difference in our business members in how much they know about social media,” said Kristie Austin, executive director of the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce. “A big percentage have it, but they don’t know how to manage or optimize it.”

Austin said the class will help participants better understand the different social media platforms, so they can determine what would work best for them. They’ll also learn how to select quality content for those platforms, increasing effectiveness and engagement.

“It’ll teach you how to use insights and analytics, to look at the tools that are there to assess [social media presence],” Austin explained.

Social media has become a growing resource for businesses of all sizes, as noted by the chamber’s president, Katie Ruff, owner of By the Spoonful, at the recent annual banquet.

“It’s crazy how many people find us online and on social media,” she told those gathered. “People always have their phones. They’re always doing research on us.”

She advocated for chamber members to grow their online presence through social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sites like Yelp and Google, where people can leave business reviews, are also important, she said.

Next week’s class will be free to all McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce members, thanks to some of the funds raised through the tailgate fundraiser in November.

Austin said the chamber felt this would be a good use for the funds because the class can help all businesses.

“It can specifically help our membership recover and move forward in 2018,” she noted.

One does not have to be a chamber member to attend, however. The class is also open to non-members for a small fee.

For more information, contact the chamber at (563) 873-2186 or

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