The following social media marketing industry interview is with Douglas Geller, author of The Dreamer and an experienced PR professional who is currently serving as a Social Media Coordinator for The University of Mixed Martial Arts.

Andrew: Do you think that Social Media Marketing is useful for small businesses? Why or why not?

Douglas: I think social media marketing is extremely useful for small businesses. It allows businesses to not only target a specific audience but engage with the audience as well. It also allows for a connection that can’t be bought through a TV or magazine advertisement. People can make an emotional connection and will remember when the brand reaches out or reacts on social media. Social media also creates the opportunity for content to go viral which other mediums are not able to offer (though this should never be counted on). There are so many positives in my opinion that the negatives such as bad reviews are outweighed and can be turned into positives. Bad reviews simply tell you what is wrong and how to fix it, without social media, you can’t hear what everyone says about you and offers a chance to make adjustments and be recognized for it.

Andrew: Agreed Douglas, thank you. Have you noticed any noteworthy trends in social media marketing in recent years as it pertains to business and what are they?

Douglas: For me, social media is all about interaction and telling stories. No matter what the medium is (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) it’s all about the story and how customers are interacted with. If the story is good and people are treated well, the only thing left to do is learn how to use that particular platform.

Andrew: What is your favorite aspect of digital marketing?

Douglas: My favorite aspect will follow a theme; I love the interaction and storytelling aspects of social media. I love to write and this gives me another platform to do that. Each platform challenges me to tell a story in a different way. I’m a people person; social media allows me to talk with people I might never meet in person and that is truly amazing.

Andrew: Do you have any advice on how small businesses can better leverage social media?

Douglas: Know who your audience is, the stories that appeal to them and how they want to be treated. For the University of MMA, which is an amateur Mixed Martial Arts organization in Los Angeles, the people we are selling tickets to and who are watching the fights are in Los Angeles, go to the gyms the fighters train at, are related to or are friends with the fighters or are MMA fans. So for them, I know my stories have to be about those topics. I make sure to wish fighters who turned pro good luck, I get training photos weeks before their fight and I try and make each fighter feel special so they want their family and friends to see them fight.

Knowing who your audience also means knowing what platform they are on. If they are on Facebook and not Snapchat don’t waste your time on Snapchat.

Andrew: What role has social media played in your career?

Douglas: Social media has played a major role in my career. I have been able to work with the University of MMA on their social media and it has helped me with my writing and storytelling. I also do some work on social media accounts for my full time job in public relations and it constantly teaches me to pay attention to the small details and the quality of work needed to make it a success.

Special thanks to Douglas Geller for the interview!

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