Roughly 30 small, local businesses from Westport, Wilton, Norwalk and Weston filled the Westport Library McManus Room to experience Patch's Main Street U, a free, two-hour session designed to teach business owners how to improve their connection to the online community.
Attendees learned about the various tools available to them online, for free, and how to utilize them and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to streamline and string together their online presence for continuity and a stronger digital existence.
Mike Thalen, owner of Sophterlight Photography in Westport, said he attended the event to learn more about Patch and how to promote his business.
“Patch’s value was delivered well. You had professionals from very reputable companies and that is certainly impressive and it really lends itself well to legitimacy,” Thelen said.
Brittany Serra, a social media community manger at Team Detroit/Retail First, taught business owners how to utilize and master Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest and Youtube.
“I do social media with a local angel for the Ford Motor Company,” she said.
Serra currently handles all social media for Tri-State Ford.
Business owners learned how to use free services on Patch to connect to their community as well, and learned from professional presenters like Serra on the best practices for engaging thier community and building strong bonds that result in sales without forcing self-promotion.
Maria Kieras, owner of The Day Spa in Westport, is a new business owner who attended the event to learn the ‘do’s and don’ts' of social media.
I want to promote The Day Spa and get to as many people as possible in the social world,” she said.
The event ended with business owners networking with eachother and connecting via social networks.