Social media has been a growing trend around the world for several years now, even recently taking center stage in major political upheavals on the other side of the globe. Here in Pasco it is a quite a bit less dramatic, but no less powerful tool for you.
I'm beginning to see more and more local organizations tapping into the power of social media and a few businesses are dipping the proverbial toe into the pond. This is great because that means it is getting easier to find out about local happenings.
But what about you, the consumer? Have you been getting more involved with social media? Twitter is not just for kids, and no, it's not all about what someone had for lunch today. Did you know taking advantage of social media can actually save you time, money and frustration?
Sure you can get in your car and drive up and down US 19 or S.R. 54 in hopes you "find that one store you kinda remember being somewhere", or you can take a quick trip to the web (at home or on your mobile device), get a review, do some price comparisons and get a map and directions to exactly where you want to go. You'll even save a few extra dollars in gas, not to mention that elusive and finite resource--your time!
Places like Twitter and Facebook are good starting points to learn about local businesses, organizations, events, restaurants and services.
Because social media for businesses is all about building relationships, you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of business you'll be dealing with by the reputation they've built on line.
Do they interact with their fans or do they just post billboards about themselves? Do they take the time to answer questions or provide more detailed information? Do they share information about other businesses or organizations in the community? Do they offer you special deals or insider info on new merchandise because you're a fan?
No longer do you have to wonder who has the best pizza or if the AC repair guy is going to do a good job or not; because people who have already patronzied that business have done you a favor by leaving their comments and feedback by way of reviews and posts on Twitter & Facebook.
Conversely, when YOU participate in the online conversation by tweeting, checking in or leaving a review you are playing an important part in helping others in your community make more informed decisions too. And, by sharing information about outstanding businesses in the area that have won your loyalty, you are also helping to ensure those businesses thrive. See, pretty powerful stuff.
How about doing a little exploration of your own? There are litterally bazillions of places on line to find reviews and info, so here are a few ideas to get you started:
- New Port Richey Patch Events
- American Towns
- Tampa Bay Times Things to Do
- TBO Extra
- Suncoast News Pasco Calendar
General Reviews, Research
- Google Places - Ratings & reviews for local business, parks, restaurants, hotels, churches, car dealers, hospitals, schools, etc reviews
- Facebook - Local businesses & organizations
- Yelp.com - restaurants, shopping, nightlife, enterainment, services etc.
- Yahoo Local - local listings for business, allows customer reviews
- Judy's Book - local listings w/reviews
- Merchant Circle - local businesses, restaurants, etc
- BringFido.com - dog friendly businesses
- Urban Spoon - food reviews, local and nationwide (great for when you're traveling!)
- Trip Advisor - hotel reviews, photo and trave advice for hotels and vacations
- Virtual Tourist - find out what there is to do
- Rotten Tomatoes - movie reviews
- InsiderPages.com - get reviews on local doctors
Do you have a favorite "go to" site for local information? If so, go ahead and post it in the comments and share your wisdom with your neighbors.