News Column

Social Media Breakfast Club Seeking Members

January 17, 2013

Alyson Buschena

Unlike the 1980s high school drama by a similar name, the Social Media Breakfast Club promises to be more interesting than a Saturday spent in detention.

Organized by local professionals and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, the club aims to bring together marketers, PR pros, students, entrepreneurs and social media practitioners from a variety of professional fields to network and share ideas.

"The main message is it's a club for the community to get together and learn about social media, network and just come up with ideas of how to improve the community's online presence," said Julie Foote, MVTV Wireless and a coordinator of the group.

Foote said that the Social Media Breakfast Club meetings will help both the community and local businesses

By using social media, participating businesses will be able to expose their customers to products and services offered by others in the Worthington area.

"That will give (people) a reason to spend more time in downtown Worthington and visit more of our local assets," said Foote.

Social Media Breakfast Clubs chapters are scattered across the country. As an employee of MVTV Wireless, a local non-profit, member-owned co-op, Foote sees the Social Media Breakfast Club as an extension of her job.

"Anything that benefits the rural community in our co-op area is a benefit to our members and to rural Minnesota," she said. "Since we are also very active in the governor's broad ban task force, (social media) is also part of our focus."

Foote teamed up with Lori Henning of 2SmartWomen, Lakefield, and the two started Social Media Breakfast Clubs in two regional communities.

Through the process of developing and advertising for those two chapters, the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce became interested and contacted Foote and Henning about starting a club in Worthington.

"We thought it would be a good thing to bring to Worthington with all the social media that's out there. It's a lot to take in and a lot to know what works and what doesn't work," said Ashley Goettig, Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant and Convention and Visitors Bureau coordinator.

Organizers plan to host panel discussions, presentations, case studies, debates and breakout sessions, all designed to encourage participants to teach and learn from each other.

"Our goal is that we will have speakers or presenters as requested by the club," Foote said.

The club has two goals -- networking and education.

"The intent is that the club will network, learn from each other and decide what outside resources we need to meet each member's needs," she added.

The Social Media Breakfast Club will have its first monthly meeting from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday at BenLee's Cafe, Worthington, with subsequent meetings on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Breakfast will be provided and paid for by sponsors.

"We provide breakfast so people can come and kill two birds with one stone -- feeding the mind and the body," Foote said.

Foote also stressed that meetings will punctually end at 9 a.m. to ensure participants won't have to worry about getting back to work or their businesses.

The Social Media Breakfast is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, contact Julie, MVTV Wireless, at jfoote@mvtvwireless.com or Lori at lori@2smartwomen.-com.

"I hope there is a great turnout and that people see the value of coming to something like this and learning more about social media -- it's all around us," said Goettig, who plans to attend and hopes to learn more about how the Chamber of Commerce can use social media effectively.

"With today's technology and our generation that has been wired since birth at this point, if they can't find you on a smartphone, you don't exist," Foote said. "Our goal is to help businesses use modern technology to reach all of their target customers and maybe break into some new demographics as well."


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Source: (c) 2013 The Daily Globe (Worthington, Minn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services