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REPORTING · 10th March 2011
Merv Ritchie
Today, Wednesday, March 10, approximately 100 business representatives and Northwest residents gathered at the new native designed “Long House” at the campus of Northwest Community College (NWCC). The parking lot was overflowing before 9:00 am, which had one business owner commenting on the unfortunate selection of this location for hosting the event.

Called; “Think Social Media” the gathering is intended to inform this regions business leaders on how to take advantage of the new internet age and the new social mediums such as Facebook and Twitter. CFNR put on the event with Kermodei Tourism, HawkAir, Northern Savings Credit Union and 16/37 Community Futures all co-sponsoring.

Ron Bartlett from CFNR began the conference by describing how the market trading area of CFNR consists of 29,800 First Nations people on band membership lists and within local municipalities the Northwest has the highest concentration of First Nations persons in Canada at 50%. He went on to describe all the new potential economic drivers coming to the region and all the potential new residents just around the corner. Although this was largely a promotional event to encourage businesses to advertise with CFNR, as they promoted their significant presence within the First nations communities, it was very good at directing the business community to look at the reality of today’s advertising effectiveness.

The straight goods, from the professionals from Vancouver who delivered the presentation, is simple; traditional advertising is ineffective. Their claim is only 14% of the general population trust print, radio and TV advertisements. Although the numbers did not equal 100, they claimed 78% trust ‘Peer Recommendations”. The conclusion is to use every possible means to get your customer, your target consumer, to talk about your product or store, online with facebook, twitter and any other new social media that comes along.

An example they used was how their company, ThinkSocialMedia.com, promoted an event in Green Bay prior to the SuperBowl called, “Have you been to Dallas lately”. This was to be a three day promotional campaign however was cut short to just over one day as the response was almost unbelievable. They did it by using small local websites, blogs and news sites like ours, the TerraceDaily.ca to feature hidden clues about how to locate the hidden person. To win free tickets to Dallas for the Superbowl, you had to ask the right person “Have you been to Dallas lately?” The local online blogs they used would host clues to discover who the right person to ask was. But when they began the campaign, Green Bay residents took it over to Facebook and Twitter, sharing it with all their friends and contacts and it became an overnight sensation that had the entire community asking each other “Have you been to Dallas Lately”.

It was such an outstanding success that one of the lucky winners was homeless and didn’t even know what facebook and twitter was; did not own an electronic device.

This is the way to the future. Get on board or get left in the dust. Another interesting tidbit of information was how some business owners do not appreciate their employees being online while at work. ThinkSocialMedia.com compared this to the introduction of the telephone. How when it first became commonplace to have a phone in the store the business owners didn’t want their employees using it.

So, if you are wondering where your boss was today, He or she is likely learning a lesson or two about how your use of the TerraceDaily.ca and Facebook might be something they shouldn’t be criticising you for. They may come in tomorrow asking you to help set up new accounts for them on Twitter too. If you really want to score points, get ready to show them how you have it all set up with a ton of new friends already. Think about how you can help your boss promote a new product or upcoming special. Today they are learning, from CFNR how the radio, newspaper and TV are simply the poorest way to promote your enterprise. Online is the new way and the only truly cost effective solution for getting a message out. It is now and it is instantaneous.

We couldn't have said it any better! We of course have been demonstrating this since before the flood of 2007.

As for conference rooms hosting this event, Terrace now only has the Terrace Best Western, a couple churches and the Elks Hall that can handle the size of gathering that attending this event. As the business owner commented;

“There are locations in Terrace that are struggling to pay bills and staff. With students coming to school this morning too, where will they park? It just seems wrong to use a publicly funded location for a private commercial function.”

But then there are also not many locations to choose from, though all have nothing booked today.
The NWCC parking lot was packed and drivers had to park on McConnell Ave
The NWCC parking lot was packed and drivers had to park on McConnell Ave
Business leaders and residents were lined up and coming in late for this popular function
Business leaders and residents were lined up and coming in late for this popular function
Number not equalling 100
Comment by James on 10th March 2011
14% trust ads, 78% trust peers and the remainder, 8%, don't trust anyone (especially those over 30).