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Wyoming Business Tips for March 13-19


March 7, 2011 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Jason Kintzler, guest entrepreneur, PitchEngine founder and CEO, Riverton

"Should I promote my business online through social media?  J.J., Dubois

We live in an unprecedented time. You, as a business owner, now have tools at your fingertips that allow you to connect your services or products directly to current customers and potential customers as well. And it doesn't cost much to make an impact.

This fundamental shift is called social media. Simply put, it's blending social interaction with technology. New tools exist that can help you interact with customers directly, instead of spending thousands on old advertising models. Tools such as e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and PitchEngine make cultivating of networks and sharing content more efficient.

These new channels allow organizations to interact directly and individually with customers and influencers. Organizations that do this well will naturally prosper (e.g., New Belgium Brewing, American Red Cross and GEICO).

The Internet has brought us unprecedented transparency. A small business owner's ability to reach out directly to consumers means no longer relying upon others to tell a story.  The story is now yours to share, complete with all the passion and experience you bring. After all, doing good business shouldn't depend on an advertising budget.

Jason Kintzler is a former journalist turned public relations professional. His Riverton-based PitchEngine has 30,000 brands ranging from Fortune 500 to independent business owners using the platform to promote their business online. He maintains a blog at: jasonkintzler.com and can be found on Twitter at @jasonkintzler.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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