High Road Digital: New firm harnesses social media for business
By Robert Norris | (email@example.com)
One axiom of business success is “location, location, location.” Another is “word of mouth.”
Back in the day, those tenets were key to attracting customers. That was when people primarily interacted face-to-face or through one-on-one telephone conversations.
Those days are gone. Businesses that don’t realize that may find they’re soon destined to be gone, too. Location is wherever a potential customer carries a smart phone. Social media is the new word of mouth.
For business people oriented only toward the familiar way of marketing, this new landscape can be confusing. It’s definitely ever-changing — which opens an entrepreneurial opportunity to connect the dots between traditional and digital marketing.
High Road Digital was created to make that connection.
Greeneville-based Jones Media Inc. has launched High Road Digital, a new marketing agency that delivers a full suite of tools to help local businesses optimize and monetize their presence on the Internet.
“The Internet can be a scary place for some businesses,” said Brett Hulsey, vice president and general manager of High Road Digital. “But the right tools can generate real business and turn those Facebook ‘likes’ into sales dollars.”
But a poorly executed digital plan can backfire on a business. Consumers are savvy about what they find online. Digital needs to look sharp and be current.
Scott Brooks, digital media developer for High Road Digital, said, “If you’re not doing it right, it’s better to not be doing it at all.”
High Road Digital primarily serves small- and medium-size businesses in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, where Jones Media operates 14 newspapers, including The Daily Times, The Greeneville Sun and The (Boone, N.C.) Mountain Times, as well as companion websites to those newspapers.
On Tuesday, High Road Digital held a ribbon-cutting at Sullivan’s in Maryville to launch its Blount and Knox County operation. Laura Caves is the new company’s local digital marketing consultant. On Wednesday, the company held three informational seminars for local business people at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce to show the scope of digital marketing and services the new firm company offers in bundles or a la carte.
High Road Digital manages clients’ use of Facebook and other social media outlets, safeguards businesses’ online reputations through high-tech monitoring tools and helps customers find those businesses more easily via Internet search engines, such as Google.
The company “builds and improves business websites, mobile websites, videos, email marketing campaigns, text messaging communications, digital promotions and online contests,” said Jason Edmisten, chief financial officer and Hulsey’s partner in the new company.
Daryl Hively, a 17-year veteran of digital marketing who develops digital strategies with companies nationwide, conducted the seminars.
He said businesses are trying to catch up to where the consumer already is.
“Consumers are doing search. They’re using social media and mobile and video to make a lot of decisions about who they interact with in their local business community. That creates a lot of opportunities for merchants.”
Hively tossed out some wow numbers to make his point. In the previous 60 seconds, 6 million pages had been viewed on Facebook and over 2 million searches were done on Google.
“Consumers have migrated to the web and they are using it in an ever-growing fashion every day,” Hively said.
“This isn’t about e-commerce. This is about doing your research on the web and then connecting with the merchant in your hometown.”
Then he cited a revealing statistic: Only 37 percent of local businesses have claimed their Google listing.
“Here’s the No. 1 website in the world giving everybody a free enhanced listing and a profile page, but only 37 percent of us have claimed that listing,” Hively said. “That’s tip No. 1 today.”
For more information on High Road Digital services, visit http://HighRoadDigital.com