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Social media should be engaging, Rosien says

LAS VEGAS - In a seminar on social networking and search engine optimization, Julia Rosien of explained the difference between the two to Furniture Marketing Group members.
     SEO, she said, tells people what you're doing, while social media should have a more casual and conversational tone, as if it were "your cocktail party on the Internet."
     Rosien, a social media strategist, said the biggest mistake a retailer can make is setting up a social media presence and then walking away from it. That tells consumers, "We're not listening," she said.
     She said stores should include search bars on their websites if they are not already doing so and should use the results - what consumers are searching for - to help select specific SEO keywords they can build their marketing around.
     Also, she told the buying group members not to duplicate their Facebook message on other social media outlets such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Each should have its own voice.
     What's more, while social media can and should be used to entice consumers, it's a media channel that should be controlled by a retailer's customer service department - the people who know how to talk to consumers - not the marketing department.
     "Don't be afraid to sell, to engage," she said, adding that it's perfectly fine, if conversing with a consumer about an item, to invite her to the store to see it in person.
     "What you cannot do is sell, sell, sell," Rosien said, noting that retailers can count on consumers to tell them when they've crossed the line.

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