Membership Monday: Meet SMCHI Pro, Carey Bennett
Our Pro membership is comprised of digital professionals, innovators, and leaders from a wide array of (some unexpected) disciplines. To showcase this diversity, each month we’ll introduce you to one of our Pro members and share their insights on social media. Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future month? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.
Carey is the co-founder and CEO of Happy Hour Pal (formerly Happy Hour Hawai‘i). Together with her husband Brandon, they built every aspect of the business from programming the website/apps and marketing the products, to building relationships with participating businesses.
Happy Hour Pal is a mobile and online guide to all things happy hour! The free GPS-based app provides up-to-date happy hour information straight from your (soon-to-be) favorite watering hole. Happy Hour Pal is managed by participating establishments to provide accurate happy hour menus, daily specials, maps, basic information, and rewards.
Q: How are you currently using social media in your job?
Social media plays a huge role in spreading the word about Happy Hour Pal. We receive most of our users through word of mouth. The best way to spread the word is through social media! We are active in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and WordPress, and use Hootsuite to schedule and manage all of our platforms. We currently have over 7,500 followers across our social networks.
Q: Describe a social media challenge and how you overcome it.
Platform changes have been an adjustment for us. A year ago, the “filters” for Facebook Pages were not in place. Pricing for advertising was much more affordable per click, and most of our content reached our followers organically.
Facebook has dramatically limited the reach of Page posts to entice businesses to participate in its advertising program, which now includes a “pay per post” option designed to maximize reach. Pricing can be in the $30 range per post, which is financially straining for small businesses and startups.
We have pivoted to Twitter and other means of reaching out, including Google+ and our WordPress blog. We have also re-evaluated and strengthened our Facebook content as well as optimized the number of daily posts to keep our fans’ attention.
Q: What’s one social media tool or platform you couldn’t live without?
I love different platforms for different reasons. For social media organization, my #1 is Hootsuite!
Q: Name a mistake businesses make with social media.
“White Noise Posts” Writing content-heavy posts with no visual element, especially on Facebook. As a fan of many pages, I realized that I was only reading posts with interesting images. My eyes would first see the photo and second read the content. No matter how long the content, I read it because the visual grabbed my attention. Beautiful, artistic, or fun content-relevant visuals go a long way.
Q: Can you name a local example of a successful use of social media?
Roberta Oaks is a small local boutique downtown near my home. When the owner posts, she pairs a beautiful image of her handmade products. The images are so gorgeous, that I have sent a FB message asking if she would please hold an item for me (and I have seen other fans do the same). She easily creates sales on Facebook and Instagram while keeping her beautiful designs fresh in a fan’s memory (can you tell I am a fan?). Fantastic!
I also love reading posts from @Melissa808 on Twitter and Instagram, she is always doing something fun! She does a great job spreading the word about local products and restaurants throughout the state in a fun way!
Q: What exciting initiatives are you working on and can share with us?
We are continuously updating our products, creating and adding new features, and expanding to more locations! Stay Tuned
Q: What emerging social media networks or tools are you monitoring most closely?
Q: What do you do offline to help you stay current and connected online?
Q: What made you join Social Media Club Hawai‘i?
I wanted to learn from the best! I love learning tips and tricks for my current social media platforms, as well as finding out more information about platforms that I am less familiar with. A pro membership also offers excellent networking opportunities!
Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future edition of Membership Monday? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.
Jen is a self-professed do-gooder and jane-of-all-trades. Her current focus is helping nonprofits and community-minded businesses harness the power of the social web for social good through her company Taming Tech For Good. Connect with her via about.me.