Viral and social network marketing workshop scheduled for May 14-15

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FARMINGTON – With the latest data showing that 75 percent of adults in the United States use the Internet, a virtual presence is essential for small and home-based businesses today. Of those Internet users 81 percent search online for information about a product or service they are thinking about buying and 71 percent purchase a product online.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Franklin County Office will be conducting a two part workshop to give businesses the essential tools to make use of one of the fastest growing marketing trends on the internet: viral and social network media. “It’s more than simply having a website anymore,” says Extension Educator Marc Edwards. “User generated content, blogs, podcasts, web 2.0 applications can play an important role in your online presence.”

Marketing and Internet professional Kelly Cotiaux will be leading the workshop with Mr. Edwards. Ms. Cotiaux is with Sephone Internet Solutions based in Bangor and has experience in tourism and small business marketing on the internet.

Especially important according to Edwards is an online presence for tourism and related businesses. Again, it’s more than just having a website. Over half of adult internet users in the United States watched a video on sites like YouTube or took a virtual tour of a location. And those numbers are growing. Internet users who download Podcasts nearly tripled from 2006 to 2008. “This,” says Edwards, “is where these businesses need to be.”

The Workshop will run on May 14 and 15 from 6-9 PM in room 102 of the UMF Computer Center. To register, call the Extension office at 778-4650.

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