Five Reasons Why Businesses Should Use Social Media Marketing

In this day and age, businesses can’t afford not to use social media marketing. There are a billion people using social media. Think of the potential outreach. With more people using mobile devices, social media is the new form of word-of-mouth advertising. Here are the RBC’s top five reasons why businesses should use social media marketing.

1.     Allows direct communication with your customers

Social media is a two-way street. People can ask questions about your brand, rate products, and promote your products online. By using tools such as Facebook and Twitter, companies can respond to customers instantly. Gone are the days of calling a customer service number, simply log on to your social media accounts for immediate answers.

2.      Your target audience is using it.

Think of Facebook as a shopping mall, where people are living a virtual social life. Being present in this mall is one of the smartest moves you can make for your business. Social media is a great tool to reach a wide swath of customers on a regular basis.

3.      It’s the next generation of word of mouth marketing

What better way to interact with new potential clients than via people who have already experienced what your brand has to offer? When your social media presence starts to generate conversation and reactions such as; likes, shares, tweets, pins or whatever else it may be then you get their approval.

4.      Social Media Networking sites have high page rank

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn have high page rank. This means that in terms of the search engines like Google and Bing that they carry authority and therefore get good rank in search results. Having a well optimized social media profile on Facebook or LinkedIn can help you command search result places for your brand name or search terms related to your business, providing more ways for clients to get in contact with you.

5.      Aids Customer Service

Many businesses face the same questions time and time again when it comes to customer service. Use your social media outlets to answer those questions. By doing it this way you can highlight to your community that you are available but also get other people within the community to provide answers and support to new members who have perhaps experienced the same issues themselves.

 

So now what? If your company doesn’t have a presence on social media, it’s time to advocate for one. Show your boss how easy and vital it is to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. In the meantime, start following and commenting on your favorite social media sites, like the RBC’s. Follow us on Facebook, read our blog and connect with us on LinkedIn. We manage an RBC company page where we post updates about our RBC and YPN members, and a group board that is open to the public to post group discussions.

 

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Everything You Need To Know If You’re New to St. Louis

St. Louis is a big city with a small-town feel. If you’ve recently moved here to start your career, welcome. You couldn’t have picked a better city! You’re probably learning that St. Louis is comprised of little “pockets.” We’ve tried to break these down, but this is by no means an expert opinion. We’d like for our YPN members to weigh in on Facebook.

ImageDowntown St. Louis:

Downtown is the hub of St. Louis sports. St. Louis is home to the Cardinals, Rams and Blues. On a perfect sports weekend, you can catch a Cardinals post-season afternoon game at Busch Stadium, and then head to the Scottrade Center to see the Blues hit the ice around 7:00 p.m. Stay downtown and catch a Sunday afternoon Rams game and celebrate with your friends at a restaurant on Washington Avenue or Laclede’s Landing.

Central West End:

This is the place for dining al fresco. Central West End is dotted with amazing restaurants, bars, pubs and brunch hot spots. Meet our local chefs, enjoy a cocktail at a rooftop bar, shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques, and let your dog run wild at the Central West End dog park.

Clayton:

Celebrating 100 years, Clayton is the ideal spot to meet a business associate for coffee or friends for happy hour. Between Parties in the Park, the Clayton Art Fair and various centennial celebrations, there is always something going on in this neighborhood.

Soulard:

Soulard is one of the oldest parts of the city, with original housing dating back to the 1800’s. The neighborhood is probably best known for its annual Mardi Gras celebration which kicks off with a huge firework’s show on Twelfth Night. Here, you will also find some of the city’s best jazz and blues music to soothe your soul. And of course, the city’s largest and most historic farmer’s market is located on 7th Street and is open year-round.

There are dozens of other gems in our city including Forest Park, Tower Grove (home to the Missouri Botanical Garden), the Gateway Arch, and so much more. We want to know, what’s your “must-see” in St. Louis? 

Meet Kimmie Weeden

As we continue our blog series, “Meet the YPN Leadership 100,” we’d like to introduce you to Kimmie Weeden, Accounting Coordinator for Mississippi Lime Company. Kimmie graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is currently working on her MBA at Keller.

    • Do you currently work with any other organizations/member of any boards?Image

 

I do a lot of volunteering at my church but outside of that my time 

is truly limited. I am a silent member of POW and VITAL but I will become more involved after my girls are older. This is part of my long-term goals. I truly believe in giving back to the committee.

  • How would you introduce yourself to a new YPN member?

I am Kimmie Robinson. I am a boomerang, born in St. Louis but lived in Atlanta for eights and found myself back to my roots in May of 2001. I went to University City High School.  I love God, my family and the gifts that were blessed to me. I am a sociable person who enjoys talking and networking with people from all walks of life. I am just a simple person who believes in treating people the way I want to be treated.

 

  • What do you enjoy about belonging to organizations like YPN?

YPN has given me a professional voice. I am a different person since joining this awesome body of networking. I am more confident and very sure on what my purpose is in life. This was all due to the events and seminars that I was exposed to while in the YPN organization.

  • Describe a favorite project that you’re currently working on.

I am currently working on my purpose that was given to me in 1994. eLATION Magazine. You can go to www.elationmagazine.com and view the birth of my purpose. It’s a slow process but I know this will be a great project because this is my purpose.

  • Why should someone base their business in St. Louis?

This is a family town with highly ethical and moral behaviors. A business can really bring more life to the St. Louis area by offering students the opportunity to earn a living and enhance the economics in the city. We can keep the gifts and talents in the St. Louis area if opportunities are here.

  • What are your first three stops when an out-of-town friend visits?

You must visit the Zoo, Forest Park and St. Louis Museums. They are simply amazing.

  • What’s one St. Louis tradition that everyone must experience?

Imos Pizza is the St. Louis style of pizza

I enjoy eating at Bristol Restaurant

The Delmar Loop is a place where I can relax

  • Anything else you want to share with YPN?

I just wanted to say thank you to the YPN for believing in me. This belief has boosted my confidence personally and professionally. Thank you Kathy Osborn and Katie Kaufmann for believing in me.

Meet Jeremy Stewart

As we continue our blog series, “Meet the YPN Leadership 100,” we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Stewart, Senior Business Analyst for Centene Corporation. Jeremy received his Masters in Project Management and Masters in Information Management from Washington University.  In addition to working with the RBC’s YPN, he is also a member of FOCUS St. Louis.

 

  • What do you enjoy about belonging to organizations like YPN?
    • The YPN gives me a chance to interact with people from different fields as well as people I don’t see on a regular basis.

 

  • Describe a favorite project that you’re currently working on.
    • Web development/digital agency site for myself.

 

  • Why should someone base their business in St. Louis?
    • I think STL is in the beginning stages of a wave of entrepreneurs starting their business here. Anyone willing to do so will be able to take advantage of the incentives that come along with that (especially science and technology based companies), as well as a lower cost of operation not found in bigger cities.

 

  • What are your first three stops when an out-of-town friend visits?
    • Forest Park
    • The Arch
    • CWE

 

  • What’s one St. Louis tradition that everyone must experience?
    • Cardinals baseball

 

  • Anything else you want to share with YPN?
    • During my time with the YPN I have met some very wonderful people. I look forward to making more connections through the YPN.

Meet the Leadership 100… Stacia Graham

Some of the St. Louis region’s most creative minds are part of the RBC’s Young Professionals Network Leadership 100. But who are they and how are they helping to shape a stronger St. Louis?

That’s what we’re addressing in our blog series, “Meet the YPN Leadership 100,” where we introduce you to members of our YPN community who are providing exceptional leadership, service, culture and innovation to our area.

Today’s featured YPN Leadership 100 member is Stacia Graham, Reliability and Mobility Engineer for the Boeing Company. Graham obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN). Graham is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and the Tennessee State University – St. Louis Alumni Chapter. Among other things, Graham currently supports the YPN’s Imagination Library project.

 

    • How would you introduce yourself to a new YPN member?Image

 

  • I grew up in Marietta, GA and have lived in St. Louis for the past 7 years. I came to St. Louis to work as an engineer for The Boeing Company. Outside of work, I enjoy working with kids, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

 

  • What do you enjoy about belonging to organizations like YPN?
    • Organizations such as the YPN give me the opportunity to interact with other young professionals that I might not come into contact with otherwise. It’s always exciting to meet people from various backgrounds and different places who share common interests.

 

  • Describe a favorite project that you’re currently working on.
    • I am a Systems Engineer for The Boeing Company. In my current role, I provide reliability and maintainability engineering support primarily for the F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft platforms. My favorite part of this role is that it allows me to work on a variety of new technology projects that benefit the men and women in uniform who use Boeing products.

 

  • Why should someone base their business in St. Louis?
    • I think that St. Louis has many talented people who are eager to see St. Louis emerge to the forefront as a booming city. This also means that there are a lot of opportunities to come to St. Louis and be a frontrunner in terms of what you have to offer. There are a lot of businesses that have not been introduced to the St. Louis market that would be largely supported by the community and in turn be profitable to the owner.

 

  • What are your first three stops when an out-of-town friend visits?
    • When I have out of town visitors, I always make sure to take them to see The Arch. Seeing it in books or online is nothing in comparison to being able to see its true size up close. Next, I take them to Forest Park. I think I see something new every time I go there. Lastly, I have to take them to sample some of St. Louis’ most popular restaurants. Pappy’s and Sweetie Pies are two of my favorites.

 

  • What’s one St. Louis tradition that everyone must experience?
    • I’m not sure it’s considered a tradition, but I think everyone should get the chance to experience a Cardinals game. St. Louis is admittedly a BIG baseball town, so even non-baseball (I know, I know…) fans will have a great time seeing everyone in their Cardinal red cheering the team on.

 

  • Anything else you want to share with YPN?
    • Whether you are new to the area or a St. Louis native, there are a lot of opportunities here to do whatever you’re interested in. The bigger piece to that is if the opportunity doesn’t exist, there are people in the area who will help you create it. I have had the chance to participate in and see so many new things just by networking and letting people know some of my goals.  

It’s Our Region Fund

Image

The RBC donated a sunflower sculpture to the St. Charles County Arts Council. The Council supports arts education and public art in St. Charles County.

Small Change, Big Impact Grant Program                                                                                                                     

 

The RBC’s overall mission is to make St. Louis a better place to live and work.  The It’s Our Region Fund is a strategy to do just that by contributing to capital improvement projects that enhance the quality of daily life, leave a lasting legacy by spreading tangible acts of good will throughout the region, and demonstrate the value of corporate collective action. 

The goal of the Small Change-Big Impact grants is to support one-time capital improvement projects that may seem small but have a big impact because they are in places used and appreciated by so many people every day.  Grants are given to non-profits and community agencies for projects under $10,000, as these are often the most difficult for smaller agencies to fund.             

Last year, we received applications from 160 worthy organizations.  We selected twenty awardees that represented a wide range of diverse and meaningful projects throughout the region, each of which received a share of $111,000 in grants.  Most of these organizations had no other source of funds to implement critically needed capital improvements to serve their respective populations.

We are genuinely thrilled that so many organizations applied for funding in the first year.  The winning projects had an immediate impact on the lives of many people, and it’s been gratifying and inspiring to see these projects come to fruition.

Projects selected ranged from the Affton Christian Food Pantry, receiving $4,000 for new refrigerators as they were turning away donations of food due to lack of adequate storage, to the KIPP Charter Middle School, receiving $10,000 to provide mats for gym walls and other safety improvements, and Friends of Luca Park, receiving $8,000 for irrigation and landscaping in the downtown St. Louis park. Below is the complete list of 2012 It’s Our Region Fund recipients.

Because of the success of the funding, as well as growing corporate spirit to collectively work together for the betterment of our community, we are pleased to offer this funding opportunity again. The 2013 winners will be announced no later than November 1.

Agency

Mission

Project

Cost

Affton Christian Food Pantry

South St. Louis County

Provides food and assistance to those in need

4 refrigerators as agency is currently having to turn away food donations due to lack of space

$4,000

Angels’ Arms

West St. Louis County

Foster care for sibling groups

Replace the roof on one of the foster homes

$8,000

Central Institute for the Deaf

Central West End, St. Louis

School for children with hearing disabilities

Fund upgrades to playground

$3,500

Charles Gravius Library

Madison County, IL

Library outside a tax district in Metro East

Repair cracked and dangerous sidewalk outside library

$3,500

City of Cool Valley

North St. Louis County

North County Municipality, population 1,196

Community garden to bring youth and seniors together

$5,000

Contemporary Art Museum

Grand Center District, St. Louis

Arts education initiatives for inner city students

portable sound system and electronic projection screen to be used in education programs

$5,000

Craft Alliance

Delmar Loop

Provides arts education to the community

Replace computer server and purchase outdated desktop computers

$7,500

Friends of Lucas Park

Downtown St. Louis

Guardians of Lucas Park next to Central Library

New irrigation and landscaping in park

$8,000

KIPP

South St. Louis City

High performing charter middle school

Mats to cover gym walls and construction of handicapped accessible ramp

$10,000

Magic House

Kirkwood

St. Louis children’s museum

Creation of a quiet room for children

$6,500

Memory Care Home Solutions

Richmond Heights

In-home care  and support for Alzheimer’s patients

Assistive devices for in-home use

$5,000

Northside Community Housing

The Ville, North St. Louis City

Safe and decent housing for low income families

Community garden to provide healthy food for residents

$5,000

Old North Restoration Group

Old North, St. Louis

Neighborhood association for historic Old North neighborhood

Creation of multi-purpose outdoor community space

$5,000

Our Lady’s Inn

South St. Louis City

Shelter for homeless pregnant women and their children

Used van to transport residents and assist with moving into permanent housing

$7,500

Our Little Haven

Central West End, St. Louis

Services for children suffering from trauma

Kitchen renovation for pre-school

$3,500

Shalom House

Central West End, St. Louis

Shelter for homeless women

Beds, dressers, and mattresses

$7,500

Shaw Place Association

South St. Louis City

Neighborhood association for Shaw Place

Landscaping along highway exit ramp

$500

St. Charles County Arts Council

St. Charles County

Supports arts education and public art in St. Charles County

Sunflower sculpture in public garden for St. Charles residents

$3,000

St. Louis F.O.R.C.E. Athleticz

North County

Competitive basketball program for girls

Basketballs, uniforms, first aid equipment, and instructional aids

$3,500

Urban Harvest

Downtown St. Louis

Community gardens to produce healthy food for low income families

Rooftop community garden

$10,000

 

 

TOTAL:

$111,000