Navigating the different layers of social media can be daunting for a small or start-up business. To support those efforts, the City of Las Cruces Economic Development Department, in partnership with New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, created a program for local businesses to build their social media. More than 71 local business have participated in the program from fall 2020 to spring 2021.
“The Las Cruces Social Media Assistance Program was one of the highlights for the past year. They provided me with a clear path on how to improve my social media presence as I have been working hard to get the word out about The Spot,” said Michael Parker, owner of The Spot Family Entertainment Center. “From the time we started until we had our final meeting, the team was all for growth and was able to focus my needs.”
City of Las Cruces Economic Development Department Interim Small Local Business Programs Manager Irene Parra said the city wants to help businesses be responsive to a changing business environment that is already online.
“Even on a citywide level, social media has such a powerful pull for customers. They gauge who they’re going to give their business to through social media,” she said. “Since their customers are looking for them online, we wanted to help be able to stand out to have their customer base find them. In a way, online social branding can be like a storefront since it might be the first thing a customer sees.”
Arrowhead Center worked with NMSU students with expertise in social media to complete projects under the supervision of Arrowhead Center’s communication, marketing and design team. Students’ skills were augmented by training from Leah Messina of Sinuate Media, a Las Cruces-based marketing company. Businesses were trained based on their social media goals by identifying their target markets, creating social media accounts on different platforms if applicable, accessing, posting and updating their various accounts, social media and promotion, and best practices and tips.
“We had the pleasure of seeing many individuals grow throughout this process,” said Alexxis M. Renteria, Arrowhead Center communication specialist, “The entire team did their best to better our community through connecting businesses online.”
Aaron Stoddard, Arrowhead Center program manager, agreed, “The program allowed each client unique training that was very interactive. Clients were able to in real-time over zoom ask one-on-one questions that fit the business and desired outcomes they seek."
To learn more about how Arrowhead Center can help your business, visit https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/.