This article is written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce for VtSBDC

Social media has become as much a part of daily life for Vermont small business owners and nonprofit organizations as a symbol of storefront signage, careful accounting practices, quality products and services, hospitality and good ole fashioned Green Mountain charm.

More and more Vermonters are realizing that social media marketing is an affordable and effective way to reach both current and future customers. These groups continue to find creative ways to bolster their business or organization by leveraging websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Groupon and more.

There is an expectation on the part of modern consumers that your company or organization will have a professional online presence, and part of that expectation includes social media. My team and I at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) are assisting businesses in establishing and maintaining their online presence, among other things.

This “inbound” style of marketing allows businesses and nonprofits to exist in a space where customers are already searching for their products and services. And on top of that, it is much more affordable than traditional marketing methods. In fact, all it really has to cost you is a little bit of time each day.

But as more and more people see the benefits of social media marketing, getting noticed on these platforms has become increasingly competitive. Successful companies and organizations are now offering incentive-based posts and concentrating more on soliciting interaction from customers in order to bolster their efforts.

VtSBDC works with businesses and offers free assistance for companies looking to increase their social media marketing acumen as part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project. You can find more information about VtSBDC at

I also hope that you would consider liking the Project’s Facebook page Right now, we only have 58 likes – and that means our message isn’t getting to as many of our constituents as we would like.