Palm Beach Tech’s Joe Russo Talks Building an Online Community

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Email, username, password – three simple pieces of information is all it takes to claim a space online. However, that’s only the first step in establishing an online presence. From there on out, the digital marketing strategy you employ is what will determine your success in the realm of Google rankings and social media influencers.

Since its founding in 2015, Palm Beach Tech, a non-profit membership association that unites innovative, entrepreneurial and technology industries in Palm Beach County, Florida, has garnered upwards of 120 company and startup memberships (including Digital Resource). And as the executive director, Joseph Russo knows a thing or two about establishing a viable network within a saturated community.

In the past two years, social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide, according to Statista. That’s nearly $31 billion that companies are dishing out to stand out amongst the competition, proving that tailoring your digital marketing strategy is a must when wanting to target potential customers.

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Joe Russo speaks during an event at Palm Beach Tech in West Palm Beach, FL. | Photo courtesy of Joe Russo

“It depends where your people are,” said Russo about choosing which social media platform a business should use. “It all comes back to being able to communicate with your industry, its members, and the people surrounding it. So, we need to understand where our audience is so we communicate with them.”

For Palm Beach Tech, that means utilizing mostly Facebook and Instagram, as well as increasing activity on LinkedIn. However, their presence is most felt on Facebook, as are more than 50 million other businesses’ as of 2015. With Facebook Live and Facebook Events, the organization has the ability to promote their own doings in addition to members’ in an organic and feasible fashion.

“[We use Facebook Live for] quick videos every Monday – an interview with a member. And then any events we do, we try to get them on Facebook Live as well,” explained Russo. “It’s just to record the content of that speaker or presentation. It usually gets us some pretty good engagement.”

Social media is just one facet of a digital marketing strategy though. Web development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which deals with your website showing up in Google searches, also play a vital role in expanding reach.

Russo admits that web development is something that takes time rather than a single deadline. However, you should always work with the goal of staying true to your brand. “You don’t want to just hire someone to do a site and not position your message to begin with,” he suggested. “We were very purposeful with what we put on there.”

Throughout the Palm Beach Tech site, you’ll see a variety of brand-friendly language and calls-to-action. This includes “Join Today” and “Become a Member.” Active phrasing encourages visitors to take the first step toward the desired end result. In this case, that is actually joining the organization.

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Joe Russo speaks to a group of people about Palm Beach Tech. | Photo courtesy of Joe Russo

Additionally, Palm Beach Tech has a regularly-updated blog. This is essential for SEO nowadays. A blog is a great place to implement keywords and phrases. And, this’ll result in your site showing up in more online searches. You can then come full circle by marketing your content on social media.

But, however complicated digital marketing may seem, Russo says the key to success is simple: “You have to be good.” He expanded, saying, “If you focus on the quality of your work, you will find a good clientele and you’ll be able to grow your business.”

And the same goes for building an online community. Rather than the whole being greater than the sum, all parts must be held to a high standard. “It’s not easy,” said Russo. “You have to just figure out your strategy and just grind through it.”

You don’t have to traverse the World Wide Web alone. If you are looking to optimize your digital marketing strategy, Digital Resource can help!

As a multi-faceted digital marketing agency, and a member of Palm Beach Tech, we dedicate our expertise to assisting companies with developing successful digital marketing strategies. From web development to social media, we offer an array of services that can benefit your business. To learn more, contact us today!

Photos courtesy of Joe Russo

Emily is a graduate from Florida Atlantic University where she studied English and communication. With a background in journalism, she is passionate about writing engaging and informative articles, and has a love for local businesses. Emily strives to assist businesses in building their brand identities and communities through quality, digital content.

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