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Navigating the Social Media Landscape: Insights from Industry Experts

By ICIC | November 15, 2023

In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Recently, ICIC offered a Social Media Marketing Webinar that brought together industry experts to share their insights and experiences. Moderated by Dina Towbin of Dina Towbin & Associates LLC, the panel featured speakers from diverse backgrounds, each providing valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving landscape of social media marketing, including Dianne Austin of Coils to Locs, Buzz Busbee of YEAHBUZZY, and Leo Voloshin of Printfresh.

Dina Towbin | Dina Towbin & Associates LLC
Reaching Your Audience: A Tailored Approach
Program Cohort: ICCC Washington, D.C. 2020, ICCC Washington, D.C. 2021

Dina Towbin kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the importance of understanding which social media platforms work best for different audiences. For B2B marketing, LinkedIn reigns supreme, especially if your product or service is not frequently used. Towbin stressed the significance of maintaining visibility on LinkedIn to keep your brand in the minds of potential clients.

However, for targeted marketing, Towbin recommended leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools as a primary strategy, with social media serving as a secondary, more indirect tool.

She also highlighted the value of resources like the IC100 list and Small business development centers for finding marketing expertise and stressed the crucial role of influencers and a strategic approach to social media placement. Towbin concluded with a nod to the power of AI, suggesting its use as a starting point for marketing ideas that can be further developed.

Dianne Austin | Coils to Locs
From Storytelling to Sales: A Social Media Success Story
Program Cohort: ICCC Western Massachusetts 2020, ICCC Atlanta Healthcare Cluster 2020

Dianne Austin, representing Coils to Locs, shared her experiences in utilizing social media to connect with audiences. She emphasized the success of PR and authentic storytelling in linking social media to traditional media exposure, even landing coverage on shows like the Today Show and Jennifer Hudson Show.

Austin provided insights into the platforms that work best for different purposes, with Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn topping the list for B2C and B2B engagement. She mentioned the positive impact of Facebook groups on sales and engagement, revealing that Coils to Locs is beginning to explore this avenue. Austin also stressed the importance of not being an introvert when running a business.

When it came to website optimization, Austin candidly admitted being behind on search engine optimization initially. However, after hiring a digital marketing strategist, she optimized the site through code, resulting in a 300% increase in email list opt-ins. Her advice: prioritize website optimization before diving into social media advertising.

Buzz Busbee | YEAHBUZZY
Telling Stories on Instagram: Connecting with Customers
Program Cohort: 10KSB

Buzz Busbee from YEAHBUZZY brought a fresh perspective to the discussion, focusing on the power of storytelling on Instagram. He finds Instagram to be the best platform for building a personal connection with customers and is experimenting with TikTok for behind-the-scenes content.

Busbee emphasized the importance of highlighting the investment people make in the entrepreneur, not just the product. When it comes to website optimization, he prioritizes mobile-ready and responsive design for a stable user experience.

While he hasn’t delved into AI tools yet, Busbee looks forward to integrating them with Shopify in the future. His advice centers on embracing mistakes, utilizing user-generated content, and focusing on email and SMS marketing, emphasizing the importance of owning the data.

Leo Voloshin | Printfresh
Building a Community: The Facebook Group Strategy
Program Cohort: ICCC Philadelphia 2014, ICCC Philadelphia 2016, 10KSB Philadelphia 1 2013, IC100 2013, IC100 2014, IC100 2022, IC100 2023

Leo Voloshin of Printfresh shared his journey of building a community through a Facebook group. This strategy allowed direct access to customers, providing valuable insights and influencing strategic changes. Voloshin highlighted the importance of understanding your demographic and having a 360-degree view of the customer.

For website optimization, Voloshin recommended external help for businesses with revenue ranging from $5-8 million. He shared a success story of how optimizing the website’s display of shipping costs led to an 18% increase in mobile conversion rates.

Voloshin utilizes ChatGPT for writing prompts, headlines, and subject lines, treating it like a consultant. He considers it the “best intern you’ll ever have” for $20 a month. Voloshin also emphasized the value of email marketing for its ability to segment and target the most engaged audiences.

In conclusion, the webinar provided a wealth of insights, highlighting the diversity of approaches to social media marketing. From tailored strategies on LinkedIn to the power of storytelling on Instagram, the speakers stressed the importance of continuous learning, openness to new strategies, and the ever-present value of engaging with your audience.


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