ORLANDO, FLA. — Having a personal and professional presence in social media is critical to maximize the potential of business relationships.

That was the message that social media expert David Nour brought to an Oct. 17 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit workshop.

Nour, chief executive officer of The Nour Group Inc., Atlanta, provided his pecking order of most valuable social media: LinkedIn is the top site, followed by Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Slideshare.net.

Social media provides opportunity for gain, speaker says

Nour

Nour said businesses can become involved in social media both as a defensive and offensive tactic.

“Social media market leadership is about purpose,” he said.

From a defensive perspective, social media platforms allow a company to protect their brand to online attacks or criticisms.

“If you don’t respond, people will think you are either clueless or don’t care,” he said.

Meanwhile, an offensive or proactive social media strategy communicates adding value and presenting the company as a social market leader. Businesses that have a social media presence are seen as leaders who can precipitate a fundamental change in their business and add value for their customers.

He urged produce business owners and leaders to use younger 20-something professionals to help execute their social media strategies.

“If you are not failing at some of this, you are not trying,” he said. “You have got to think about a defensive strategy and an offensive strategy.”

Nour provided a list of the top 10 web marketing best practices. The top recommendation was search engine optimization, which entails tagging a company website and personal profiles with terms that add value.

“What are problems that people would search for, what are problems we are trying to solve?” he said.

Other best practices Nour suggested included pay-per-click advertising, corporate blogging, distributed content marketing and referral marketing.