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Businesses pass up paid ads for social media marketing
By Sam Boykin CHARLOTTE — As marketing director for FS Food Group, which operates three Charlotte restaurants, Melissa Holland is a believer in using social media to boost business. In early 2009, she created Facebook and Twitter profiles for the restaurants, Mama Ricotta’s, Cantina 1511 and Big Daddy’s Burger Bar. She also invited various “Tweetups” — gatherings of groups connected through Twitter — to come check out the eateries. So far, Holland said, her strategy is paying off, especially with Big Daddy’s, which is geared toward a younger demographic. “It’s been an effective way to market and promote ourselves and to get feedback from customers,” she said. “Now people tweet asking about our specials. Some even take photos of what they eat and post it on Twitter. It’s been great for business.”