Charlotte’s Social Media Breakfast will discuss small businesses and their use of social media this Thursday:

A few years ago, only a handful of small business owners used social media.

Then, the success stories started to circulate. A gallery sold a painting after it was posted on Facebook. A yarn shop blossomed after posting photos of new products on Twitter. A nail salon struggled to keep up with new customers after doing a special on LivingSocial.

Small business owners, who are used to doing everything, struggled to find a way to stand out in a sluggish economy and as traditional media splintered. Many dove head-first into social media while a few just stuck their toes in.

We talk to a panel of local business owners who went in head-first and have been using social media in one form or another for a year or more. They’ll share lessons learned, success stories, #FAILs and things that are still a mystery. And they’ll offer tips that nonprofits and larger businesses may want to add to their skill set.

Among the panelists, all small business owners, is Tim Hamilton, an owner of Paper Skyscraper.

The store won “Best gay-friendly, mainstream specialty store” in our 2009 QList, Best of the LGBT Carolinas (runner-up for “Best LGBT-specific store”). The store was also runner-up in our 2010 QList category, “Best locally-owned, LGBT-friendly specialty store.”

Get more info on the breakfast, other panelists or register to attend ($20 before July 19, 11 p.m.) at smbclt720-smclt.eventbrite.com.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.