We’ve been having so much fun publishing our Small Business Saturday Q&A series with some of the top social media influencers and experts.  We thank all our friends who have already given us some great insights on the vital role social media plays in any businesses’ marketing efforts and how best to use some of the new tech tools!

Today, we hear from C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman), a new media leader who is included in “The Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter” list. He is also the author of the best-selling book: Content Rules. We hope you enjoy what he has to say and make sure to come back next week for the continuation of our SmallBizSat Q&A series with top small business experts, Pamela Slim, Mari Smith and Ramon Ray among others.

Q. Do you feel supporting local businesses is important and why?

A. Local businesses are the the bedrock of the American economy and it is crucial that we support them. As more and more big box stores roll into every town the only way the character and uniqueness of our towns will survive is by more local businesses not only surviving but thriving.

Q. When looking at a website of a new business, how do you judge if the business is credible or not?

A. I want to see and read more than just the standard babble that someone puts on their sites. The more photos, videos and personal type of content allows me to start connecting with them beyond just their site. Of course a website can only do so much for them. If possible get customer reviews as well so that I can read them.

Q. If you were working with a local small business owner who’s in the retail space, like a clothing store, a coffee shop, or a restaurant, what online tools would you recommend they use to help market and promote their business?

A. I’d tell them to make sure that they’ve got established footprints on Facebook, Twitter and all major location based services such as Foursquare and Yelp. If they are not going to be active on any of them then leave a note saying so which directs people to the website or other contact information. Make it impossible for someone not to be able to find out how to contact you. Don’t forget simple, but important, things like phone numbers and hours of operations.

Q. If you were working with a local small business owner who’s in the service industry, like a lawyer, realtor, or electrician, what online tools would you recommend they use to help market and promote their business?

A. Reviews are the most important thing because I want to see what other people have said about the service they are providing.

Q. What’s your favorite example of a company running an online promotion that drove additional traffic to their physical store(s)?

A. A local spa ran a FB Ad campaign in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. They targeted men in surrounding towns to pamper their lovers. They spent roughly $50 and generated over $300 in direct new business from it and an unknown number of new impressions on people.

Bonus Video Answers

C.C. Chapman stopped by our booth at BlogWorld to share tips on treating customers right, context vs content, improving your use of social media, and lots more!   Here’s just one teaser:

But you really should check out this entire page dedicated to C.C. Chapman’s online marketing advice!

You can also check out our previous interviews from our Small Business Saturday series to find some more useful and valuable marketing tips!