Social media has created a great opportunity for businesses to create relationships and brand loyalty with customers. But using Facebook, Twitter and blogs to create this loyalty is a lengthy process that takes a lot of commitment and focus.

“When I’m managing a client’s social media, they often don’t realize how much time it takes,” said Kelli Matthews, a University of Oregon public relations professor and managing director of Verve Northwest Communications.  “A lot of times I’ll be telling them ‘We haven’t updated Facebook in a while, we need to get some new content up.’ It is a constant feeding of the beast… But with social media you can’t just broadcast.”

Matthews has been teaching at the University of Oregon for the last six years and started Verve with her sister, Amy Miller, in 2002. Staying active in the field and teaching compliment each other well.

“The job has kept me grounded for the academic world, and the teaching job forces me to stay ahead of the curve so I can prepare my students,” she said.

While working with clients’ social needs it is important to create a community atmosphere by providing engaging content instead of simply feeding customers streams of information about upcoming products and services.

“Facebook is a little more receptive to streams of information but people who read Twitter and blogs want you to dig in deeper,” Matthews said. “That’s hard for businesses to understand because its different than traditional marketing. ”

Matthews worked with Eclectic Products on a new product they were introducing that was designed specifically for Skaters to use with their shoes called Shoe Goo. She encouraged the company to begin developing content that the skate community would be interested in.

“The important thing was to build a relationship with the customer and not just say ‘Yay Shoe Goo.’ You need to be paying attention to what your community is interested in and not just what you are interested in.”

For more information on Kelli Matthews and Verve visit