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MEDIA RELEASE - Bay of Whales Gallery share digital secrets

22 August 2019

Glenelg Shire Business of the Year owner Gerri Torpy remembers feeling daunted when she first started using social media as a marketing tool.

Today it is an integral focus of the Bay of Whale Gallery’s business plan, providing cost effective and efficient ways to communicate with their customers whilst targeting and engaging new followers.

Ms Torpy is sharing her and partner Brett Jarrett’s stories of success as part of the Modern Small Business Online Series, which launches next week during the Digital Innovation Festival.

She will feature in the workshop Customers, Customers, Customers on Monday 26 August at 7.30pm as part of the four-part series providing practical tips and tricks to use digital in small business.

With a recently updated website, including new sales component, and listings on various web platforms and travel apps, Ms Torpy said the opportunities for promotion appeared endless and it was important to target the right tools.

"Alongside traditional methods of marketing, social media plays a big part in the promotion of our business,” she said.

“At the start I found social media quite daunting, not being particularly computer savvy myself, but I just got on it and gave it a go and have learnt along the way.

“I was overwhelmed by the number of social media sites and thought ‘I don't have the time for all of them’. I was once told it is better to master a couple of platforms well, then to try and work them all.

“For us as a gallery and coffee shop we particularly focus on Facebook which has the largest number of users, and Instagram which is a very visual site.”

Ms Torpy explained her skills have all been self-taught, strengthened from attending a number of local small business workshops.

She said her posts are organically produced messages that are focussed on creating a relationship or an experience. She also uses paid social media advertising to target travellers to Port Fairy, Mt Gambier, Hamilton and surrounds, to ensure their operation is “front of mind” as they travel around the area.

“We would definitely not have had the reach that we have, or be able to engage with the amount of people we have without social media,” Ms Torpy said.

“I would say 50 per cent of our visitors to the gallery and coffee shop are local, 25 per cent intrastate and 25 per cent national and international visitors. We would find it a lot harder, and definitely more expensive, to reach the non-locals without digital. We are also able to engage more with locals who we have created a relationship with.”

Ms Torpy’s words of advice for others trialling digital are simple “just get on and give it a go".

To see her full live presentation alongside workshop host Samantha Hurley of Marketing Entourage, register at Join the online network and speak with likeminded business owners at

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