One of the most common misconceptions of small business owners in the Lebanon, Springfield, Camdenton, and Lake areas of Missouri is thinking that social media forums are not right for their small business and, in turn, not participating on sites like Facebook.
When asked why these businesses are not participating on Facebook, frequent replies are either “well, we have one, but we haven’t been posting on it” or “no, our type of business doesn’t need a Facebook page”. Really? If you’re still relying on the phonebook to help drive business, then you’re going to be closing your doors soon. Word of mouth is important. In 2012 word of mouth means having a website and participating in social media. Don’t think your business needs a website? Click the news button to find out how you’re missing out on more customers. News
For those who think their business doesn’t fit the typical Facebook business page mold (although I don’t think there is a mold), author Jeff Copeland has some great ideas. Click the link for a more in depth explanation and examples: Facebook by Business. Copeland breaks down a few industries that are new to Facebook, and shows how each one can optimize this free service to their specific business. Some tips can be used by any business while others are more specific to the type of business.
Distillery Web Design and Marketing has complied a list that is applicable for any business including but not limited to:
- Auto Repair
- Auto Glass
- Funeral Homes and Directors
- Roofing, Siding, Windows
- Hearing Aid Centers
- Moving and Storage Companies
- Animal Hospitals
- Humane Societies
- Preschools and Daycares
- Public Schools
- Beauty Salons
- Massage Therapists
- Trash Companies
- Butcher Shops
- Insurance Companies
- And more!
As a side note, if you are in the preschool, daycare, and public school category then you need to be aware of privacy issues. Be sure to check with your school’s policies on such matters as well as gain parental consent. Also, Facebook users must be 13 years of age or older.
26 Tips for quite literally any business . Here’s the A – Z list of how any business can take advantage of Facebook.
- Sign up for Facebook. You can check that off the list. Make sure you sign up as a business so you will have FANS.
- Thank customers (always). This one is a no-brainer. If a customer posts a complimentary comment, be sure to respond. Also, thank customers in the status update as a group and as individuals.
- Use people pictures. In other words, you are more than your logo. Logos are important, but so is showing your are a human being.
- Always reply to comments. This includes both positive and negative comments. In regards to negative comments, stay cool and be polite. If you need a little assistance click here for more advice.
- Show off your unique jobs and your expertise. This will help with repeat customers. There is more than one of your type of business, so show off why you’re the right one.
- Have fun (this is the time to show your brand/business has a personality)
- Explain special services. For example, if you’re a dentist then explain how teeth whitening works.
- Promote new products. It’s good to showcase what you offer, but remember not to over sell.
- Encourage customer opinion. Thinking about making a change? Ask customers how they feel about it. Also, incorporate Facebook Questions or the Polling option.
- Recommend other locally owned business and vice versa . A great way to keep it local and support other small business owners.
- Recognize your staff. Everyone likes recognition. If a staff member has accomplished a goal, is always friendly, has exhibited awesome customer service then post it. Plus, recognizing your employees as a whole is also important.
- Promote your achievements, honors, accreditations, etc. By doing so, you show that your business is always striving to be the best.
- Welcome new employees. Making the new person or people feel like one of the team is good for morale.
- Ask for recommendations from current customers. Recommendations are the driving force for gaining new customers and keeping customers.
- Post your radio spot and/or tv commercial if applicable.
- Support a cause. Are you passionate about something? Take a cause and design an event around it. For example, there is a local business who has an annual run for clean water.
- Support a local charity. Every town has a charity of some sort. Not sure where to begin? Google your county and charities and see what pops up. Or contact your chamber of commerce for recommendations.
- Support your local schools, including academic and athletics programs. Even if you don’t have children in school, it is always a good idea to show you support education and athletics in your town. By doing so, you’re also promoting well-rounded individuals for the future.
- Show off your facility. Give customers a inside look! People love pictures.
- Photograph activities. Pictures help break up the monotony of written post, and people like to see what you do. If you are in construction, the medical field, or the beauty field be sure to have before and after photos. People LOVE those!
- Promote a contest. Everyone like to win. Prizes could be something like an iPad, a gift certificate, or actual products and/or services.
- Give advice. Remember, you’re the expert.
- Post a video specific to your business. Depending on your service the video can by a DYI type or just an instructional video on a procedure. This is also a place to have fun. There is a local brewing company that re-enacted certain sections of the opening of Laverne & Shirley.
- Post relative links concerning your field or business. Again, you are the expert.
- Post a complimentary letter from a customer (be sure to thank him/her). Always be polite and gracious.
- Create a Welcome Tab for first time visitors to your Facebook page. Incentives and/or discounts can also be tied into the welcome page.
Marketing your business doesn’t have to be costly and stressful. The keys to social media are to be consistent in posting updates, polite when responding to customers, and fun by showing personality. If you think you don’t have time to use social media, then either find a talented employee to do it or hire a marketing company. I just happen to know one that does a fantastic job…wink!
Distillery Web Design and Marketing is a feature website builder, online marketer, and advertising specialty consulting group working with businesses in the Lebanon, Camdenton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and St. Robert areas of Missouri. Facebook, websites, online promotions, print media, radio promotions, online newsletters, graphic design and direct mail campaigns are our specialty. We know how to get the Internet, social networking and new media to work for you!