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Getting the message out on Facebook

posted 21 Dec 2010, 10:36 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 21 Dec 2010, 10:38 ]
Small businesses are leveraging their profiles on Facebook to boost their business by keeping in close contact with customers.
USA-FACEBOOK BUSINESSIn a warehouse in Brooklyn, artist Trevor MacDermid makes a replica of a New York subway sign. The signs are for anyone looking to buy a slice of New York to hang on the wall. Across town, handbag designer Amy Chernoff inspects her latest run. Both entrepreneurs launched their businesses a year ago and are using Facebook as a way to spread the word.

According to a survey by Constant Contact, the number of small U.S. businesses that market through Facebook is increasing. Sixty-three percent of them use the social networking site to attract new customers.

Businesses create profiles dedicated to their products and advertise on the site. They can set daily marketing budgets and get a report on the return on investment based on the number of clicks on the ad or views. Entrepreneurs say the the best feature is they can target people they think are most likely to buy their products.

TREVOR MACDERMID, OWNER, UNDERGROUND SIGNS SAYING:

"So my biggest seller is a sign that says 161st Street, Yankee stadium and Yankees fans, they go nuts for it. So I can identify these people and I can send targeted ads just to them: 'Hey Yankee fans - are you looking for a great way to show your true Fandome, check out Underground signs.'"

Businesses often create a Facebook page to drive traffic to their website. But unlike a website, changes can be made quickly to a Facebook page to update fans on new developments.

AMY CHERNOFF, CREATOR, AMY AND OWEN SAYING:

"It's like an open platform for me to publish that doesn't involve using a web master. So the beauty of that is if I see something really cool in a fashion magazine that I want to share with my Amy and Owen audience, it's snap, click and it's on and I'm sharing that."

Content is king on Facebook, according to Megan Hilts, Executive VP at In10Sity.

 MEGAN HILTS, EXECUTIVE VP, IN10SITY SAYING:

"It has to be some type of added benefit. It can't be this blaring update that just says 'Hey check out my new website'. It's gotta say 'Here's some free information. Here's tips for example. Here's how to do something.'"

And while people continue to search for free information, small businesses, if they manage their pages wisely can snatch up a few more customers. This has made Facebook the new yellow pages for businesses.

In New York, I'm Reuters Reporter, Karina Huber.

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