Facebook and Oncoming Trains

Last issue, I wrote about my coaching work with a group of businesses in Arizona that will soon be affected by a massive, close-the-streets construction project. These businesses are literally in the path of an oncoming light rail train.

Upcoming, disruptive construction projects irritate customers and drive some away. On the plus side, the impending arrival of the light rail train is forcing these businesses to do more marketing in order to mitigate the loss of business.

Facebook as a strategic marketing tool

This week, I talked with these business owners about using Facebook as a marketing tool.  The first step in picking a marketing tool of any kind is to figure out what your strategy is–what you want to use the tool for. Facebook is changing rapidly, and can be so daunting, people give up.

The truth is that the harder part of Facebook isn’t the technical details; it’s deciding what you want to use it for. Figure that out and the technology will fall into place.

 So what could you use Facebook for?

Here are some ideas, and three award-winning small business pages that demonstrate each strategy.

Red Mango: This page demonstrates three different strategies. First, the man who started the company (or perhaps his staff) posts items he thinks are funny, so customers can get a sense of who they’re spending their money with and what kind of company Red Mango is.

Second, like most Facebook pages, this one encourages customer feedback by showing pictures of people’s special yogurt concoctions.

Finally, Red Mango runs promotional specials with coupons to reward fans.

The Royale Theater: This business uses Facebook to do three simple things: announce the new movies for the week, showcase their clients by taking pictures of them at the theater, and supporting local businesses near them by talking about their specials and sales. Small, but mighty and growing.

Hubspot: This business does one thing on its Facebook page: Educate. Hubspot helps small businesses market on the Internet, so every day, and sometimes more often, they post articles, statistics, blogs, studies and tips to help their small business clientele understand marketing and social media. In their case (and maybe yours?), an educated client is a happier, savvier client, who is also likely to buy more from them.

What do you want your Facebook page to do? Make people feel part of a community? Create a cause to rally around? Provide help? Let customers get to know you and your staff? Give people a place to discuss your business? Educate?

What’s your next step on Facebook? Please comment below.

If you liked this, you might like:

Your Business Facebook Page is in Your Rearview Mirror


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