A Little Background
In the US, over 150 million individuals are “on” Facebook. The average Facebook user spends 7 hours per month on Facebook. In the US, there are over 80 million adults ages 18 – 34 on Facebook and over 56 million aged 35+ on Facebook including over 16 million adults 55 and over – the fastest growing segment.
What Is This “Like” Thing?
On Facebook, if someone thinks a web page or site, including a Facebook page, is worth sharing or, in the case of a celebrity or “cause,” showing an affinity for, they can “like” the page by clicking on a little thumbs up icon. This action adds the page to a list of pages they like, as well as sends a message – via a news feed – to their Facebook friends. Once someone “likes” a page they also get updates from that page in their own news feed. Think of it this way – by liking a company’s facebook page, I can get the “inside scoop” on activities. I also tell my friends, “hey, you might be interested in this too.”
How I would use Facebook if I were a . . .
Banks work hard to convince us that they are part of our community. Facbook can help with this. I’d use my Facebook page to point, or give recognition to the things that banks typically help “sponsor” – youth sports, local nonprofit fundraisers, etc as well as general community “good news” (we have enough places to hear bad news – I want people to associate good feelings with my bank). I’d salute local “heroes,” provide or point to useful information on the web, give the friendly faces of employees a place to shine (remember, these days a lot of people never actually go into their bank!).
- 7,258 people “like” the Arvest Bank on Facebook.
Supermarkets fight hard to convince you that they have the lowest prices, best selection or freshest produce. I’d use my Facebook page to offer coupons (old school grocery marketing), but I would also use it to have a relevant conversation with my customers. Fresh shipment of grapes? Why not let me know that they just arrived. Local corn now available? Why not let me know the “farm stand” is open for the season. And while I’m at it, I might offer relevant tips – ie how to pick the best corn, how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe, etc. Used in conjunction with a website, I could show my customers more ways to use fresh kale (recipes). I might consider more elaborate offerings such as a party/menu planner. Grocery stores like banks, want to be seen as a vital part of the community, so I would also us my page to help with worthy local causes. Think of it as the web equivalent of the bake sale out front or community bulletin board by the door.
- 4,462 people like Ukrop’s Super Markets
- 146,653 people like Safeway
- 22,970 people like Piggly Wiggly
First off, let’s look at the biggest complaints about restaurant websites: slow loading, flash-based and incompatible with smart phones; hopelessly out of date; lacking or at least difficult to find basic information such as address, hours, etc; lacking in corroborating evidence (visitor feedback). With my Facebook page, it should be a piece of cake to update my hours and post daily or weekly specials. (The menu might be a bigger challenge if I’ve been lazy and posted a pdf. I might want to look into a better solution for that.) I can post my address on my info page and FB will turn it into a link to a map and directions. Restaurant “shoppers” are more likely than other groups to be searching on a mobile device. They’re on the run, on the street and they wan t to eat! And Facebook works hard to make its content available across all evolving platforms. Like other businesses, I’ll use my FB page to promote new menu items, events and special offers, especially things that might help fill my slow nights (2 for 1 specials, etc)! Finally, and this might sound scary, my Facebook page is great place to gather and share feedback – either through “comments” or via a poll (“which of these specials – or desserts – would you like to see return to the menu?”).
What about you?
Are you or your business on Facebook? We’d love to hear how you’re using Facebook and other social media. Drop us a line or visit us on Facebook. We’re putting together a comprehensive list of Berkshire businesses and organizations with Facebook pages and we’d like to include yours!