In this evolving economic climate, local business owners are teaching each other how to use social media for their benefit.
The Newington Chamber of Commerce’s first program in its new Business Seminar Series focused on “How to Promote your Business on Facebook – For Free!”
Chamber Board members Kristin Vacca and Ray Michno presented fellow business owners tips in a virtual presentation that was co-sponsored by the Lucy Robbins Welles Library.
The pair covered why businesses should have a presence on Facebook and what best practices they should follow, as well as how to grow and engage audiences.
An estimated 2.7 billion people use the social media platform known as Facebook each month.
“It’s where your customers are,” said Michno, owner of CTWebGeek, a Newington-based company that builds and improves websites for small businesses and non-profit organizations.
“Think of it as another layer of advertising on top of all these other avenues you may also explore,” he added.
Michno also went into how to launch a Facebook Business Page, which is different from a personal page.
He urged people to be consistent in their branding, using the same logos, slogans and themes across the board between their website, Facebook page and other forms of marketing.
“Don’t reinvent the wheel,” he said. “Use what you have.”
One of the most important parts of marketing a business on Facebook is filling out basic information and keeping it updated. That includes a business name, hours of operation, address, phone number, email, website address and frequently asked questions.
Vacca, owner of The Flash Lady Photography and the NCC’s 2020 Award Winner for ‘Best Use of Social Media’ focused on reaching, growing and engaging an audience.
She cautioned people to avoid buying into gimmicks or offers in an effort to grow their Facebook following.
“You really want the people who are liking and following your page to either become a customer or help you reach other customers by sharing your page with their followers,” Vacca said. “Engaging with your audience through your posts is really how you’re going to get the best return on your investment. Be as visual as you can.”
“The Flash Lady” shared a personal anecdote about how she pivoted her approach to social media during the height of the pandemic, when her business was closed for four months. Instead of posting portraits of clients and examples of her work, she offered families suggestions of activities to do while stuck at home and framing the best pictures in a home setting.
“Remember you are a human first and a business second,” she said.
Michno reminded people to “keep the momentum going” by staying engaged with their business’s Facebook page.
“Facebook algorithms are very effective,” he said. “When something is popular, Facebook rewards it by giving it a place of prominence in someone else’s news feed.”
Chamber Executive Director Peter Forcellina thanked the two business owners for volunteering to provide the educational presentation, as well as Michelle Royer, Chamber board member and LRWL community services director, for helping spread the word about the program.
“We’re hoping our new series brings value to your business within your community,” Forcellina said.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.