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why do local retail businesses need a facebook page?

Local retail businesses have a competitive advantage over online retailers.

If someone walks through the door of a local retail establishment, there is a 20-95% chance that person will buy something. When a consumer swings through a virtual retail space? The chance is more like 0.5-3% (see The Rebirth of Retail).

Many ‘mom and pop shops’ shy away from a facebook page or social media presence because they don’t see themselves as having an ‘online business.’ Truth? A facebook page, when used effectively, can increase their foot traffic.

How?

Facebook isn’t a means of pushing content to consumers. It’s an act of conversation. Creating community around a shared interest.

Your business becomes a point of shared interest through facebook.

Who doesn’t want to create a community around their business? Many of your customers are probably already on facebook, since more than 500 million people are checking in on the social utility. Your existing customers are connected to potential customers. Word of mouth travels fast in the social web – with a mere tag or shared link.

Facebook has completely overhauled their ‘fan pages’ or — more aptly put — business pages to make them more functional and interactive. In truth, your entire web presence could be your facebook fan page.

It’s a customer relations management system integrated into an outreach mechanism that positions your consumer as a team member. You can get notifications out quickly, ask for advice, share successes and –your marketing person may not like it –failures. Open communication is valued on the social web, and facebook can help you open dialogue.

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