A surprising number of local businesses are still unsure if it makes sense for them to be using Facebook.
Which is why I wanted to share this quick story about how a local business got $120 from me based on a Facebook post and what other businesses can learn from it.
The Back Story
Ok, Its summer time and we all know it’s crazy hot during the day. Getting into my car to go to lunch the past few weeks was like getting into a sauna. Well I was fed up and finally made up my mind to get my car tinted. I know its crazy that it wasn’t tinted already.
This is where the whole reason for this post happens. You see my wife had gotten her car earlier this year and originally the plan was to use the same guy. But, he was no where around and I needed to get this done.
While we were trying to come up with other tinting businesses, I remembered seeing pictures of tinted cars from a tinting company several months ago, maybe even as late as last year.
I quickly went online, search for their page and looked through their pics to see where they were located. I finally went to their about page got their cell, added it to my phone contacts and a few minutes later this;
Next day I went to their location and paid $20 for tint removal (back glass and windshield) and $100 for the tint job.
So this company made $120 because I remembered them from Facebook. Just like that.
6 Things Local Business Can Take Away From This Story
1. Be Top of Mind – first of all you need to understand that marketing isn’t always about immediate results. I saw that post weeks if not months ago, but still remembered them when I needed it. Your posting may not get immediate results, but you want to be the first one the customer thinks of when they need the service you and your competitors offer. Thats called “Top of Mind awareness” and you can use social media to get it cheaply.
2. It’s About Fan Engagement and Reach Not Likes – Not only did I see the post months ago, I was not even a FAN of the page. Yet they still managed to make money from me.
Why? Because a friend of mine had engaged with their page and it showed up in my timeline.
Its not all about how many fans you have, its about how engaged those fans are. Because its through friends of fans that you expand the reach of your business.
3. Integrate Social Media into your business processes – The big mistake businesses make is not integrating their Facebook page with their business.
Many business pages operate almost as a separate entity or rather an after thought because there seems to be no direct connection to the physical business itself.
This business got it right; after they completed my job he took photos of the finish product to later post on Facebook. This wasn’t an after thought, it was a deliberate action meant to attract other customers.
4. Make it easy for customers to contact you – There were multiple ways I could contact this company; Facebook message, Post on their page, Call on a cell phone and WhatsApp message.
There are probably others but I didn’t check. The point is, allow the customer to contact you how they choose, make it convenient for them and respond quickly.
5. Follow up– How many people ask about your prices but never make a purchase? If you’re like me, it’s a lot.
If you notice from our Whatsapp conversation, I asked him about his prices early Saturday morning. By Sunday afternoon I hadn’t made a purchase, so he sent a follow up letting me know he would be open the following day. Which happened to be a holiday.
If he hadn’t sent that message, there’s a pretty good chance that business would not have made a sale and my car wouldn’t be tinted today.
6. Hire an expert – I probably could have tinted my own car. But instead of 1 hour, it would’ve taken me 3 hours. Instead of an excellent job, I might have ended up with a good job at best and a horrible job at worst. I didn’t even have the correct tools.
At the end of the day getting it done quickly and getting the result I wanted was worth the investment.
There are too many businesses on social media half-assing it because they don’t to invest in their businesses. If you’re going to use your Facebook page to promote your business, treat it as a serious business asset and invest time and money necessary to get it right (more on this in the future)
Bottom line: this transaction would not have happened if this company was not on Facebook, was not active, and had not integrated social media into its business processes.
There’s no guarantee that you will see the same results but as the saying goes, “you can’t win if you don’t play”.