A few months ago Dave, his wife Hailey (who blogs at HereNorThere.ca), and I headed to Halifax to the Facebook for Small Business conference. The purpose of the day was to learn more about the benefits of Facebook for small business. The event was to showcase three outstanding businesses that have succeeded locally using the power of Facebook.
I use Facebook every day as a tool that I coach my clients with. I teach them how to infuse the platform into their everyday lives by creating custom content, strengthening their brands, and building relationships with customers and other businesses.
But I was struggling at that day. I was frustrated that we were learning about the success of undeniably easy-to-like businesses.
A trendy hipster barber shop, a place to buy everything baby related, and a blogger that was saving the lives of pets through nutritional information. Who doesn’t like babies, puppies, and lumbersexuals?
Now, I don’t want to detract from these businesses and their success, because they’ve worked really hard at making Facebook work for their brand… but what about the businesses that people won’t automatically like? What about the people who pump your septic tanks, who trim your trees after a storm, who mediate your divorces, do your taxes, or put in your dentures? We don't get excited to have to use these businesses, we only use them because we need to.
So, my challenge as a small business strategist is to figure out how these types of businesses can use Facebook to expand and grow their brand. We know conventional advertising is expensive, so are these types of businesses at a disadvantage? Do they still need to go down the traditional routes of costly service magazine ads and listings? What tools can we use to create engaging content to ensure these types of businesses thrive?
The answer is not cut and dry and is different for each business. I do have to admit I like the challenge of helping my clients figure it all out.