As a local merchant in Edmonds, are you more likely to use Facebook or Twitter to build awareness and drive sales in the community?
My hunch, as a social media consultant and Edmonds resident, was that Facebook was the preferred social network among our local small businesses, and that was confirmed by a recent national study.
MerchantCircle, the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, surveyed 8,500 small and local business owners across the U.S. Their research showed that merchants are flocking to Facebook, with 70 percent using the social media tool for marketing (up from 50 percent last year), while only 40 percent of local merchants used Twitter to promote their businesses (up from 32 percent).
“Online marketing continues to be a challenge for most local businesses, and many merchants are working with very small budgets and almost no marketing resources,” said Darren Waddell, vice president of marketing at MerchantCircle. “The marketing methods we see gaining the most traction are therefore the ones that offer merchants simplicity, low costs and immediate results.”
It is easy to find dozens of Edmonds’ merchants promoting themselves via Facebook, while Twitter continues to be a less-mastered platform in our community. While I believe both Facebook and Twitter have specific, useful purposes for virtually every business, I decided to take a closer look at which Edmonds businesses seem to be embracing Facebook as a marketing tool and how well they are doing.
My criteria were fairly general:
– The business had to be posting updates/replies on average of three to four times per week (we can’t all be Wayne Purser and his admirable 365 Things to Do in Edmonds page!),
– The page had to be more than a blinking neon sign advertising things for you to purchase – meaning you had to talk to your “fans” and interact, not just sell to us
– Bonus points were awarded if the business had claimed their “username” for the page (www.facebook.com/OneSmartCookieMarketing) as opposed to the randomly generated page name you have when you first join Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/one-smart-cookie-marketing/987203470923) ; if you haven’t done this for your business, go to www.facebook.com/username and follow the instructions
So here’s my brief list of Edmonds businesses that are using Facebook well to increase awareness and conversation in our community, as hopefully to add much-needed income to their bottom line. I look forward to hearing from you about other pages I might have missed – please let me know in the comments below!
Amber Salinas Photography
American Brewing Company
Aussie Pet Mobile
Edmonds Art Festival
Edmonds Center for the Arts
Frosted Cupcakes and Cakes
Glazed & Amazed
My Edmonds News
Namas Candy Store
Edmonds resident Karen Rosenzweig is a social media consultant/trainer and owner of One Smart Cookie Marketing. She writes weekly about how companies, entrepreneurs and restaurants can increase their customer base and gain visibility through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other social media tools.