FACEBOOK - That old chestnut.
I have written a few posts about the merits of facebook before, and there are certainly a whole host of blogs that have written interesting thoughts on the uses of facebook (FB) in relation to running a small business.
Sometimes I have felt like FB has taken up far too much of my working day. Sometimes I have found it frustrating that the reach it gives me to new potential customers is limited, in relation to the amount of hours I put into updating the business page.
Yesterday however was NOT one of those days. It was a good day ! So I thought I'd share the things I learnt with you.
The biggest difference with yesterday was that I chose to spend the day networking on FB, and didn't just somehow 'end up' spending hours upon hours procrastinating. CHOOSING to use FB as a tool, rather than dipping in everyday put me definitely in the mindset of 'work'. Mindset when working at a small business is essential to keeping a high level of motivation, and also getting productivity levels up.
I decided to 'like' some other businesses, and leave comments. I realise that none of these businesses will buy from me, and the 'likes' are no reflection on how successful I will be, but what it DID do was put my business name out on 15 other businesses, of which some of their customers could see me. From this simple effort, I gained a few likes from people who are not business holders, which is great.
This I feel though should be an occasional tool- what you find is that your business feed gets filled up and might bother your existing base of followers. I know it certainly bothers me on businesses I have liked. Perhaps scheduling this type of networking for once a month would be of more benefit?
Another little gem from yesterday was engaging in the business groups that I have joined on FB. Looking at posts properly, seeing what I liked about some, and not about others, and applying this to my own style of posting. I have decided that I don't like the posts that always push sales, but I like the ones that start discussions, or ask questions. Being objective about others puts my business head on so I do the same about my own business. I don't propose that my way is better than the others, there will not be one RIGHT way, but by regularly assessing oneself against how you see other similar businesses, it makes for Evelyn Mae being its best.
A great little find happened yesterday too - a new to FB business called That business advice chick was offering a free business consultation. I jumped at the chance for someone to look over Evelyn Mae with fresh eyes. Natasha looked at my website, my blog, my FB page and my Folksy shop- and gave me an extremely in-depth breakdown of my business. She was great at being able to look objectively at my work and my media structure. We all have great supportive friends, but they cannot be totally objective because they know us and have our emotional interests at heart, as well as our business successes. But she had no need to pander to my emotional connections to my business, and just looked objectively and professionally at what I do. And it was brilliant!
I have found the report so helpful, it has spurred me on to keep making changes and little adjustments to my business plan. It is all too easy to get caught up in pretty papers and new stamp sets, and forget that I am running a working business that I want to make a success out of.
I would totally recommend Natasha's business consultation. You can visit her website here, and her FB page here.
Facebook can really be a great tool for cultivating a small business, and I think that if I use FB in a smart fashion, and not procrastinate on there, I will really help build my business.
Please leave your comments below, I would be really interested in what you think about FB, and also really intersted in how you use media to build your business.
After a great day at work, I am taking the afternoon off, and going to watch some of the games with a nice cup of tea.
Have a good rest of the week :)