Christina Smith’s small business, Closet Candy Boutique, has more than 711,000 Facebook likes. That’s a lot for a Westfield-based women’s clothing store — but it’s not unheard of.
In an effort to encourage small businesses to use social media to engage with consumers, Facebook hosted a “Boost Your Business” event in Carmel last week.
Representatives from about 250 local companies attended the event, where Facebook analytics experts and a panel of local business owners gave tips about advertising and marketing on the social media site.
Smith, who sat on the panel, said her company uses visual aids to its advantage by posting photos of models wearing clothing from the boutique. With analytics available from Facebook and a little trial and error, Smith said she has been able to grow her customer base.
“I make a lot of money off of Facebook,” she said. “That’s my biggest source of income.”
Smith said the boutique also engages with followers through its posts. When the boutique is considering making purchasing decisions, they ask followers through Facebook what they should buy. The boutique also posts news about giveaway events and includes videos on hair and makeup tutorials to enable customers to copy its style.
Nathan Day of the Used Livestock Equipment Co., a Westfield equipment service and supply store, has almost 26,000 Facebook likes. Day said just because his business has a small niche, it doesn’t mean he has to rely strictly on local business.
“Our business is 90 percent Internet-based,” he said. “In the agricultural community, there is a huge following on Facebook.”
By using social media, Day said he’s able to reach specific audiences with his advertising and do it inexpensively. He said Facebook also has allowed him to be efficient in marketing his products.
Like Smith, Day said he tries to use his posts to engage with customers. Ahead of auctions, the company will “boost” a Facebook post to alert potential customers of the upcoming sale. Day said it’s just another inexpensive way to target clientele.
Tips for small-business owners
Here’s some advice from Facebook experts and local business owner panelists on how to use social media to grow your business:
By Olivia Lewis via INDYSTAR