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Local Businesses Use Facebook to Tell Their Stories, Connect With More Customers

Many small businesses find value in the social media platform.

With more than a half billion people on Facebook connecting to thousands of customized fan pages a day, it seems like a no-brainer if you’re running any kind of business to get yourself onto the most popular social media platform in the world. Port Jefferson merchants are no exception, flocking to Facebook to help expand their business and connect with new and old customers alike.

“Facebook offers a big audience, a platform to experiment and a unique social experience,” said Marcelo Litovsky, husband to Lainie and business partner in .

He said that although not every one of his customers is on Facebook, the social reach is big enough to make it worth the effort.

“We want our friends to talk about Lainie's Way and have their friends join us,” he said.

For Tracie Smith from , a music education school in Port Jefferson Station, the biggest reason to be on Facebook is simple. It’s where all the kids hang out.

“Kids growing up today are tech savvy,” Smith said. “They use many forms of media and it is a great way to get our message out to that market.”

What if you’re an old school business that has a deep history in the community? It may mean people have preconceived notions about what you do. For the , being on Facebook is a way to stay fresh and in front of the public to show off everything the library offers.

“Some people think of the library as a place to do research and take out books,” said Nikki Greenhalgh who does communications for the Port Jefferson Free Library.  “Many are not aware of all our excellent services and programs.”

She said that they’ve been successful reaching a different demographic and building awareness on Facebook along with another popular social media venue, Twitter.

“At the library we are constantly striving to remain relevant and pertinent,” Greenhalgh said.

Besides enabling businesses to reaching a new and diverse audience, the price is right.

“It cost us nothing except time,” said Litovsky.

Lily Zajc agrees.

“Especially if there is little or no budget for advertising,” said Zajc, a public relations and marketing professional working with the .

She said that Facebook has actually helped to increase attendance to the showings and more people recognize the organization.

Measuring how effective Facebook is to overall business can be tricky sometimes.

At Lainie’s Way, Litovsky says the only reliable metric to determine if it’s working is how many “likes” they are adding. Liking a Facebook page is a vote for the page and a way customers tell the business owner that they want to develop a relationship.

“I think the best part of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is that people elect in,” said Leon Klempner, an orthodontist and partner at in Port Jefferson. “If you do not show value, you can easily be ‘clicked’ off.  In other words, you need their permission.”

The network is the most valuable thing. When one person likes your page all of his friends see that. It’s an opportunity to reach a virtually unlimited number of people.

“As each additional user joins our page, we are able to reach more people than ever before with a click of a button,” said School of Rock’s Smith. “Each lead is quality because they are choosing us instead of mass mail or email campaigns where receivers view ads as spam nine times out of 10.”

The most popular posts that School of Rock puts on Facebook are photos from shows and events. For of Port Jefferson, it’s inspiration sayings related to health, wellness and self-improvement that are most popular, according to Jennifer Graci.

Greenhalgh says that the library will often connect something from the catalog like a book or music CD to a real life event or anniversary. People seem to like those the best.

“People love when we post interesting facts about events or people and link them to suggested reading,” she said.

At Coolsmiles, Klempner said that he gets permission to post photos of his patients on the day they get their braces off.

“They’re proud of their new smile and so are we,” he said. “It’s a chance to show off our expertise.”

He said that the "final smiles" photos are most popular. Patients are happy and proud to show off their "cool" smile to all their friends and family.

This goes to the heart of Facebook’s success: people sharing their life stories with friends and family in words and pictures.

It’s why businesses say that overall, the ability to tell their story to customers is one of the best things Facebook allows them to do.

 “It is a great medium to tell people what we do and why we do it, not just what we sell,” Litovsky said. “We are not just a toy and game store or a business on Main Street. We love what we do and we express it on our wall.”

The list of businesses using Facebook is almost as long as the list of businesses in Port Jefferson itself. Below we listed as many as we could find so you can go and like them. Did we leave you off our list? Let us know and we’ll add you.

Cynthia Lindner, MS April 08, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Advanced Hypnotherapy is also on Facebook we share self-improvment tips and health news a few times a week.

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