The Value of Social Media Communication and Your Business.
Social media is here to stay. You can either ignore it in hopes it will all go away or embrace it, use it, and promote your business.
There are several Tombstone groups/businesses that have a Facebook Business Page that hasn’t been updated in years. A possible reason for not updating is that the business no longer has Administrative control of their own Facebook Business page and they have no way to update the page. If you have lost control of your businesses/organization’s Facebook Business page, and the page is abandoned – there is a way to claim it – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
The Chamber regularly receives messages via Facebook from guests searching for information about an event or a Tombstone business. They have looked for the Facebook Business page only to find that either one doesn’t exist or it hasn’t been updated for years, or there isn’t any current event information on the page about the upcoming event or the information was vague or incomplete.
The information posted has to be written geared to someone who doesn’t know your town. So if you are selling raffle tickets on Allen Street…. be specific where on Allen Street you are selling raffle tickets. I realize that Allen Street is only three blocks long, to someone who hasn’t been to Tombstone they haven’t a clue.
According to Sterling Market Research, Facebook is the second-most-used source of local information for businesses.
As a Tombstone business we all share a commonality – we are in the business of tourism. It doesn’t matter if our business sells burger or boots…we are in the business of tourism. To ensure that your visitors/guests… you know… the tourist – find your business., you need to be on Facebook. But without the time to constantly post on Facebook, or the money for a social media manager or Facebook Ads, many small businessowners become frustrated and give up.
Here are a few easy and free ways to use Facebook for your small business.
- Commit to One Hour A Week
Plan one hour a week to create and schedule your Business Facebook Posts. Yes…schedule. You can schedule posts upwards of 12 months out. That blue PUBLISH button has a pull down sub menu – SCHEDULE, DRAFT, and BACKDATE. At first schedule three posts a week. Make sure you pay attention to how the posts are doing, respond to or like any comments made. The bottomline: Keep your Business Facebook Page updated with your business/organization’s latest news, events…pictures, stories, coupons, and more. When Tombstone gets snow….the rest of the world loves to see those posts!!!
- Connect with Other Locals
Make sure that your Business Facebook Page “likes” other Tombstone Business Facebook pages. Think of Facebook as your virtual chamberof commerce, a place where you can get all the business news in your community.
Importantly, following other Tombstone Business Facebook pages allows you to share their information to your own Facebook Business page. Many local and other Tourism Facebook Business pages regularly share posts from the Tombstone Chamber’s Facebook page.
How to like a page as your page: When you go to the Business Page that you want your page to “like” the LIKE button is for you as a person, not for your page. Scoot over just past the MESSAGE button and there is a pull down menu. Once you pull it down you will see “LIKE AS YOUR PAGE.”
- Make Your Customers Followers – using a Friendly Facebook URL
Instead of looking for strangers on Facebook, make sure your current customers and clients know that you’re there.
Add your Facebook Business Page URL to your receipts, business cards, and other marketing materials. Put a sign up at your front counter, or in your front window or do something more elaborate.
Before you do this….make sure that you have created a Facebook Friendly URL.
Recently I helped the Tombstone Quilt Show with the steps to create their “friendly Facebook URL.”
The Tombstone Quilt Show original Facebook URL was:
You can’t effectively market that URL!
Their new URL is https://www.facebook.com/tombstonequiltshow
To change your Facebook Business Page URL to a Friendly URL your page first has to have at least 25 fans.
Here are the steps to change your Facebook Business Page URL.
- Go to your Facebook Business Page.
- Then go to the ABOUT tab.
- Then go to Page Info.
- You will see a choice that says Facebook Web Address. This is where you will make the change.
A Word of Caution:
- Make sure you check your spelling. It is difficult to make a correction once the URL has been submitted.
- Also ensure that the URL represents your business name.
- You want to keep it short enough so people can type it and remember it without a problem.
- For example:
- www.facebook.com/tombstonelarianmotel – This is an easy URL to remember. It says the name of the business and the name of the town. (p.s. this isn’t a real URL)
- www.facebook.com/boothillgraveyardtombstone – Because there are other “boot hill” graveyards it was important to associate it with the town.
By creating a friendly URL the Facebook Business Page becomes highly searchable throughout the internet. It will also make it easy to promote it on posters, brochures, letters, business cards, a table tent card, a window sign ….and it just looks nicer!
- Facebook Check Ins
With more and more people using Facebook on their smartphones, “checking in” has become a very popular feature. Encourage your customers (visitors/guests/tourist) to check in by offering rewards for doing so.
First …your page has to be set up to allow a person to Check In. Here is how you do that:
How can I let people check-in at my business?
To let people check-in at your business on a Facebook Business Page you manage, you’ll need to choose Local Businesses for your Page Category.
If your Page’s category is Local Businesses:
- Click Aboutbelow your Page’s cover photo.
- Click Page Infoin the left column.
- Clickto edit the Addresssection, add your address and click Save Changes.
- After saving your changes, a map will appear in the Addresssection when you click to edit it. Click to edit the Address section again. Below the map, click to check the box next to Show map and check-ins on the Page.
- Click Save Changes.
Note: If a map doesn’t appear, try entering your address again and selecting from the drop down list that appears when you enter a City/Town.
Here is a link to: 8 Ways You Can EncourageCheck-Ins At Your Business
Remember that ultimately you don’t want fans or likes on Facebook—you want people in your business. Use Facebook as a tool rather than an end in itself.
A Marketing Opportunity – For Your Business
Mike, from the Tombstone Times has Rack Space at Doc’s Saloon that he has offered up for brochures, flyers, etc., about your business and/or events. Thank you Mike for this generous opportunity!
Events Coming Up
Tombstone Quilt Show
January 29 – February 29, 2016 (yes…. 29 days in February!)
Check out their Facebook Page for More Information
February 13, 14, & 15, 2016
Check out their Facebook Page for More Information
Tombstone Courthouse Events
Check out the events schedule for the Courthouse.
They are listed on the sidebar
A Lifetime of Service
Congratulations and Thank You to the Tombstone Vigilantes for 68 years of service to the community of Tombstone and Cochise County!