A previous iSpionage post titled “Success with Facebook – 6 Case Studies,” explored how larger companies are succeeding with a variety of approaches on Facebook. Small and medium-sized businesses though do not have the budgets that large global brands have in creating promotions and custom applications on Facebook. However, there are many things that can be done without spending a lot of money on Facebook that still deliver substantial results.
Very few things are needed to gain a fairly substantial following on Facebook. Consistency in posting, relevancy in content, and showing excitement on your page are key to a successful Facebook marketing campaign or initiative.
So how are small businesses using Facebook to create engagement and drive real sales? Let us look at 5 small business Facebook case studies to see how some businesses are using Facebook to drive their businesses success.
With more than 80,000 Likes on Facebook, Pool Supply World, a small company in Cincinnati that sells products and parts for swimming pools and spas, has a beautiful-looking page enhanced with pictures of swimming pools and spas. Each of these pictures collects tens of comments with hundreds of Likes. These pictures are accompanied by a personal request to either “LIKE!” or “SHARE!” if you like what you see.
Pool Supply World offers spectacular pictures of pools and pictures of varying shapes, sizes, and designs. The page has essentially become a destination spot for anyone looking for various pool designs making Pool Supply World an authority in this area. At least two unique pictures are posted everyday, which also says a lot about their passion.
The Lesson: Post enough content on your page to become an authority in that field. It is easy to see Pool Supply World’s authority from their page which exclusively features pool and spa pictures and nothing else.
Boom Social is a small business social media firm run by Kim Garst. Her energetic approach to life and business is well brought out on her Facebook page where she has about 45,000 Likes. A first glance on her page will reveal an effective use of sayings and personal messages that accompany her pictures.
She has also mastered the use of hashtags on Facebook which makes it easy for people searching certain kinds of content to find her. Since she posts various posts related to business, you will find her using such tags as #socialmedia, #BizTip, #SocialMediaMarketing among others.
All the page pictures have also been customized to offer a business tip often with an analogous statement, which may explain why her posts are so powerful, sometimes garnering hundreds of comments. It is a great page to visit, for aspiring business people as well as those already on the entrepreneurship path.
The Lesson: Create a personal connection with your audience. Be human and show that aspect in your business. Kim Garst does this using branded photos that deliver a personal message and advice. By integrating her messages with hashtags, she can create engagement with others beyond her immediate circle.
Dedicated to deer hunting, this page has a fan base numbering close to 850,000. A post on the Legendary Whitetails page generally generates thousands of comments from engaged audiences. While the page is dedicated to Whitetail deer, you will find plenty of apparel with Whitetail deer themes including themed jackets, flashlights, hats, boots, and regalia.
Each of the posts includes a link back to their website where fans can further engage and purchase apparel. Legendary Whitetails promotes its offers and sales directly on Facebook with beautiful pictures of what is on offer.
Pictures of shot deer are also common on their page, which may not be a very “fan page” for non-hunting folk. However, for those who like the wild, hunting, and everything in between, this page just fits the bill.
The Lesson: Focus on your industry and produce content that resonates with your audiences. Legendary Whitetails well knows what hunters are looking for and gives it to them. It is easy to sell to your fans when they know you have what they need.
This is a page dedicated to chocolate delicacies and all those who enjoy such indulgencies. Run and curated by the culinary nutritionist and writer in the Washington, DC area, Sue Ann Gleason, the Chocolate for Breakfast Facebook page is a classic example of what you can accomplish when you have a variety of content and time on your hands to deliver engaging experiences.
With approximately 10 postings of delicious chocolate goodies and experiences every single day, Sue has been able to garner a large fan following that has seen her page receive close to 22,000 Likes. While her individual posts may not generate a lot of interaction in terms of Likes and Shares, she compensates this with enough content each day which keeps her brand in front of her audiences at all times.
The Lesson: Posting regularly will ensure your brand is always seen by your audiences, which may eventually seem them start sharing what they like, which, in turn, drives more followers to your page. Consistency in delivering content, like in Sue’s case, will ensure you keep getting more followers which compensates for lack of high engagement on individual posts.
Run, managed, and owned by Chrisy Bossie, Earthegy is dedicated to jewelry and jewelry lovers. Chrisy, who lives and works in rural Virginia, showcases and sells her own stones that she has sourced, designed, and devised both on her Facebook page and website.
With over 24,000 Likes, the Earthegy Facebook fan page seeks to showcase the various designs by Chrisy while highlighting the power and energy that each of her stones exudes. She not only displays her finished works but also new stone arrivals from different parts of the world before she settles down to craft beautiful masterpieces which she then posts pictures of on the Eathegy fan page.
According to her website, she works from her dining room table, which would explain where she gets all that time and the content to post. Earthegy fan page gets about 10 updates every day, all done by Chrisy. A few personal pictures of her with her pets always breaks the monotony to reveal a human behind the scene, which is an important fan page element which introduces a human aspect to your business that people feel compelled to connect with.
The Lesson: Showcase all of your work, if possible, both your raw materials and your finished products. Earthegy includes pictures of raw stones as well as finished pendants, necklaces, and bracelets. In addition, have a personal touch to your products by explaining what it means and does. Chrisy does this by explaining and defining the energies and spirituality that her stones exude.
The conventional method of simply posting and updating your fan page while hoping your customers find you just doesn’t cut it anymore. Things have changed. Your Facebook customers are looking for a more engaging experience. If you don’t deliver it, they are not going to show you love in return.
It is clear from the above case studies that there are some things that small businesses can do to create an active and an engaged following on Facebook.
- – Pool Supply World posts enough pictures of exclusive pools and spas which makes them an authority in their industry.
- – Boom Social with Kim Garst includes branded photos with personal messages and a careful use of Facebook hashtags.
- – Legendary Whitetails produces content targeted at its customers by selling branded apparel that resonates with its fans.
- – Chocolate for Breakfast has a regularly updated page which compensates for low engagement on individual posts by driving the overall page engagement.
- – Earthegy posts pictures of both raw materials and finished products with a human touch from the creator on what her creations inspire.
The above small business brands are no doubt passionate and excited about what they do while also becoming an asset to their audiences. When you can do any or all of the above, you can start to build and grow your own tribe, increase engagement, and drive sales for your business. We hope you’ve learned something from these five Facebook case studies that will help you grow your business while increasing both your followers and your sales.
David Gitonga is a full-time Web content creator and strategist working with various companies in developing and executing online marketing campaigns on social networks and search engines. He mostly works with small and medium-sized businesses looking to leverage the Internet to drive sales, innovation, and engagement online. Connect with David on Twitter and Google+ or through his website.