Many successful small businesses have an intensely loyal customer base that also serves as a source of referrals. Facebook’s broad reach and easy sharing features make it the perfect tool to help devoted patrons spread the word about what makes your company so special. Here are examples of how three small businesses—a jewelry store, a vintage shop and a health food restaurant—might use Facebook to build community.

Jewelry store: Targeting high-value customers
A jewelry store wants to establish a community of people who appreciate fine jewelry and make frequent purchases. Here’s how Facebook could help:

  • Use Facebook to promote the arrival of new merchandise, weekly specials, and informative stories about gemstones and jewelry trends.
  • Hold a Facebook contest that asks people to share a special jewelry moment. To spur interest and “shares,” ask Facebook users to vote for their favorite story and award gift certificates to the three people who get the most votes.
  • Tap Facebook’s paid services to boost posts so they reach a larger audience and buy Facebook ads targeted by age, income and interests.
  • Hold monthly in-store events and announce them on Facebook. Share photographs of attendees and their favorite jewelry pieces on Facebook during and after the event.

Vintage shop: Bringing customers downtown
A vintage shop housed in a historic building sells antiques and fashions from the 1960s. It wants to bring more people to the store, which is in a newly revitalized section of the city. To increase traffic, the shop could:

  • Use Facebook paid ads to promote daily merchandise photographs to people within a 20-mile radius who select AMC’s television show Mad Men as a “like” on Facebook.
  • Create a series of posts about previous occupants of the space. Share them on the Facebook pages of local business groups and historical societies.
  • Offer Facebook-only discounts on specific merchandise.
  • Sponsor and participate in citywide events that are promoted and shared on Facebook. Promote other businesses involved in the event by sharing their event posts on the store’s Facebook page.

Health food restaurant: Becoming a thought leader
A restaurant that specializes in healthy prepared meals wants to establish itself as an expert on nutrition and food trends. It could use these tactics to build a following on Facebook:

  • Write weekly blog posts on nutrition and wellness for the restaurant’s website. Tease them on Facebook with catchy headlines and mouthwatering food pictures.
  • Identify 50 key health and nutrition influencers on Facebook and ask them to join the restaurant’s Facebook network.
  • Invite a well-known local chef to prepare a healthy menu at the restaurant to raise funds for diabetes prevention or another wellness cause. Share photos and videos from the event on Facebook and match up to $1,000 of donations made to the organization through Facebook’s Donate app.
  • Join the Facebook network of journalists who write about nutrition and health, leaving positive comments about their posts and sharing them on the restaurant’s Facebook page.


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