BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Small Businesses Learn How to Utilize Facebook

By Michael Hill
Correspondent

Hundreds of small businesses hungry for success filled a hall to learn how to get on Facebook or how to maximize the network’s tools for connecting with customers. Rep. Bill Pascrell — just named to Congress’ Digital Trade Caucus — concedes he’s a little old school but does have a Facebook page to inform his constituents.

“I hope everyone will take a minute to like my page,” Pascrell said.

Pascrell has championed small businesses with his walking tours and urged these owners and advertisers to get online.

“Businesses that are online, as I said, grow 40 percent faster,” said Pascrell.

Some of them by using Facebook. The Englewood Chamber of Commerce and the network offered nearly an hour-long, step-by-step how-to including how to incorporate pictures and video.

“It’s really rather informal, but Kay had a lot of success from this video. So can anybody guess how much this video made Kay by selling bags? $6,400, so not too bad,” saidSarah Pagliocco, Facebook small business expert from Accenture.

Ridgefield-based Goodie Girl Cookies does no print advertising, except for coupons. It’s all social media, much of it on Facebook, where it says it can engage and have a conversation with customers.

“It’s helped us find gluten-free bloggers. It’s helped us find men and women that can’t find something that they’re looking for and talk to them and then allow them the opportunity to then find us and then, of course, buy our cookies and buy more and tell more people about it. And share, that’s what Facebook is so great for is it allows people, if somebody like me likes something and then I share it and write about it, people are going to take my word for it over Goodie Girl Cookie’s word for it because I’ve eaten it. I’m a real person,” said Alyssa Woods, social media coordinator for Goodie Girl Cookies.

Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. Boasting it has some 65 million businesses alone using its tools.

“We never say there’s one answer for everybody, but it’s definitely proven with the way that small businesses are joining the platform using more and seeing the way their sales are increasing and growing their client bases, that it’s one way that definitely works and you can do a lot for a little,” said Small Business Event and Program Manager for Facebook Janelle Mungo.

Experience Harlem promotes eating, shopping, touring and having fun in Harlem. Angie Hancock does the marketing.

On traditional advertising she said, “I think you need a little bit of both”

Hancock says the ability to immediately measure daily or weekly results on Facebook is invaluable.

“Their insights tool is pretty amazing. I look at it in detail once a week just to just check out how my ads are performing or just how my posts are performing and see what I need to do more of or less off,” Hancock said.

Hancock was among the many small business marketers and owners here taking notes and learning new tricks of the trade from a company that started as a social media site for fun and has grown in to a multi-billion dollar behemoth for advertising.

Correction: May 17, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the organization Alyssa Woods works for. She works for Goodie Girl Cookies.