Many small business owners lack the time or knowledge, or both, to effectively harness the power of social media to engage with customers and generate new business.
Robyn Cuffe from Townsville Blinds and Awnings was struggling to use their Facebook account to its full potential and realised they were missing opportunities.
Now quality sales leads are pouring in since engaging expert help to ensure their Facebook page and website work together to attract customers and convert sales to the business.
“I used to think I could do this Facebook thing myself,” says Robyn, “I have two sons in the business and thought they could take a few photos, but we are always busy and it is something you always put off doing.”
“I had a plan but then months would go by without even a post; it was stagnant.”
Three years ago, Robyn turned to Ngairie Hartwell from Move Online Marketing, to create content, manage Facebook enquires, and increase engagement.
“It’s nice to put it into someone else’s hands and trust they know what they are doing,” says Robyn. “We’ve never looked back.”
In April, a drop in business coinciding with COVID restrictions prompted Robyn to engage Ngairie to also update their five-year old website.
“We created a modern, user friendly website with additional functions including a Facebook feed and ‘virtual measure & quote’ request so they could continue to work through the COVID-19 shutdown,” says Ngairie. “Robyn was surprised by the increase in Google ranking when the site went live, as well as the increase in quote requests.”
Ngairie created new Facebook ads focused on the needs of people suddenly working from home who wanted to reduce screen glare and direct sunlight. The ads directed customers to the ‘virtual quote request’ page on the website.
“Before we were getting a few enquires through our website, but now I would say we have been bombarded with quality leads,” says Robyn. “We are now so busy we are talking about putting on another employee.
“My husband doesn’t know anything about computers and he does not like to outsource things, but getting a professional to help us has been worth every penny,” says Robyn.
“This Facebook thing really works.”
Andrew Frazer is a baker who hasn’t let an allergy to flour stop him from building his artisan bakery business, Three Loaves.
With this same determination, Andrew turned to Move Online Marketing to implement a social media strategy to help the business survive during COVID-19’s lockdown restrictions.
“Our wholesale side is the biggest part of our business; we supply to pubs, cafes, school,” says Andrew. “But that side dropped pretty hard.
“Cafes were still doing takeaway, but they were only getting about ten percent of what they would normally order from us.”
Three Loaves employs up to 30 people, and with such big drop in business, Andrew was concerned about potential employee layoffs.
Ngairie created a strategy to boost retail sales with delivery bundle options and carpark pick up which were promoted on Facebook, to help balance the loss of wholesale trade.
“We switched the focus very quickly to the retail sector,” explains Ngairie. “We created some giveaways and really promoted the retail store which had recently changed location.
“We had a great following and huge take up of the bundles and delivery options, whilst branding the business and the new location.”
Using social media effectively has been crucial in counteracting the effects of COVID lockdown on its business.
“The retail side went gang busters,” said Andrew, “and we had so many delivery orders it was actually bit overwhelming at times.
“If we didn’t have that spike, we would have been in trouble. We’re still down, but it balanced it enough to keep everyone in job.”
The strategy was so successful that Andrew has not needed to invest in any other forms of advertising.
In response to the demand for social media skills, Ngairie has created hands on, small group workshops to provide essential skills for business owners starting from the very basics.
“This workshop is really designed for people who would get lost with an online course and need clear demonstrations, examples and directions in a face to face setting on their own devices,” says Ngairie.
“We have already had so much interest in these workshops that we have started to offer more start dates starting in August.
“Many businesses want to promote their business more on social media knowing that this is where many of us were spending extra hours. There is no point building a beautiful website that no one can find.”
By Sonia Zabala for BDmag