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Businesses jump on the bandwidth wagon with social media

Move over, Facebook friends. An increasing number of users no longer are looking for Facebook friendship. They’re looking for fans.

Who are these users? Small business owners.

Constant Contact, a Massachusetts-based company that helps small businesses grow, conducted a study that shows 73 percent of small businesses use social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Another 81 percent of those using the tools plan to increase their online presence this year.

The number of Facebook pages belonging to businesses or organizations in and around the La Salle County area tallies in the hundreds.

Dan Farrell, owner of Farrell Chiropractic in Ottawa, is one among dozens of Facebook-using businessmen in town. Farrell’s online presence began seven years ago with his website, then expanded to Farrell Chiropractic’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

A distinction exists between business websites and their Facebook pages. While the website outlines the business details, social media pages can show a more personable side to a business by providing two-way interaction.

Last year, Farrell participated in a 21-day purification program and posted his daily progress on Facebook. This let him communicate with patients on a personal level — and also turned the tables of the interaction.

“Patients would actually offer me encouragement instead of the other way around,” he said.

Having a Facebook page also allows Farrell to update patients quickly. When he and his wife had their first baby, he notified clients via Facebook that the office would be closed. The page also let him keep the community up to date on the progress of the business’ December toy drive and promote upcoming events.

Continue reading at mywebtimes.com


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