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[BizTalk] Facebook Worth the effort?


#1

Hi All. I’ve been resisting the whole Facebook/My Space/Linkedin
movement. If my name is spelled right, I’m pretty easy to find. But
now I’m wondering whether I’m missing something.

I got an email from an old friend with a link to a reunion site for
a group of us who worked as singing waiters circa 1976-81 (Best job
I ever had!). It was being organized around Facebook. I was just
poking around the site and came to a section called “The Wall”, I
think, apparently a kind of chat section. Right in front of me were
two women whose names I didn’t recognize discussing MY jewelry in
very glowing terms! One of them said they wondered if I was on
Facebook yet. Is that a sign or what!? I was flabbergasted. But I
couldn’t reply because I wasn’t signed up.

So now I’m thinking that, not only will this reunion be a lot of fun,
but the whole extended group represents a lot of potential customers!
Crass, I know, but a jeweler’s gotta eat! Naturally I started
wondering what experience the Orchid universe has had with tying
Facebook to your business. I don’t generate a lot of news beyond my
show schedule and I made a cool new piece today, and I already have a
web site and an Etsy shop. I’m definitely not going to constantly
update the minutia of my life. So, what to do with it?

Have any of you found a good way to use Facebook with your business?
Thanks!

Allan
silvermason.com


#2

It’s another place where people can see you and your work. I have a
Facebook page, but I haven’t done much with it either. I’m
concentrating my internet efforts on more niche things. My Facebook
is all full of people from high school, but they’re potential
customers too, and know others. Anything I can do to get my work out
there is a good thing.

Have any of you found a good way to use Facebook with your
business?

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#3

Hi Allan…

Have any of you found a good way to use Facebook with your
business? 

I set up a Facebook page a while back for the sole purpose of
getting in touch with folks I hadn’t in a long time, and keeping in
touch with folks I wanted to…

It’s been a rousing success for me…

As a rule, I avoid fan clubs and organization pages, but from the
traffic I’ve observed a lot of people enjoy hooking up to such
"apps"…

I deleted one “friend”, who became too pushy with product
announcements, sale events, etc. That was the only content he
published, and it was repetitive and monotonous after a while…He
wasn’t a jeweler, BTW…Jewelers have more class, methinks…

I was pleasantly surprised how many folks sought me out…And have
hooked up with some scattered friends and relatives, High School
folks, etc…

Even lady friends from my youth…[G]…!

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)
http://www.facebook.com/Le.Hermite


#4
Naturally I started wondering what experience the Orchid universe
has had with tying Facebook to your business. 

Allan, no doubt you’ll get a wide variety of answers. We are on
Facebook, Myspace AND LinkedIn, and none of them means anything to
us, which I’ll qualify in a minute. They mean more for family than
business, in our case, and even that isn’t much. What we get is
"friend- collectors" - we have many friends, and almost none of them
actually DO anything (that includes us - we’re not active, either).
Ganoksin/Hanuman is one…

The qualification is that we’re also not active users (especially
LinkedIn - never go there…). I think that they are little virtual
worlds, and the more you actually go there and use them, the more
value they will have for you. We use email and website for our
day-to-day things. I can see how Facebook could be great, you just
have to use it and be active on the site…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#5

I was wondering the same thing and would also be interested in what
others think.

As my background is in technology I have been on linkedin for years
geared towards that but am not personally interested in social
websites. But I have wondered if facebook could be another option
for customers. When I tried to research this I didn’t come up many
positive results for using it for business so I would like to know
if others have found it successful and how they used it.

I have my own ecommerce website for my handcrafted jewelry and
signed up for a business facebook page last year but never developed
it for 2 main reasons. First of all, it’s time consuming maintaining
even one website so this would be just one more and maybe not worth
it as I see facebook as more of a social outlet. Makes sense for
large companies to maintain one but is it really worth it for small
businesses?

Which sort of brings me to the next reason. I very deliberately
designed my website to look and act professionally and facebook to me
may not carry that over. I’m always interested in new avenues to
pursue but the business facebook page doesn’t seem any different to
me than the regular ones. It seems great to have another presence
but I’m really not interested in fans and chatter so I’m not sure
most of what it offers is that usable to me.

I’m interested to hear what everyone else thinks. Maybe it will
change my mind and get me to set up the page. I’m looking forward to
hearing how others have used it.

Sheila


#6
Naturally I started wondering what experience the Orchid universe
has had with tying Facebook to your business. 

I use facebook to post new images, I only have a smallish number of
fans, but they have friends too and often they “share”. In the fall
several women who were fans were going to come to a show and they
wanted to encourage some friends to come with so they “shared” my
invite from my fb fan page.

It’s not a huge part of my world, but it’s quick and easy and
sometimes results in sales. I do think you have to be careful not to
over use it or you can bore your friends and fans. As a bonus, when
you get 100 fans you get a nice easy and personal URL

Karen


#7

Go to my Facebook page and maybe you can get ideas for developing
yours! Mine has been successful at least for letting friends and
customers know what’s been made recently and the festivals/markets
I’ll be attending in the future.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanna-McMahan/125959959343

Suzanna McMahan


#8

The Ganoksin Project is on Facebook with some 3,260 followers!

network
of jewelers, gemologists, retailers and more…


#9

Yes!!! Big, big yes! In these days you simply MUST be on Facebook!
That said, there are two ways to do it (I teach Facebook workshops
by the way). You first sign up with a personal page. Some people use
this as their business page, but that is really a bit dicey.

Depending on how you do it Facebook can stop you, since those are
not supposed to be business pages. So what I recommend is that you
set up a personal page, set your privacy settings as tight as you
want them, and use this to connect with friends, etc. You can post
some business info here as long as it is mainly personal info.

Once you have your personal page then you set up a Facebook Fan Page

  • and this is where you put your business. You have this open to the
    world, and only post business info. There are sections where you can
    post pictures, you can link to Etsy (and when you add a listing on
    Etsy you can have it post to your FB page). I use mine to list new
    work, to indicate new listing on Etsy, to tell folks when I’ll be
    showing or exhibiting, when and where I’ll be teaching, to let them
    know I have a new blog post, etc.

One of the wonderful things about FB is that if someone comments on
your work, then that goes on their wall - which in turn shows up on
all their friends’ walls - and then if a friend posts in reply it
multiplies out.

I literally have FB friends around the world. And you never know
when any of that is going to translate into a sale or exhibition
opportunity!

My Facebook Fan Page link is the last link in my sig line, if the
moderators will let it come through (they’ve been chopping sig
lines!), so you can go there and see what I am talking about. If it
doesn’t make it through just e-mail me off list and I’ll send you
the link.

I will be more than happy to “walk” you or any other Orchid member
through setting up your own Fan Page. It is not hard, but there are
a few tricks and things you need to have thought through in advance.

Good luck with it and enjoy!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#10

You can set up a ‘fan site’ for just your business, separate from
your personal account. On that fan site, you can post pictures of your
jewelry and they won’t get lost between the vacation pics that you
posted to your personal page over the weekend, for example.

You can send invites to people asking them to become fans of your
page. When they join, they get updates when you post them, and THEY
can recommend that THEIR friends become fans of your page too. That’s
where it starts to work—when your friends tell their friends about
you.

I hang out on a jewelry artist forum, and a bunch of us have
"fanned" all of each other’s FB fan pages. I’ve gotten some nice
comments on my work from total strangers who are friends of my
’fans’, and possibly a couple of sales from my Etsy shop too (the
buyers didn’t tell me how they found me, but the items sold right
after I posted them on FB).

If the Orchidians did something similar with the fan pages, I bet
we’d connect half of the Facebook users together through our jewelry!

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
www.featheredgems.com


#11

Allen, I run a blog that interviews and features artist from around
the world, I have just started this over 2 or 3 months ago, I use
facebook only for getting the word out, and have really noticed an
increase in the people that follow and come back daily to my blog.
Soon I will start showcasing my own jewelry and hope it will have a
positive effect thanks to all the current followers.

I tried twitter, gave up on it as it was too messy and not able to be
narrowed down to what I wanted showcased. On Facebook, I run a fan
page for my jewelry and then one for my blog, it only takes a couple
min to post new links and pictures so for me it is worth it.

Take care,
Tina


#12

Would you say that Facebook is preferable to a website?

KPK


#13

I have a facebook page I have just started to use. I like the way I
can introduce new items that I am posting in my numerous online shops
to FB. I don’t put everything on, just the really nice pieces that
might attract customers to my stores. I do it in a sociable way, so
as not to bore people with rambling on about my shops all the time. I
do use it to keep in touch as well. I have noticed a big difference
in footfall to my shops since I have started using it. If people
don’t know you are there they won’t visit your shops, so I personally
have found it positive to use FB. I have also found it a useful tool
in making contacts with other artisan jewellers, who offer help and
support, and vice versa. Big thumbs up from me!


#14

I think so if you know how. We have a Small Business Development and
Technology Center with one of our universities that provides
workshops on using social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter) for small
business. I personally encourage friends who are small business, or
organizations to use all three and help them get started… If you
do it right it can drive people to your business. One of our resort
owners (I designed her website and help her maintain) uses a blog to
post photos and updates about the resort… her return custom likes
it very much. I finally got her onto facebook.

I am a proponent but the best thing to do is do some searches for
some articles about using blogs, etc. for your business. There are
some decent articles on line via journals and publications.

O.


#15

I was reading the replies to this thread and wonder is there a
discussion thread on the ganoskin facebook fanpage where ganoksanners
can post a link to theirFb Fanpage so we can find each other on
facebook, check out everyones pages, and add their page as a favorite
to our own page to connect/support the orchid community, if we
choose.

Just a thought :slight_smile:


#16
Would you say that Facebook is preferable to a website? 

No, because you can’t sell directly on FB. You can only display
things you have available for sale. The customer still has to go
elsewhere (Etsy, Artfire, website, Zibbet, whatever) to make the
purchase.

Kathy Johnson


#17

I was invited onto Facebook by a former high school friend about a
year ago. As with you, a reunion was being planned and many of the
girls (I still think of them as girls since that’s they’re frozen in
my memory) from our class were going to be attending. I had not had
any contact with my former classmates other than a written
newsletter ten years ago and short visits with two of them while I
was in California. I had lost contact with my best friends as we had
all gone to college and drifted into our own adult lives.

One of my former classmates lives two hours from me and since she
was coming to my city for a meeting, we decided that she would would
visit me while in town. I was so excited about this visit that I
made her a bracelet (beads) in our school colors with sterling
alphabet beads spelling out the initials of our high school.

The visit went well, she was thrilled with the bracelet and started
"talking" about it on our high school group page and even posted a
photo of it. Immediately I started getting requests for bracelets,
necklaces and earrings from my former classmates. And once a
necklace was made, a request for earrings would come etc. I’m still
making jewelry for my former classmates and the loving feedback I’ve
gotten has made my heart glad.

I learned that I could make a “fan page” or “business page” on
Facebook with as many photographs as I wanted so my friends could
view my work. I’ve branched out from my original 75 or so former
high school classmates to friends I know in real life and friends of
theirs. It’s pretty amazing how far-reaching our “friends of
friends” lists can get.

I don’t usually post about my jewelry. It gets very tedious and
boring if it’s obvious that that’s the only reason a person is on
Facebook. It’s kind of like having a blog in that it’s encouraged to
talk about things going on in your life, special websites that
you’ve found and sharing photos and music.

Every time I post a new photo and “share” the image, a notice goes
to my “Wall” page, and then to the wall pages of all my friends. I
only add friends who I think I have something in common with and I
have been able to categorize them as “Hunter friends”, “real life
friends and family” etc.

There is an opportunity for live chat, but it’s not on the Wall. A
little box pops up when you’re on Facebook (or FB for short) and it
tells you who of your friends are online at the time. You can then
send them a chat message and they can reply.

I’d have to say that Facebook has definitely helped my business and
more importantly, it’s brought wonderful friends back into my life.
I’m now in the process of co-organizing a reunion in my home city -
this time I’m not going to let the opportunity of connecting in
person get away.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit better of how Facebook
can help your business but the fun of it is in reconnecting with
your friends.

Mara Nesbitt-Aldrich
Pastiche Custom Jewelry


#18
Would you say that Facebook is preferable to a website? 

I have both because while fans can get updates on my page, a website
is an interface of your creativity. Also, for those friends who are
not yet fans, I also post pictures on my personal page every once in
a while.

Suzanna


#19

I sold a ring on Facebook (they sent a check) and there’s an app
called ShopIt that allows you to sell on FB.

Suzanna


#20
Would you say that Facebook is preferable to a website? 

No, in addition to a website. Different set up, different function.
They compliment each other. And no cost involved in Facebook.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com
http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/