When most people think of social media, they tend to think of their own pages or accounts including how to use these platforms to build new relationships or reconnect with those they’ve lost contact with. But many businesses use these networks to spread awareness of the goods or services they have to offer.
Dawn Campbell, assistant manager of Café Rue 52, knows her business is thriving largely due to social media.
“We use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the word out,” Campbell said. “We are a new business so we are taking advantage of everything out there to build a customer base.”
Rue 52, located at 503 S. 52nd St., is a coffee shop and creperie, serving up paninis and crepes in just about any form one can imagine, from sweet to savory.
“We use Facebook to alert customers of our specials and promotions. Sometimes if we create a new panini or crepe we will doctor it up and photograph it and Instagram it so people can see how good they look. We get a lot of feedback so I think it’s working,” Campbell said.
Just a few blocks away at 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue is another local business called VIX Emporium. Co-owned by Emily Dorn, this shop is a cornerstone in West Philadelphia for those seeking handmade crafts and gifts made by area artists.
“Pottery, stationary, soaps, clothing, jewelry – anything that makes a good gift and is made by an area artist can be found here,” Dorn said. “We use Facebook to tell people about any sales we are having or to promote a new artist whose items we are carrying. We also host events like craft fairs and we use Facebook to create awareness about those.”
While some businesses are very active on all social media venues, others prefer to focus their energy to one or two.
“I keep my Facebook posts Twitter-sized and they are linked together. At one time I was offering a free sticker to those who came in and checked in with Foursquare but I think it only happened twice,” Dorn said.
Whether they use one form of social media or several, store owners see the value of these networks in
building their business and creating a clientele. With accounts being free, easy to set up and able to be promoted with a click of a mouse, this new way of advertising is sure to keep growing.