Facebook Saved My Business.
There's a great article in the New York Times about businesses that use Facebook to advertise; one story:
"Some guys use Facebook to find single women. Chris Meyer used it to find women who are already engaged.
Mr. Meyer, a wedding photographer in Woodbury, Minn., had had little luck with traditional advertising. A full-page ad in a bridal magazine generated zero leads and a trade show yielded only four bookings, barely covering the cost of his booth. But Facebook proved a digital bonanza.
Mr. Meyer aimed at women ages 22 to 28 who listed their martial status as engaged in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. He estimates that he has spent about $300 on Facebook ads in the last two years and has generated more than $60,000 in business. He says about three-quarters of his clients now come to him through Facebook, either from ads or recommendations from friends.
“I’d be out of business if I didn’t have Facebook,” Mr. Meyer said. “Especially with this economy, I need to stretch each marketing dollar as much as I possibly can.”
The other story:
"For Mr. Nelson, this is serious business. He and his wife, Candace, own Sprinkles, a cupcake bakery that relies on social media in lieu of traditional advertising. Mr. Nelson considers Facebook marketing essential. “People are out there talking about your business everyday, whether you’re looking or not,” he said. “This gives people a place to come and speak directly to us.”
Sprinkles uses Facebook to give customers a whiff of what’s cooking. Every day it posts a password on Facebook that can be redeemed for a free cupcake. Since April, its fan base has risen tenfold to 70,000.
Mr. Nelson and his wife previously worked as investment bankers in the technology sector and were keenly aware that, even for a traditional business like a bakery, social media is a crucial ingredient. His advice: make it relevant to the customer, keep it fresh and remember that the return on investment may come slowly.
“Be patient with it,” Mr. Nelson advised. “People are not going to flock to your social media site overnight. Technology is about the network effect. It takes time for those connections to build.”
The whole article can be seen here: NEW YORK TIMES