Social Media Action in Central New Jersey

Social Media Action in Central New Jersey - Websites for Small Biz
Local businesses are getting in on the act – sharing via Facebook, Google+, blogs, videos and Twitter are all ways of connecting with current and potential clients. Why shouldn’t your local customer get excited about your business or organization? In this post, I will present some local social media success stories and social media ideas.

Create Mystery

Sushiana Moves - to Where? Post
I’ll start with my favorite: Sushiana is moving! So, do they get online and say, yup, guys, in a couple of months we’ll be in a new location? No! They make it a mystery. And lots of people guess. Now that’s having fun with social media.

Give Valuable Information

One local business person complained he doesn’t like to read what others write on social media. A local clergyman found a solution – he just posts the information people want to read. Since he is providing great information and is well-liked in the community, he gets plenty of likes despite not participating in the social conversation. Good solution to using up-to-date technology!

When the weather is crazy – does your business respond? Salit Auto Sales will often post school closings, sometimes before the parents themselves are informed! Now that may only work in the winter, but they find other ways to connect as well. How about, “how do you take your coffee?
How do you take your coffee? by Salit Auto Sales

Raritan Air Water Power Service often posts valuable information, such as digging near a house for a garden, upcoming weather notifications, energy bills and heating equipment tips. When we have had power outages locally, you can find good information on the Raritan Air Facebook page.

Photos and Fun

The Highland Park Public Library presents many photos via its Facebook page. Sometimes an event that is just started will be shown, so a person might be able to rush over to join the event. Friends of the Edison Public Library gets enthusiasm going for an event such as a spelling bee.

Dubin Orthodontics uses Facebook for contests and for showing off t-shirts. Just be aware there are specific rules about Facebook and contests.

Video Communications

A few months ago I interviewed a Central New Jersey florist, Georgianne Vinicombe, and she talked about her many YouTube videos and how she uses them to educate clients about floral arrangements and with useful wedding tips. Stepping out of Central New Jersey social media and into Israel local business buzz, a popular computer “doctor” named Beau Schutz posted several videos of clients talking about how they love using Beau to help with computer issues. You can find the testimonial videos on his Israel’s PC Doctor Google+ page.

Make Use of Google+ and Win the Search Prize!

Very few of the local businesses in our area are making use of Google+. And this is a huge mistake. Why? Google is the biggest search engine of all. If you get established on Google+, it can effect your search engine rankings. Two Central New Jersey businesses using Google+: Mrs. G’s (also look up Debbie Schaeffer) for appliances and Salit Auto Sales for cars and car information.

Want more discussion on social media for local businesses? Read Scott Huntington’s post Social Media for Small Business: How and Why.

Your Turn, Please

What are some social media success stories in your area? How would you suggest a local business plan a successful social media campaign?

39 Responses to “Social Media Action in Central New Jersey”

  1. Arleen says:

    Leora- I like your ideas. Offer titbits to get your customers interested. It really doesn’t have to be about your business but helpful information. I am trying to build my Google + presence. I have more friends and followers under my name than under the business name. I agree that Google+ is the place to be for business.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Arleen, I find that it often works better if it isn’t directly about your business, but it is social. That’s why “how do you take your coffee” works.

      I don’t know if you need *that* much of a following on Google+, but it certainly helps. The basic presence is what is most important. I know a popular business that has had problems getting reviews on Google+ – people write quick emails with compliments, but they don’t seem to go to Google+ to write a review.

      Thanks for leaving a comment – appreciate the feedback.

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    I love your suggestions. They are just what a customer needs, if they take your advise… LOL. Anytime you can offer helpful tips is always a very good thing. That is something you do very well.

    G+ is becoming a great platform for business and many are starting to see that and take the necessary steps. Facebook not so much any more, at least that is how I see it. :-)

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Susan, I see too many businesses just saying Buy My Stuff. The idea of social media is to be social, so hopefully they can get some ideas from this post.

      Yes, the advantages of Google+ are not obvious, but when you tell a business about search results, the business might listen.

  3. Catarina says:

    Agree with you that it’s great that local businesses use social media to communicate. Seems that in the US, like in Sweden, Facebook it the main channel.

    Maybe that will change now that Facebook has started to charge for almost everything. If you don’t pay, your like page or group will not reach as many people as it used to do.

    As for Google Plus, I have used it since it started. It’s essential because it’s Google and makes a difference for SERPS. Have about 500 followers, as opposed to 4,500 on Linkedin.

    Really want to make an effort on Google Plus but, sincerely, it’s about as exciting as a morgue. Keep on trying but for me Linkedin is much better for business.

    Having said that local businesses could start hangouts with their customers on Google Plus. But it will take a long time before it takes off. Unless Facebook keeps on shooting themselves in their feet because that may make Google Plus the winner.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Catarina, oh, totally agree with you on Facebook – so annoying how they have made it so only sponsored posts are widely seen.

      Too bad your Google+ is like a morgue. I have people that I only follow on Google+ – I do get some interesting interchanges. But I don’t see many locals having any kind of discussion there. So broader topics work, but local discussion is not yet there.

  4. Well, this is what I do for a living, so like all of your examples. I am always coming up with creative ways to be online for my clients for whom I manage social media. Facebook is not dead – if you know how to engage consistently and Google Plus is alive and well – one just has to know how to properly circle people. It’s a learning curve and I guess that is why I am busy – few people want to learn how to do it well. Nice examples.

  5. I love all of these examples! Fun, and not bombarding folks with silly buy me stuff is key. Information and fun…I think that’s what makes these successful :)

  6. Beth Niebuhr says:

    Thanks for suggesting that businesses offer services to their potential followers instead of just being salesy. It keeps people coming back to learn something new or engage with the community.

  7. Lenie says:

    I really enjoy this post, great helpful tips for me which I always appreciate and especially now that Laurie has started a community on Google+. The more I can learn from people like you the better prepared I will be. Thanks for sharing.
    Lenie

  8. TheGirl says:

    I am of course a huge fan of social media and using it to make your business grow. I was interested in your last tidbit of G+, I would definitely like to learn how to use G+ in a more effective way. I haven’t been getting that many egnagements when I post things.

    Would you use G+ like Facebook? Or is more fast paced like twitter?

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Regarding engagement on Google+, look at who you have circled and who has circled you. Try to engage with those who have already circled you. If you appreciate what they have done, they might respond more to your posts as well. But no guarantees.

  9. Tim says:

    I must admit my social media skills are a bit lacking and I do not have an account with pinterest or google +. However, I am on track to get this done and appreciate very much your post.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Tim, Pinterest works if you are visually-oriented. But Google+ is for all – read more posts on the topic. Google owns the most important search engine, so that makes Google+ an important place for a presence and for engagement.

  10. I love the ideas, they are a great way to engage. What I think is really neat is that the individual activity draws attention to the businesses but the collective activity really establishes a sense of community.

  11. Leora — great idea for a post. Social media isn’t only for the big guys. In fact, I think local businesses could derive the most benefit from social media because it’s in inexpensive way to go direct to their customers and bypass expensive advertising. Local businesses often have a personal relationship with their customers and social media is another way to re-enforce those relationships.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Jeanette, I so agree that local businesses benefit from social media. I’m on the lookout for examples so other local businesses (ones that might not be as creative initially) can also make good use of these platforms.

  12. Lisa Voncino says:

    Hi Leora – As a former Jersey girl, it was great to read about what local businesses are doing with social media. Keep it simple and acknowledge the culture of the business and, as the preacher says, post “the information people want to read!” I think more businesses will eventually use Google Plus more, especially when they see the SEO value.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Lisa, this is only a small piece of what goes on in Central Jersey, but it’s businesses that I know making good use. Neat to hear that you are originally from New Jersey. I grew up in the Boston area myself. I hope you are right about more businesses going to Google+. I think the consumer needs more of an incentive to go there as well.

  13. Sarah says:

    I love when local businesses use Instagram. I feel like I connect with them without having to know about the latest sale or promotion. I’ve often gone to places based just on their pictures.

  14. Adele says:

    Hi Leora,

    Fun article! I love the coffee question!

    We have some pages that really blow up with engagement. Often times these are the posts we don’t really expect to succeed. One of our clients manufactures hot dogs, so we have been sharing A LOT of recipes – and those get loads of shares!

    Here’s the thing for me, though – we have a client who wants us to post things like school closings, weather, every day life, etc. Except those types of posts don’t match their goals (increase sales/unique visitors to their site) and they don’t really attract any type of interaction.

    I would love to know your opinion!

    • Leora Wenger says:

      I suppose it depends on how the client words the post and the tone – if people feel friendliness, warmth or humor, they might feel comfortable responding. A client that already has connections to customers has an advantage. It sounds, however, that this client may talk *at* people instead of listening, and so these ideas may not work. Social media is just that: social. How do you get anyone to listen in general? You tell them what they want to hear in tone that makes them feel good.

  15. Hey Leora
    Great to see some locals getting on the tech bandwagon.
    Social media can be leveraged if done right, and it seems they are doing a great job.
    People are just after useful information, and these guys are providing that, plain and simple. I am sure it gets them more attention.
    Thanks for sharing
    ashley

  16. Interesting. I think of social media on a global level, but I have no idea what’s going on in my community! I’ll have to start paying attention. I really like the example of the restaurant moving and creating a mystery out of it.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Meredith, the owner of Sushiana is quite good at marketing. I think he has a sense of his clientele, and he likes to keep it interesting. He also runs monthly charity voting (where should they donate the coins in the box each month).

      Would love to hear what you find in your own community.

  17. Adrienne says:

    Hi Leora,

    Well how smart are they using social media this way. I think that’s great to see the local businesses using social media to help connect more with their customers. I like the mystery angle for sure. You know I’m all about questions to make things fun and just have those connections.

    Great share Leora, thanks.

    ~Adrienne

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Adrienne,

      “You know I’m all about questions to make things fun and just have those connections.” – How *do* you think of all those questions to ask? You come up with some doozies. And you don’t seem to be bothered if you get twenty responses or one.

      You can certainly teach a business how to interact!

  18. Hi Leora,
    Those are wonderful real-life examples of social media. That’s the best inspiration there is! Often, small business owners don’t know how to get started.

    I don’t know of any local businesses that use Google+ around here. I have seen quite a few “Follow us on Facebook” signs around though. My hair dresser (and owner of the salon) is on Facebook but she has found a a lot of success on Yelp. One of the things that she does is offer a discount on hair and beauty products to anyone who reviews her salon. It seems to be working well for her.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Sherryl, I’ve read some nasty things about Yelp. Now, I have no way to verify this things, and the internet always tells the truth, right (?!&*%?), but it makes me suspicious. I’m glad it’s working honestly for your hairdresser. I will let you do your own research on that one.

      The SEO people say, yes, use Google+, but the truth is few consumers are on there. So it’s a hard sell, telling them that it will help search results.

  19. A.K.Andrew says:

    Wow – loads of great ways to publicize – such a great round up. I love the -how do you take your coffee one too:-) people really can be very creative when they try.
    not sure why comment luv is not recognizing my latest post, but just go to my blog & it’s the top one on maya Angelou. Thanks Leora.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      A.K., I don’t have any control over how Comment Luv works. Good of you to post your most recent post.

      So glad you like my local list – I had been collected those for a while. Always looking for good ideas to make businesses less boring.

  20. Arleen says:

    Leora- Thank you for helping my friend with her website. What an improvement. I would recommend you to anyone.

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