How Facebook is like Your Rotary Club

by Joanne Steele on May 20, 2011

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Trying to figure out why you should set up a Facebook Business Page?

Rotary wheelThe fact is, as a local business owner in a small town, you already have a deep understanding of how Facebook works and why you should be involved. Here’s why.

Most local business owners become involved in a service organization like Rotary for a number of reasons.

1.  You want to connect with other people in your community.

This isn’t about advertising, it’s about connection. There are people who will love your business and what you do because of common interests and values. Rotary helps you locate those people in your community.

You can’t blatantly advertise in your service organization or you get fined. But you have ample opportunity to socialize and talk about what you do.

You have an opportunity to contribute your business expertise through some of the service projects undertaken by your Rotary Club, thereby letting everyone in the club know what you do and how good you are at it.

2. You know that Rotary and other service organizations function as a social center of most small towns.

Everybody either belongs to a service organization or is related to someone who is. By belonging to Rotary, you put your finger on the pulse of your community.

3. You want to do good for your community, and know that service is one of the missions of these organizations.

You want to see the members of your community succeed, so you give away your time, energy and expertise for the betterment of your town.

4. You know that members tend to support each other’s businesses, which make them, their friends and family a ready market for your business.

These are also the four major reasons you want to have a Facebook Business Page.

On Facebook, community is not physical, but it is based on interests, beliefs, ideas, and more, just like your service organization.

Let’s look at each of the four reasons from a Facebook perspective:

1. You want to connect with other people in your community.

Facebook will help you connect with people who share the ideas and interests that are the basis for your small locally owned business. Just like your service organization, blatant advertising isn’t welcome, it’s about exactly the same connection and sharing you experience weekly at your club meetings.

2. You know that Rotary and other service organizations function as a social center.

Facebook is the social center of the internet. It is the size of a medium-sized country broken up into little interest-based communities. By connecting with people who share your interests and ideas on Facebook, you also connect with all their friends and family!

3. You want to do good for your community, and know that service is one of the missions of these organizations.

Because “community” is so loosely defined, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the service aspect of maintaining an effective Facebook Business Page.

You give away tons of information, ideas, links and images on your business page to be of service. Think about how much you respect the other members of your Rotary Club for the work they are willing to freely donate for the good of your community.  That is the feeling you are cultivating among your “likers” on your business page.

4. You know that members tend to support each other’s businesses, which make them, their friends and family a ready market for your business.

When you hear that something has “gone viral” on Facebook, this is what is happening. Someone who “likes” you for all the great info you freely provide “shares” with his or her “friends and family” who share with their “friends” and you benefit by getting more potential customers.

Your responsibility, as with your Rotary Club is to turn all those “likers” into customers.

You can do that is several ways.

  • Always include links in your Facebook posts to pages on your website that provide more information and an opportunity to buy or reserve.
  • Do a little selling – maybe one blatant sales post to your wall for every 20 or more information/service based posts – just like you pass around special sales info to some of your Rotary members.
  • Just like Rotary, don’t miss a meeting. Nurture your business page with regular updates and information. If you’re gone too long your Facebook “fine” is that you disappear into obscurity.

Here are several more posts about Facebook:

Use Your Facebook Page to Market Your Whole Town

Social Media for Rural Business: Do It Right or Don’t Do It!

Is Facebook a Good Marketing Tool For Rural Tourism Businesses?

Photo on Flickr by Variationblogr

 

 

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