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How to use Facebook to strengthen business and community relationships

By / February 27, 2018

A business is only as strong the community in which it operates, and any time a company can use its skills and resources to help elevate other businesses in the area, it only helps raise the entire community.

I’ve found that Facebook is a tool that helps do just that. Here’s how:

In a recent meeting, I was presented with a review of our company’s 2017 financials, sorted by vendor. As business people, it’s truly amazing how many other businesses we support in our efforts to deliver quality products and services to the people we want to be meaningful to.

A local restaurant called Manna Café popped up as a line item and the number next to this breakfast joint was quite staggering. “I gotta call Craig, I need some equity in this place for this spend,” I noted in my head. I know that Craig (the owner of Manna Café) truly appreciates my business as I affectionately refer to Manna Café as “my satellite office where I don’t have to clean my coffee cup.”

But that’s not the point. I realized that I’m missing opportunity after opportunity as I look through my expense column. During the meeting, I blurt out “I can help more” completely out of context of the situation. The “Dream Team” looks at me funny which is par for the course and the meeting ends.

As a business owner and a good citizen, I want to be known as one of the most helpful people in my community. To be completely transparent, I do feel good about doing right but I also know helping others get what they want allows me to receive what I’d like. Doing the right thing is a solid business strategy for anyone.

Here’s what I’m doing in 2018 and I invite you to join me. Remember the acronym: iPad

• iPhone (or smartphone) w/ Facebook access to your
business page
• Personality (pretend the phone isn’t there)
• Authentic (be you)
• Do It. (Nike was right)

Step 1

Pick a business from that expense column and go there (restaurant, car service, printer, etc.)

Step 2

Open the Facebook app on your phone. Here’s how you let them know how much you appreciate the products or services they offer.

Step 3

Take a picture/video of the local business you support. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Step 4

Write a crafty, yet heartfelt comment on how much you enjoy the people and the business.

Step 5

Tag their business using the tag feature and searching for their business name (not just writing down their name, actually tagging the business Facebook account).

Step 6

Press the Post button, and you’re done. You’re now tagging them in a photo or video and their fans, your fans, and other members of the community are going to see it.

Step 7 (Optional)

Use Facebook advertising and “boost” a post for $5 to share with more people. You will need to get set up on Facebook advertising, but that’s not too difficult to do.

Congrats to you! You just gave your local buddy social proof of how much you value the people, and their business, and you made sure 200-400 people saw it. That’s hundreds of real people, who now know real feelings about how one real business feels about another.

Isaac Oswalt

Isaac Oswalt is an entrepreneur, investor, author, speaker and marketer. He owns 21 Handshake, a sales and marketing agency in Ada, Mich., working across multiple industries to help businesses succeed. Reach him at 517-899-0123 or [email protected]