BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST: Social media sites invaluable for Mid-Hudson small businesses
It seems like everyone these days is sharing status updates on Facebook, checking in on Foursquare or tweeting concise comments and photos via Twitter.
And many local businesses have taken advantage of these social media trends to keep in touch with their customers and clients.
Melissa Diesing, the manager of the Twisted Foods Pretzel Roll Factory in Rosendale, said the business began nearly two years ago and has been using Facebook to post pictures and share updates about what’s on the menu. She said Facebook also lets customers provide feedback about the business.
Diesing said Twisted Foods serves breakfast and lunch daily and has customers who come from out of state to buy their pretzel rolls.
“It’s wonderful,” Diesing said of Facebook. “It’s the only tool we use for our specials.”
She said Facebook lets the business, owned by her cousin, Gianna Montanez, know how many people their posts reach and helps Twisted Foods connect with a wider audience. With Facebook available, Twisted Foods does not need a separate website, Diesing added.
Barbara Kolbinski, manager of LUX Hair Studio in Saugerties, said the business has been using Facebook for nearly five years and has seen interaction with its customers grow over time.
She said clients use Facebook to contact the stylists with questions and to set up appointments. The stylists, in turn, share photos and information about new products and styles, as well as talk about what they might have learned, Kolbinski said.
Katrina Wawro, the manager of the Krause’s Chocolates store in New Paltz, said the business has been using Facebook for at least the past four years and that the social media service was instrumental in letting people know about the Saugerties-based business opening its New Paltz store.
“We just try to post something every day to keep ourselves in the customer’s mind,” Wawro said. Continued...
She said Krause’s also likes to give its customers a heads-up about the holidays because chocolate can be a seasonal item. For instance, Facebook allows Krause’s to alert its customers when special items like chocolate-covered Peeps become available. When she posts that kind of information, people come looking for the special items, Wawro said.
“When people share our statuses, I get excited,” Wawro said, because it shows customers like something the business offers.
Also, Wawro pointed out, Facebook amounts to free advertising.
Tina Gagliardy, owner of Mahalo in Catskill, said she started using Facebook after the employees of her store — which sells clothing, acessories, jewelry and purses — told her she needed to be on the site. She said she is still learning to post pictures but finds Facebook to be useful to share information about holiday hours, gifts available for purchase and specials.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” Gagliardy said, noting she is able to post information on Facebook about events and get nearly immediate responses from people attending them.
Gagliardy said she also is having a website designed for her store, but “I will be doing more with Facebook this year, definitely.”
As of mid-January, Twisted Foods had more than 1,030 “likes” of its Facebook page, while LUX had more than 300, Krause’s had nearly 900. and Mahalo had more than 400.
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