Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Michele Robertson comments Wednesday on the Facebook status of Hestands Floral and Gifts. Robertson displays photos of flower arrangements that have been created in the store and offers tips to customers for taking care of the flowers they purchase.
By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico
More and more local businesses are using social networking like Facebook and Twitter to promote their goods and services.
Whether it is a floral shop, tacos or pizza, these businesses are working on improving sales, sharing information or keeping up with friends.
Tom Martin, owner of Taco Box in Clovis and Portales, and his son, Thomas Martin, took over the Facebook fan site a customer created for them.
“I think it had 400 members at that time,” said the younger Martin. “I’d never been on Facebook until someone told us about it.”
They took over the page a year ago and since then the fan base has jumped to nearly 1,400 members.
Martin said the coolest thing is they get see their fans, hear stories and recommendations for food items.
“We had two customers suggest a burrito so we’re naming it after them,” Martin said “It is going to be the K&K burrito. It’s not exactly on the menu, but it is going on our cash register. If they come in and order it, all they have to say is they want a K&K burrito.”
Martin said a lot of comments from fans on Facebook have been about memories, things they ordered, comments from past employees and customers who have stopped by.
Mike Hays, owner of Snappy Tomato Pizza in Clovis, just got started on Twitter.
Hays said he is still working out some of the bugs in getting his Twitter account where his customers can find him on the Internet. Hays said his children are on Facebook, but wants to use the social network for Snappy Tomato.
“It is not about me, it is about the new store,” Hays said. “I want people to know it is a new store. We’re a franchise that is 32 years-old, but as far as people in this area know, we’re just a brand new store.”
Hays said he wants to communicate with his customers directly and offer specials to people who follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Hays said he read about a pizza company in New Orleans that increased their sales by 68 percent in one month by using Twitter and Facebook.
Hestands Floral and Gifts in Portales started using social networking last year. They use their Facebook account to advertise store events .
“We used it for our Holiday Open House in 2009,” Michele Robertson said. “We put it as an event and sent out event invitations to everyone on Facebook and that gave us an idea of how many people were interested in coming.”
The result was a huge turn out because the store’s Facebook fans brought their friends. Robertson said she gets a lot of responses because she posts some of the things she is working on or done that day.
“People can see the work that we do,” Robertson said. “It helps us to interact more with our customers then we would have if we hadn’t had the Facebook page because all those fans on the page get to see what goes on in the store.”