The social scene

The social scene

Why some micro-businesses favour Facebook for their online presence

In today’s digital-focused world, it seems almost suicidal for a business not to have a website that promotes its wares.

But Kevin Massey, the sole proprietor of St. John’s Old Dublin Bakery, doesn’t have one. “I don’t want to maintain a website,” he says. “It would be one more thing I would have to do.”

Instead, Massey’s online presence is a Facebook page he updates regularly with photos of the baked goodies he sells at local markets throughout the year, plus posts informing customers what he is doing and where he will be. He’s just one of a host of micro-business owners (a business with a sole proprietor or no more than two employees) eschewing websites for Facebook as their chief online presence and marketing tool.

Danielle Turnbull of Happy Valley- Goose Bay, Labrador is another owner who uses Facebook heavily to promote her micro-business—Sweet Treats by Dani. Turnbull does have a website, but estimates that 90 per cent of the communication with her customers comes from her Facebook page. She also says she gets “five times” more traffic on Facebook compared to her website. An added bonus with a Facebook page is that it’s basically free to set up and maintain.

She attributes the success in marketing her business via Facebook to its popularity among people of all ages and how it’s become a preferred way to communicate what is going on in their lives and communities. And that makes the social media tool a perfect way to market a tiny business with limited resources. All it costs is the user’s time to keep it updated with new content. “Facebook has become sort of the community bulletin board,” Turnbull says. “It’s an easy way to get maximum exposure for minimum expense.”

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