Brookline, Dormont Businesses Connecting With Social Media
Dormont and Brookline businesses are tweeting and using Facebook to boost business.
Social media is the latest catch phrase in the ever growing technology dictionary. It’s a collection of websites and applications that can connect strangers with a common interest.
I use Facebook to keep up with where bands are playing, what's on special at my favorite restaurants, and to see what my cousin in Texas is up to. Twitter is a real-time information network. You can talk to people in your own city or around the world - about the best sushi you ever had or where to find a good hotel in Paris. Whenever I throw out a question on Twitter, an answer is just moments away.
Blogging is the equivalent to having an on-line diary or journal. Most blogs have a theme. Parenting, food, fitness and weight-loss blogs are among the most popular. I use my blog to tell funny life stories that happen to me. All of these avenues are free to the user and to the reader.
Because of the easy aspect of getting your name out there, businesses are finding ways to use these tools for brand marketing, free advertising and to connect with their customers.
Case in point: I came across Jacqueline's House of Beauty in Brookline once they started following me on Twitter. Owner Jacqueline Capatolla has had the Brookline location for the past 16 years and was looking to bring in new customers. The opening of her new location in the Grant Building in downtown Pittsburgh 10 months ago prompted her daughter Shaylee to create a Facebook and Twitter accounts to get the word out about both locations.
Shaylee updates the salon's Twitter and Facebook pages several times a week with events, monthly promotions and charity work the salon is involved in. They had a huge success with a contest sponsored by Matrix, called Mannequin Mania, where you had to hunt for the name of the salon's mannequin on their website. The first person to find the name - and respond through social media - got 15 percent off a salon service.
“People are coming in saying they saw the listing on Facebook and Twitter” says Jacqueline, who's also involved with the Pittsburgh Hair Dressers Association, a project with another salon offering networking, education and mentoring for stylists and other salons in the Pittsburgh area.
Shaylee plans to promote Valentine's Day specials. You can join their Twitter feed at @JacquelineSalon to find out about their newest specials.
A hop, skip, and a jump down the boulevard brings us to Cannon Coffee, owned by Ben Haake and Nathan Mallory. Walking into the cozy cafe, I first notice an eclectic crowd of kids and senior folks who all seem to know each other. The shop has been using Facebook since they opened last February.
“We post the soup of the day, events and specials,” says Ben, who, along with Nathan and their baristas, post to Facebook regularly.
Their Facebook followers are at the 700 mark, and the owners are getting positive feedback and creating a personal touch with their clients.
One event that gets attention is their Open Mic Night, which happens at 8 p.m. Wednesdays. It started out as a poetry reading and has exploded into an open stage for expression. It featured 17 acts in one night recently.
Whichever way you take your social media, be sure to check out local businesses that you might not have otherwise known about. Our communities have gems all along our business districts that need your support to thrive.