5 Small Businesses Using Facebook RightYou don’t need a huge budget to create a Facebook Page that drives positive results for your company through increased brand awareness, word-of-mouth marketing, and sales.

Of course, there are lots of great national brands using Facebook right and there’s much to learn from those pages and efforts. But there are just as many small businesses using Facebook right, so let’s take a look at five great examples for inspiration.

1. Cakes for Occasions

5 Small Businesses Using Facebook Right - Cakes for Occasions

Cakes for Occasions is a Boston-area boutique cake and pastry shop that uses its Cakes for Occasions Facebook Page to share photos of the “Cake of the Day,” promote special offers, and interact with customers. Within one year of launching the Cakes for Occasions Facebook Page, owner Kelly Delaney reported that she saved $10,000 in marketing expenses and increased her business by nearly 25 percent.

Her cakes and promotions have been picked up by Boston media organizations and have generated numerous stories and free publicity for the shop. Delaney views every post published to her Page, and every photo tagged with Cakes for Occasions as a valuable testimonial for her business. In November, Cakes for Occasions was featured on Bloomberg TV’s “The Mentor” program — pretty good publicity for a boutique cake shop!

The secret to Cakes for Occasions’ success on Facebook is simple — publish content that customers like. That includes real-time promotions. For example, Cakes for Occasions sometimes publishes updates that invite people to stop by the shop in the next hour for a free cookie. Delaney says that she spends a total of 30 minutes on Facebook each day. By publishing pictures of customers’ cakes and making them feel special, they share those pictures with their own Facebook friends, and the positive word about the bakery spreads very quickly.

2. Candles Off Main

5 Small Businesses Using Facebook Right - Candles Off Main
Candles Off Main is an Annapolis, Maryland based luxury candles and home fragrances retailer. The company excels at using the Candles Off Main Facebook Page to offer discounts and special promotions. For example, the business’ Facebook Page opens with this offer from the “Exclusive” section: “Like our Page and receive a coupon code for 20% off your first order.” Furthermore, instead of simply displaying the company’s logo in the upper left corner of the page, a compelling special offer is promoted.

Scroll through the wall posts on the Page and you’ll see lots of discounts, special offers, and giveaways. It’s a very active place with two-way conversations between customers and the company. There is also a special “Deals” section, and a “Top Fans” section rewards the fan with the most quality comments and Likes on the Page with a free $25 shopping spree.

Special in-store sales are often promoted in the “Events” section of the Candles Off Main Facebook Page. Videos and a “Livestream” section (for livestreaming of specific events) are also available.

All this content generates a lot of interaction. The Candles Off Main Facebook Page is updated throughout the day and each wall post generates multiple likes and comments from followers. The company estimates that 10 percent of its business comes from Facebook.

3. Mabel’s Labels

5 Small Businesses Using Facebook Right - Mabels Labels

Mabel’s Labels is based in Ontario, Canada and provides custom sticky labels to keep kids from losing their belongings. The Mabel’s Labels Facebook Page is used to announce new products and special offers. The company owners publish pictures of their own children, adding a human element to the Page. Visitors are encouraged to join in, and the Page is filled with photos that people have tagged with Mabel’s Labels.

The Mabel’s Labels Facebook Page also includes a variety of videos uploaded by the company and customers, and a special “Livestream” section is actively used to livestream special events. A “Fan of the Week” contest encourages customers to upload their own photos of their families using Mabel’s Labels products. The winner is featured on the Facebook Page and gets a free set of sticky labels. In fact, Mabel’s Labels runs a variety of popular contests through the “Contests” section of the Page.

Visitors can also shop without leaving the Mabel’s Labels Facebook Page, and a special section explains how people can conduct fundraising for schools and other groups with Mabel’s Labels. Mabel’s Labels regularly uses its Facebook Page for crowdsourcing suggestions and ideas from visitors. The company states that Facebook is the third largest referrer to its company website.

4. Siesta Key Watersports

5 Small Businesses Using Facebook Right - Siesta Key Watersports

There are a few things that make the Siesta Key Watersports Facebook Page stand out from the crowd. For example, the inclusion of a “Reviews and Comments” section that features content from TripAdvisor.com is extremely useful to customers who are researching water sports available on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Visitors can book a reservation and access discounts and deals without ever having to leave the Siesta Key Watersports Facebook Page.

Siesta Key Watersports also offers weather updates from the Weather Channel and directions to each of its Florida locations. The company uploads a lot of pictures of customers having fun. Customers often upload their own photos of their experiences with Siesta Key Watersports and tag the company name in the photos.

5. Daddy Design

5 Small Businesses Using Facebook Right - Daddy Design

Daddy Design is a Miami, Florida based WordPress and graphic design company. As you might expect, the Daddy Design Facebook Page landing page looks great and instantly differentiates the business. The Page includes samples from the company’s portfolio, and a slide show with a link to a tutorial that teaches visitors how to make custom Facebook Landing Pages.

Daddy Design isn’t shy about asking people to like its Facebook Page and tell friends about it. The “FB Share Button” section encourages people to share the page with friends, and a separate “Tell Your Friends” section invites visitors to scroll through a list of their Facebook friends to tell them about the Daddy Design Page.

The Daddy Design Facebook Page has a lot of fans despite the fact that the wall isn’t updated often and isn’t very interactive. However, a section is provided with useful Daddy Design blog content. The lesson to be learned from this Facebook Page is that a custom designed landing page can really make your Facebook Page stand out from your competition.

[Image credits: Scott Beale, cDaisyM, Earl What I Saw 2.0, Ann Douglas, Markus Mindaugas Urban, Susan Gunelius]