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Facebook woos area businesses - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Facebook woos area businesses

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Facebook set up shop in South Burlington to give small business owners a chance to ask the experts -- face to face.
 
Since it's launch in 2004 the social media site has transformed from a place for college kids to connect, to a place to keep up with the people, products and places -- minute by minute.  But is that a good thing?
 
"Maybe it's generational but I am not interested in hearing where people went to dinner or what music they listen to," said Ellen Shapiro with Green Living Journal.  Shapiro says she uses Facebook to keep up with her kids who live far away and she's now considering getting a page for her magazine to bring in more advertising.

"I think we have a ways to go with our online presence in all areas and I think this would be one area in which to expand," Shapiro said.

The Facebook Small Business team offered insight about growing a businesses presence. They say having a page is no good unless you post regularly. The Magic Hat marketing team was invited to share their success story, which stems from being funny, provocative and including their customers in their posts -- with lots of pictures. "It's important to mirror your actions as a user when you're a business owner to connect with people and show your personality and your authenticity," said Bess Seigfried with the Facebook team.

Facebook is free to use but it takes a huge investment of your time and energy to learn how to master it regardless of the size of your business. Small business owners take on everything -- from accounting to trash duty -- they say they don't have a lot of free time to learn the ropes without knowing if it will actually boost their business. "That's where I'm not sure, so that will take some research," Shapiro said.

It's all about advertising and information gathering in our online world. Facebook is taking advantage of your desire to connect -- and they say you should too.

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