The Garner Chamber held its annual Business Expo at the Garner Methodist Church off Hwy 70 April 12, 2012.  There were a variety of businesses represented.  I had the opportunity to interview 8 businesses about how they incorporate social media to gain new business, increase their fans, and build their community.  Here are the first two businesses.

A great tip about creating content comes from Nena Theis of the NC Theatre.  As a business owner we need to think about our target audience and what they want, not just what we want to tell them.  The NC Theatre has figured this out by giving their community information and videos of backstage happenings.  This is interesting and exclusive content that the public can’t get anywhere else so they turn to NC Theatre’s Facebook page.  Engaging their community with social media helps promote their shows.

Paul from Oasis Eye Care held a “like” contest on Facebook to generate more traffic and get more fans.  They asked people to upload a technology-type photo to their Facebook page and get their friends to “like” their photo.  The photo with the most likes won.  Some fans really got into promoting their photo and trying to get the most likes which helps Oasis increase their total new fans by about 750.

Paul would rather spend $1000 on a Facebook contest to generate “likes” and traffic than to run an ad in the local newspaper.  The viral nature of giving away $1000 does more good for their bottom line than just regular old advertising.