How changes in social media affect local business
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- New and old Birmingham businesses are taking different approaches to the finicky social media space. Marco Morosini, who's owned Silvertron Cafe for over a decade, uses social media frequently and appreciates the ease and expansiveness of the platform versus traditional advertising.
"I had no way to figure out exactly how many customers saw my (print) ad," Morosini said about advertising before the digital age. "That was the tricky part. So you had to hope that you, Mr. X, came into the restaurant because you saw the advertisement."
His biggest goal is to keep Silvertron Cafe's name out there without a lot of pressure or a hefty budget.
The seconds of attention a print ad gets by flipping through a magazine doesn't compare to the thousands of customers he exposes his brand to on social media. He uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for "instantaneous" social media advertising of food, drinks and events.
Morosini isn't concerned with how social media algorithm changes affect his results. He does only a bit of advanced planning and doesn't need to attain a certain following. His social media presence has grown naturally as a result of consistent posting of photos and status updates either by him or his wife Elan.
Amber Tolbert, co-owner of East 59 Vintage & Cafe, said there was a lot of advanced social media marketing plans before opening their business in 2015. She said social media is the "lifeblood" of East 59, which has two locations and sells merchandise as well as food.
Often when social media platforms like Facebook announce changes to their algorithm, businesses respond by increasing their paid advertising and cutting back on free posts on their pages. When an employee informed Tolbert a new goal of Facebook was showing less paid advertising to their potential customers, “we went the other direction.”
"We didn't want to pay more to reach more people," Tolbert said. They scaled back their Facebook ads and re-launched their Twitter earlier this year in an effort to increase their reach.
She said because of how they tailored their posts and changed direction, they haven't seen changes in reach. They create monthly social media marketing plans using a physical calendar and have multiple people share posts.
"That's how we roll," she said. When fun things pop up in the community, they make adjustments and are more spontaneous. This aligned with the owners' goal when they first opened " to connect more people to the community."
Article written by Williesha Morris. Morris is a freelance contributor for WBRC.com.