Chamber hosts Facebook workshop

RANGELY I The Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce will host a workshop titled “How to Use Facebook for Your Business” Monday, Feb. 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Town of Rangely meeting room.
The workshop’s presenter, Giovanni’s Italian Grill business owner and Chamber of Commerce board member Sandy Payne, said social media is increasingly important in promoting small businesses within a community and to people passing through.
“One issue that comes up in a small town setting is marketing and the price of marketing,” Payne said. “Facebook is an excellent tool for that … If you look at it from a tourism aspect, when people come into town, they’ve already been Googling ‘Rangely.’ The more of a web presence you have, the more people can find out about you before they come to town. And the more likely it is they’ll visit your business.”
John and Sandy Payne have had a Giovanni’s business page on Facebook for a few years now, and for them, it’s a marketing tool that’s worked. It took some time before people began telling Sandy they’d seen specials or promotions on the page. But these days, people come to the restaurant specifically to order a lunch or dinner special they’ve seen online.
Still, making the leap online can mean venturing into unfamiliar territory, which is where Payne hopes she can help.
“Small business owners wear a lot of hats,” Payne said. “They’re marketers, they’re doing inventory, they’re looking after people. The thought of adding something more can be kind of intimidating. But Facebook is an easy way to generate customers’ interest on a regular basis. It shows people you’re part of a community and helps them see how your products are different or stand out from others like it.”
Payne plans to discuss the advantages of a business versus a personal page on Facebook, along with ideas and tips on how to best promote small businesses for local and tourist audiences. How in-depth or hands-on the workshop will be will depend on attendees’ interests and current level of knowledge, Payne said.
The workshop is the first in what the chamber hopes will be a quarterly series to address a diverse business community’s needs.
“We’re trying to think a little bit (about the) bigger picture: what are the biggest needs out there that would draw in the most people?” Payne said. “As chamber members, we want to be out in the community more and asking people what they need. Then we can evaluate what kind of things we should pursue that would be valuable to them.”
Monday night’s workshop is free to all Rangely Chamber of Commerce members, but space is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, call director Brooke Lohse at 675-5290.