Queensland furniture restoration and restyling expert brings her craft on Facebook and finds immediate success
Interview by Dan Willersdorf
Owners: Sandra Reeves
Business Years: January 2014 to present
Facebook Page Likes: 2,434 and counting
It’s every mum’s dream to be able to run her very own business—one that she not only loves, but that also doesn’t require her to give up taking care of her family full-time. That’s why when Sandra Reeves launched New Vintage solely on Facebook, it had an impact right away. The fact that it has consistently grown over the past year makes for a true “Social Media success” story worth sharing.
Here, Sandra narrates her business journey that can inspire anyone to start their own online:
SMSM: Tell us how the idea of New Vintage started.
SR: Initially it was just to have a creative outlet—an interest. I suppose it was my husband Daniel who gave me a gentle shove. We were looking to buy an established business locally. The two things that held me back were 1, the huge level of commitment -financially and time wise, and 2, the fact that there was nowhere for me to restore one-off pieces of furniture.
SMSM: What kind of marketing strategies did you implement, and how effective were they?
SR: My marketing was purely Facebook and word-of-mouth. I started with my friends, who told their friends, and the circle expanded. I have never spent a lot on advertising.
SMSM: What made you decide to use Social Media (Facebook)?
SR: I have been a stay at home mum for almost ten years and spent a lot of quiet time reading over blogs about home renovations, styling and cooking. I have always had interactions with other mums through the internet and knew it was my key focus market. The other benefit of Facebook is the control over when and what to post. All those years of research has seen me understand my target audience, stay-at-home mums, and the times of day they are online.
SMSM: Were you skeptical about using Social Media for your business?
SR: No, not at all. I think the fact that my business started from nothing, I really had nothing to lose.
SMSM: What were the difficulties you had the first time you used it?
SR: The biggest challenge is keeping the target audience engaged.
SMSM: What were the initial steps you took using Facebook to promote the business?
SR: Initially it was marketing directly to my friends, then to their friends, and then strangers came on board. I knew when to post and what to post, and I also knew a few tricks about getting interactions, such as gaining people’s input through competitions, opinions and home styling. Everyone loves to show off!
Sandra’s Facebook Findings:
Gaining More Likes
“I spent a lot of time looking, liking and commenting on other similar business pages. This in turn had me gaining new likers from a whole different circle than my friends.”
Dealing with Negative Comments
“People like to have an opinion. Sadly I have had to delete comments and even ban one lady altogether. Usually I kill these people with kindness or fact!”
Using Interaction on Facebook
“I think the interaction is wonderful! It engages a whole new audience in a different way. A lot of people like to see, research and then buy without having to go into a brick and mortar shop front.”
Sandra’s Social Media Tips:
Look at similar businesses. Take points you like, and learn from the points you don’t.
Research your target group and learn to post to suit them – in time, content and interaction.
Set it up correctly from the very beginning. “Start as you mean to go on.”
SMSM: Any future steps for the business that you plan to execute on Social Media?
SR: I am hoping to have more connections between my Facebook, Instagram and a website—that’s a learning curve for me personally!
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