Helping Heiwa

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As many of you know, I am big on giving back. That’s why last year I donated my time to help Heiwa Tofu run a crowdfunding campaign so they could buy and intall a heating system for their new building in Rockland. It was such a pleasure working with this local family business! Jeff and Maho have worked very hard over the past 8 years making organic tofu and soymilk from soybeans mostly grown right here in Maine.

That’s why I felt good about volunteering my time to support their leap into owning their own production facility so they could ramp up production, hire a crew, and grow this amazing business. I did this as part of a small business grant called BizIn, which was created by fellow New Ventures Graduate, Carrie Yardley of Yardley Esq., PLLC. She, along with Valerie Geredien, Buzzwings Marketing, Erin Smith, of Wheatberry Design, and Susan Walters, Stories that Shine, created this grant to support local, small businesses in Maine. In addition to our BizIn team, Dandan Liu also donated her time to create this beautiful film about Heiwa, which was integral to our Indiegogo campaign.

 

Heiwa Tofu Indiegogo Video from Dandan Liu on Vimeo.

 

It was an amazing feeling working with this group of women who had all benefitted from the New Ventures program, and now were giving their time to support other business owners. The campaign turned out to be a great success, and all told, we helped Heiwa raise over $18,000! They were able to purchase and install the heat pumps needed for their new building in Rockland.

Heiwa continues to grow and thrive, and I continue to show my support by eating their delicious, organic tofu!

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Replying to Comments

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When you have a popular post that is getting a lot of traction, engagement and comments, it’s super important (IMHO) to take the time to reply to comments. And when people are sharing your posts, take the time to thank them in a comment (see above).

If you can’t think of anything to say when you are replying to comments, you can always use a funny, cute, or interesting sticker. This may seem silly, but it works and most people love it. Replying with stickers can prompt even more replies with photos, more comments or a sticker in return. Each time someone replies to your reply, your post becomes more and more popular and shows up in the newsfeed of their Facebook friends.

It can spark conversations and help your customers and supporters understand that you’re not just on Facebook to post self-promotional content, you are are actually listening to what they have to say, and you have the time to personally engage with them.

It’s time-consuming for sure, but if you’re going to run a successful page that impacts your SEO and your customer relationships, please make it a priority.

Popular Posts on Facebook: Job Postings

People love to help others find jobs, so job postings on Facebook are very popular. They usually have great organic reach (depending on the size of your fanbase) and with a small boost you can get a lot of mileage out of these simple posts. Plus, you might just find your next employee through social media!

Here are some tips for posting job openings on Facebook:

  1. Always use a photo of a current employee to show what the job entails. Like this photo of Rod (Master Plumber) at AWQ:rod
  2. Use the same type of description that you would on any other job listing site, give people the details!
  3. You may not want to publish an email address in the post, but do direct people to your website or a contact page explaining how to apply for the job.
  4. People who comment on the post can be sent direct messages now! So use this feature if someone who comments would like more information.
  5. In the post, ask your fans to share the post or tag their friends who might be interested in the job. This is a great way to boost engagement with the post.

Using Facebook Groups as Collaboration Software

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When searching for collaboration software, you might try out such platforms as Slack, Basecamp, and Asana. But have you considered making a Facebook Group for your team? You might find that a group on Facebook fulfills all your co-working needs, and best of all, it’s free!

The advantages to using a Facebook group are many, and I’ll mention a few of them here:

1. Most people are already using Facebook and so they are familiar with many of the features you will be using in your group such as creating a post, making comments, tagging people in posts and comments, uploading photos, and also creating events.

2. You can create docs in Facebook, or upload them. Your group will be able to edit these docs and also view the revision history.

3. Instead of using a group calendar, you can create events for tasks or important deadlines. Now all the discussion regarding that particular task or deadline will be in the discussion section of the event. People working on this particular task can “attend” the event and receive notifications when something is posted in the discussion.

4. And did I already mention, Facebook groups are free to use?! They can also be set to private so you don’t have to worry about other people “finding” your group.

5. The tagging feature is extremely useful, as you can tag the appropriate people when you need their attention on specific subject matter.

6. The “newsfeed” of your group creates a record of who had what discussion when.

7. No need to search through confusing email threads!

There are also some disadvantages:

1. Some people are reluctant to join FB groups with coworkers, even though there is no need to “friend” everyone in your group.

2. Even though the use of events for tasks and deadlines is pretty awesome, there is no actual calendar feature (unless you go to your own personal Facebook calendar).

3. The document types you can create in FB are limited to text docs with very basic formatting. So unlike Google Drive, where you can collaborate on documents that are compatible with Microsoft Office programs like Excel and Word, these types of documents will need to be uploaded and downloaded.

4. Unlike Google Drive, all of your documents will be located under “Files” with no way to organize them into folders.

While no software platform that I’ve used is perfect, Facebook groups may be appropriate for your team once everyone understands how to use all the features. Try it, you might like it!