Charles Nelson, president of Sprinkles Cupcakes, doesn’t have a Facebook profile. Nelson, who works seven days a week, has no time for chatting online with Facebook friends.
But Nelson is logged on to Facebook all the time. That’s because more than 70,000 people have declared themselves fans of Sprinkles’ Facebook page, which is at facebook.com/sprinkles.
Each day on the site, Sprinkles announces a secret word, such as “ganache” or “bunny,” and the first 25 or 50 people to show up at any of its five stores around the country and whisper that word get a free cupcake.
“On Facebook, we can ask our customers what’s the next location they want,” Nelson said. “What do they think of our next flavor? It’s an amazing way to communicate with our fans.”
Facebook is not just for friends anymore. The free social networking site — blocked in some workplaces as a potential time-waster — is increasingly becoming an inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses.
Sprinkles is among a growing number of small businesses taking advantage of a relatively new program on Facebook, one that allows them to claim their name, become visible even to folks who aren’t on the site, and stay in close contact with their customers. The business, in effect, can act like any other person on Facebook, posting status updates and seeing what its fans are doing. …read more here–>