Facebook helps new businesses thrive

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The importance of social media has been growing for more than a decade. Now more than ever, people are finding ways to use it beyond keeping connected to friends and family. It is an especially important strategy when for new businesses who want to market themselves.

Business owners who utilize social media effectively will tell you it is a lifeline because it connects to customers. "It's nice that people can interact with the customers," says Jamie Saunders, co-owner of Jimmy D's Waffles and Bakery in Myrtle Beach. "And that's what this business is about - hospitality and interacting with the customers. Without the customers you don't have anything."

Johnny D's opened in January and their Facebook page has over 3,000 likes.  Facebook has become a marketing tool for businesses. Saunders says they created their page months before opening, and in just two months of business they are thriving.

"I had people messaging me privately, I had people commenting 'when are you going to open'. I had people already reviewing the restaurant like 'this place looks like it's going to be great', 'I can't wait for them to open', 'this is going to be the new hot spot in Myrtle Beach', and everything like that."

And since opening, people who found Johnny D's on Facebook, come in all the time. Their page even helped them find employees. "Before we opened I had everyone, everyday 'when are we hiring, when are we hiring', so before I put it on Craigslist, I put and ad "now hiring. We're looking for this, this and this", so I do have a couple people that came here that had been following me on Facebook."

Saunders says she keeps her business fresh on customers minds by posting constantly about new food items, reminding people to stop by.By posting photos and interacting with her customers, Saunders says she has even learned specific times people interact with her the most.

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