#1 reason to update your social media / by Annette Tait

CUSTOMERS.

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Plain and simple- Customers are the number one reason to update your business in  Facebook, Twitter, Google and so on.

I am not a social media guru, but as a frequent traveler, I use it quite often to plot and plan. 

This week I traveled to well known small town in western NorthDakota. I checked Facebook, Twitter and Google before my trip so I would know what was open and where I could eat. 

Imagine my surprise when I got there and only a few were actually open.

Talk about a missed opportunity! 

There were a good number of us that came over the night before expecting to "Buy, See or Do".  The only eatery open didn't open until 4 pm- which meant the following day-unless we chose the gas station, we were out of luck  (besides the concessions) Not to mention, here we were ready and willing to shop a bit. 

The simple lesson here- Update your hours when they change. If you are a seasonal business- say you are closed for the season. Better yet- on your seasonal sign- invite us to come back again  in June or whenever it may be.

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In the morning, I remembered there had been a small coffee shop downtown from a previous stop- a brisk walk brings me to the door that Facebook assured me would be OPEN at 8am- as did the sign on the door. Alas- They had changed to "winter hours" and not changed their social media. Lady luck was with me, and the owner was in setting up and graciously unlocked and let me in and plied me with that lifesaving juice called coffee. (and a very delectable muffin to boot!) We had a nice visit about being a small town business and having winter hours. And she admitted she had forgotten to change her hours online and corrected it immediately.  Happy Customers poured in when they realized she would let them in early! WIN.

Most travelers don't know what is a seasonal community and what is not. We simply decide to stop. To some of us at this event, we didn't consider 'fall' the end of the season and came expecting more because social media indicated there would be more. 

       If you know there's an off season event coming up, see if you can open for the day.

Cheers to the little coffee shop and to the gift shop that stayed open the previous night. We appreciated it! 

Keep in mind, when people see that a business is supposed to be open, and it is not, they may choose to never return, or they may tell their friends "Ohhh- don't bother stopping there, they are never open anyway" 

-Katy-