Facebook’s appeal grows in area

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Special to the Daily News

As traditional sources of advertising revenues decline, Facebook has become a popular alternative.
Eastern North Carolina is one place where people are taking advantage of the Facebook phenomenon.
If one types in the words “Washington N.C.” in the search bar on Facebook.com, Fitness Unlimited, a local fitness facility shows up at the top of the results. Then comes Just My Cut, a local hair salon. A further search yields results for a page titled “I had a good time at PICKIN ON THE PAMLICO.” The page includes a invitation to the last PICKIN ON THE PAMLICO held Aug. 22, 2009. The next Pickin’ on the Pamlico is set for Saturday.
Local politicians and established institutions are using the site. Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr., Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Daily News have Facebook pages.
The site is not limited to large groups. Local people are using the site for various purposes.
Nathan Engelhardt is the bass player for Everember, a local Christian rock band playing at the Turnage Theater on Aug. 20. He said the site has been useful for promoting the band’s work.
“When we were developing our Facebook page, we wanted to put one of our songs up for people to hear. We had to call a Facebook representative and send them a copy of the song. This was so that they could verify that we were a real band. Then there was a waiting period before the song went up,” he said.
Everember has depended mostly on grassroots efforts to attract people to its concerts. The band utilized a friend for professional photography. The band is working on developing its own merchandise.
The band has a presence on Bigfish FM, a Christian radio network with locations across the nation. The band was scheduled to play at The Cross International Bigfish FM Summer Sound Fest in Newport on Saturday.
Some residents of Bath, North Carolina’s oldest incorporated town, are looking for ways to attract newcomers.
John Logelfo Jr. is head cook and general manager of Blackbeard’s Slices &Ices, a Italian restaurant and pizzeria located near the Bath waterfront. He manages the restaurant’s Facebook page. On it, he has included updates about events at the restaurant and photographs from places around the restaurant.
Logelfo described the restaurant’s Facebook page as a good, additional advertising tool next to the Yellow Pages.
“Any good advertising is good advertising. I started the page about a year ago, and I check it every few days. If there is something more specific and new going on, Facebook is a good way to try and get people to come,” he said.
Even the Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library realizes that organizing information so it’s easily accessible is essential in today’s society.
That realization, in part, occurred when the library faced the possibility of losing its Bookmobile service because of budget cuts.
The library began taking advantage of Facebook last December. Its Facebook page includes information about summer reading programs and movie showings at the system’s libraries.
Maryjane Carbo, library director, explained that library’s Facebook page is still developing.
“It is something we have not used as much as we could have. We usually promote our events through the newspaper, radio and TV. Our Internet system doesn’t support streaming videos, so we haven’t used anything from Youtube on the page,” she said.
Branch librarians send material to Carbo for inclusion on the library system’s Facebook page. That page includes links to other library resources in North Carolina.