Power of Freebies

Consider Apex Embroidery Designs the popular kid on the virtual block. The family-owned shop in Apex, NC, is closing in on 32,000 likes on its Facebook page. What’s their secret? Seth Matkowsky, the shop’s digitizer, says he tries to post on the site daily, keeping it relevant and interesting, but not spamming his audience with too much content. “It’s a great way to stay in contact every day with clients,” he says.

The news and other posts are nice, but for most of Matkowsky’s clients, the real draw is the freebies. A few times a year, around the holidays or anytime the company needs “some kind of push,” Matkowsky will offer a free stock embroidery design for his customers to download. The shop has been fulfilling local embroidery orders for more than a decade, but branched out into stock design and custom digitizing a few years ago. “Everyone loves a free design,” he says. “That keeps people coming back.”

In April, a Facebook post offering a free round-tail monogram font garnered more than 1,100 likes and hundreds of shares and comments. “Two thousand likes was our high,” Matkowsky says.
The freebies help Apex Embroidery grow its business, since everyone who downloads the gift must provide a valid e-mail address, which the shop adds to its ever-growing list.

Another bonus of an active Facebook page is the ability to get instant feedback. Matkowsky says he can easily and cheaply determine whether a design is popular based on how many people respond to it on social media. Often, his clients will offer suggestions or ideas that he can use in the shop.