Venly Social Media Case: A Facebook ‘LikeFest’

Anne Maxson, owner of Whirl Wind Farm Kennel (center) with her Venly team: (left to right)
Emma Shank, Venly Fellow and Mt. Holyoke ’13; Andrea Jung, Venly Co-Founder;
and Chiderah Okoye, Venly Director.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce launches a first-of-its-kind campaign

The Amherst Area Chamber helps create a climate of growth and success for its regional businesses by leveraging the support, talent, and resources of its members. Like many other Chambers in the United States and Canada, they wanted to take full advantage of Facebook, an easy tool for achieving their mission.

Local businesses benefit from Facebook “Likes” by strengthening their community connections. A recent Forrester Research study quantified the impact: While only 10% of consumers trust advertising, 70% say they trust brand recommendations from friends. Along the same lines, the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce asked, “What can our member businesses do to attract more ‘Likes’ on Facebook?”


As part of the Amherst Area Chamber’s Community Connection Campaign with Venly, Amherst’s local Social Media Consultants calculated the Venly Social Score of each member. Venly found that while 75% of Amherst Area Chamber members use Facebook for customer outreach and engagement (378 of its 502 members), the Chamber had not connected via a “Like” with most member businesses. Similarly, the member businesses had not done so with the Chamber. These members were not benefiting from the increased visibility and interaction that comes from connecting with other members’ business pages.


Tony Maroulis, the Chamber’s Executive Director, responded by setting an ambitious goal: “Through our Community Connection Campaign partnership with Venly, the Amherst Area Chamber will become the most connected Chamber in the United States.” To get started, the Chamber kicked off a member “Like-Fest” that was the first of its kind in the United States or Canada.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce looked to Venly’s Social Media Support Team to improve its Facebook page, knowing that attracting more “Likes” and generating more attention to this page would help it increase engagement with local businesses and the community. In addition, Chiderah Okoye, Five College Area Community Connection Campaign Director, and the Venly Support Team led the Chamber in its effort to “Like” each member’s business Facebook page. This simple step creates enormous outreach potential:

If each member business were to “Like” all of the other member business pages, each member business would increase its page’s visibility by more than 350 “Likes.” – Since 378 of the Chamber’s 500 members have a Facebook page, the number of “Likes” that could be generated across the Amherst area is almost 150,000.


1. “Like” the organizations and people who “Like” your page. They should be treated as brand ambassadors who can share and drive your message.

2. Reach a critical mass of “Likes” for your business category.

3. Focus on providing information of value through engaging content. This will improve your bottom line once your Facebook page reaches that critical mass.

4. Don’t obsess on the misguided goal of increasing “Likes” for their own sake; be sure your social media efforts are building on a solid strategy that moves your business towards its goals.

Next Steps

For an assessment of how your social media strategy compares with others in your business category, please schedule a Chamber-sponsored, free 30-minute consultation with one of the Chamber’s local social media consultants and a national social media expert on your business category.

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* If you have questions about this social media case or about social media in general, please email our Community Connection Campaign Lead,

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