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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:01:08 10:43:50

If it exists, it probably has a Facebook page.

Since the popular social media site's rise to fame from its early days as a place for college students to network, to its current platform as an international meeting place, Facebook has become the place to be for people online. Businesses even ask their customers to "like" them on the social site.

Knowing Facebook's ability to help expand a business's clientele, two women from Clarks Summit-based Keen Bean Design have decided to unite Abington-based businesses under the page, "Buy Clarks Summit Local."

"Clarks Summit is perfectly designed for what I call the 'Little House, Walnut Grove' community because your residence is here and you can walk right into town," explained co-founder Megan Calpin Hughes. "Everything you might need here is within walking distance, so why not support the people that can walk and drive conveniently to these places?"

"Buy Clarks Summit Local" promotes all of the small businesses that are based in the Abingtons by sharing the events that the businesses post to their respective Facebook pages. The goal of "Buy Clarks Summit Local" was to unite the businesses under one page so that users, who may be hard-pressed for time, could find sales and specials quickly and easily. The site is non-profit and does not charge businesses for inclusion.

Co-founder Susie Sugerman explained how social media marketing differs, yet complements, traditional marketing forms, such as newspapers. "Social media marketing touches buyers before, during and after their purchase," she said. "It builds a brand, expands the audience, creates a buzz and chatter about the item, store or service and it can broaden your relationships to others that share similar likes. It has the ability to link brick and mortar stores through social media channels."

"The social media form could never take place of print ads because they are two different animals because not everyone will always search out businesses on the Internet," she continued. "Print ads are a form of advertising that is a staple in the advertising world. Social media gives a form of interaction and sharing. If people do not like the page or share the material, then this form will not benefit a business; where in print ad it will reach every person that buys that paper, magazine or catalogue."

To date, "Buy Clarks Summit Local" has more than 170 fans and has shared items from businesses from all over the Abingtons.

"Our rationale was, if we could publish all of the information about these events and sales that are happening in the Abingtons, people would go to it like an online phone book and as another resource for finding out local information," Calpin Hughes said. "Facebook has changed so many rules; for example, if you don't interact or visit a business's page on a regular basis, you won't see their posts. We take the time to go to these pages and post their information on ours. If you keep up with Buy Clarks Summit Local, you will know what's happening in our local business community. We just want to help where we can."

To become a fan of "Buy Clarks Summit Local," visit