TradeMe was once the go-to site for selling, Facebook is gunning for its crown.

Confession. I don't use Facebook that much. Except if you want to count Messenger for the past month ( Messenger is Facebooks free instant messaging app for text, media, voice and documents).

I've been using it to text, talk and exchange pictures with my adventurous husband Steve who is bicycling from the top of Norway to the tip (crazy guy).

So it came as a wonderful surprise, when speaking up in the Bay of Islands at the Rural Contractors Conference at the end of June to hear a great story about using Facebook for business playing out then and there.

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If you remember around that time, the North Island weather was terrible. Rain. Rain. Rain. Well, Aimee Perry, General Manager of Levet Contracting and Silverhill Quarry had (what I consider) a brilliant idea.

Levet Contracting has services such as digger hire, house sites, seed drilling, spraying, haymaking, mulching as well as Silverhill, a limestone quarry (limestone for roads).

Aimee belongs to a lot of Facebook buy and sell groups in her area. For example Buy and Sell Warkworth.

In case you haven't heard of these before, these groups let people advertise unwanted goods; are open to the public and typically cover specific regions and you can mark posts as Available or Sold and see item catalogues You can add a description to what you're selling, include a price and set a pick-up and delivery location.'

Getting back to the rain, Aimee thought to herself 'there is going to be a lot of mucky driveways' so decided to try to bring in some business for the limestone quarry. Posting on four buy and sell groups, she knew she could hit a significant amount of local people.

While lying in bed on the second night of the conference, she posted a photo of the quarry to grab attention. "People gravitate to images and not just text. Having text with the image will ensure they read the text you put up" Aimee told me. Her text read something like 'Have a mucky driveway? Let us help you with our new driveway formula. Free no obligation quote'.

Aimee received seven responses through private messaging on Facebook. She councils to 'answer as soon as they come through; get prospects hot off the press is quite important. When you're onto it - you can pretty well win with quick response'.

While at conference she was able to do the quoting because she had the information on her phone and laptop. People would send photos of their driveways to help.

The result? $10,000 in quotes. To date - two weeks later they completed half - $5,000 worth.

All from a clever idea, 10 minutes to time and taking advantage of a free advertising/promotion medium. Her plan over this coming year is to work out a plan focusing on seasonality to promote areas of the business that are quiet.

Facebook buy and sell groups - getting started.