3 Successful Small Businesses on Social Media
So we have heard of big names likeStarbucks, Dell and Whole Foods making their names even bigger on social media. We have also shown you 5 great social media campaignsand social media best practices from the giants and there are a lot that we can learn from their strategies.
But are you truly convinced that social media could actually help small businesses?
No? I thought so too. To help you see how social media can work no matter how big or small your business, I’ve found some great case studies of small businesses that get it and are seeing results!
1. Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse
Caminito is a traditional steakhouse in Northampton, MA run by Justin Levy and Joseph Gionfriddo. Tapping on Justin’s business and social media expertise, this steakhouse has seen great results online and boosted sales offline.
Social Media Engagement
PrimeCutsBlog – Through the blog, the restaurant provides tips on cooking, grilling, kitchen gadgets, restaurants and recipes. It has no lack of pictures and videos to engage readers. The blog is also linked to other social media sites that Justin is active in.
Prime Cuts TV – Caminito reaches out to the YouTube audience with their very own channel, providing value with videos for foodies, which are also posted on its blog.
MySpace Page – A MySpace page was first set up to reach college students. Updates are sent via its profile but otherwise, the page has not been very active.
Google news, blog alerts and analytics – Simply engaging in social media is not enough. This steakhouse makes sure its web analytics is studied weekly to measure the success of social media campaigns and promotions.
Google news and blog alerts are used to observe not only what people are saying about the restaurant, but also what other steakhouses and restaurants are up to.
This results in innovations (menus, designs and more) and new ideas to promote the business.
Justin is also active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Flickr and Delicious, giving Caminito the exposure it needs.
Social Media Results
Justin was interviewed in 2008 about his social media success. I can’t imagine how well he is doing now!
As far as our ROI on social media efforts, of course it’s always hard to determine that. But, what I do know is that since we turned our focus to social media, attracting inbound links, more internet marketing/less print advertising, etc., we have seen an approximate 30 percent boost in sales (year to date) in a time where a lot of restaurants are down 10-20 percent. Not all of that can be attributed to our online presence but I’m sure a good portion of it can. The blog and social media outposts help us reach and interact with our community as well as show our expertise in our space. I have done some research and can’t find anyone in our area (or in general) that’s doing what we’re doing as a restaurant.”
2. Wiggly Wigglers
Wiggly Wigglers is a small gardening business in Herefordshire with a mission to change the world, one rural home at a time. Its Wiggly community is built on several social media tools, which are mainly maintained by Heather, the farmer’s wife!
Social Media Engagement
Blog – Used to share gardening tips, events, interesting content and offers, this rural store is very active on its blog.
Podcasts – Stay tuned to the Wiggly team every Monday on the Wiggly podcast! It’s hilarious!
“With thousands of listeners from all around the world, and over fifty 5-star reviews on iTunes, it seems that our audience enjoys listening to the shows as much as we enjoy making them. Join us every Monday as we cover the environment, wildlife, gardening, farming, biodiversity and the things we can all do to make a difference.”
Facebook Group – The Wiggly Facebook group now has over 2000 members. That’s really impressive results for a small gardening business. What’s worth commending is how active it is on Facebook!
Twitter – I should correct myself, Wiggly is active everywhere! Heather tweets really often on Twitter about latest offers, free stuff and tips.
The Wiggly Cinema – By now, you should be really convinced how social media savvy the wigglers are. The Wiggly Cinema is filled with high quality videos about everything gardening! You can find some of their videos on their YouTube channel as well!
Social Media Results
In 2008, Dell and its global partners awarded Wiggly Wigglers the Global Small Business Excellence Award. It went on to win Dell’s Inaugural Global award.
Its podcast reaches thousands every week and along with over 2000 Facebook members, Wiggly Wigglers is able to reach customers worldwide while cutting back on its advertising costs.
Here are the other Wiggly achievements mentioned on Dell’s website:
- Interviewed on new webTV channel Small Business Advice.TV where the theme was ‘Using social networking for small businesses’
- Special winning feature in The Daily Express
- Two videos on Dell’s YouTube site – Video 1 , Video 2
- Coverage in leading SME online publication BusinessZone.co.uk – UK firm worms its way to the top in global business awards
- Two articles in leading IT magazine IT Pro – Web helps Wiggly Wigglers win big and In-depth feature on Wiggly Wigglers
- Hereford Times (local press coverage) – Blakemere’s Wiggly Wigglers win Dell’s Excellence Award in New York
- Heather was also invited to be a panel member for a special Small Business Media Roundtable in London in December 2008
Moonfruit is a free website builder with no ads and no catches! Building your own website DIY style is made easy and fast. Over 2 million sites have been built using its website.
Social Media Engagement
The Moonfruit Blog and Forum – Moonfruit site updates, website building tips and other announcements can be found on the blog. The forum was also set up to answer enquiries, gain feedback and allow members to share their new sites, experiences, tips and frustrations. Pretty comprehensive site!
Twitter – Moonfruit is very active on Twitter with most tweets involved in some form of interaction with its followers.
Twitter Campaign and Results
To celebrate its 10th birthday, Moonfruit decided to hold a Twitter campaign: users that include “#moonfruit” in their tweets are entered into a daily draw to win 10 Apple Macbook Pros, one to be won each day for 10 days.
The results were surprising and overwhelming! The buzz caught on so fast that “#moonfruit” topped Twitter’s trending topics, with “Michael Jackson”, “#iranelection”, “iphone” and “Wimbledon” below it. This is pretty awesome for a small business.
What’s more, the campaign brought Moonfruit 600 percent uplift in web traffic, and number of sign ups for trial services doubled.
These small businesses have shown us how big they can be on social media. We don’t need to be huge companies with a huge capital to benefit on Facebook or Twitter. Anyone can set up a profile and a blog free of charge, no excuses.
Small Businesses Are The New Big
It might be true that we don’t have the benefit of vast brand recognition, but from what we can see from Wiggly Wigglers, recognition knocks on your door when you have done social media right. In fact, most big businesses have a lot to learn from the small people.
“Reference:Penn- Olson Website“