An impressive number of small businesses are involved in innovative marketing campaigns utilizing social media. These companies prove that making a splash in social media isn’t about the size of your budget — the only limits are creativity and a willingness to experiment.
Kogi BBQ is a pioneer in the food truck industry that took Los Angeles by storm and inspired an entire wave of other food trucks of all varieties. Their remarkable community of followers numbers well into the thousands and is informed via Twitter when and where the truck is going to arrive next.
The story of Kogi BBQ is pure home-grown, demonstrating that with a personality and a good product a company can build up a loyal community. Kogi has achieved cult status and is an excellent ‘how-to’ for any business who wants to take advantage of Twitter’s power.
The Marsh Cafe
With a plain and simple poster in the window, The Marsh Cafe in San Francisco dove into social media scene in a big way. When they put up a sign that promoted “Foursquare mayor drinks for free!” the cafe was the subject of extensive coverage for their innovative marketing campaign on CNN and other broadcast outlets.
Since starting the offer, The Marsh cafe has a seen a substantial increase in visitors and has hired additional staff to meet it.
Foursquare stepped up and developed a special box application to promote the offer.
Wiggly Wigglers is a shining example of a local company making it big. This rural store specializing in garden equipment and worm composters, made their content come alive online.
Their website offers a page of interesting videos showcasing their latest products. Plus, a regular podcast is available each week. The company is also using Twitter to post garden tips and updates from the farm with a personal touch.
All of the company’s social media accounts are used to share expertise on topics like worm composting and announcing “wiggly deals of the day.” This practice has established them as experts in the area and brought credibility to their brand.
Will it Blend Video Series
BlendTec makes high-end blenders ($399 to $999) and wanted to demonstrate that their blenders cost more because they are significantly more powerful. (Blendtec is primarily a B2B brand, selling most of their blenders to places like Starbucks.)
So they created a series of videos showing their CEO in a lab coat trying to blend various objects, including an iPhone, a crowbar (didn’t blend), a Hannah Montana doll, a Coke can, golf balls and more.
Sales increased 500% after web traffic increased 650%. While those results are stunning and can’t be achieved regularly, the lesson is that authentic content can build awareness of the brand, and build sales even without a million views.
River City Casino
River City Casino took advantage of Twitter to communicate to their audience without being too pushy or promotional. This casino’s tweets were entertaining while being genuine. It showed that they were interested in relationships with their customers and cared about their community.
These examples show that it’s not the size of the financial investment that’s made in social media, but how these channels are used to build a community. In a digitally connected world, it’s the story and personality of a company that will stand out. Small businesses are in the best position to take advantage of that.