You don’t have to be a big brand to use social media successfully. In fact, some of the most striking social media success stories come from small businesses that use social media to market their products and services in creative ways. Sometimes, taking a look at what other companies have done can help jump-start your own creativity and give you ideas about how to more effectively implement social media in your own marketing efforts. With that in mind, here are 5 small businesses using social media to achieve real, measurable success:
Of course, we have to start this post with a shout out to our fellow New Orleanians at Naked Pizza. As Entrepreneur Magazine noted when it covered them last month, Naked Pizza considers itself “a social media company that sells pizza,” as well as a healthier lifestyle. Naked Pizza uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to connect with customers. The Twitter account tweets specials, news and nutrition tips.
What have they got to show for it? Well, a few days ago they expanded from the original NOLA store, opening their first franchise location in Miami, Florida. Per Entrepreneur, the company now has over 300 stores under development in 18 markets and 6,297 Twitter followers, many of whom are just waiting for a Naked Pizza franchise to open up near them.
Creme Brulee Man
San Francisco’s Curtis Kimball is also known as the Creme Brulee Man. He operates a small creme brulee cart, selling out of this world flavors like vanilla bean, lavender and Mexican chocolate. He uses Twitter to keep his 13,397-and-counting followers updated on what flavors he’s offering and where his cart will be. You can read more about he uses Twitter on the New York Times and in TechCrunch.
Emerson Salon, located in Capitol Hill, Washington (near Seattle), uses Twitter and Facebook to drive word-of-mouth. They do this so effectively that according to Penn Olson, Twitter and Facebook alone bring in 75% of the salon’s business. Impressive!
This tiny ice cream shop in San Francisco is known for inventive flavors like prosciutto and an extremely entertaining, slightly off-color Twitter account. In the New York Times, Sean Vahey, Humphrey Slocombe’s co-owner and operations manager, explained how Twitter has contributed to the store’s success:
“We started using Twitter just because we have zero money for any kind of advertising or promotion whatsoever. We have a product that changes daily. Our customers were asking, ‘How do you keep us up to date on the different flavors?’ Twitter was the perfect answer…As soon as we put it on Twitter it moves. It’s an instant response.”
Emma Bridgewater Pottery
Emma Bridgewater Pottery, a UK-based producer of handmade pottery, uses Twitter and Facebook to showcase their products, offer discounts and connect with customers. They’ve also made a point to connect with mommy bloggers, inviting them to tour the factory with their children. Read more about how Emma Bridgewater Pottery is using social media to build buzz online at socialsmallbiz.com.