As you may know, social media is quite literally everywhere. When you watch a TV show you will often be asked to generate a hashtag about that show - such as #GOT for Game of Thrones. Even when you take a trip to your local restaurant, the owners will like nothing more than for you to take a picture of the food and place it onto Instagram. It’s a strange and different world we live in today where people can become a YouTube sensation overnight just from playing video games. But fear not, because amidst all this craziness social media has proven to be a force for good, particularly in relation to small businesses.
Now we could troll out various examples of big brands rolling out campaigns that went viral, but you might think ‘of course they did they have huge budgets’. But, there are many much smaller companies who have harnessed social media and been hugely successful for doing so. Let's take a look at a few examples.
The Herschel Supply company
If you want an example of a company that embraced social to engage with their audience in a direct way, then this a perfect example.
This Canadian based bag manufacturer decided to make it their goal to answer every question sent to them, even those which didn’t directly refer to the company. This had a massive impact in terms of brand sentiment and in customer service satisfaction. This goes to show that listening to your audience and addressing their queries will always have a positive impact on the way your business is perceived as a brand.
If there was ever a case study of a brand transcending a product, then then this really is a perfect example of that. What do this company do - you might be asking? They make wood-fired ovens - nothing spectacular and certainly nothing revolutionary. Yet this small company utilised social platforms like Twitter and Facebook early on to establish themselves and build a loyal following.
Never think that your service or product or service is too dull for social. If you are engaging, interesting and empathetic with your audience you’re on your way to a winner
Bloom and Wild
Nothing life changing or earth shattering. What do these guys do? They are a flower subscription service based in London. Yet this little company have harnessed social media fantastically since they started, just over four years ago. Through sharing customers photos and positive reviews Bloom and Wild have amassed a following of over 100,000 people across their social media platforms. This all comes back to giving your audience the initiative, this is the best way to build up a following which is organic, genuine and most importantly of all loyal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tiny start up or a blue-chip giant, you can make an impact on social media.
The reality of many small businesses on social media platforms is that they have to be that little bit more creative and ingenious when it comes to campaigns - but that’s not a bad thing.
This Belgian based Beer company did something very clever for one of their recent campaigns. A free barrel of beer was offered to anyone with the last name Maes, on the condition that they shared this with 20 of their friends. This received incredible traction across their Facebook page. Over 7,000 people changed their surname to Maes and the company received over 75,000 likes in a single day!
Sometimes the best things in life are free - as this example shows.
There are many smoothie companies that are in operation today, but how many can claim to have over 76.4K followers on Facebook and 58.9K followers on Twitter? Very few. This American based smoothie company are a fine example of how to intelligently promote products and not appear too ‘salesy’. Their social posts are pure genius. Not only do they create excellent posts on their own recipes and flavours they also engage with their audience as well, often posting pictures and posts of customers with their red mango product in the background. The company have also channelled social to great effect when newsjacking.
So big topical events such as the Trump Clinton presidential debates and even the release of new Star Wars films have all been latched upon and used to great effect. Don’t be afraid to be engaging and creative, when it comes to social this is what resonates best.
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