When it comes to social media success, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. To save time, money and resources, find out who’s getting real results and model the best.
If your small business is looking to grow your fans and followers and increase your overall engagement, take a look at these five success stories below to gain a little inspiration and insight. For example, Red Vines, a Vistage member company, uses their social media connections to incite fun and raise money for worthy causes. They, along with the other four examples here, are using smart strategies that are generating real results. You’re sure to find great ideas for your own social media efforts.
Look at the tactics these companies employ and don’t concentrate too much on the target audience or size of business. It doesn’t matter whom you’re targeting—these tactics will work for just about any business . . . so let’s dive in!
Giantnerd is a company that sells outdoor equipment for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and snowboarding. This company represents one of the best examples of social media integration seen online today. Their emphasis is on giving their customers the most value possible while becoming friends with them in the process.
As seen in the images below, Giantnerd has integrated social media into almost every aspect of their website. They’ve created a social network on their site that’s completely different from other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Their one-click process to join their network makes it easy and fast to join the group and they incentivize new membership by offering a discount to all new members with their “Nerds save 5%” promotion.
Also, Giantnerd has incorporated the Like button on their site and they promise their fans exclusive deals and promotions when they click Like and join their Facebook community. Since adding the Like button, their average order has increased by 50%! That’s a pretty impressive social media ROI, to say the least!
Also, when potential customers are researching products on the site, Giantnerd provides multiple social methods to get feedback from other social buyers. One example is their WikiNerdia, as seen below. Similar to Wikipedia, viewers can check out all of the different products, including descriptions and photos, and their customers can edit the information as well, making the experience interactive.
With WikiNerdia, potential customers can also ask product questions and the nerd community comes on board to answer the questions. What’s genius about this is that they let their customers sell for them by giving them the tools to answer questions that potential customers post on the site.
People tend to trust their friends and other consumers more than they trust the brand. Giantnerd benefits from their fan engagement by allowing customers to answer product questions for them, thus increasing brand trust for potential customers. Brilliant!
Tip: Let your customers be your salesforce. Think of multiple opportunities for your customers to tell others about you.
Social sharing buttons, exclusive social communities and real-time engagement opportunities are all great ways to turn your existing customers into word-of-mouth advocates.
#2: Red Vines
If you’ve ever gone to the movies, you’re likely already familiar with the popular sweet treat, Red Vines. After all, they’re practically a movie snack staple!
Notice their Facebook custom welcome tab below. Their playful saying, “Think We’re Crazy Delicious? Click the “Like” button above!” shows their silly and fun vibe. It instantly sets the stage for the experience their fans can expect once they join the community.
And the fun doesn’t stop at their welcome tab. Every one of their posts is playful, attention grabbing and engaging. Take a look at some of their recent posts, all focused on creating a fun experience for their fans.
One great strategy they’ve employed is a Facebook shopping cart. What’s great is that they don’t just stop at selling the Red Vines, but include all the candy products from their parent company, American Licorice Company. Leveraging the Facebook shopping cart for multiple products is a great way to expand the exposure of your products and increase your bottom line.
One of the most creative strategies I’ve seen on a businesses Facebook Page is Red Vines’ fundraising initiative. Red Vines uses their Facebook Page to give back to the community in a big way. For each new Like they get on their Page, they donate $1 to the Kids In Need Foundation. This is a fantastic way to leverage your social connections.
Tip: Brainstorm ways you can add a little fun to your Facebook strategy. When you create a community where your fans can “play along” with your posts, your fans and followers are more likely to remember you, engage with you and come back for more.
Cree is a business-to-business company that sells energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, industrial LED lighting. When you think of social media marketing, you wouldn’t think that an industrial lighting company that sells LEDs to grocery stores would be shining; however, Cree is extremely social-savvy.
As you can see in the image below, Cree knows how to make their customers’ experiences fun, social and interactive. In their “Cries for Help” section, they encourage companies to showcase their terrible lighting on their site. It’s a fun way to make light (no pun intended!) of their bad lighting situations in their offices.
In addition, Cree provides valuable content to pique their audience’s attention. With articles such as “What happens if a baby holds a Cree light bulb?”, they’re able to speak to their audience in a way that grabs their attention and gets them involved. Great content is the key to a happy audience.
Also, Cree knows the value of social proof. When you become part of their environmental movement, you get to display a badge on your site that says, “Take the pledge. I joined the LED lighting revolution.” This is a great way to build community with your audience and get great viral exposure for your company.
In this image you can see they also do a great job of including their social media channel buttons on their site. When you see the Facebook Like box and their Twitter and YouTube buttons, it’s easy to see that Cree is truly changing the way B2B does business today.
Tip: Remember that you’re not selling to other businesses or to “consumers,” but instead you’re always selling to real people whose buying decisions are driven by emotion. Speak to that emotional side, as Cree has done by infusing the hot buttons of bad lighting in the workplace and people’s passion for environmentally friendly products. Find your cause and use it in your messages and share it on your channels.
#4: Emmy’s Closet
Emmy’s Closet is an online store that sells accessories for children. They’re a great example of infusing social media with e-commerce.
Emmy’s Closet is an extension of the popular arts and crafts ecommerce site, Etsy.com. On the site they use an application created by Etsy that allows you to browse and purchase directly through Facebook (see the image below).
They’ve also included social share buttons so fans can share their favorite items on their Facebook profile with their friends and their friends can then click through and buy products via Etsy as well. The share buttons create a viral buying experience. In the image below, you can see how easy it is to share favorite items with your Facebook audience.
Emmy’s Closet knows that Facebook commerce is on the rise. With over 600 million people on Facebook, it makes sense that many of them like to conduct their entire shopping experience on Facebook, including the actual purchase.
Emmy’s Closet also does a great job of branding their company to their social experience. Notice in the images below, they’ve created social buttons to reflect their brand, thus personalizing the social experience.
Tip: Experiment with ecommerce and product sharing apps on Facebook. For a great article on Facebook apps, check out the Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page.
#5: San Chez Bistro
San Chez Bistro is a tapas bistro and restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
They’ve taken social media and infused it with the needs and preferences of their local audience. San Chez encourages their patrons to use Twitter to reserve a seat at their restaurant. They call it “Tweet-Ahead Seating” and it’s a great use of social media local marketing. Once you tweet your interest in a reservation, the online hostess tweets you back with a message similar to this: “Great, you’re on the list. See you in a little while.”
With the number of smartphones on the rise, San Chez knows they can reach even more potential customers if they make access to their restaurant easy and quick. By combining smartphone capabilities, social media and local marketing, they were able to create an extremely successful marketing campaign online.
In addition, San Chez Bistro utilizes Foursquare to gain even greater viral visibility. Foursquare, one of the top location-based services out there today, allows people to check in with their mobile devices and let all their friends know where they’re currently spending time. It’s fun for the fan and powerful exposure for the physical business.
Tip: If you’re a local business, consider customizing your Foursquare page and adding an incentive for social media check-ins. It’s great exposure for you and makes your patrons’ experience in your establishment more fun and interactive.
Do you have a favorite company who’s getting it right with social media? Share their link below so we can all check them out!
Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and is the creator of multiple online programs teaching entrepreneurs and small businesses how to leverage social media. For more social media tips for your business, check out Amy’s blog.