October 10, 2019
The Shakes Seen ‘Round the World
Author: Jen Amundson, Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications
It’s good to have friends with friends, as Jessie Hohenstein has learned in a big way.
Jessie owns the Cookie Basket restaurant in downtown Searcy, Arkansas. Her business neighbor, Mat Faulkner, owns Think Idea Studios across the street. On May 23, Mat hosted a small office birthday party for his colleague and ordered four of Jessie’s crazy shakes, a new item she was giving a try.
As you can see, those shakes are no joke. Jessie loads them with ice cream and bakery treats, overflowing glass mugs that prominently feature her business name. Mat snapped some photos of the gorgeous confections and posted them on his personal page on Facebook. The results would be a great day’s social media for any company. The post earned hundreds of reactions and thousands of shares. In a few days’ time, Mat’s post has accumulated 318 likes, 284 comments, and a whopping 3,300 shares.
The outcome for Jessie is astounding. Her business doubled overnight. She says people have come from 200 miles away to try the shakes. “We have been so busy,” she said. “People come in to try the shakes and are surprised to see we have a full menu. They enjoy a full lunch and top it off with a shake. It’s been great for us.”
For his part, Mat is glad the post helped his friend. But, a professional marketer himself, he thought of a few ideas that would have improved its performance even more. “For one thing, I posted right before a holiday weekend when Jessie was going to be closed for three days,” he said modestly, “and for another, if I had posted a video we would have been able to see not just the likes, shares and comments, but also the number of views. That would have been fun to know.”
Small businesses can take a few lessons from this story. First, make sure your name is on your products. This wasn’t the Cookie Basket’s post and the shakes could have easily fallen into anonymity as the photos were forwarded, even if Mat had mentioned her business in his text. Because her restaurant’s name is ironed on to the glass jars, everyone who saw those photos also knew where to get the shakes.
Second, social media is powerful. We focus a lot on the social media missteps people make that can torpedo their business, but this is a great example of how a friendly little post can snowball into a big result. Mat helped Jessie by making the post public so his friends could forward it to their friends. He wrote the post without any personal information and opened it up to everyone.
Finally, remember your customers are your very own worldwide marketing team. Encourage them to share your good news by providing social media photo ops, handles and hashtags. You never know what might happen.
Looking for additional small business ideas and advice? You can find resources in the Deluxe Small Business Resource Center.