A Small Business Gains Big Exposure through Social Media
The Birth of a Business
Jackye and Paul Balegal had always dreamed of opening up a coffee shop, but with both of them working full-time and raising two children, the dream remained just that. Until, one evening, while enjoying a Happy Hour drink, the couple wrote out their business plans on a cocktail napkin. Their kids were now teenagers, and Jackye had recently taken a break from full-time employment, so they thought the time was perfect!
After months of preparation and planning, Red Dirt Coffee House opened its doors on March 16, 2010. As with any new business, Red Dirt Coffee House needed customers…and fast! Not only did the owners of Red Dirt Coffee House have to overcome the challenge of getting customers through their doors, they had to do it while competing with corporate coffee shops already established in the area.
The Challenges of Promoting a New Business
Jackye and Paul Balegal, owners of Red Dirt Coffee House, quickly realized that merely opening their doors did not guarantee customers; they needed a strategic marketing plan. Consumed with the day-to-day responsibilities of opening up a new business, Red Dirt’s owners were short on time and money, so they needed a marketing campaign that would work for them, not against them.
Sitting down together, Jackye and Paul composed a list of objectives to promote their business:
· attract new customers
· devise an economical marketing plan that would offer immediate results
· compete with corporate coffee shops
· build brand awareness
· establish customer loyalty
But the question still remained: how were they going to accomplish these goals?
Weighing Their Options
Taking into consideration time and money, the Balegals decided traditional advertising would have to wait. Paying for and creating sales ads, radio promos, and television commercials proved to be out of their reach, for now.
So, they turned to social media!
Jackye immediately started a Facebook page under the name Red Dirt Coffee House and signed them up on Yelp. She also created a company website and put out a sign-up sheet next to the order counter for customers to join their email list.
And then, she waited…and waited…and waited. But, not much happened.
What the Balegals didn’t realize was that simply having social media accounts did not necessarily promote their business. They needed to invest time engaging with current and potential customers on their chosen platforms; time neither one of them had.
They found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they didn’t have the money for a traditional marketing campaign, but on the other, they had even less time to spend on an online marketing campaign. So, Jackye and Paul made a decision…they took the money they saved by not using traditional sales methods and hired a professional copywriter to jumpstart their social media marketing campaign.
Implementing a Strategic Social Media Marketing Campaign
The first step Words Written Well Sell took was to run a standard Google search for Red Dirt Coffee House and, finding them placed on page two of the search results, devised a social media marketing campaign that would boost their rating:
· Words Written Well Sell took over the management of Red Dirt’s Facebook account and focused their efforts on increasing the number of “Friends”. Words Written Well Sell also posted meaningful coffee-related content on a more consistent basis. Daily specials, trivia questions, and surveys were included in Red Dirt’s Facebook campaign to increase engagement.
· Words Written Well Sell also revamped Red Dirt’s website, creating keyword rich pages. Boosting a website’s SEO with carefully crafted content increases its visibility on search engines.
· Since Jackye already had an email list going, Words Written Well Sell attached a Blog to Red Dirt’s website, plugging in the current email list. The more often a website is updated with meaningful, organic content, the higher it will rank on search engines. What better way to consistently add content to your website than with a blog?
· To take advantage of the growing email list, Words Written Well Sell also incorporated a biweekly eNewsletter to keep Red Dirt’s name at the forefront of current customers’ minds. Doing this helps nurture customer loyalty, reminding them where to get their next drink.
“Having Sara take over our social media presence really helped lighten my load. I was able to spend more time developing relationships with my customers face-to-face.” ~ Jackye Balegal, owner of Red Dirt Coffee House
How This Mom-and-Pop Shop Battled Goliath
Now, when Red Dirt Coffee House gets plugged into Google, it ranks highest for their locale! With the combined efforts of Jackye’s face-to-face relationships and Words Written Well Sell’s online presence, Red Dirt has leveled the playing field. No longer worried about competing with the behemoth corporate shop located directly across the street or the locally owned coffee shop with longevity on its side, Jackye and Paul were now able to put their focus on doing what they loved most…serving customers.
“We no longer worry if a customer is going to walk through our door. With Words Written Well Sell promoting us online, we know there will be customers coming in. Now, we can focus on greeting our customers and giving them the best coffee house experience possible!” ~ Paul Balegal
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