Small Business Success Stories: Baking Up a Storm
Small cake bakery businesses successfully use social media marketing by developing a web presence with their web site as their marketing hub, blogging (sometimes with more pictures than words) and a universe of social media and mobile marketing sites as satellites where they contact and serve customers. They manage the time commitment needed to reap huge rewards. Their ROI (return on investment) is measured in terms of growing their following, providing a great customer experience often shared through reviews and increased “ka-ching” at their cash registers!
1. Pink Cake Box: How to Keep Your Web Site Up-to-Date
Pink Cake Box is a specialty cake shop in northern New Jersey with 10 employees. They opened for business in 2005, built their own web site, and started a blog all in that same year. They’ve been featured in People, Modern Bride, and several other publications. They are, by any definition I can think of, a successful small business. And as Jesse Heap—whose wife, Anne, is the pastry chef and cake designer—says, they owe much of their success to solid online marketing. “I don’t think we realized how critical the web would become to our business…”
In this blog post at SearchEngineLand.com (http://searchengineland.com/a-small-business-marketing-success-story-pink-cake-box-13567), Jesse Heap from Pink Cake Box is interviewed and he explains how they’re a “small business that’s baking up a storm via its web site, a blog, public relations, and social media.”
Jesse points out their success with blogging using a WordPress web site as the foundation for their web presence. This provides their business with an easy way for multiple people to add content without any need for them to be web or HTML savvy. He also highlights their time-saving strategy: use more photos than text.
2. Butter Lane: How to Grow a Cult Following
Mashable.com offers a review of Butter Lane , one of 5 small businesses having success with social media (http://mashable.com/2010/06/02/small-business-social-media-success-stories/). According to them:
It’s no surprise then that Butter Lane has gained a dedicated following. When recently asked to explain how Butter Lane had created a cult following, Baugh’s response was that, “it never occurred to us that people viewed us that way, and of course, we were thrilled. But if we do have any kind of cult following it is due in large part to our involvement in social media.”
Co-owner, Maria Baugh reports that the most important function of social media for their business is the role it plays in offering a great customer experience. They pay close attention to their reviews at Yelp. The Butter Lane team maintains an active web presence and interaction with customers using a social media tool that provides a dashboard where they can view all their social media traffic and activity and post to multiple sites from their dashboard at Postling.
3. Cake Crumbs: 40% Growth with Social Media
When Denon Moore opened her specialty cake business, Cake Crumbs, in 2007, she didn’t realize that cupcakes were going to be part of her business plan. “Our customers demanded it,” says Denon. And to promote her sophisticated cupcake offerings, she rolled out the Denver Cupcake Truck and launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter around it. “We were the first Denver food truck to hit the scene using social media,” says Denon. “We were able to generate a fan base pretty quickly to a volume that dwarfed the traffic in the shop, and that was before the truck hit the road. We built up people’s anticipation and got people used to following the progress of the truck online instead of calling the shop.”
4. Curbside Cupcakes: In Touch with Customers Minute-to-Minute
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