I often give talks about social media and rather than confuse people with buzz words and fancy industry lingo I like to give a simple case study using a profession that could not be more removed from the online world to show just how easy it is to implement and how much of a winner it could be for the company involved. For today's example I am using a butcher. Nothing special just a simple butcher shop in the center of any city. Here is what I would do online to increase the buzz around my butcher's shop....
Most people have no idea what happens in a butcher's shop behind the counter where all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff gets chopped up and sliced. I would buy a simple video camera and film some short videos about how to prep some common cuts of meat. I would share these videos on YouTube, Foodbuzz and other video sharing websites using Tubemogul. Most people would be put off by making video or even too shy but there would always be one lively character in the shop and if not you could just do a close up without having a personality in the videos.
Again there is lots of exciting action happening behind the counter. Using a cheap camera (even the above video camera would work) I would be snapping everything that came into the shop and even the butchers and people serving in the shop. These pictures would be uploaded and correctly tagged in sites such as Flickr
, Pix.ie and any food porn sites like Foodandfizz.
I would start writing a blog and sharing short stories about working in a butchers shop day to day. In the blog I would build stories around the pictures and videos that I took as well trying to establish myself as an expert on butchery and offering advice and tips on how to get the best out of meat for my readers.
With all the great content that I had created above I would have a great start on my brand new shiny Facebook page. I would also start off by inviting all my friends and interacting with them as much as possible and passing on any relevant knowledge. New specials would be photographed and spread through the my page as well as starting discussions on what the best types of steak are and inviting customers to try them out at a discount in a weekly cooking competition.
I would never try and sell any of my products through the twitter account but I would aim to become an authoritative source on anything to do with meat. I would try and interact with other foodies in my city and invite people in for tastings every once in a while. If I ever had any interesting meat in the shop I would share a few pictures of it through Twitter.
Although a lot of my activity would be online one of the key initiatives would be to print business cards and flyers that would be distributed in store and point to all the accounts where I had profiles like YouTube
, Twitter and facebook. Users would be encouraged to visit the profiles for recipes to use when cooking their meat, short instructional videos and the ability to ask questions directly to a butcher and have them answered online.
I would produce a series of recipes featuring some of my favorite cuts of meat from the shop. These would then be distributed on the blog and through recipe sharing sites all over the web. I would also share the recipes on my Facebook page and aim to provide a great reference for customers wanting to cook dishes using my meat. I would also offer the recipes to online publications who were seeking content in return for links to my website.
The important thing to remember about everything I have said above is that it is all 100% free apart from buyinh a small cheap camera. The only thing that you will have to put into your campaign is a bit of hard work. I would be realistic and set aside an hour a day on an ongoing basis to manage all your profiles. You would find that people in your city would start to build up a positive picture of you in their mind and think of you as the "go to" butcher. You could also expect a large amount of traditional press covering an innovative Irish butcher so your brand would be extended even further.
This has taken an example of a simple butcher and shown how it could be transformed online for a tiny amount of money and minimal effort. You should now apply some of these simple principles to your own small business. It really isn't that hard!