Small Business Marketing Case Study
My favorite resale shop for kids clothes, toys and gear took a risk last year when it shifted focus from its popular Facebook brand page in favor of creating individual pages for each local store. But the marketing strategy was solid, and the risk paid off.
Marketing Challenge: Build a New Facebook Audience from Scratch for an Existing Brand
Once Upon a Child’s challenge was to build up the online following for each individual store. In the Cincinnati/Dayton region, this required establishing nine new Facebook pages and transitioning away from the regional page. Here’s how they made the transition over a period of months:
- With fun posts, contests and polls, the regional page regularly alerted followers that local stores now had Facebook pages. And, posts warned that soon the regional page would be shut down. With this clear communication, followers had plenty of time to make the switch.
- By following a marketing strategy that blended the online and in-store experiences, local pages engaged new followers much more effectively than the brand had been able to previously achieve.
- Local pages found new followers through targeted geographic advertising.
In 10 months, my neighborhood Once Upon a Child Hyde Park store gained 2,747 followers. The other eight locations range from 3,000 to 5,000 followers each.
Bringing the In-Store Experience to Facebook
I’ve enjoyed watching the Hyde Park store engage with local shoppers following the brand DNA of “Buy. Sell. Repeat.”
Employees photograph in-demand items and allow customers to place a hold on the item, and these are the most popular posts.
Employees regularly remind customers which kinds of merchandise they are eager to buy.
And, of course, employees also promote upcoming sales and promotions, like this spring event.
Since the shift to more local marketing, I’ve noticed my Once Upon a Child store is busier and has better selection. Any small business with a store, restaurant or retail presence should have a plan for re-creating your customer experience online and actively encouraging customers to visit your location.