Small Businesses Using Social Media – Black Lotus Brewery

It’s easy to see what many large brands are doing on Facebook. In fact, some even make the news for the work they’re doing- and not doing (remember the GM fiasco earlier in the year?). However, at the heart of Facebook are the many small businesses that use the social network as a prime part of their marketing strategy. For some, it’s the only marketing they do. Why not? It’s free to use, easy to set-up, and fun to manage!

In fact, many local small businesses in Detroit are using Facebook as a pivotal part of their marketing efforts. One such example is a local bar in Clawson, MI called the “Black Lotus Brewery.”  The Black Lotus Brewery features unique local beer and wine and offers new and traditional American fare.

What they do Great

In social media content is king, and the Black Lotus Brewery is a prime example of how to do this. Anyone can share content, but it takes an understanding of your customer to do it right. Black Lotus Brewery does this. New menu item announcements, photos of their tasty daily specials, and events are all some fantastic examples of content they’re sharing. Pretend for a moment that you live near the Brewery. It’s Thursday night. You just got home from work. You’re exhausted. You log in to Facebook and you see Black Lotus Brewery in your newsfeed. In fact, it’s a photo of the day’s special. Glancing at the clock, you realize it’s getting late and you’re too exhausted to cook dinner. You look again at the fresh cooked meal and your stomach growls. What do you do? You call your friends and see if they want to head to the Brewery for dinner.

Facebook is not only about sharing the right content, it’s about sharing the right amount of content.  Black Lotus Brewery  typically post a few times a day. Facebook has a fancy algorithm that determines what posts land in the user’s newsfeed. Post too little and you run the chance your followers won’t ever see the post. Post too often, and you run the chance that you’re overwhelming the user. The Black Lotus Brewery has found the right frequency for them that helps to increase the chances their posts land in the follower’s newfeeds. Many businesses struggle with this- some posting just once a week and others posting every hour. These posts are probably made either too little or too often.

Finally, the Black Lotus Brewery is tying this Facebook marketing into their other marketing efforts. Their website provides links to their Facebook account, YouTube account, and Twitter account. So those who were searching at their homes or on their phones for directions to the Brewery, the restaurant’s phone number, or a copy of the menu (we’ve all been there), will see these links and possible translate to a Facebook like.

How we Know it’s Working

What is most astounding about the Black Lotus Brewery Facebook Page? Clawson is a small suburb of Detroit with a population of less than 12,000 people. The Black Lotus Brewery has managed to generate nearly 2,000 Facebook likes! Many of these likes are from cities around the area, but it still is quite a feat for a small business!

One of the great tools recently released by Facebook is the ability to see statistics on a page’s likes- even if you aren’t the owner of the page. Looking at the like information for the Black Lotus Brewery page, we see the number of likes the page receives per day is relatively consistent-  around 10-20 likes per day. It appears that many, if not all, of these likes are organic. This is a great of example for local small businesses: you don’t necessarily have to run paid media to drive Facebook likes. Just offer an interesting page experience, share content, spread the word in your store, and hope for buzz. As one person likes your Facebook page, their friends will see that they liked the page, and their friends will like it as well.

Out of the Black Lotus Brewery’s fans, 97 people have been talking about the page. This number is a rolling number, and reflects how many people are engaging with the page. This is a great number! It means that people aren’t just liking the page, they are involving themselves in the Black Lotus Brewery’s posts and making their own posts!

What it Means for You

The Black Lotus Brewery is just one small business using Facebook. Facebook truly is a great marketing tool for those businesses that don’t have the budgets for more expensive marketing options. Better yet, it provides businesses with direct contact to their consumer, which is something that can’t be said of other traditional marketing, like billboards and TV commercials.

So what is your business waiting for? Take a look at your customers, develop a strategy, and get active on Facebook!

– Bryan Nagy