Yesterday, I read a story recounting how George Bowers Grocery in Staunton, Virginia, outdoes its large competitor by maximizing social media’s ability to connect with customers (cheaply). In particular, the small specialty grocery store uses their Facebook page to quickly and regular inform their community of free events, new products and information. They estimate that 75% of their customers interact with them there.
In contrast, the local Kroger store – part of a massive chain – outspends them considerably in print and television advertising. But it’s unable to create the sense of community and personality that the smaller competitor can. It’s national fan page has far more fans, but considerably less per store.
In the nonprofit context, the marketing message is clear: small charities have greater leverage through social media. They may not be able to afford the mass-marketing campaigns that their larger partners can, but they can’t afford to overlook the power that a social style engagement strategy can have. Utilizing sites such as Facebook and Twitter are free, and they’re inherently designed to allow your supporters to engage with you.