Where there’s muck – there’s a blog

15th December 2008

I’m always looking for examples of how social media can support small businesses. I’ve raised the question before using the local builder as an example. Why on earth would the bloke who knocked a hole in my wall have a reason to use any kind of social media tool?

Well I found a partial answer to that in a video from Herefordshire firm, Wiggly Wigglers (amongst other things they sell worms for composting). Founder Heather Gorringe explains how a shift to social media over tradititional media helped cut her advertising costs without cutting her customer base.

 

What’s clear is that Heather knows her customer extremely well: “we sell stuff that gardeners may not know they want”. Of course Heather’s firm have had an e-commerce presence for quite a while but they’ve embraced social media in a big way.

She has a blog, a facebook group, uses podcasts and is all over Youtube. I can’t help wonder why Wiggly Wigglers aren’t on twitter (there’s certainly plently of chat about them). Social Media is ideal for building a community around your products, for ensuring customers value the advice you give them and the knowledge-sharing that comes from connecting to each other. Increasing value-added rather than cutting prices sounds like a good strategy in an economic downturn. Previously Wiggly Wigglers had bought in customer lists, now in effect they create their own customer lists for free through word-of-mouth on social media.

For her efforts Heather has won a global award for Small Business Excellence – that’s right, a worm seller from Hereford beat off international competition. Well done to her. We need more local and regional social media champions from the wider business community. Here in Birmingham I think we’re certainly adept at knowing how to make a buck by playing the local card – but maybe we could take tip or two from a rural worm-grower about how to build a global community who care enough to come back again and again.

2 Responses to “Where there’s muck – there’s a blog”

  1. Nick Booker Says:

    I like this – I’ve been doing a bit of research – mainly based on running a question on LinkedIn, on social networking sites including Flickr as new marketing channels and I’ve used them for some of our clients. Please see the article on the articles page on the Attract Marketing web site. We work in the visitor attraction business – its a very visual business/market sector so if you are selling B&B in an historic house or are large tourist attraction like Shugborough Flickr and YouTube are great places to tell the wider story as well as giving your web site more in bound links.And a professional membership on Flickr only costs $28. So a blog, a web site and link to whatever social networking sites you are on starts to build a great network. And I’ve just discovered Windows Movie maker – its great for animating photographs and thus making little promo films – see West Wing Abbey Manor at Evesham – (done with Muvee) and Heath House Staffordshire – not great art but they show what can be done. I’m sure there are other and perhaps better packages but hey its simple! Attract also has a presence on Flickr and a tourism members group so its all a way yet another way of building critical mass and stretching that marketing budget and showing off some of the clients you are proud of!

  2. Suanne Stromberg Says:

    Do not complicate the way you deliver content. Make it brief and relevant and your article promotion will certainly provide much more profits as compared to poor articles written with piles upon piles of happy talk with no real message to communicate.

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