As the owner or manager of a business, you already know that your customers expect your company to have an active presence on social media sites—it’s an essential part of connecting with consumers in this day and age. For many small business owners, what is often harder to understand is how to best spend your time (and money) once you’re actively participating on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others.
In order to see a return on your investment (time and money), it might be helpful to learn about what has worked for other small businesses. In this post, we’ve put together a list of case studies that show how small businesses have used Facebook to strengthen their reputation, build customer loyalty, and increase sales. Look through the case studies below and learn how you can start getting the most out of Facebook:
Company: Sweethaus is a mom ‘n’ pop cupcake and candy shop located in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Case Study: They use Facebook Offers to engage with followers and to entice locals (1,000+ Facebook Offers claimed and a 12% redemption rate). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Sweethaus regularly keeps followers up to date with what they are working on by sharing original photos of their products.
Company: Zingerman’s Delicatessen is a local deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Case Study: They use Facebook Promoted Posts to connect and engage with more followers (13X return on ad spend from Promoted Posts and 45,241 new fans in 2 years). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Zingerman’s stays connected with followers by sharing great photos of their products. They also piggy-back off of the popularity of holidays throughout the year.
Company: State Bicycle designs and sells premiere quality, aesthetically striking bicycles to the fixed gear/single speed market at the lowest price possible.
Case Study: They use Facebook Ads to target and engage with more qualified prospects, drive more traffic to their site, and increase sales ($500,000 in annual incremental sales from coupon codes and traffic exclusive from Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: State Bicycle does a great job of sharing user-generated content on their page. They regularly feature photos from customers using their products.
Company: Austin Dog Rescue is a foster home based organization that saves dogs from shelters within the Austin and Central Texas Area.
Case Study: They use Facebook Promoted Posts to target dog lovers in Central Texas (57% increase in foster applications in 16 months). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Austin Dog Rescue engages with followers through storytelling. They regularly post adoption success stories and photos.
5. Tough Mudder
Company: Tough Mudder hosts marathon-style events that feature 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces.
Case Study: They use Facebook as one of their primary marketing channels for connecting with past, current, and future event participants (5-8X higher click-through rate (CTR) for ads in news feed vs. traditional ad displays and 24X increase in sales in just two years). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Tough Mudder regularly creates and shares original and inspirational photos with their Facebook community as a way to spur engagement.
6. Cone Palace
Company: Cone Palace serves up sweet treats and food at their store in Kokomo, Indiana.
Case Study: They use Facebook to regularly engage with fans and share valuable, sharable micro-content. See what Gary Vaynerchuk had to say about them here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Cone Palace takes time to share great original photos of their ice cream with their community on Facebook.
Company: Piedmont Healthcare is a nonprofit system of five hospitals and 100+ offices in Georgia.
Industry: Nonprofit/health care
Case Study: They partnered with another company that was able to help them creat a highly targeted Custom Audience on Facebook (40% increase in identification of high-risk patients). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Piedmont Healthcare shares compelling stories with their Facebook community.
Company: Schweiger Family Practices is a dental practice in Lexington and Columbia, South Carolina.
Industry: Health care
Case Study: They use Facebook Boosted Posts to connect with more prospects (30+
new patients per month directly from Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Schweiger Family Practices regularly creates and shares helpful tips with their Facebook community.
Company: Got What It Cakes is a boutique bakery in Pineville, North Carolina.
Case Study: They use Facebook to share high-quality photos of their cakes and other dessert creations (their followers have increased to over 11,000). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Got What It Cakes shares a lot of great photos of their cake creations as a way to spark engagement and grab the attention of prospective customers.
Company: Allison Park Store is Moose Mountain Provincial Park’s ‘General Store.’
Case Study: They use Boosted Posts to connect with visiting tourists and engage with their followers (20% increase in in-store sales in summer 2013 compared to previous year). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Allison Park Store shares timely photos that let their customers when certain products are new to or back in the store.
Company: BarkBox puts together and delivers boxes of high quality dog products to the doorsteps of dog owners each month.
Case Study: They use Facebook Custom Audiences and Boosted Posts to connect with more dog lovers and prospective customers on Facebook (5K new subscribers per month from Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: BarkBox regularly shares fun, shareable dog-themed photos with their Facebook community.
Company: Stine Home + Yard is a small family-owned chain of hardware/lawn/home stores located throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.
Case Study: They use Facebook Ads to promote special deals and offers (boosting its sales by 10% over a 12-month period). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Stine Home + Yard does a great job of sharing authentic, timely updates with their community on Facebook.
13. Farmgirl Flowers
Company: Farmgirl Flowers is a San Francisco-based online florist specializing in flowers from local farmers.
Case Study: They use Facebook Promoted Posts and Advertising to build their brand reputation, increase sales, and develop a loyal following (25% increase in online sales from Facebook (between June 2013 and September 2013). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Farmgirl Flowers shares daily photos of their vibrant flower arrangements with followers on Facebook.
Company: Blake & Brady Boutique is a local clothing shop in Anderson, South Carolina that seeks to provide a unique collection of fashionable pieces that everyone can afford.
Case Study: They use Facebook Advertising to effectively reach out to and connect with female shoppers in their area (15X return on ad spend from Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Blake & Brady Boutique reguarly shares real-time updates with their followers about clothing items that in stock and available to be purchased.
Company: Bestowed sends boxes of healthy food samples to its subscribers’ homes each month.
Case Study: They use Facebook Custom Audiences and Advertising to reach out to prospective customers (2X
higher new customer conversion rate on Facebook (compared to other online advertising channels)). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Bestowed shares updates with their followers that lets them know they listen to followers and value customer feedback.
Company: Sam’s Chowder House is an authentic New England-style chowder and seafood restaurant in Half Moon Bay, California.
Case Study: They use Facebook publishing and Boosted Posts to connect with potential and current customers (19% increase in monthly guest count and gross revenues). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Sam’s Chowder House shares valuable, transparent updates with their Facebook followers that show how they differ from competitors.
Company: Uber is evolving the way the world moves by connecting riders to drivers through mobile apps.
Case Study: They use Facebook to build and invest in local communities across the country. See this neighborhood they recently promoted through Facebook.
Facebook Post Spotlight: As mentioned above, Uber regularly features specific neighborhoods as a strategic way to target and connect with specific groups on Facebook.
Company: Morgan Miller Plumbing is a family-owned & operated, full-service plumbing company serving Kansas City area.
Case Study: They use Facebook Advertising in place of traditional print advertising to grow their customer base ($2,000 increase in sales per week from Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Morgan Miller Plumbing regularly shares informative, helpful blog posts on their Facebook page.
Company: Xero designs and offers beautiful accounting software for small businesses & their advisors.
Case Study: Xero uses Facebook to regularly connect with and share value with small business owners. They regularly share authentic content in order to spur engagement on their page and strategically target prospective customers. See a recent example of their commitment to help their Facebook followers here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: Xero is constantly sharing helpful guides with their Facebook community.
Company: The Eagle Theatre is South Jersey’s one and only, year-round Professional Equity Theatre.
Case Study: They use Facebook Boosted Posts to connect with their target audience and sell more tickets to shows (4X return on advertising spend on Facebook). See the case study here.
Facebook Post Spotlight: The Eagle Theatre regularly shares original content with their followers as a way to promote their upcoming events.
Company: GrubHub makes it easy to find takeout restaurants near you and order for free online or through their mobile app.
Case Study: They use Facebook to build brand loyalty and establish a reputation among their target audience. Click here to see how they entice people who are unfamiliar with their business.
Facebook Post Spotlight: GrubHub regularly shares helpful, fun tips with their Facebook community.
3 Important Takeaways:
Based on the case studies we collected for this post, there are three common and key takeaways you should take note of.
1. First, use visuals whenever possible. Almost every Facebook post snapshot we featured was an image. It wasn’t because we were only looking for images—it was because images were the types of posts that appeared most on the pages, and images were what users engaged with most.
2. Second, tell stories. Facebook users hate spam. They don’t want to see lazy updates about weekend specials. They want to connect with your business on an emotional level. Make it easy for them.
3. Third, don’t be predictable. There are a ton of small businesses and brands all trying to win people over on Facebook. Don’t be like everyone else. Be original. Don’t be afraid to try something different.
What has worked best for you and your small business on Facebook? Connect with us on Facebook and share your insight with us there!Are You Using Facebook As Well As These Small Businesses? [21 Case Studies] Rob Wormley