These small businesses are rockin’ it on Instagram!
Updated: May 8, 2020
We are living in unprecedented times to be sure. It sounds cliché to say at this point, but how else would you describe it? Both a global health crisis and a global economic crisis have left many small businesses struggling to meet payroll and uncertain if they’ll be able to open up shop when this is all over. Despite another $175 billion being added to the federal government's second round of its Paycheck Protection Program, many smaller restaurants and retailers aren’t betting on these loans and are taking matters into their own hands.
Similar to the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneurs and local businesses are demonstrating incredible adaptability, ingenuity, and resilience in order to survive. While some businesses have pivoted to make the move from brick-and-mortar to digital in a matter of weeks, others are enhancing their digital presence by offering new services. So how do you meet new customer needs and maintain a human-focused connection for those that are desperately in need of one?
According to Instagram, 60% of people say that they’ve discovered new products on its platform. Small and large brands are leveraging the social media tool to continue to build brand loyalty, demonstrate their commitment to customers, and earn some sales (albeit small) to help keep themselves afloat.
The following are just a few examples of local businesses that are leveraging Instagram – putting a relatable, true voice behind their brand and continuing to engage their audience. (Warning: Mouthwatering content ahead...)
1. Button Rock Bakery – Lafayette, CO
This artisan bakery has a true sense of humor. Button Rock’s Instagram page highlights delectables that are sure to delight – reminding those with a sweet tooth of their selection of breakfast pastries, bread, desserts, salads, and take and bake meals.
How they are rockin’: Sweets are essential. Since the beginning of shutdown, they've been providing followers with consistent and lively posts to let them know that they are open, how to order delivery or pick up, and what they’re doing to ensure the safety and health of their customers. Plus, each week, they put smiles on the faces of frontline personnel through donations of cakes and treats.
Humanizing the brand: Adding a sense of humor to their posts by keeping watch for viral trends like Tiger King, and even highlighting just how bizarre it is that the new normal is to wear masks in public. Oh, and a throwback to that Seth Rogan and James Franco parody video. You know the one. ;)
2. Community – Lafayette, CO
Community is truly living up to its name by creating a sense of togetherness, even when we are apart, by maintaining its commitment to providing fantastic meals in the comfort of customers' homes. This restaurant believes in “no pomp and even less circumstance.”
How they are rockin: Continuing to serve locals by narrowing their menu to a few fan favorites, including ah-mazing burgers, brussels sprouts and lamb French dip. Feeling extra indulgent? Add-on desserts like banana cream pie, and delicious craft cocktails like Manhattan mules and margaritas!
Humanizing the brand: Community reminds us of their ideals and of a desire to feed the many, instead of the few. While a lucky few are able to WFH to put food on their table, others are not so fortunate. Community is committed to feeding frontline workers, along with those in need and encourages its customers to “pay it forward” by ordering a chef-prepared meal for a family of two or four people in coordination with Sister Carmen Food Bank.
3. Buckley’s – Milwaukee, WI
This family-owned restaurant turned us on to the trend of finding good meals from home via Instagram, and we don’t even live in Milwaukee. Buckley's offers a variety of comfort-food meals like lobster mac and cheese, truffled artichoke fries, hot Nashville chicken, chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, carrot cake, and the menu goes on.
How they are rockin’: Buckley’s recognizing that -- even in a pandemic -- variety is truly the spice of life! Each day, the laid-back gourmet-style restaurant offers a new “Picnic Basket” menu item for curbside pick-up. Plus, swipe for suggested wine pairings and an enviable selection to take home? How could you go wrong?
Humanizing the brand: Instagram posts highlight the restaurant’s commitment to ensure “every customer is treated like an old friend, whether it’s their 1st or their 100th time in.” The establishment’s approachable, family-owned vibe comes through in almost every post. The only question I have is, do they deliver to Denver?
These are just a few examples of companies leveraging a powerful tool to communicate with their audiences -- demonstrating they’re very much in touch with the latest social trends and their customers’ needs (unlike Jerry who is finding himself quite out-of-touch).
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