This blog post is meant to analyze the differences, and the effectiveness, in the social media presence of two small businesses in Laramie, WY. The two organizations, Sweet Pickles Children’s store and The Curiosity Shoppe, both had Facebook pages. Sweet Pickles had an Instagram, (though many people posted about the Curiosity Shoppe on Instagram) and neither company has a twitter account. I chose these two organizations because they are close to where I live and have a direct impact on the Laramie community. Small town businesses often struggle to find money for advertising, given their limited resources available, and social media has proven to be a boon to the companies by offering a free and easy way to get their name out there.
I did a google search for all of the social media platforms that these business might partake in, and found that though they both had Facebook accounts, only Sweet Pickles had an Instagram account. Though, the Curiosity Shoppe has an actual website that was very helpful. Both of the Facebook pages looked almost identical, in the amount of advertisements, promotions, and interactions on the site. Even though the Curiosity Shoppe doesn’t have it’s own Instagram account, many people made posts about the Curiosity Shoppe, so the photos were less professional, but showed a lot of happy customers and social interaction. Sweet Pickles’ highly regulated Instagram page looked more professional, and because of that they had more canned ads and promotional posters that didn’t even show products or people. The differences in the Curiosity Shoppe’s Facebook page vs. it’s actual website, was that the website seemed more drab, as though it was catering to a more mature audience, whereas their Facebook page had a much younger, energetic attitude. Sweet Pickle’s used the same image for their profiles pictures on both their Instagram and Facebook pages, which made them a lot easier to find on social media, and recognize that it was the same company. There are a lot of “Curiosity Shoppes” around America, I found out. Both companies used social media for promotional purposes, telling customers about new products and seasonal specials that they were promoting.
One of the main pieces of advice I found in this video, is that social media allows companies to interact in real time with their customers, which is apparently always a good thing. However, I notice that neither of the Facebook pages had much customer interaction, though Sweet Pickles seemed to have more likes and reactions than The Curiosity Shoppe.
Three things the companies do well:
The Curiosity Shoppe: They regularly post new products, their website was very informative, and there were pictures of customers enjoying their time browsing the shop.
Sweet Pickles: Made regular posts about products and events, they shared posts and worked with the Downtown Laramie association, and they had good photos on Instagram.
Three things they could improve on:
The Curiosity Shoppe: They should get an Instagram account, post more variety of photos, and interact with customers and the Downtown association more.
Sweet Pickles: They should interact with customers on Facebook more, should show more photos of their actual products, and they should probably have an actual website.
After listening to the Social Media panel in class last week, I really became aware of how useful social media is to small companies and organizations. It has really become a vital aspect of organizing events, sales, and bringing communities together to boost the local economy. I’m not sure if anyone anticipated this happening 15 years ago, but it has become such an integral part of business communication, I’m not sure how companies could afford to be without it now.