Tim Cureton runs the best coffee shops on the Eastern Shore of Maryland: Rise Up Coffee. His staff are friendly, remember the names of frequent customers, and serve up a great cup of organic coffee.
Tim has been adding some social media to his marketing mix and I follow his updates on Twitter. Last week Tim posted a request to submit reviews for his store on Yelp.
Given that I’m huge fan of theirs, I went to Yelp, created an account and submitted a nice review for the Salisbury location.
A friend who often picks up a drink for me at Rise Up came by my house a couple days later with a latte. Tim, who recognizes my drink order, wrote a nice thank you note on the side of the cup.
(Tim mistakenly called me John for a while, which is now a running joke.)
Here is the thing: social media as a marketing and relationship building channel only works for Tim and his company because they have a fantastic product and a maniacal focus on customer service. Tim has built a great culture in his small company and works hard to keep it and their product peforming at the highest levels.
Effectively using social media and online word of mouth to grow your company is pretty easy when you have a fantastic product. If you don’t offer exception value, social media may not provide strong returns for you.