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28 July  2010 ~

 

The “social” side of social media is relatively simple to do, yet when social media is used for business, generating success requires a more “sophisticated” approach.  For our next book, we are gathering some business social media success stories and will share them from time to time. In today’s post, we look at the social media success of Berry Chill.

Getting Started

Most businesses branch out with social media marketing after they have opened their doors. But not Berry Chill — Yogurt Couture.

It started a Facebook group three months before it opened its first of three Chicago locations in March 2008.

The company attracted 500 Facebook members before it even opened and invited them to its focus group meetings at private tastings. “This increased the buzz tremendously and made these people feel like VIPs,” said Michael Farah, founder and CEO of Berry Chill. Consequently, the company’s marketing efforts on Facebook built a foundation, leading to word-of-mouth advertising and strengthening its momentum before and after its launch.

Berry Chill was the first all-natural yogurt bar to open in Chicago and the only frozen yogurt concept to culture its own yogurt, according to Farah. Its Culture Card program donates 3 percent of sales to the charity of the customer’s choice, he said.

 

“Get on It”

“I dove in head first, and I feel that is the only true way to understand how it works and why it can benefit your business,” he said. In fact, “Get on it,” is Farah’s quick advice to businesses trying to understand how to use social media.

The best benefit is the ease of targeting your audience, said Farah, who defines social media as a platform where people and businesses can communicate in real time.

“If someone is willing to follow your social media accounts, return the favor and make special offers just for them,” he said. “They then tell their friends, and this is how your advertising becomes viral.”

After its success with Facebook, Berry Chill added Twitter to the mix. Farah emphasizes the importance of interacting with customers in real time. “We are constantly monitoring our page and answering questions,” he said.

Farah is a firm believer in the strategy of consistently offering special and discounts solely for Facebook and Twitter followers. These teasers include a link to the company’s blog, which gives more details about the promotions. “Great promotions get people excited, and we attract new followers,” he said. “People who seek you out tend to be the most loyal,” he said.

Personally, Farah devotes about an hour a day to social media marketing, mostly by monitoring customers’ comments and his competition. His marketing director and interns spend more time tracking questions and comments in real time. All told, the company spends about 40 hours a week on social media — a full-time job, as Farah points out.

 

Results

The company’s Twitter promotions have been recognized in several publications, including Advertising Age. K-Buzz ranked Berry Chill as the #3 business profile on Twitter.

Perhaps one of the few down sides for a business is the challenge of measuring results. “It’s very difficult to know exactly what’s working and not working when it comes to social media, unless you run promotions that are specifically linked to customers mentioning the promotion,” Farah said. “When someone tweets about Berry Chill and shows us their phone, we give them 10 percent off at the register, and we have a button for that.  We can track how many people take advantage of this on a daily basis.” Farah attributes 5 percent of his sales to social media promotions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with social media. You will see companies devote a lot less of their resources to conventional ads and focus on social media,” Farah said. Berry Chill has started using Foursquare, predicting that the location-based networking site will be the next craze.

“Social media is free and easy. As long as you have a pulse, you can interact on these platforms,” Farah said.

To learn more about Berry Chill, visit www.berrychill.com, www.twitter.com/yogijones, and http://www.facebook.com/BerryChillChicago.

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About the CFO Strategist
Chris is very proud to add Best Selling author to his resume.  The book he co-authored, 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn reached best seller status on Amazon, hitting a high of #68 across all of Amazon! Recently the book was included in the “Top 100 Best Social Media Books, Ever” list at #77 http://blog.mellowbillow.com/2009/08/17/top-100-best-social-media-books-ever/.

To purchase the book, please go to www.LinkToProsper.com or to Amazon.

To learn more about how to effectively use LinkedIn – please download the Quick Link Graphic available at the top of this page.

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