Our latest featured New Social Business is Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store of Souderton, PA. This Montgomery County small business has been using the internet as an effective marketing tool. Asher’s Chocolates has not only used online tools like Facebook in their marketing strategy, but they have embraced the idea of carrying that social behavior through to their retail store.
The mind behind the Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store Facebook Fan Page is Emma Hodgson, the Retail Store Manager. She has changed the way she, and other employees of the store, interact with customers. They now reference their Facebook page in conversations with customers. Many times customers will bring up different things that have been happening on their Facebook page. It gives customers and Emma a reason to engage in conversation, as opposed to the standard, “can I help you with anything?”, which often times makes customers feel uncomfortable and they politely decline. Now, through Facebook, customers and Asher’s employees have connected online, which provides a real opportunity for Asher’s employees to take their conversation to the next level during their in store meeting.
Philadelphia Area New Social Business
Emma Hodgson has been working at Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store for 11 years now. Earlier this year, she had the idea of putting an Asher’s coupon up on her individual Facebook page, as customers began finding her on Facebook to talk Asher’s Chocolates. Once that began to take off, in early March 2009, Emma went ahead and created the Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store fan page. It’s been an overwhelming success so far for the chocolate maker as they have over 500 fans. Asher’s Chocolates is a Philadelphia success story and they’ve been evolving their business along with the times since they opened their first retail store in Germantown, PA in 1892.
Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store is currently running a campaign through Facebook. The coupon has been associated with the following sales:
- June 2009: 13 purchases
- July/August 2009: 26 purchases
- September 2009: 3 purchases
The coupons have the highest average purchase amount compared to any other campaign Asher’s has run including print, radio and internet. Perhaps you want to re-read that statement…especially if you are someone who doesn’t think social media marketing can drive sales. A free tool, in this case Facebook, has driven more sales than any other promotion they have run in the past. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store uses Facebook to the fullest. They have a link on their website to point people to their Facebook page. When they do participate in traditional advertising, such as in the local Clipper Magazine, they are sure to include the Facebook logo so that people know they can find them there.
When I asked Emma how the owners of the store are reacting to the success on Facebook, she said that they love it. She quoted them as saying, “we’re not spending any money on this”. They are exactly right. It simply takes time to maintain the page, as well as, a change in philosophy throughout the organization. Employees need to be up on the latest developments on the page so that they can interact with customers. The marketing department needs to know to put links to the Facebook page on their website and insert Facebook logos into their print ads. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to social media marketing for it to work to it’s fullest potential.
For now, Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store plans to stick with Facebook as it’s sole means of social media marketing. At this point, maintaining one site takes plenty of Emma’s time. That’s something we certainly understand, as we have built Catalyst Marketers around the idea of helping business owners with these tasks, so that they can focus on what they do best. If you haven’t been to the Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store, definitely stop by and visit the “bartenders of chocolate”, as they have so many special products in their store. It’s only right up the street for many of us, so be sure to check them out. Grab your coupon from their Facebook fan page before you go. Click the map below for directions.
Asher’s Chocolates Retail Store is running a photo contest on their Facebook page. Become a fan of their page and participate. Here are the official rules of the Asher’s Chocolates Facebook Photo Contest: Upload your pictures of someone enjoying Asher’s Chocolates. We will pick our favorite 3 photos for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Winners will receive a gift basket or gift certificate to the retail store in the amount of $100 (1st place), $50 (2nd place), or $25 (3rd place). Start uploading those pictures now! You may enter 5 pictures per person. Contest ends ends November 30th, winners will be notified by December 7th! Good Luck!
If you think your business has what it takes to be featured on our blog as a New Social Business, then leave a comment on this post, or email Catalyst Marketers.