It’s a bit of old case, from 2010 July -sorry for the ones who already have heard of this, but it still attracts my interest. And I have to talk about ‘@cremebruleecart’, since it indeed demonstrates well about how Twitter can contribute to the local small business. As many of you already know about ‘food-cart in San Francisco’. It has been a hip quite recently for a while, probably still popular to street-snackers like me (but not a new idea any more). The idea was start-up the food-cart business with shortage of marketing budget, and this creme brûlée guy had to tweet about his business on Twitter. He did not tweet something big, only tweeting where the truck head for and what sorts of custard would be provided on the given day. Not only telling his followers about these infos but also from time to time asking his followers where the truck should go. And it has really worked.
Here are three aspects that I want to point out.
Many people like events. If something happen unexpectedly, people think that is more fun and exciting. This creme brûlée guy tweets the newly-serving menu and the location all the time, it is human instinct to be curious and guess what could be the next. You cannot expect this to the normal-brick restaurants.
The followers also can participate what kind of menu he should serve as well as what location could be good. This makes the customers feel engaged, and if this guy listens to what suggested, the customer would feel respected (it is a small business though) as well as excited. I guess these customers also would tweet about this again.
3. Assistant to Small Business
The guy was a former construction worker. With a little of budget he could start the business, since Twitter could be a good marketing/promotional tool. And this is not only for his case; it is widely known that Twitter can help small businesses. At the same time, the business owner can get feedback directly from his/her customers, while developing relationships; it would be less risky for small business owners who have limited budget.
From this case, I see the Twitter’s powerful influence in local business and true engagement.
Around a year ago, last spring break, I visited San Francisco with my boyfriend, and that time we waited two to three hours or so for food-cart in the rain. Ah,,, it could have been way better, if we had known that we could check Twitter.