One home business that gets social media is CurbsideCupcakes.com http://www.curbsidecupcakes.com, a mobile vendor of gourmet cupcakes in the Washington D.C. area. While most mobile vendors simply show up in their locations and wait for customers to come, CurbsideCupcakes.com uses the social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to announce where their mobile van will be and at what time. Thus, their customers know where to go to look for the pink mobile truck and get their cupcake fix.
Launched in August 2009, CurbsideCupcakes.com is the brainchild of the soon-to-be-married couple Samuel Whitfield III and Kristi Cunningham. Friends thought they were crazy to leave their stable jobs in the middle of a recession, but both believe that they have a wonderful product and a solid business plan. And from the reaction of their fans on Facebook and Twitter, their gamble is paying off!
The couple makes their cupcakes, and goes to their destination for the day for 30 minutes (or until the line dies down). Customers can check the Cupcake Calendar to see the scheduled destinations for the month. However, some days are marked as “Wildcard Spots” and the exact locations are only announced on Twitter and Facebook. Customers can also get the most updated schedules on the social networking sites.
With 3,166 fans on Twitter (and fast increasing), their tweets are light hearted teasers that their followers take to heart. Once a tweet goes out where they will turn up next, fans start preparing to go after the mobile van to buy their gourmet cupcakes. My introduction to the company came via an email from a friend alerting me that CurbsideCupcakes.com will be stopping by near my location, and I need to hurry fast to get their delicious goodies. Many fans even take the bus and the subway train just to get to the mobile van’s location.
Here are some of their latest tweets:
It is in their Facebook fan page , however, where the passion and adulation of their fans for their cupcakes are most apparent. With 5,618 fans on Facebook, fans post pictures of their cupcakes, their interactions with the pink mobile, and their love for the cupcakes.
Here’s a sampler of some interesting posts made recently – and any marketers worth their salt would die for these comments:
- PLEEEEAAAASE come to 1250 24th Street, NW we have a building of people who would love to enjoy your yummmmmy yummmmmy cupcakes 🙂
- OMG! Cupcake Biss! Me and a coworker just got back to the office with 18 cupcakes. Just finished eating RedVelvet…..mmmm…..yummy….cupcake… Hope you come back to Smithsonian area again soon.
- Your Red Velvet cupcake rocks my world! I never chased a cupcake truck until today!! Thanks for coming to Smithsonian.
- Omg, this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Cupcake Perfection
- I’m definately spreading the word 🙂 Sent out an email to all of my peeps first thing this am about voting for you guys AND the truck being at our building 🙂 Would love for our stop to become a regular one 🙂 hoping you do well especially with all the tourists that are around again 🙂 c-you soon!
- i hope you still have some more cookies and cream!!!!
- Have you forsaken 131 M Street NE??? Say it isn’t so!
The success of CurbsideCupcakes.com lies in how they are able to generate excitement in the shopping process. People are not just buying cupcakes, but are participating in a fun and even thrilling experience of trying to be in the announced location at the right time. They may be a small business, but they have developed a strong brand that’s sugary sweet (pink van! pink logos!) and fun. And customers seem to be responding very well to the business.
Social media has changed how businesses reach out and engage their customers. Small businesses like Curbside Cupcakes that are able to harness and leverage social media to market their businesses can get a leg up against competition, generate increased sales, and develop a loyal base of customers.