Foursquare, Twitter and small business social media success

“Welcome to AJ Bombers, where everyone knows your name — or at least your Twitter handle,” wrote The Business Journal of Milwaukee.  The burger joint in the same city has used Twitter (@AJBombers) and other social media networks to build a community — and it’s proving to be a standout case study in how small business can spread the word online.

In fact, the same Biz Journal article says social media has landed AJ Bombers articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN and even a special on the Travel Channel, called “Food Wars.”

The burger joint has taken engagement on Twitter to a whole new level hosting Tweetups, like the “Bloody (Mary) Brunch” and even introducing a popular new menu item –“Burger of the Moment” – created by one of the restaurant’s Twitter followers (@KateBarrie), according to Forrester’s Augie Ray

Moreover, it’s not just Twitter: you’ll also find AJ Bombers on YouTube, Facebook and Foursquare – all to drive real-world interaction.  For example it “used Facebook to create initial awareness of their brand via a Facebook profile picture promotion, where their customers were assigned the task of taking the most creative photo in their logoed, signature, extra large beach chairs and post that photo as their profile picture, also leaving that photo up for the entire month of July,” wrote theBarBlogger.com.

AJ Bombers offers free food to fans that hold its “mayor” badge on Foursquare, added Forrester’s Ray in the same post previously cited, but the company has also tapped the SXSW crowd to leverage the coveted “Swarm Badge” and generate some business.

To qualify for a swarm badge, 50 people or more must check in to the same place at the same time.  When AJ Bombers made the offer on Foursquare, the promotion brought in 161 patrons, which is astounding for a burger place, let alone the fact there are only a few hundred Foursquare users total in Milwaukee, said blogger Stephan Antonas.

Lesson? Engaging hard across multiple social media channels can propel a small, unassuming brand to nationwide fame.

This post was adopted from Ten (and a Half) Great Social Media Successes (should you be interested in reading the other 9 (and a half).
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