Go to Rodworks.com today and you'll find a company that prides itself on offering a vast selection of unique iron works and home décor. The small store peddles picture frames, racks and designs you can't find anywhere else. Step on into the company's web site, read some decorating tips, have a look around, select what you like, and buy.
A year ago, however, you couldn't do that. Back then, boutique shop with a handful of stores in Utah, Nevada and Colorado didn't even have an online shopping cart. They didn't need one, really. Their small following of customers could swing by the shop, or just pick up the phone and call in an order.
Everything was manageable and humming along just fine until someone wrote a blog post. On Halloween 2011, Lindsay, the self-proclaimed "gal that runs a DIY blog," was doing what she always does - sharing her stories of home craft projects. This time, the mother three boys and author of the Country Girl Home blog posted about her newly fashioned "hand crafted" sofa table.
The problem that arose wasn't the sofa table, but what hung above it. This particular DIY article set the wheels in motion for what truly illustrates the power of social media for business.
I was first made aware of this story by the folks at Avalaunch Media, a firm that knows quite a bit about social media marketing. Speaking at the SES Conference in San Francisco, the session topic was Pinterest as an effective marketing tool. True to subject matter, these guys told the story spot on.
Lindsay's picture was pinned to Pinterest, and then re-pinned over and over.
Someone mentioned that the rod could be purchased at Rod Works, a veritable crisis arose, and the company had to react. Rod Works was literally bombarded by Pinterest users into opening their online store in February 2012. "We got emails daily for months from Pinterest users, so we eventually opened up our online store in February," said a company spokesperson. "We quickly sold hundreds of the frame rods and now sell many other unique items daily."
Anatomy of a Pinterest-induced, Product Demand Crisis
Good Product + Advocates = Social Media Power
In the end, the moral of the social media story is this: good products, that generate good following, have the potential to explode in popularity with the right social channels. Craftsmen and artisans around the world take note, sharpen your Pinterest pinning skills, and brace yourselves for the potential of something remarkable.