Justin Esch and Dave Lefko love bacon. This is a story of how conversation and social media transformed their lives. It’s a business development success story that will give pause to even the most jaundiced observer of social media.
On the fence about Facebook and Twitter?
Here’s a dollars and cents example to ponder.
“Wouldn’t it be great if there was a powder that made everything taste like bacon,” Dave jokingly asked Justin one night over a beer. The two, employees of a high-tech company, took what must have seemed the next obvious step: check it out online.
A survey of MySpace users uncovered over 35,000 interested bacon taste lovers. Their experimentation and exploration (online) ultimately resulted in a product now sold in stores nationwide. Eric Qualman, in his book, Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business, says their initial research practically pulled the product to market,
“They began reaching out to these people to gauge their interest in Bacon Salt, and not only did they find interest, they started receiving orders when they didn’t even have a product yet!”
I’m skipping a ahead (read their whole story here), but the point remains: social media transformed idle curiosity into a profitable business and made their bacon savoring dreams come true. Adding to the improbability of it all, Justin and Dave got their start-up investment when his 3-year old son Dean won $5,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos. See for yourself:
A lesson —
What’s bacon have to do with your business?
What Justin and Dave demonstrate goes way beyond start-up success. It is a clinic on how your business can tap social media to build trust, credibility, rapport, and relationship. Consider this:
- Their idea was authentic; they made an honest inquiry
- They isolated and tapped into a genuine felt need
- They crowdsourced development soliciting feedback
- They generated demand and leveraged it at retail
- They continue providing updates to fans: recipes, new products, etc.
- Their transparency cements customer allegiance
What part of this can’t you do right now?
Opening yourself up to dialog has some risk; customers may vent or complain. Chances are, they’re doing so now somewhere anyway. Providing a forum and constructively responding not only neutralizes damage, but creates transparency. You also create a place to get input, share new products, and positive experiences. It’s just a matter of organization and focus. I can help you make it happen. Let’s talk.
One more lesson from the bacon boys:
There’s another tasty lesson for you in Justin and Dave’s success. They’re not just successful, they’re happy to share. How much more transparent can you get than explaining point-by-point how to do what they did; reaching up with one hand while reaching down to lift up others.
Justin and Dave are my kind of crazy.