Cripple Creek Barbeque isn't your average small business. They get social media and use it on a daily basis to build their business. I've known John and his wife Stacy for some time now and they're some great people.
Not to mention, their barbeque sauce is fantastic.
Just recently, they successfully raised $12,000 on Kickstarter for a food truck which is going to be serving the Denver and Boulder Colorado area. After hearing the great news, I thought it'd be great to interview John and get some of his thoughts on social media.
What is Cripple Creek Barbeque for those who don't know?
Cripple Creek Barbeque is a small mom and pop bbq sauce company owned and operated by me and my wife Stacy. We are a nano sauce company that makes, bottles, markets and sells our own sauces and rubs, and believes in community and the environment Cripple Creek Barbeque started from a love of good barbeque, the actual art of grilling, and the sauces and flavors used to create an unforgettable experience for the palate.
In a quest to create foods that aren’t full of sugars, artificial flavors, and chemicals.
How long have you been using social media for your business?
We have officially been a business since January of 2009, with NO intention of ever tweeting! In fact, in June of 2009 I posted that I would never tweet. My first tweet was Oct 29th, 2009 and we are 20K in now! lol And as soon as Facebook allowed business pages we had ours up.
Unlike some other businesses, you use a picture of yourself. Please explain your reasoning behind that.
In this new World of business, transparency is the key. You have to believe in what you do and give your customers a face, someone to yell at when things don't go well. Of all the corporations out there, Wendy's was one of the few that got that. Dave Thomas was a trailblazer.
What do you see as the biggest mistake that people make when using Twitter, Facebook, etc.?
I think that people think that social media is the same as regular business/marketing practices. You can not talk AT people. You need to get out there and get to know your customers on a personal level. Make friends. People will much rather do business with a friend, someone they trust. You can't just put out your message.
There is a reason it is called "Social".
Likewise, what do you see as most important when using these powerful platforms?
Get to know who your fans, likers, and customers are. Get to know them, and take interest in their lives. You see people post on Facebook all the time, "If your profile picture is your kid, I will unfriend you". That is the single dumbest thing EVER.
Your customer's family IS what it is all about. Think about it in the terms of when my Grandma was raising my mother. The butcher knew all of their children, all of their names, and their birthdays. It matters to people that you believe THEY matter.
Ok, I gotta ask the all too popular question: Which is your favorite...Twitter or Facebook? Why?
Yes! I gotta say that they are both VERY important to us/me. I tweet CONSTANTLY, but that is conversations. That is getting into the nuts and bolts of day to day life with my followers and those I follow. Now Facebook on the other hand is where you get DEEP into lives. That is where you are able to expand on thoughts and feelings. Sharing your life and the lives of your customers/friends with pictures, videos, long form posts.
Any last minute tips to add?
Don't focus on the business as much when you are on your social platforms. Business will come, but relationships take time. Take care of each other and actually CARE about the people in your community.
Where can people learn more about you and all the "delicous" details?
We will be updating our blog as the CCB Truck project rolls and you can find that here: Cripplecreekbarbeque.tumblr.com
You can find out more about our products on our website: Cripplecreekbarbeque.com
You can follow us on Twitter: @CrippleCreekBBQ
And Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/CrippleCreekBBQ