Sunday, July 3, 2011

Social Media Excellence in a Small Town

My teenage daughters are both volleyball players. As their biggest fan and supporter I have the privilege of travelling to cities and towns near and far to cheer them on, some are big cities and some are small towns, remote small towns. Some towns have limited cellular coverage and I really have no expectations when I travel when it comes to connectivity. I like to post updates on my social media channels during tournaments when connectivity permits. It has been my experience that most folks in smaller communities do not understand social or my desire to constantly connect.

I recently attended Les Jeux de l’Acadie in Edmundston NB to cheer for my youngest daughter and her team from Truro NS. It is about a three hour drive from where I live to Edmundston and I was pleasantly surprised to have coverage the entire journey there. Because I was early for the first game I thought it would be nice if I could find a wireless connection and clear out a few email. I pulled off the highway in to McDonald’s and checked in using Foursquare, the following was pushed to Twitter:

I was sure that they would have wi-fi and I was right. I was able to get through a lot of work that would have had to wait 5 hours. What I did not expect was a response to this post:

I was immediately impressed that a small local Edmundston cafe was monitoring/searching for references inside social media to interact and help grow their small business. This was just the beginning! I responded with a request for directions as I was from out of town and now had their address. The Blue Lotus Café, which was unknown to me just 5 minutes prior, was now on the top of my list of interesting places to visit.

Fast forward a day to my visit to this little oasis and my social media experience continues. When I check in on Foursquare I receive a free muffin. The staff were fantastic, friendly with lots of smiles –  it was obvious they enjoyed being there. The food was incredible so the Blue Lotus Café lived up to the original tweet with ease!

It is always encouraging to see a small local business succeed, it is even more encouraging to see a small local business using social media to help them succeed. Congratulations to everyone at the Blue Lotus Café for contributing to my positive experience, I will be sure to stop in again my next time I am travelling through northern New Brunswick and I hope everyone else does too!

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