3 Things Grandpa’s Cheesebarn Can Teach Your Business About Social

Grandpa's Cheese Barn Profile pIcIf you drive the stretch of 71 in between Columbus and 76 as often as I do, you’ve likely seen or stopped by a little establishment near Wooster called Grandpa’s Cheesebarn.

I am ashamed to say that, despite nudging from friends and colleagues who insisted that GCB was less of a “Barn” and more of a “PARADISE OF CHEESE,” I had not visited until just a few weeks ago.

And despite experiencing my first ever “cheese high,” I was pleasantly surprised that this tiny tourist stop that features an octogenarian as its namesake and blares polka music over the parking lot is actually a savvy little Social Media machine.

Here are three things that Grandpa’s Cheesebarn does exactly right with Social that can also help your business build engagement, grow your fanbase, and create incredibly loyal followers (and, consequently, buyers).

1. Grandpa’s Cheesebarn Tells Their Customers What They Want Them to Do

we_want_youOK, so go to Grandpa’s Cheese Barn just for the pure thrill of eating your weight in samples of cheese, sauces, nut butters, sausages, dips, syrups, salsas and deli meats.

While you’re “browsing,” it won’t take but a second to realize that everywhere (and I do mean everywhere) there are signs that read, “Check in on Facebook and receive a free gift!”

It’s an easy Call to Action that most customers can easily understand and complete. There’s no question of what needs to be done while you’re stuffing your face with a lovely habenero aged cheddar.

And it’s a great lesson for businesses. So often, they over-complicate the process or Call to Action to the point where customers–with very, very short attention spans–simply click away or eat another piece of cheese and forget what you wanted them to do in the first place.

I think, in many ways, telling your customer what you want to do in very clear terms gets complicated because businesses don’t actually know what they want their customers to do beyond, “Buy our stuff.”

And while, hey, it’s super great businesses at least know that, it helps to define, refine and narrow goals even further. Because a purchase is never just the click of a button or a swipe of a card…it’s many, many “moments of truth” and mini-decisions that lead, eventually, to purchase.

So what do you want customers to do at each “moment of truth?” Grandpa’s Cheesebarn narrowed it down to the point of, “We want customers to check in on Facebook while they sample our stuff.”

It’s not a Call to Action to BUY, sure, but does it LEAD to the sale? Absolutely.

Which leads me to the next thing Grandpa’s Cheesebarn does right.

2. Grandpa’s Cheesebarn Makes It Easy for Customers to Do What They’re Asked

easy-buttonThere is absolutely nothing complicated with “Check in on Facebook and receive a free gift!” Anyone with a smart phone and a Facebook account can do it. There are no fancy instructions, no sign-ins or sign-ups, no numbers to call, or steps to take other than, “Click this button.”

I hate nothing more than being on a website or at a businesses that makes me jump through hoops. Even blogs that are doing giveaways will lose my entry if they ask me to do anything beyond a simple comment or click. And that’s to win FREE stuff!

So imagine how customers feel when their access to you or your product is barred by a series of hurdles.

Grandpa’s Cheesebarn gets it right because they targeted two things most people are sure to have: a mobile device and Facebook.

Easy. Click. Done.

It’s the same reason that TKGenius readers can comment from multiple Social Media platforms rather than needing a WordPress account. We want to interact with our readers, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. No barriers.

But back to Grandpa…

So a customer does the thing she’s asked (while her mouth is now chock-full of pretzels dipped in fresh maple syrup), and Grandpa’s Cheese Barn completes their end of the bargain, which is…

3. Grandpa’s Cheesebarn Rewards Customers for a Job Well Done

Brand AdvocacyWhen I went to the register to buy my homemade cashew butter, I showed the kind cashier my Facebook check-in and he handed me a wooden nickel.

The nickel was good for a scoop of ice cream in the shop downstairs…where I promptly went to collect my delicious swag.

And here’s where Grandpa’s Cheesebarn didn’t disappoint AGAIN. My scoop was ginormous. I expected skimpy (after all, “free gifts” are rarely truly generous), but was instead rewarded beyond the scope of my action.

And this, friends, is why Grandpa’s Cheesebarn will now be a regular stop for me as I traverse 71.

It’s also why savvy businesses like Grandpa’s Cheesebarn aren’t getting “taken to the cleaners” for their generosity.

Because people like me check in, snap photos that they post to Instagram then push to Twitter and Facebook, Like the business Page, and have conversations with friends about the place on Twitter, Facebook and via text.

Grandpa's Cheese Barn Instagram


Grandpa's Cheese Barn Facebook

Grandpa's Cheese Barn LIked

Grandpa's Cheese Barn TwitterSo they might be out a (giant, peach) scoop of ice cream, but they also gained a new loyal customer, and generated conversation and engagement far beyond their original reach.

3 easy steps with big payoff…not too shabby, Grandpa’s Cheesebarn!

What questions do you have? Are you making it easy for your customers to engage, communicate or buy from you?

Uncle Sam photo credit
Easy button photo credit

Sarah is a TKG Content Strategist, a veteran blogger of love, life, and unicorns since way back in 2001. On the blog, you can follow her thoughts on content marketing, corporate identity, how to story-tell effectively, and yes, the occasional unicorn.

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