by Lisa Illman | Featured Contributor
There is no question, social media is here today, it’s here to stay and when connecting with clients, Entrepreneurs have found a way! The big retail giants like Petco and PetSmart use the Internet for sales and some marketing, but I have noticed the small businesses that have a unique value, really have an advantage when it comes to connecting with their customers via various social media channels. The pet businesses who have mastered at least one social media outlet really seem to connect with their customers. And when small businesses successfully connect with customers, sales go up, up, up! Below are two small businesses using the Internet really well to communicate their brand, their message and their products.
Cats have figured out how to rule the Internet and Kate Benjamin has figured out how to incorporate her love for kitties and her experience as a Designer into a thriving business called Hauspanther. This online magazine focuses on modern design for felines and the folks who love them. The key is modern when it comes to this hot spot for kitties. Hauspanther offers information on all the hottest modern products, services and design ideas. Not only is Hauspanther focused on the aesthetics of kitty cat habitats, they seek out information that improves the lifestyle of the feline as well as the cat owner. Through an online subscription, you can receive editions of this modern feline design magazine right to your inbox. In addition, you can catch Hauspanther on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Quality information isn’t all they provide through the Internet. There is also an online store with unique and interesting cat products including but not limited to cat scratchers, toys, feeders and even cat tattoos! Kate Benjamin has been blogging, tweeting, posting and snapping photos of her beloved fur babies and the business that serve them since 2007. Her cat business continues to grow and thrive, and it’s mostly all done through social media!
Coming out of the gate this year, the Cat Lady Box is another feline online business that has cats and their owners swooning. This unique service is done online through Facebook, Twitter and a website. The Cat Lady Box specializes in cat products, with a twist. The owner, Dorian Wagner, who is a cat lover herself, goes out and finds unique products to fill up boxes for her customers. Customers can choose a box filled with cat owner goodies or the customer can purchase a box filled with cat owner goodies and treats for the kitties too! The Cat Lady Box uses Facebook to post “sneak peeks” of specialty items that could be included in the box. By gauging her followers response to posts, Dorian can determine which unique products to order and which to take a pass on. She basically gets feedback ahead of time, which is quite clever if you think about it. Rather then sending out product that her customers do not want, and rather then stocking products that won’t turn, Dorian is learning the taste of her clients right out of the gate. The Cat Lady Box Facebook Page already has well over 3.5k likes, which is pretty impressive for a new small business that just opened their doors!
The reach that social media has in the world today is quite extraordinary. Creating a unique value proposition for customers and using social media to serve this is a successful combination. The kitty cats are not only ruling the Internet, the business owners who serve them seem to have a leg up here too!
Lisa Illman is the president and founder of Kritter Kommunity. Born in 2009 out of her passion for pets, Lisa’s vision for Kritter Kommunity was inspired by her kitty cats, Madison and Abigail. With very little cash to start her business, Lisa and her cat Abigail started blogging and tweeting to gain product exposure. They were able to take 100 orders before their new product was even available. A social media enthusiast today, Lisa and her cat Abigail still post and tweet regularly; they have over 15k pet loving followers on Twitter.
This was just the beginning of Lisa’s journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer for the pet industry. Coming out of the gate with no experience starting a business, Lisa took bold steps without knowing which would be mistakes, and which would take her to the next level of success. Tenacity and passion gave her the courage to pitch her own products to media contacts and landed them on many media outlets like Good Morning America. Relationship building and writing put her in a position to develop a solid reputation with the social media world of pet lovers; her furry muses cheering her every step of the way!
Hands on experience, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Pennsylvania State University, more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience, and numerous professional awards, Lisa has a strong foundation as she continues her journey as an entrepreneur, inventor and writer. She inspires others to capitalize on their interests through coaching and writing.