Good afternoon and welcome back to the blog! Whether you’ve lived in Wilmington 3 months or 4 years, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that you have come in contact with some sort of advertising from local businesses. With multitudes of college students, these advertisers must gain the attention of these newcomers to the community earlier than their competitors. Coupons, mailing lists, and magazines embedded with promotions are prominent ways of capturing new customers for local businesses. However, smaller and newer companies are starting a new trend, a cheaper trend, which is using social media to interact with potential customers.
This method of advertising has been crucial in recent years in expanding rising businesses awareness. In South End Surf Shop’s case, social media has a moderate effect on local residents, but, in the summer months, social media becomes a modern-day word-of-mouth to the flood of tourists visiting Wilmington’s amazing beaches. Social media is unique in that people affiliated with a company (i.e. like, follow, or share a business’ content) are providing free labor to that business; when an individual shares, likes, or follows a brand, there is a curious, global audience waiting and refreshing their timelines to find their next purchase or destination.
The Social Network Theory (SNT) is directly aligned with South End Surf Shop’s method of advertising. South End specializes in surfing equipment and accessories. The SNT suggests that South End Surf Shop’s network of surfers and skaters is beneficial for these networks during South End’s social media campaigns. A network of surfers are likely to know other surfers or consumers that are unaware of South End Surf Shop’s content; therefore, when avid South End Surf Shop customers share the company’s content, there is a continuous process of sharing to other network’s of people, that is potentially endless for the brand’s reach.
But, what is so unique about this surf shop as compared to the other 2 surf shops in the area? Both Sweet Water Surf Shop and SurfCity Surf Shop have social media platforms, and similar advertising techniques. According to Forbes, there are several benefits that social media marketing can bring to a business. However, they key is to make something unique within at least one of your platforms. This is what South End accomplishes. Due to their unique location at the south end of Wrightsville Beach, where no other commercial stores stand besides the infamous Oceanic restaurant, South End Surf Shop takes advantage of having a daily video surf and weather report that is displayed on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The owner has not missed a single day in posting this daily report, and this is what is unique. None of the other surf shops do this, and so they gain a competitive advantage over the other shops because now the current and future consumers can affiliate themselves with this unique aspect, creating more brand recognition and loyalty for South End Surf Shop.
Social media marketing is the new and upcoming way that small and large businesses need to take advantage of. Take the time to think about a company you affiliate yourself with. Do they use social media effectively or poorly? Give us your thoughts and point us into the direction of some good examples of solid social media advertising. Have a good week!
-Colby Cummings, Connor Gold, Chase Seymour
Social Media is a cheap and extremely smart way for small businesses to get their name out there. Social media is something that almost everybody is on and is using on a day to day basis. If used correctly, social media can help a small business be recognized on a global scale as quickly as overnight. In the case of South End Surf Shop, I follow them on Instagram for their daily surf report, but they also post great deals that are currently going on and deals that are rapidly approaching.
I completely agree with what y’all are saying about how using social media can really benefit a local companies success. South End Surf Shop ultimately appeals to a younger demographic who does use a lot of social media to connect to their friends and world around them. Places like this will thrive because all of their posts will be commented on, shared and liked.
I’m glad this was covered because I actually have watched and used the surf videos they post daily, and their unique social media advertising techniques have definitely made me choose Surf City over their competitors. I have a friend who is the new social media coordinator for a new local protein company (TruProteins) and this is something she’s constantly working to improve at her job.
Enjoyed reading this post! First off, I love South End Surf Shop and have had the pleasure of meeting the owner as well as many of the employees. They are running a great business and they just expanded there store by added a coffee shop upstairs! I’m curious to see how they will market the upstairs cafe and how it will affect the surf shop’s business. For me personally, I think another great way they have marketed their own brand is basically treating everyone as family who goes in there. No one is a tourist when you are in this store, everyone acts like a local!
This has been a huge topic of conversation between my roommates, who are both marketing majors and myself of lately. Social media is clearly here to stay and business’ are starting to use it as a platform to market their products or service. The question we are continuing to ask is if someone like my roommate is qualified to be a marketing researcher, does that make them qualified to be a social media marketing researcher as well. Do the same principles that are being taught in marketing 101 classes apply to social media? I think for the most part yes, but it will be interesting to see how this question gets answered in the coming years.
I can totally see why South End Surf Shop is using social media to their advantage when marketing their brand. Marketing via social media is already a good idea considering it’s a free way to get a brand out in the world; but if you can also do so with a unique edge, that can really make a difference in the traffic a company can receive on their website or even physically in the store. Great post!
Not that they’re a small company using social media to build their client base, but one example of a business that uses social media effectively I feel is Taco Bell. The person who controls their twitter account is always coming up with silly and witty responses to the tweets they receive. It creates this idea that the brand is more of a person than a large business. The interaction is frequent, which allows them to stay relevant on the social media platform.
It is really great the South End Surf shop is taking the initiative and posting everyday to their social media feeds. If I was an avid surfer this would really create brand loyalty for me. This means that someone has to log in everyday and post this (unless there is a computer program that does it). Seeing businesses that not only let their consumers market them, but also get involved and help create reasons to be marketed, are truly the best companies to be loyal too. Another example of the good social media marketing is Taylor Swift. She is not a company, but she is a brand and she is constantly interacting with people in her social media. She makes a point to reach out to all of her fans to make them feel special and create that brand loyalty.
This was a great and relevant blog post to what we are currently examining in our IMC 1 class. South End Surf Shop’s use of word of mouth marketing is fascinating, as it is truly becoming a trend for businesses these days. With the intervention of social media, it is true that most businesses are now depending on those who endorse a company’s products to their peers for recognition. As opposed to the vast amount of money that used to be spent on advertising, companies are now relying on their customers to tell others, a trend that is uniquely influenced by Social Media. In addition, I had never heard of the Social Networking Theory, and was intrigued to discover its importance for businesses. To be able to see this theory in action, with regards to its uses for South End Surf Shop, was an interesting and easy way to learn exactly what this theory means. Finally, I loved the part about how South End is using their brand recognition. To see concepts that I have learned in IMC applied relevantly is a great way to learn about them.
I work for the Homewood Suites in Mayfaire and feel that our hotel could have a stronger social media presence. I just feel that often times, we don’t have too many things to discuss or post about so we choose not to instead. Any ideas on how we can have a stronger social media presence or get ideas on what to talk about?
What a coincidence! South End Surf Shop just appeared on my Instagram last night! I’m not sure what this feature of the app is labeled, but it’s the part directly to the right of the home option which uses the magnifying glass icon. I generally browse in that section to discover new things, especially in the Wilmington area. So – to be casual- the shop is definitely killing the game when it comes to promo, or SNT. For me to gain interest overnight simply because they indirectly reached me online speaks volumes about their branding efforts.
I am a promoter for Ziggy’s by the Sea. That arrangement actually arose from instagram. I was consistently tagging them and checking in at the venue and they offered me a promo team position.
One company that is notably using social media – setting itself apart from similar companies – is the restaurant Might as Well. Their “weekly $100 repost project” is irresistable to instagram followers and their friends, who have a chance of winning a $100 giftcard to the sportsbar eatery. Ive seen companies do giveaways regularly, but rarely are prizes offered on a weekly basis.
Surfing is obviously a huge part of the culture of Wilmington. So many people that I go to school with say they have chosen this school over another because they want to surf. By emphasising their social media on not just their products, but surfing as well, they really connect with their audience. They build their brand by not just marketing themselves as a trendy surf store, but as a brand that is genuinely into what they are selling. This will surely make their customer loyalty strong and appeal to many consumers in the surfing community.
I have always been impressed with the word of mouth that South End generates. Even before I came down here for school, people had told me about it. It seems to be almost a tourist attraction. People love to show off their South End stickers that they put on their cars or boards. This is just another form of advertisement.
I completely agree – I follow both South End Surf Shop and Sweetwater on Instagram, and the consistency of SESS’s posts about weather and the current swell really gives them an advantage over the other businesses around. Just the fact that the owner has never missed a day shows his dedication to the sport he is promoting and the loyalty he holds to his customers. Adding personal touches that show a small businessowner truly cares, like this, can give any business a leg-up over the competition.
South End does do a really good job in advertising online and portaying who they are through social media. Another local company that I think is good at this is Flaming Amy’s. Their stickers are everywhere you go and because of this I see this all over social media. Social media is a big part of a lot of companies in this area.
The first time I learned about South End Surf Shop was from their Instagram. The owner post great pictures and shows how important his customers are by posting pictures about them! I feel like the owner’s Instagram is very personalized and appeals to all audiences. A brand I offilate with is Vans. Vans does an amazing job with their social media and they always show their shoes in action. By showing the activities their shoes and other products are used for you can then picture yourself in that situation.
I really like this blog post because I recently realized how much I support local businesses through social media outlets. I constantly follow the surf shops in Wrightsville Beach and find myself going to their store to buy something I saw online. I think it is a genius marketing strategy at no cost. All businesses should definitely have different social media outlets to attract more customers and promote their business!
The social network theory was not something I had previously heard of. It was interesting and informative to read about it in this context.
Using social media as a way of advertising and getting the brand out there is a great idea, especially for smaller business that may not gain the same recognition that larger companies do. One business in my hometown recently gained a new owner as the old owner was going into retirement. When the old owner still maintained control of the business, there was little to no social presence. The company fully relied on WOMM and their reputation as a way of getting customers, both new and old. When the new owner took over, they changed the name of the business and immediately started a new social network profile. After observing the amount of traffic that goes into to the store now and comparing it to the amount of traffic that the store use to average per week, there is a big difference. This goes to show that smaller business are realizing that WOMM is slowly fading out and they are make way for the SNT movement. The more a small business does this, the better the amount of traffic they will get to their store which also increases the amount of people buying different items that are being sold.