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5 Surprising Success Stories from Scrappy Companies on Social Media

Would you guess a construction company has social media swagger?

What about a one-man glasswork shop figuring out how to go viral for free?

5 Surprising Success Stories from Scrappy Companies on Social Media

In the great, wild world of social marketing, some of the smallest business are taking big risks and finding success in surprising ways. What can bigger brands learn from these feisty entrepreneurs about boosting brand loyalty and authority on social?

One big theme is a move outside the big networks. Although Facebook continues to dominate social media traffic patterns, a variety of social platforms from Vine to Reddit are used by savvy entrepreneurs and small businesses to maximize traffic, engage audiences, and land new customers.

Check out these examples of small businesses finding social success.

1. Martian Glasswork Rocks Reddit


When searching for customers who appreciate art that’s out of this world, the owner of Martian Glasswork took his craft to Reddit in an attempt to gain heightened exposure online.

It worked. A casual post on Reddit announcing the artist’s niche — gaming-themed stained glass — gained nearly 250 comments and skyrocketed business on Etsy. Thanks in part to exposure on Reddit, Martian Glassworks grew out of Etsy’s platform and is now showcased on a branded website where custom orders continue to pour in.

2. Empire CAT Construction Waterfall on YouTube

At first glance, the construction industry may not seem exciting, let alone buzzworthy. But the marketing team at Empire CAT saw an opportunity during the height of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. They kept in theme by filling up a CAT 770 Off-Highway Truck with ice water, making it one of the largest and most epic challenges to date.

CAT ALS Ice Bucket

The video has garnered over 40,000 views so far and most notably they included a direct link to the ALS donation page, something many brands neglected to do when making their own challenge video.

YouTube’s not their only social priority. They’ve also accumulated over 1,000 followers on Instagram, often posting nostalgic and vivid imagery of construction machinery.

3. 12 Keys Rehab StumbleUpon Mastery

12 Keys Rehab

12 Keys Rehab, a drug and rehabilitation center based in Florida, has been trailblazing when it comes to blogging, infographics, and educational videos this past year. With over 200,000 views and tens of thousands of social signals, their blog has become a great place to find interesting content about anything related to drugs, health, psychology, and addiction.

They’ve mastered StumbleUpon, as seen in a recent video about how much college students drink, with over 11,000 stumbles. That’s how I found the video.

4. Three Bird Nest Gets Big on Etsy

Amidst a sea of creative competition, Etsy shop owners are finding it increasingly difficult to rise above the noise and get products in front of paying customers. Three Bird Nest, a business specializing in handmade socks and leg-warmers, is making waves and earning leads on social media.

Three Bird


A mere three years after launching, the brand has nearly 150,000 likes on Facebook and more than 2,000 followers on Twitter who await clever posts and images showcasing the latest products. Because of the brand’s growing social media presence, it has become one of the top brands on Etsy with nearly 100,000 total sales, averaging about $65,000 a month. Aside from effectively building a community of niche clothing fans, they have – most notably – used effective social media marketing tactics (as seen above) to encourage social engagement.

5. Four Peaks Brewing Pinterest


Not all social media buzz occurs on Facebook and Twitter, and some brands are turning to imagery to make a statement online. Arizona-based craft beer company Four Peaks Brewery has taken visual content to the next level on Pinterest. With nearly 3,000 pins and more than 5,000 followers, the small business has been able to draw in new customers, strengthen relationships with existing fans, and increase sales.

Their Pinterest strategy essentially targets every discipline of the beer industry with boards for:

  • Beer gifts
  • Drinking around town
  • Food pairings
  • Homebrewers
  • Behind-the-scenes look
  • Brewing books
  • Art + Brewing
  • And many more

Looking forward

Going into 2015, have you considering making some marketing magic happen on a new social network? What ideas do you have in mind? Share you input and which small business approach you liked best in the comments below.

Jesse Aaron

Jesse Aaron

Jesse Aaron is a community manager and freelancer writer. He also runs a blog and forums about social media marketing on Mashbout.

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