Key Driver of Small-Business Success? Social Media

Beekman 1802 makes connecting with customers a priority.

April 2015

Beekman 1802 in Sharon Springs, N.Y., is a farm, mercantile and lifestyle company. But for owners Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, it’s more than that: It’s a way to share their lives, through social media, and to forge authentic connections with customers.

Social media is so important to Beekman 1802’s success that it’s “intertwined in our daily lives. We’re doing our job and sharing what we love to do,” Ridge says. And they make customer service and interaction a priority. “Our customers now have grown to want and need a certain level of immediacy from us,” Ridge adds.

Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell showcase their personalities on social media, and in turn, the personality of their business. “The way we present products is in a common voice, and with a sense of humor. We’re always trying to do or say something unexpected,” Ridge says.

Additionally, the Beekman 1802 owners are able to deepen relationships with their customers by providing an inside view of the company. “If we have something from our blacksmith, we’ll actually post behind-the-scenes pictures of the product being made or give some behind-the-scenes detail about the development and the design inspiration,” Ridge says.

Social media is “intertwined in our daily lives. We’re doing our job and sharing what we love to do.”
— @beekman1802boys [Tweet This!]

Making social media a crucial part of the business has also provided Beekman 1802 with new business opportunities. “Often, our products are influenced by social media engagement,” Kilmer-Purcell says. “This happens all the time, especially with skincare products. So much of our business is about working with local artisans and craftspeople that we get a lot of referrals and introductions through Facebook.”

Beekman 1802’s frequent interactions with customers include a variety of content, some more sales-focused. As Kilmer-Purcell puts it: “Every Sunday morning, my post on Facebook is the top five items sold in the mercantile the previous week. And it always drives more sales, and there will be people who buy because I posted that.”