Building Concrete Success in a Virtual Neighborhood

At Beekman 1802, when the social media community grows, so does business.

October 2015

Won’t you be my neighbor?

It’s a simple request. But it’s paid huge dividends for Beekman 1802, turning customers into ambassadors of the farm, mercantile, and lifestyle company in Sharon Springs, N.Y.

That’s because owners Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge have made Beekman 1802’s social media sites a virtual neighborhood, where they communicate directly with customers about products, and encourage customers to communicate and share with one another.

“We like to say that you can find a ‘Beekman neighbor’ virtually anywhere you go in the world,” Ridge says. “This is how people started sending photos of themselves sharing the Beekman message no matter where they were: wearing a Beekman T-shirt at Fashion Week in Paris or by writing ‘Beekman 1802’ in the sand in Bali.”

For Beekman 1802, the “neighbors” aren’t just building a community—they’re helping to boost business. For example, when the company launched its food line at Target stores, customers played a part in getting the word out on social media.

“They stormed stores to take ‘shelfies,’ ” Ridge says. “They posted photos of themselves in front of the in-store displays on their social media accounts, which helped more people learn about our products.”

The more active Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell are on social media, the more customers respond.

“Our engagement rate on social media is 30 times greater than that of similar-sized companies, Ridge says. “We actually enjoy participating in the conversation, and we don’t hand it over or delegate to anyone else in the company. If there’s a posting or a response on social media, you can guarantee that it came from one of us directly.”

And it’s that transparency of the Beekman 1802 owners that keeps the “neighborhood”—and the business—growing.

“If you put yourself out there in an authentic and honest way, your tribe will find you,” Ridge says.

 

 

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