Thursday, 11 March 2010

Local niche business owner using social to extend his brand

It has been a while since I've had time to maintain this blog but as a freelancer I've decided I should prioritise it a little bit more. This week I found something that got me excited enough to want to blog about it.

I got a call from Charlie, the owner of Henry Herbert, a specialist London tailor who makes shirts, suits and overcoats. Everything is made in England and the twist of difference is that they visit you by scooter for a personal fitting. Personal service is at the heart of what Henry Herbert offers.

Charlie set up his website using Wordpress with a focus on content and blogging about the products and services. The site does not sell direct because it's such a customised service but he's turning to SEO and social media to increase brand exposure.

Early efforts with Google local have paid real dividends, generating strong click through and leads. For a mobile tailoring business that relies on bringing its skills into your home, local search is an ideal marketing channel. Next steps will be to add a listing to Yahoo Local and extend the use of customer reviews on to the main website.

Another opportunity around local is to improve the landing pages for local search, providing content that relates specifically to a London audience.

Charlie has sensibly taken steps to build a social media presence. Word of mouth in this market is important and his Twitter presence (@henryherbert) provides a good platform from which to reach new customers and communicate the brand values. It is early days and the challenge now is to extend beyond simply pushing new blog content to engage with a local and national audience and generate dialogue and conversation.

I really love this business idea. For busy people, the opportunity to have an experienced tailor visit you where you want and take all the effort out of the buying process, is wonderful customer service. It reflects the increasing number of businesses that are offering mobile services, especially in the London area, and the online world provides a wide range of communication channels through which to capture new customers.

So take a look round and let me know what you think. How do you think a local niche business can use Twitter to build brand awareness and engage with customers?

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