The events surrounding COVID-19 have upended businesses big and small across the United States, forcing businesses to quickly adjust to the scarcity of physical traffic coming into their storefronts.
As individuals practice social distancing and stay-at-home measures, more and more people have turned to social media for news coverage and updates from the businesses they follow. This in turn has renewed efforts for businesses to cultivate and maintain a social presence online – despite the responsibilities surrounding their staff’s day-to-day operations.
The digital-first adjustment has impacted each business differently. But for a bicycle shop in Duluth, Minnesota that adopted ThumbStopper in February, their subscription of brand content to their social page has lifted a major weight off the shop’s co-owners during these uncertain times.
In the new digital-first environment, this bicycle dealer can focus on engaging with their customers and managing their storefront while the ThumbStopper platform automatically delivers high-quality, digital content directly to the shop’s social feeds – straight from the brands they sell.
A Dynamic Duo Cycles Through Crisis
Denis Sauve and Lee Emanoff co-own Twin Ports Cyclery, an independent bicycle dealership in Duluth, MN. Established in 1975, Twin Ports offers a variety of bicycles across different brands and budgets, including Cannondale, Raleigh, and Jamis. The dealership is also one of the only shops that strictly caters to bicycle owners in Minnesota’s fifth-largest city.
“By sticking with bicycles, our employees then know the ins-and-outs about bikes, which helps them be really good with what they do for our customers,” said Emanoff.
In recent years, the husband-and-wife duo had difficulty advertising Twin Ports on digital and social media. With a website too complex for staff to manage and an inability to balance social media with the store’s day-to-day operations, Twin Ports relied heavily on “word of mouth” to get the store’s name out to their target audience.
“I did a bit with Facebook – tried to keep up on it by posting bikes and such to cater to our favorite customers who followed us,” Emanoff said. “But we just couldn’t keep up with it.”
Although St. Louis County – where Duluth is located in – has only seen 61 COVID-19 cases since its spread to the U.S., the crisis has disrupted normal operations for businesses like the bike shop, requiring staff to conduct business online and on the phone before having a customer set foot into the store.
The restrictions in effect place a greater need for businesses like Twin Ports to focus on digital channels to ensure their customers are up-to-date with timely business updates.
Lending a Helping Hand With ThumbStopper
Emanoff was present at Chicago’s CABDA Midwest bike conference, where she was first introduced to the ThumbStopper platform. She and Twin Ports never looked back afterward.
The software, which automatically deploys high-quality, brand-curated content to independent dealers’ social feeds, was a game-changer for the duo, enabling Twin Ports to receive a consistent feed of social posts featuring products the dealership sells to its customers. Within a few weeks, Twin Ports received an average 17.13% organic reach from content published to its Facebook page using ThumbStopper – 14 percentage points greater than average reach on the platform.
The influx of content has provided opportunities for the shop’s followers and interested customers to engage with the shop online – through comments, likes, and follows. Since joining ThumbStopper, Twin Ports has engaged with an additional 5,800 individuals with its content and facilitated 146 reactions among interested viewers.
“I’ve been very pleased with the positive comments [on the page] and feeling like there’s something going on that I don’t always have to keep up on,” Emanoff said. “Even though I can also post content, I know there’s something else helping do the work for us.”
Social Media: Amplified and in Full Effect
Although COVID-19 has slowed some business down for Twin Ports Cyclery, the bike shop has received continued success in the weeks since social distancing recommendations were put in place.
Twin Ports Cyclery has seen a 17% average organic reach from content deployed with ThumbStopper within the past month. During that time, the bike shop reached over 3,100 unique individuals on Facebook and amassed over 2,000 impressions despite restrictions with physical traffic.
Emanoff also noted that Twin Ports will continue using the program throughout the year into the winter season, where bike sales slow down due to weather conditions. She recommends individuals take advantage of ThumbStopper because of its consistent content flow and affordable prices for independent dealers.
“I didn’t know there was anybody out there that could do what ThumbStopper does,” Emanoff said. “It was a relief to know that somebody could do just that and that the solution was reasonably priced.”
More information about Twin Ports Cyclery can be found by visiting the link here. To learn more about how ThumbStopper assists retailers in maximizing their social thumbprint online, check out the industries we support.