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Chicago has an abundance of notable people who call it home, so competition for social media presence in the area is high. Businesses have to compete with stars in politics, sports and the entertainment business. However, these area businesses have found their digital voices to connect with potential customers in the city and beyond.


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Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

For restauranteurs, finding customers is a core component of running a fruitful shop. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, which began its life as a food truck, utilized customers to help build its brand. According to a profile by the American Marketing Association, “In the summer of 2013, [the owner] partnered with a small social media marketing company to help increase Bang Bang’s reach and brand awareness by offering free slices of pie for brand-friendly Instagram posts.” Using this clever word-of-mouth tactic helped the pie shop build its base, and it has since grown to two brick-and-mortar locations.



An online custom t-shirt retailer, Threadless employs plenty of creative types, which may be a reason why it is a popular brand on Twitter. Founded in the early 2000s, the company built its brand through its customers. A 2010 Forbes magazine article titled, “Need to Build a Community? Learn from Threadless,” details how this strategy helped the company. “The Internet-based company asks consumers to submit shirt designs they’ve created — it gets as many as 300 submissions a day — and allows its large fan base to vote on the ones they like best.” Six years later, the brand shows no signs of slowing.


Chicago Tribune

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People may be consuming their news digitally more often than not, but many newspapers have adapted to the trend. The Chicago Tribune capitalizes on nostalgia to build its brand and connect to readers via Instagram. Posting under the handle Vintage Tribune, the paper regularly offers glimpses into Chicago’s vibrant past, posting old photos from its archives. The account currently has over 76,000 followers, all of whom can be instantly connected to the paper’s website.


The Post Family

A collective of artists, The Post Family has utilized social media accounts, including Twitter and Flickr, to spread the word about gallery shows and other events featuring local artists. Consisting of seven different artists, the collective uses its social media accounts to reach art lovers, driving traffic to many different events and businesses.


Social media marketing may be tough to jump start, but once your business has built a following, it can use its presence to continue growing, as seen in the businesses profiled.


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For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
visit CBS Small Business Pulse Chicago.