Earning visibility online takes some creativity, and two Community Capital businesses have knocked it out of the park this spring. Although Lisa & John at Miller’s Toll, and Sarita at Vermont Salt Cave, did not pay for their campaigns, their investments in time, ingenuity, and knowing their brand and audience is paying big dividends for their businesses.

The Miller’s Toll Dinner Club: Facebook and Instagram Reach

With drinks like Death by Misadventure and I’m Not Being Rude, people seem to know what to expect from the Miller’s Toll Dinner Club and Lounge in Bennington. Community Capital borrowers Lisa and John ran what Lisa described as a “fun little marketing Facebook and Instagram contest” that turned out to not be that little at all.  Recognizing that people get excited about naming their drinks, Lisa posted a photo of a cocktail on Instagram and Facebook, asking for suggestions in exchange for gift items and attribution on the menu. Two women who had never met collaborated on the winning name, which was, “You’re so Vain, You Probably Think This Drink is For You.”   Through this spirited social media engagement, with one post Miller’s Toll reached over 2000 people and got 95 comments and 33 reactions on Facebook. The Instagram post had over 500 impressions, 50 reactions, 13 comments and garnered a few new followers. Excellent exposure – without spending a penny – in exchange for recognizing that consumers love to be involved with their cocktails.

Vermont Salt Cave: Google Organic SEO

Community Capital borrower Sarita Khan realized that she has a highly specialized business in an exceedingly rural area. Specializing in salt halotherapy at the Vermont Salt Cave in Montgomery, Sarita worked on organic website SEO combined with creative partnerships as a tactic to reach the world online. She says that she spent hours creating an index of all the salt caves in the country sorted by state, noting, “With hundreds of inbound links with heavy saturation of the term “salt cave,” we succeeded in having the largest directory of salt cave listings in the United States and are on the first page of Google.  When new caves open up anywhere in the country, they contact me and ask to be added to the list.” Building on this successful tactic, Sarita invites vacation rentals and lodging properties in the region to have a presence on her site, free of charge. They may also list any packages that include a Salt Cave activity.

Sarita also uses HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a free sourcing service which connects traditional media as well as bloggers and others to citizens and businesses. You can sign up for daily emails in defined categories of expertise and weigh in directly with the journalists when you have something to offer. Sarita is now the often-cited “salt cave expert” in her field!


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