Ecycler.com is an internet age version of cash for cans concept. Through this website, people who wanted to discard their belongings could do so by posting it to the website. ‘Collectors’ would then arrange to pick it up or get the discarded belongings shipped. Basically the soul of the business here was communication between collectors and discarders.
The challenge for the company was to proactively create awareness and start a conversation between collectors and discarders. Also, they wanted to find new people who wanted to discard their goods, collectors as well as partner organisations to take part in it.
To do this, first the company started out with traditional model of cold calling, but this did not prove very fruitful. Whenever the sales force from Ecycler called, people were either busy or uninterested. So a lot of opportunity cost was lost.
Gradually, owners Laurent and Robertson started using social media to their advantage. The first objective was acquisition. They started identifying potential recycling enthusiast to partner with by observing Twitter activities, retweeting and then holding conversation through business messages.
Another interesting innovation which got them a lot of business was the use of Twitter API to tweet the whereabouts of new discarders’ location and types of items they collected, which made it easier for discarders to get in touch with them, so Ecycler’s job was half done!
Another cool thing they did was to search prominent bloggers in green space and engage them on Twitter. After this, bloggers came to know about Ecycler.com and started writing about them.
A very interesting tip can be picked from their Facebook page and YouTube engagement. Every post and update had a picture or a video which would interest recycling enthusiasts like a post on US Bottle bill.
By properly leveraging their social media channels, Ecycler enhanced its business as well as won several accolades. The company won finalist in a small business road to success challenge from Fairfield Inn suites and won the grand prize by exceeding its target by 151 new discarders and 623 collectors .
Today the company has 8,200 followers, 9,568 Facebook: fans, 73 YouTube videos and a blog. On average, the company lands one meeting per week with potential partners, collectors or discarders through Twitter.
I personally feel if the “social” aspect of social media is understood and used smartly, it can give the business an added push. If all the channels work on the set strategy and you know what you are tweeting about, you are good to go!