Marketing to the likes

Start up businesses are exploiting the power of Facebook’s reach in order to target their audience with zero marketing spend

Last year, Madhavi Rongala Pavuluri decided she was done with employment and it was time she set up something on her own. She thought through her options and concluded that what she was really good at was shopping. And thus came about Yellow Button, a tiny store in Bengaluru’s Indira Nagar, which retails dresses, bags and accessories that are a “bit different” from what you would find in large apparel stores. A month before the store opened, Pavuluri set up a Facebook page for it.

Madhavi Pavauluri, founder, Yellow ButtonBecause she did not have much of a marketing budget, she sent out the invitations for the launch through the Facebook page. The response was quite encouraging even though, at the time, most people who knew and liked the page were her friends and family.

Today, a little over a year later, Yellow Button has more than 2,200 ‘Likes’ on its home-page. Pavuluri undertakes almost all marketing activities through that page. New collections are announced on it, photographs are posted, and it’s not just ‘Likes’ that are pouring in, but actual business too. 

“The most amazing thing about Facebook has been the number of people who first heard about us there,” Pavuluri says. When a friend ‘Likes’ a page, it goes to the people on that friend’s page and they check it out, and then they ‘Like’ it and then their friends see it, and so on. “We have not paid anybody nor bought Facebook ads but there has still been such a strong response online.” 

Even though Yellow Button is a physical store and does not have an e-commerce site yet, Pavuluri has already started selling to online customers. People who see a product and like it, write in to ask for details on its cost and sizes. They then transfer the money to the Yellow Button account and Pavuluri ships the product to customers
anywhere in India. About 15% of customers who walk into the Yellow Button store, come in after hearing about or seeing the store on Facebook.

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