How a Local Candy Store Uses Social Media to Generate Sales after TV Exposure [CASE STUDY]

In this exclusive case study, you’ll learn how a local candy store’s appearance on national television doubled as an opportunity to learn how to make better use of social media. You’ll discover how they connect with their customers—near and far—in just a few hours a week.

Case Study: Sweet Pete’s

Based in Jacksonville, Fla., Sweet Pete’s is an all-natural confectionery founded by Pete Behringer. Pete’s mother opened a chocolate shop when he was 12, and he opened the doors to his own sweet shoppe in 2010. In addition to all-natural and organic goods, Sweet Pete’s caters to special diets with vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and other special options. They also offer classes and parties for those interested in making their own treats.

On April 1, 2014, Sweet Pete’s made an appearance on CNBC’s “The Profit” and made a deal with Marcus Lemonis to move from the Springfield neighborhood to a bigger space in downtown Jacksonville with a better kitchen and more foot traffic. The appearance generated sales and increased their following, and Sweet Pete’s maintains that momentum using social media to stay in touch with existing customers and attracting new ones.


Sweet Pete’s By the Numbers

  • Facebook Fans:  11,900+
  • Twitter Followers:  2,600+
  • Instagram Followers:  600
  • Time Spent Weekly on Social Media:  3 – 4 hours

Learn What Works and Stick with It


When they first started out with social media, Sweet Pete’s didn’t have a huge following and did their own thing when it came to social media. After their Marcus Lemonis deal, his team helped Sweet Pete’s improve their marketing efforts to their growing customer-base.

Here’s how Sweet Pete’s got their social media efforts to rake in customers:

  • Learned how to use social media from social media marketing experts
  • Computer-savvy staff who really understand social media management and execution strategy
  • Promoting parties, new deals, seasonal items and specials
  • Photos of products and the team in-action get people engaged
  • Short status posts that don’t demand too much time or attention

By learning from experts and paying attention to what their audience responds to, Sweet Pete’s only has to invest a few hours each week to see results. They see an increase in sales after sharing deals, parties and classes on their social networks, and giving their audience a behind-the-scenes look helps keep them engaged, especially with non-local customers who can’t visit them in-person.


They also use polls as a quick, fun way to get customer feedback and feature products in a non-pushy way:sweetpetescasestudy_03

How You Can Adapt This Case Study for Your Own Small Business

Any small or local business can learn from Sweet Pete’s strategy to improve at social media marketing and engage better with customers:

  • Always be professional
  • Allow staff with the social media knowledge and expertise to take the lead
  • Know your audience and pay attention to what they want
  • Have fun! Don’t let social media become a burden

Sweet Pete’s Efficient Approach to Social Media Marketing

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Generate Ongoing Exposure – Sweet Pete’s ended up on national television, which generated a lot of interest, but that exposure is temporary, especially in our short-attention-span society. We forget easily. No matter what opportunity you get for special exposure, use social media to KEEP your new customers engaged and prolong long-term gains.sweetpetescasestudy_04

Focus on the Social Networks that Work – Sweet Pete’s has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ profiles AND a YouTube channel, but since Facebook and Twitter are the most successful for them, that’s where they focus most of their effort. Spend time executing your strategy on networks that are already generating business and you can slowly develop your presence on other networks over time.

Post at Least a Few Times a Week – Keep a schedule of at least two or three posts a week and if you have something particularly important to share, exceeding that number is fine. Having a consistent presence keeps people more engaged than a few posts here and there.

Reuse Content – While there are bound to be some people who connect with you on multiple networks, most people won’t connect with you on every network. Sharing the same content on multiple social networks keeps all of your audience updated and cuts down on how much content you need. Just be sure to format and optimize your updates for each network. (See your classes for how to do this!)


Post for Every Special Event – Take photos at any event you hold or attend, including photos of preparations. This builds a buzz around the event, gives your audience a back-stage pass to special events, and keeps your non-local customers in the know. sweetpetescasestudy_05

Look at Your Marketing from a Customer’s Perspective – If you were a customer visiting one of your social media profiles, what would you want to see? What would you like most about what you share? What’s important to you as a business owner isn’t always what’s important to your customers. Let their needs shape your content.

REALLY Connect with Your Customers – Let your customers know you appreciate them. Respond when they reach out to you. Ask them what they want to see from you and prove you care by making it happen. Show them what they have to look forward to by being your customer.


Maria Peagler is the founder of Maria Peagler Digital, a serial entrepreneur, and award-winning author/publisher of nine books. She is an award-winning artist in both watercolor and quilting. She is married to her husband of 30 years, mom to two adult sons, and enjoys hiking in the north Georgia mountains.

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