Social Media for Local Business [Case Study]: Local Neighborhood Meat Market on Facebook

Editor’s Note:  Amanda Jensen is a summer intern at  She’s a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

How can local businesses capitalize on social media marketing to compete with Wal-Mart and Costco's deep discounting? This week’s case study focuses on a local meat market that uses their small, local status as their greatest asset, successfully monetizing social media marketing in a mid-size midwestern city.

Case Study: Stittsworth Meats

Mychal Stittsworth is the owner of Stittsworth Meats in the town of Bemidji, Minnesota. Stittsworth Meats has been in Mychal's family since his father purchased it as a grocery store back in 1993, in hopes of turning it into an "old-fashioned meat market". The town of Bemidji has a population of around 13,000, but Stittsworth's local business has over 20,000 likes on Facebook.  His ability to reach a fan base beyond the limits his northern-Minnesota town is more than noteworthy.

Michael includes his store location on all of his advertisements.

Stittsworth Meats By the Numbers

  • Facebook Fans:  20,322
  • Twitter Followers:  116
  • Instagram Followers: 136
  • Time Spent Weekly on Social Media:  7 hours

ALL Business is LOCAL

Local businesses often feel squeezed by increasing competition from large big-box stores and online competitors. Though they have become successful enough to open additional locations, Mychal and his staff have been able to maintain their "local business image" in each location.


By engaging with local businesses and consumers on a level no national supermarket chain can match.  Mychal devotes only an hour a day to his social media efforts, but he uses certain tactics such as contests, photos and promotions to get customers engaged.

Promotions are a fantastic way to bring in new and existing clients. This simple 3-line post received 98 likes and 15 shares!

Stittsworth increased traffic through the door and product awareness by staying in touch with clients on Facebook. Michael stays in touch with  clients on Facebook by sharing funny photos, and reaching the “friends of friends” to increase his brand visibility far beyond the city of Bemidji and into the state.

On the Facebook page, Stittsworth does a lot of contests, where consumers only need to share their posts to enter. Whoever gets the most shares from their post wins!

Sophisticated Use of Social

While Stittsworth Meats is a small brand, they’ve mastered social media marketing and use it in a highly sophisticated way.  Stittsworth's business has been featured on Facebook's own blog as a small business success story. Their website is filled with fantastic product descriptions and tantalizing photos of their meat.

Michael uses attractive advertising to showcase his products.

Despite their presence on Instagram and Twitter, Facebook is where Sittsworth truly shines:

Stittsworth has a fantastic Facebook page!

Engagement Through Contests

In addition to their very professional website, Stittsworth Meats has mastered the art of engagement on Facebook. As mentioned before, Stittsworth uses contests to drive engagement, which he says brings people into his shops.

In an interview with IMPACT 20/20, Stittsworth talked about the effect that his contests have on his customers.

There were a lot of people coming through the door asking who was winning, Stittsworth said. "It created a buzz."

Promotions are a great way to get people to engage online and also bring them into your business.

In addition to offers from his own shop, Stittsworth also partners up with other businesses, such as Traeger Pellet Grills to give away other great prizes, which not only engages Stittsworth's fans, but brings in fans of Traeger Grills as well.

Partnerships with other businesses are a great way to bring in new clients and expand your fan base.

Humorous posts are also extremely effective for Stittsworth. While they aren't all original content (this one is from Weber Grills), they keep Stittsworth's Facebook page lighthearted and more personal.

Posting funny quotes and pictures can bring in a lot of likes and shares.

Beneath It All, A Family

Stittsworth Meats is a family business, and Mychal wants to maintain that image. In his General Information and Description pages on Facebook, Mychal gives his fans a look into the story of his local business. He starts from the beginning and talks about his plans for the future, which include maintaining the small neighborhood feel of his shops.

Mychal also thanks his customers for their support, and puts a huge stress on sticking to the family business traditions. Mychal does a fantastic job of conveying his personality in an online medium, which is extremely important. It makes customers (and potential customers) feel more comfortable about the business and its intentions.How You Can Adapt Mychal's Strategies For Your Business

How You Can Adapt Mychal's Strategies For Your Business

Stittsworth Meats successfully monetizes their social media marketing by focusing on these tactics:

  • Embrace social media and all it can do for your business!
  • Post consistently throughout the week
  • Engage with fans and other local businesses (local-only)
  • Post lots of pictures, and don't hesitate to use a little humor
  • Use incentives such as giveaways and contests to increase product awareness
  • Let your personality shine through (tell customers your story, they want to know!)

What have you done?

What sort of tactics do you use to market your local business? What do you think about Michael's social media strategy? Comment below and share your thoughts with us, we'd love to see your input!


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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