Social Media’s Surprising Economic Power

The power of PinterestIt’s one of those stories that companies dream will happen to them: Rod Works, a home décor company with retail locations in the western U.S., had a moderate social media presence and no e-commerce on its site, but it did have a strong product line.

Then a woman named Lindsay, on her blog, Country Girl Home, posted a picture of a decorative rod from Rod Works over a sofa table last year.

That image made it onto Pinterest, and got re-pinned again and again. A pinner noted you could buy the fancy iron rod from Rod Works.

The company was inundated with requests to buy the rod. The company quickly got itself organized and got e-commerce tacked onto its site in a matter of months. When things were finally up and running in February 2012, it did great sales on the rod, and other items too.

The interesting thing about this little success story is how social media can transform a company, but it really can’t be forced. Having great products, loyal customers and solid customer service still drives success.

Rod Works didn’t actually leverage social media itself, but it was flexible enough to change its business when the masses came knocking.

While the company did have a social media presence at the time, it wasn’t pushing it very hard. Yet, it was able to respond to the power of Pinterest, and cash in on its power.

You won’t be surprised to hear Rod Works now has a nicely put together Pinterest page. And its clocks and wrought iron tchotchkes are actually quite pretty.

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