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Article: Fast Company

Fast Company

Fast Company

That lovely Instagram shoutout could save a small business from shuttering this year 

Kudos matter now more than ever. On average, social media endorsements of small businesses generate 23% of revenues, according to data from Amex.

Few things put more smiles on the faces of small-business owners than social media recommendations about their products or services, but now, new research proves that those online shoutouts also put cash in their bank accounts.

Teri Johnson, the founder of the Harlem Candle Co., has seen the value of social media recommendations firsthand. Though beauty and lifestyle influencers have cited her high-end scented candles, the biggest were nods from singer Alicia Keys and renowned ballerina Misty Copeland.

“They’re extremely valuable,” Johnson says. “Our biggest days come from social media endorsements. Instagram Stories is where people get to know about a brand they’ve not heard of before.”

Merchandise from the Manhattan-based business, which launched six years ago, is sold online and in 30 stores around the country, including at NiLu in New York City and Mountain Dandy in Wyoming. Social media mentions garner attention that the Harlem Candle Co. might not otherwise get.

“It definitely moves the needle. Every now and then when I see orders going crazy, I check Instagram, I check Twitter, I check the news and think, ‘What happened?,’ because we’re getting followed,” Johnson explains, adding that those new followers then go to the company website and place orders.


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