Facebook has evolved from a site for college students to get dates (at least that’s Hollywood’s version) to the dominant social network among people of all ages (at least that’s Facebook’s version). From a business standpoint, Facebook is the dominant social networking platform and is aiming a lot of its growth strategy towards increasing its share of the advertising dollars spent by small businesses. Its executives have made its small business strategy a focus of its message to Wall Street and it is aggressively beefing up its marketing to small business.

Does Facebook work for small businesses? As part of our How it Helps Us series, we sat down with the owner of a business in Nashville, Tenn., who has effectively used Facebook to find sweet success.


How It Helps Us: Every business is different. Solutions don’t come in one-size-fits-all. For that reason, we’ve started the feature, “How it Helps Us” in which we interview small business owners who have found success using certain products, approaches, channels or ideas. If you have a favorite method, approach or product that is helpful to you and that you can share with others the specific ways in which you use it, let us know via email: [email protected] (Note: Do not submit products or services with which you have any personal or commercial relationship.)


Gourmet marshmallow (and other sweets) purveyor Sarah Souther started Bang Candy Co. in 2010. Actively using Facebook, she has grown her company from its start as a mobile vendor to a brick-and-mortar shop in one of Nashville’s trendiest locales—Marathon Motor Works.

Sarah Souther

Was Facebook your initial social media platform choice? If so, what drew you to it first?

Yes, Facebook was the first platform I signed up for with Bang Candy. I had been doing a little freelance work with a local public relations company in Nashville and had been using this platform to help some local musicians and artists. It had been a great tool, easy to use and, the best part, it was free and generated great results. It was a no-brainer: As soon as I came up with a name for the company, I started a page on Facebook.

With the food industry doing so well on more photo-centric social media—like Instagram and Pinterest—why did you choose to remain off of them?

I am actually on Instagram (@candybang). Pintrest—I haven’t really gotten the hang of yet. When you’re running a company and wearing so many hats, it’s hard to find time for all these platforms!

You have, to date, 2836 followers on Twitter (@BangCandyCo) and 4640 on Facebook. What do you think is the reason for the disparity? That is, what is it about Facebook that seems to better suit your gaining followers and keeping them interested?

I have my Facebook and Twitter accounts linked so whatever I post on Facebook also goes onto Twitter. I don’t really actively use Twitter. Again, it’s a time thing. I also think more of my demographic is Facebook users, and perhaps they bother less with Twitter

What is your strategy on Facebook?

I’m not sure I have a strategy, per se. I just post things that we’re doing. They might be interesting to me; they might be new items, fun pictures, etc. Essentially I try to post pictures that make mouths water.

Bang Candy Co.

Do you find customers/fans are more active on Facebook?

Yes, definitely.

What kind of posts do you find they respond to best?

Usually the posts that have bright, yummy-looking pictures.

How vital has Facebook been in your business’s success?

Without Facebook, I’d say we probably wouldn’t have a business. It has been a brilliant way to keep our customers engaged and thinking about us all along. Also, starting from scratch without any startup capital, it was the only way we could get the word out.

Do you find you’ve gained customers from it?


Would you suggest Facebook (over Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc.) to other mobile food vendors, or restauranteurs? If so, why?

There are so many social media platforms out there, I think people are getting a bit jaded. Facebook is where most people connect with their friends and, thus, tend to go more often. I’d say it’s become a habit for most. I hate to admit it, but I am guilty too.

(Feature image and photos via Bang Candy Co.)

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