I got it from my mama! My love for baking, that is (and for better or worse, some physical attributes, but we’ll stick to kitchen skills for now.) My mother is an excellent baker and is known around town for gifting cinnamon rolls in return for small acts of kindness, oil changes, and the annual library fundraiser. I remember standing on a chair next to her in the kitchen as we made chocolate chip cookies together. This lifelong love of baking eventually led me to opening my own baking business.
As skilled as she is with a spatula, my mom is not someone I would consider especially tech savvy. Thankfully she joined Facebook once I was past my peak years of posting college drinking photos. She uses it mostly to connect with family and high school classmates, post the same childhood photos of my brother and me every year on our birthdays, and share pictures of the animals who frequent her backyard. She’s met all of her Facebook friends in real life and sees many of them regularly around town. My mother’s online network is made up of people who care about what she has to say, both online and in real life.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when the likes on my bakery’s Facebook page started steadily ticking upwards thanks to dozens of middle-aged women whose names sounded vaguely familiar from my mother’s many stories about so-and-so at bible study, or this or that friend from college. Cookie inquiries arrived in my inbox from people who had seen my mother sharing my bakery photos and wanted to support their friend Teresa’s daughter. They knew she could bake, so they trusted that I knew my stuff and wanted to support my growing business. “This is your mom’s friend Becky, and I need cookies for my grandson’s baptism.” “Your mom gave me your phone number. I saw your cookies online and they’re just darling!”
My mom was quickly becoming one of my best referral sources, and the orders weren’t just coming from people who knew me from growing up in a small town. She was connected online with second cousins and college classmates who all wanted to support a growing local business because it was being championed by someone they trusted.
Essentially my mother, with her elementary level online prowess, is a hummingbird! She is proof that passion and in person connection beats inflated follower accounts every time.
She clicked “Share” on every post from my business account, but she also walked the talk and brought my cookies to community events, gave people my phone number, and followed up with them to make sure I’d returned their email or gotten their order right (gee, thanks, Mom!)
My mom embodies the number one traits we look for in a hummingbird, their passion for championing businesses they believe in. Social media savvy plays a part, but Teresa proves it’s not the most important thing. The in-person, word-of-mouth power of a hummingbird partnership is what sets a local influencer apart from someone with a verified, high sponsored Instagram celebrity.
Local businesses grow best when the community around them is on board! When businesses partner with the local hummingbirds, they’re benefiting from the exposure to both the birds’ online community as well as those they tell in real life. If you’re ready for your business to experience the passionate word of mouth and local influence of our hummingbird charm, click here to get started!