Vistage members don’t need reminding how useful social media can be in building a business. Nonetheless, there is an interesting story out today about the way in which Edinburgh firm Morphsuits have used Facebook to grow a business from scratch to a turnover of more than £10 million in under three years.
As Facebook gears up for a rumoured initial public offering later this year, the company has been keen to demonstrate its value to potential buyers. One way of doing this has been to commission a survey from Deloitte to quantify how much business Facebook generates in the UK. The report figures that the company has contributed £2.2 billion to the UK economy and that it supports over 35,000 jobs.
One of the companies to have made good use of the Facebook platform is Morphsuits. Set up in 2009 with reported seed capital of £9000, the company sells spandex fancy dress suits. By building a community of Facebook fans who send in photos of themselves wearing the Morphsuits, the company has accumulated over 750,000 friends and sold over 500,000 suits. According to this report from the BBC last summer, this equates to a turnover greater than £10 million.
The Scotsman has a full report here along with quotes from Richard Allen, Facebook’s head of policy in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Allen is quoted saying, ‘There are businesses that use Facebook to engage new markets and develop a larger order book and are therefore able to employ more people.
‘Morphsuits is a classic example as it has been able to grow the business in a way that wouldn’t be possible without the existence of this word-of-mouth marketing mechanism where it can build a loyal following that then passes on their recommendations to others with similar interests.’