If you’re a small business owner and you don’t believe in the power of social media then here’s a quick story.

There are few quaint bookstores with eccentric bookstore owners left in our city of Calgary. One of the last hole in the walls in the middle of the least likely of places is Wordsworth books on 10th and 8th ave SW. If you can find the door then you’ll enter a realm of books stacked floor to ceiling.

Wordsworth was/is eccentric and eclectic, but had a business model that didn’t suit its downtown market (opening hours were erratic and generally took up the brief afternoon). It’s now closing and in its final days a massive 70% off sale (or $10 for a BAG of books) began to clear books off the shelves.

The thing is, nobody really knew about the bookstore, and even fewer knew about the sale, until the last few days because of a tumblr post.

Llu00 tumbled a post about the sale, and if there’s anything hipsters love, it’s nearly free things, especially books. The post didn’t exactly go ‘viral’ but a lot of book lovers took notice and stormed the store. When I went down on the Tuesday people were pouring in the store. I had the impression the owner was a bit flustered with the constant stream of customers. Most of these visitors came as a result of the propagation of the tumblr post through various other social media avenues (Facebook, I saw it on Reddit, etc.).

There was incentive to come within a short period of time because of the closing sale. However, we have a clear example of a certain market segment mobilizing immediately and in numbers to take advantage of a unique market opportunity.

What unique opportunities can you offer your customers? Have you even identified all of you potential target markets? You never know who else could be out there ruffling through your shelves looking to spend money.

P.S. Books flying off the shelves until the end of the Month.