Have you ever thought about organizing a flash mob to promote your small business? Flash mobs are described by Flash Mob America as being “A spontaneous public performance, usually a dance, that appears seemingly out of nowhere with just one person, grows to hundreds of people, then quickly disappears.”

What are the benefits of flash mobs? They can garner lots of publicity for your business, more exposure online, and an increase of followers on your social media accounts — which can all potentially lead to more business and customers for you.

FlashMob2Example of a small business flash mob

Flash mobs, especially ones tailored to the message a company is trying to convey, are a fantastic way to generate buzz. A great example of this is Orange Tree Imports, a local business in Madison, Wisconsin. In the holiday season of 2010, they used a flash mob to creatively promote their business. Their flash mob surprised shoppers with an original song that highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses vs. big-box retailers.

Some of the lyrics of the Orange Tree Imports flash mob song (written by Andrew Rohn and Matthew Sanborn) are:

The time is here to spread good cheer
With goods of quality
To heck with malls, we’ll deck the halls
With gifts from Orange Tree

Big box and chains are always the same
Wherever they happen to be
But some of us seek a place that’s unique
And there’s only one Orange Tree

Small Business Flash Mob Guidelines

Worried you won’t be able to afford the cost of organizing a flash mob for your small business? Don’t be. According to Magnify Digital, “A well-organized and entertaining flash mob video has potential to go viral, regardless of the size of your budget.” You can keep the cost of your flash mob down by recruiting employees, friends, and family to join and by writing the song lyrics (and/or choreographing it yourself).

Magnify Digital suggests following these guidelines when planning your small business’ flash mob:

  • Theme your video so that it has lasting appeal and makes a connection with your business.
  • Flash mob videos that include unsuspecting onlookers being caught up in the action rate highest on YouTube.
  • Film everything! Footage of the organization of the flash mob and snippets from behind the scenes can be used as part of an extended campaign before and after the release of the flash mob video.

Keep the Momentum Going

It’s been two years since Orange Tree Imports performed their flash mob for shoppers, but they’re still benefiting from it. They’re promoting it this year on their Facebook page, (and including a link to the YouTube video of the performance) which will help them gain new viewers who originally didn’t see it or even know about it.

On top of that, they’re offering shoppers who come into their store and sing a verse — “Yes, the bohm, bohm, bohm introduction counts!” — they said on their Facebook page, a free Crabtree & Evelyn gift set. That’s a great example of how you can continue to capitalize off your flash mob — both nationally and locally — long after it’s over without spending any money on additional advertising.

Tell us: Would you organize a flash mob for your small business?