That’s the key lesson to learn from Strand Book Store’s success with social media. Being the sole survivor out of 48 bookstores on New York’s Book Row, Strand serves as a great case study for any local business looking not only to survive the digital era, but thrive in it.

Why is Social Great for Local Businesses?

Many local businesses have unique personalities shaped by their owners and a handful of employees. This is what draws people, both in-store and on social media.

Look at Strand’s social pages. The key pattern that emerges is that they share their passion for all things books, which resonates with thousands of book lovers on the Internet.


In case you’re thinking “sure, it’s easy for a bookstore to find fans among millions of book lovers,” remember that there were 47 other bookstores that shut down on that street.

If your business exists today, it means you’re providing something people want — that’s your common ground. If your business was born out of a passion and you share it online, people will acknowledge it.

Success Comes Slowly but Surely

Being featured on Mashable definitely must be doing wonders for Strand Book Store, but I’m sure that wasn’t their motive for being on social media. The virality that will inevitably come to them now has been a long time coming.

They did the hard work: they identified a common ground with their target audience and patiently cultivated a relationship. It is now doing wonders for their brand.