Colleen Cruze Bhatti Is Swirling Up Success on Social Media
First, it was a family dairy farm with an ice cream truck. Then, it became a downtown pop-up shop. And today, it’s a spacious ice cream shop and pizza restaurant on Asbury Road. Cruze Farm began a few generations ago with a hardworking family of farmers. Today, their story continues with owner Colleen Cruze-Bhatti, who saved her family’s farm by turning it into an iconic local brand. There’s not a single person in Knoxville who wouldn’t recognize the signature Cruze Farm Girl look: red lipstick and matching gingham dresses.
A digital native, Colleen grew up posting about her family, their farm, and their products on social media. Before she knew it, she had built a sizable following.
“My mom says I majored in Facebook, because I spend too much time on it,” Colleen joked. “But I found it to be a great way to advertise what my parents were doing.”
Colleen still runs Cruze Farm’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds herself, adding a personalized touch to every post. Along with updates about seasonal flavors and promotions (they recently gave away free double Dolly cones on Dolly Parton’s birthday!), Colleen shares joyful snapshots from the shop and the farm. Cruze Farm’s social media platforms tell a story. And honestly, who could tell that story better than the original Cruze Farm Girl?
Of course, it didn’t all happen overnight. It took three years of consistent engagement and nurturing for Cruze Farm to build its social media following. But Colleen’s efforts are clearly paying off. Today, Cruze Farm has about 18,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram with another 3,000 on Twitter. People come for the mouthwatering photos of ice cream and pizza. But they stay for the charm, the community, and the spirit of Cruze Farm.
If nothing else, the story of Cruze Farm’s social media success proves this: there is a marketer inside us all. You know your business best, and there is a lot to be said for continuing to play a hands-on role in your company’s social media strategy.