Announcing The #BuffCashMob

31 Jul

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you like social media? Are you someone who digs doing cool stuff with cool people? Do you love supporting local small business? Well, welcome to the hastily formed #BuffCashMob!

This is a tough economy and many small businesses in Buffalo and WNY are looking for ways to increase cash flow. That’s where we, the organized social media denizens of Western New York, come in.

Rather than do the slacktivist thing, posting links to businesses we like and writing on their Facebook pages, let’s get out, en masse, and show them some straight up cash love. Buy their goods, pay for their services, patronize their establishments. And have a great fucking time doing it!

The goal will be to get 100 people to “flash mob” a local establishment to spend $10-$20 each on the goods and services offered. No discounts, no coupons, no special deals. Just spend $10 in their business.

We’ll take nominations for businesses who will get a visit from the #BuffCashMob on the WNYMedia website each Monday. We’ll keep our eyes on Twitter to check for other nominations there as well, but make sure you use the #BuffCashMob hashtag so we’ll know to look for it. Your nomination should tell us something about the business, what they sell and why they deserve some #BuffCashMob love. Lets show local businesses that social media isn’t just about nerds talking about “branding”, that it’s about bringing people in the door to spend some cash.

We’ll make the #BuffCashMob event cool with some onsite activities, so let’s get this thing started.

Suggestions? Make ’em! Criticisms? Let’s hear ’em!

Most of all, just show up on Friday at 530PM to support the local business we’ve all nominated and selected.

36 Responses to “Announcing The #BuffCashMob”

  1. Alan Bedenko July 31, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    What a great idea. I think that there should be a submission form on the ads/video column to the right, so that this is always in people’s view and consciousness. Also, thank you for naming it something that doesn’t have to be spelled out. 

    As for criteria, the business should be locally owned and operated, and the suggestions sent in over the course of any given week via webform or Twitter should be distilled to a final three, which are then subjected to a poll (via embed) for final voting. 

  2. Mary Beyer July 31, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    What about local internet businesses?

    • Christopher Smith July 31, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      I think we’ll use businesses with physical locations at first and grow into mobbing an online business. Just trying to make it a thing the first few weeks and bring people out of the house for some fun.

  3. peteherr July 31, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    It’s a super cool idea. Look forward to it.

  4. Jaquandor July 31, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Great idea, but is this planned to always happen on Fridays at 5:30? Maybe the time should be flexible, given the nature of whatever business has been nominated…and that particular time assumes that all likely participants hold jobs that have them free at that hour, which isn’t always the case.

  5. Kate July 31, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Love it. I agree with Jaquandor. The time should be flexible, maybe over the course of an entire day. We don’t want to create a big huge headache for the business by having 100+ people waltz into their store/restaurant all at the same time. That sounds like a potentially unfun circus. It also eliminates businesses that don’t sell stuff you can buy off a shelf or a menu.

    A confession- when you proposed this on Twitter, I actually thought you meant we were going to give these businesses $1000 in exchange for… nothing. Like, I would send some local businessperson $10 via Paypal and so would 99 other people. I was imagining it more like a twitter grant.

  6. Tommy Walter July 31, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Awesome idea, count me in!

  7. Tony CityLove July 31, 2011 at 10:33 am #


    It is correct to start a transparent process for participation and add “categories” as appropriate.  As an online business, I just want to add a perspective as to how they could be included.

    Online businesses need access to people…..just like Mobile Food Trucks.  The internet is a very flexible and accommodating “employee” in that it allows you to be “open 24/7” especially if you have an e-commerce component.  Where the website is challenging for small business is having a beautifully-designed website does not guarantee traffic, just like living in a mansion on a dead-end street means very few people drive by your house.  

    1.  It may be possible to pair a static location with an online business – each time.  If the @BuffCashMob visited “MEZZA on Elmwood” for food, it would be beneficial to allow 1-2 online business *access to the people*.  Maybe they are not financially supported the way MEZZA might be, but they can put appropriate marketing swag in the hands of “likely supporters.”  For a networking business owner, that would be time and money well-spent.  

    It may make sense to strongly consider this because, again, an outside observer could do this informally…. in a way that hurt the vibe.  In theory, I could “follow the mob” and proactively network to each member.  Here’s to making it scheduled and appropriate…. and not problematic.

    Last week, my work held a Google Seminar.  One attendee, who wanted the SBDC to give him access to all our clients, asked if he could still “network” at event despite not being allowed to present or set up a table.  I said, “we certainly cant prohibit good old fashioned networking.”  For him, “networking” meant stuffing peoples’ hands with his card like he was a cracked-windshield salesman, outside the context of conversations with these people.  That is not marketing and does leave a lasting positive impression.   

  8. Christopher Smith July 31, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Good stuff, Tony! Thanks for the feedback and we’ll incorporate it into the plan.

  9. Kate July 31, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I understand the draw of everyone showing up at once. It makes a visible splash, and it appeals to the tweetup crowd. But I think this organization has the potential to be a Big Deal, and a more online-based approach would appeal to a broader group of people. I love the idea of just giving money to a business, and I particularly love the idea of just doing it with a click of a button.

    A tweetup in a store sounds like it’s going to take up a lot of my time, it’s going to involve a lot of people, and probably some lines. I’ll do it, because I LOVE this general idea, and I think you’re swell, and I’m a good solider, but I’d MUCH rather just quietly buy my stuff on a particular day, or better yet, do it online. The BEST idea, as far as I’m concerned, is for someone to tell me which Paypal account to send my $10.

    The thing I loved about the idea as I initially understood it was its simplicity. The easier it is to do, the more I’m going to do it. To be honest, there is absolutely no way I’m going to wind up going to a different Buffalo store every Friday afternoon for a #BuffCashMob. On the other hand, would I dutifully send $10 to whatever business you guy choose every Friday? Absolutely.

    • Christopher Smith July 31, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      Kate, I think there is room for all different approaches. We’ll see what works and what doesn’t work, bring more people in with more ideas and try it all sorts of different ways and times to accommodate as many people as possible. Remember, this was just an idea I had while sitting in a data center last night at midnight. Nothing is set in stone, we’ll make it work for everyone. Thanks for the feedback!

  10. Kate July 31, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Sorry, that last comment sounded a little grouchier than I intended. To be 100% clear, I think this is a fabulous idea.

  11. kbecker July 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    finally you can stop jabbering on about the flash mob. Glad you worked it out in your brain-great idea. TUESDAY NIGHT! TUESDAY NIGHT! I vote for Tuesday night comedy cashmob!

  12. Cookbambi July 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    I think Pasteurized Tee’s would be a perfect business for this. It’s a small shop that custom designs t-shirts, then prints them to order. It was opened by a guy who’s lived in this city his whole life, and renovated a storefront that had been vacant for 6 years gathering dust. Now it’s a bustling little store. It would be good to show some support.

  13. Kat July 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Talked this over with my family last night, and we’re serious localvores (thus my bitching about no restaurants serving just local), and we came up with a great idea to spread it over the whole city: Lets divide up the city neighborhoods (there are officially 33) and pick one at random until we go through them all and then seek noms from that area the week before.
    I’d hate to see this great idea wasted only on the prosperous trendy areas. Although if it does goes that way, you can bet we’ll have a #RiversideCashMob. 🙂

  14. Greg July 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    This is sort of like carrotmobs. Heard of them?

  15. Leo Wilson August 1, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    5:30 rules out the Broadway Market. Just sayin’. Friday rules out me. Don’t limit this to one day/time, let people know they can kick in any day of the week. Great idea!

  16. Leo Wilson August 1, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Depending on what type of businesses you target, it might be useful to give the business a head’s up so they can be properly staffed to handle an unusual amount of traffic.

  17. Kat August 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Leo makes a really great point. Perhaps we should have a time/date range, (like Friday noon to Saturday Noon?) and encourage that? 2-3 extra people at a time over 24 hours wouldn’t stress most businesses, and more people could do it.

  18. Mike August 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    That is a friggin cool idea.
    Talking Leaves Books — Elmwood or Main St (maybe Main St needs the help) — they’re always championing a good cause.
    Dick and Jenny’s Restaurant (Baseline and Love Rds on Grand Island) — Good people who relocated back to bflo after Katrina hit N.O. Tremendous food.
    Terrapin Station — ooo, ooo that smell
    Record Theatre — There’s still a physical place to buy music
    Lee’s Bar-B-Q — “can you help a brother out”
    What’s the name of that little Puerto Rican joint on Grant St. near Lafayette?

  19. Leo Wilson August 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    @Mike, did Dick and Jenny run a restaurant in that location years back, too? If so, I’m glad they’re back and can’t wait to try whatever influence they picked up while in NO.

  20. Mike August 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    @Leo: I’m not sure if they ran a restaurant at that specific location.

    How about the North Park Theater — I love that place
    Parkside Ice Cream @ Main and Winspear — that woodwork is amazing
    Clayton’s Toys always looks like they need a hand

  21. Mike August 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Oops too quick:
    Four Points Bakery on the west side — nice people — real food
    and next door:
    Urban Roots garden center
    I think they’re on Rhode Island Street

  22. Kevin Hayes August 1, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Golden Cup Coffee, 883 Jefferson, claim to be the first African American coffee roasters in New York State. Certainly an out of the ordinary business for the East Side. Their retail shop is fairly new.

  23. Kevin Hayes August 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    This will have far more of an impact on the community if it’s done in real life or meatspace or whatever you want to call that non-online-thing. Dropping money in a Paypal account? Business might as well be in Pakistan or Arkansas or Paris . . .

  24. Mary Beyer August 2, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Because I’m a little slow, let me get this straight. So nominations start next Monday? And where exactly do we send them?

    • Alan Bedenko August 2, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Mary, I put up a post today asking for nominations. Click here. Thanks!

  25. Mary Beyer August 2, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Thanks Alan. I did find that.

  26. Brian August 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I would definitely recommend:
    ThinIce – Trinkets and clothing
    Campus Wheelworks – Bikes!
    Village Beer Merchant – Beer!
    City Wine Merchan – Wine!

  27. Sacie August 6, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I love this idea. Did you start a facebook page? I couldn’t fine one. How about Made in America Store in East Aurora or a Redlinski Meat? Personally I would prefer a store because I can run in and run out, rather than try to plan drinks and dinner with the family,,,,but that’s just me. Love it, I’m in 🙂


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