New marketing startup in Detroit aims to spotlight small business

A new social media startup is being launched in Detroit by a local entrepreneur who aims to shine a light on small businesses in the city and bring more customers through their doors.

Mainstreet Mob, the latest project by Margarita Barry, is part marketing firm and part online platform aimed at connecting businesses with customers. The website went live earlier this month, and the launch is being celebrated at The Commons on Detroit’s east side next month with a “cash mob” — a key part of the business.

They intend to focus on small businesses that may not be as connected as they should be. In terms of marketing, the startup’s business model is not unlike traditional firms. For a $300 fee, Mainstreet Mob will take over a small company’s media accounts — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — for 90 days to promote the company.

In addition, Mainstreet Mob also offers custom graphic designs and branding. The three-month takeover then culminates in a “cash mob” at the business, which involves assembling a group of people to patronize the shop on a specific day. Businesses are welcome to extend their contract with the company after the 90 days are over.

The unique part of the model is Barry’s vision of developing an online community of business owners and customers in Detroit and beyond. It’s part of a grander effort called I Am Mainstreet America — a company inspired by Barry’s successful I Am Young Detroit program, which spotlights young people making moves in the community. Mainstreet Mob and I Am Mainstreet America are like the small business equivalents of the program.

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