About 18 months ago we were scratching our heads…what is a Facebook and why do we need one—what on earth is a ‘Tweet’…and does anyone over the age of 13 really do it?? My-space, your-space, apparently everybody needs their own computer ‘space’…or do they? Fast-forward to today and WHOAAAAAA…guess what? – the bulk of our restaurant marketing is conducted on-line with a major focus on all things ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’. We cottoned on quickly and covered the basics – all of our restaurants have facebook pages, twitter accounts and we regularly communicate with our database via email newsletters. But there is so much more out there in the world of cyber-marketing and we are embracing it with open laptops!
We now also have a presence on Foursquare, the popular iphone app that allows people to ‘check-in’ to our venues and broadcast their locations and our special offers to their friends. Enough ‘check-ins’ with us and they could become the virtual ‘Mayor’ of our restaurant too. In addition to uploading our videos to YouTube, we are also broadcasting our footage on Vimeo (website) and Vidcall (iphone app), we upload weekly venue photos to our websites, facebook, restaurant blogs and Flickr. Then there is Digg – a site for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web – naturally we DIGG it!
Our customers can come in for dinner and drinks, have their photos taken or feature in one of our videos; they are then given one of our new social media cards and are directed to check out all our footage from the weekend on a variety of different on-line sites within a day or two.
One of our customers FRIENDS with our Social Media Card tucked away in a safe place…
Without a doubt one of the major benefits we have found from using Social Media is the amazing rapport that we have been able to create with our customers almost overnight. We are communicating on a daily basis with real people who we already know like our businesses via a variety of different mediums (we like to think we have got most bases covered). In addition to letting them know our specials and different events we might have coming up, there is now a two-way communication whereby we are chatting with them about things that interest them, we are contributing to random on-line conversations, they are commenting on our updates and our customers are beginning to relate to us as our friends rather than our patrons – a WIN/WIN situation! We get to chat with our ‘friends’ and hear their honest opinions about our businesses and they feel a new sense of loyalty towards us and are able to help us by referring their on-line friends to us. We know for a fact that this new rapport has already increased our customer base – what were once just happy customers are now very good friends…and we all like to see our friends succeed, don’t we?
Yes, the times are changing at a rapid rate, instead of spending thousands of dollars printing flyers and delivering them to 10’000 local letterboxes on a one-off basis (that is so 2009!!) we are now spending virtually nothing and communicating to potentially hundreds of thousands of people on a regular basis and in real-time.
A great example of how we have recently used the awesome power of Social Media is creating a pre-launch buzz for our Nude Staff Charity Calendar, check out our YouTube video of the calendar’s creation!
With no physical calendars to actually sell until they come back from the printers at the end of the month, we have already spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and our blogs and have begun to take pre-orders and create a lot of interest with still a month to go.
We have already hosted some fantastic “Tweet Ups” – special dinners in our restaurants just for our Twitter followers and last year we more than half booked out one of our restaurants for a special event before we had even had the posters printed or started the usual promotional ring-around and all it took was creating an event on Facebook!
In addition to this, our campaign to once again be victorious in the Lifestyle Chanel’s I LOVE FOOD AWARDS (1two3 Mediterranean Restaurant was voted Australia’s Favourite Mediterranean Restaurant 2009) is off to a flying start with Facebook et al paving the way for thousands of our new best friends to follow a link here, click a tab there, register their vote, pass go and potentially win the $10’000 up for grabs just for voting in just a matter of minutes. Hey don’t just take my word for it – here is the link http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/ilovefoodawards see how easy it is for yourself (Yellowfin Seafood Restaurant – ‘Best Seafood Restaurant’ category…hint hint)
We feel that we are a great example of how businesses can utilise these fantastic new social media tools, we devote a lot of time and focus towards communicating via many different on-line mediums and it has really paid off for us. For any further information regarding how we are making social media work for us, feel free to contact me via email (or even better, look for us on Facebook – we would LOVE to be your friend!!)
Find our URLS to all things Social Media related below…happy Tweeting!
@SageRestaurant @Yellowfindining @1two3dining – Twitter