In August 2011, Splash Media invited Chiara Granado and Liz Jones from Genghis Grill to talk about the Mongolian barbecue chain’s social media marketing efforts. And since that time, the company has added to its social media menu.
Genghis Grill now has a presence on Google+ and Pinterest, and continues to talk to its customers on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The company’s HealthKwest campaign – a success for Genghis Grill in 2011 – keeps rewarding customers who share their exercise and diet stories on the HealthKwest.com website.
In this SplashCast with host Renay San Miguel, Granado and Jones talk about the role social media played in the 2011 HealthKwest campaign, and how Genghis Grill uses the different platforms to distribute content to current and potential customers.
Jones tells Splash Media that in an effort to reach a goal of 1 million fans on Facebook and its Khan’s Klub email database, Genghis Grill has launched its Facebook Referral Engine, a way to offer incentives for customers to like its FB page. The initial customer gets a free appetizer for joining Khan’s Klub and the news is posted to that customer’s personal FB page. If five or more friends see that status update and do some liking of their own on the Genghis Facebook page, the original customer gets a free bowl coupon and the friends get appetizers. Jones also promises some tasty news regarding the Referral Engine coming in September.
“This is a great way to expand our network and gain new fans and trial,” Jones told Splash Media. “This will also help promote our new appetizers to all of our fans.”
This is part 2 of a blog post focusing on social media marketing success stories presented during the 2nd annual Social Media Showcase, sponsored July 19th by Social Media Club of Dallas.
The goal was to find a way to allow a well-known Dallas-Fort Worth chain of pizza restaurants to give back to the local community. It wasn’t really about jump-starting sales. “i Fratelli is killing it,” said Jeff Schick, director of integrated digital strategy at Online Performance Marketing, during his Social Media Showcase presentation. “They’ve grown to 10 locations, received outstanding customer reviews. The brand is doing extremely well after 25 years of business.”
But wouldn’t you know it: by trying to help others, i Fratelli’s social media-driven strategy also helped its own bottom line.
Known for its thin crust, rectangular pizzas (ad tagline: “Never Trust A Round Pizza”), i Fratelli used Online Performance’s strategy for the i Fratelli Pizza DoughNation, a social media-based program. Customers would nominate worthy charities online, and i Fratelli would donate 15% of all Monday sales to that group.
The strategy’s components:
- Content strategies for i Fratelli’s blog The Sauce;
- Cross-pollination of posts on Facebook and Twitter to boost SEO performance;
- Identifying influencers;
- Seeded code words (usually non-profit/charity names) in social media that – when mentioned in pizza orders – would help with measurement;
- Using i Fratelli’s owned media to generate earned media (local TV and print news coverage).
Now a slew of DFW non-profits and charities are indeed getting much-needed financial help, and i Fratelli has stronger ties to its communities. But Schick said his client, which started DoughNation in February, has never dipped below a 300% return on investment each month since then. “We’ve had an increase in sales, and we’ve been able to tie that to social media ROI,” he said.
Online Performance grew i Fratelli’s retweet percentages, receiving national and international shout-outs. The Sauce blog’s unique views were 86% driven by social media and 14% from direct URL input, “so we were increasing brand awareness and recall.” Monthly impressions rose from 40,000 to 125,000.
“Social media results are not just for big brands,” Schick said. “Small and medium-sized businesses can see powerful results, whether it’s attitudinal behavior or financial. You just gotta know how to do it right.”
“It’s like having a built-in pep squad,” i Fratelli marketing director Rachel Black told Splash Media. “I like keeping our name in front of customers via a platform they are already engaged in. Our company is local and many of our fans know the owners and have developed an ownership of their success over the years. Their enthusiasm for our product and our story really drives our success on social media.”
And despite the boost in sales that was a byproduct of DoughNation, “we do not spend any time worrying about return on investment,” she said. “Our marketing budget is small for a company of our size, but there has been no question that an investment in social is good business. We have halted print advertising almost entirely and focused on web and social. Though it can be hard to discern a measurable impact, we have agreed that an absence in the realm of social media would leave us behind the curve.”
The Social Media Club of Dallas staged its annual Social Media Showcase this week, allowing marketing specialists to highlight how they used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and videos to solve business problems for clients. And while the event is geared towards other social media marketing pros, business owners still trying to figure out how new media fits into their strategies would have also benefitted from hearing about these compelling case studies.
A lot of great information was presented during the Showcase – blog fodder for more than one post, as it happens. In this instance, I wanted to highlight the evidence I heard about online video becoming more and more important to social media marketing strategies.
Radio Shack and Chevrolet made extensive use of video during their respective campaigns discussed at the Showcase. For Radio Shack, it was an attempt to boost its used electronics trade-in program, Trade-&-Save. Chevy, meanwhile, had it sights set on brand awareness at the recent South by Southwest Festival in Austin.
In the case of Radio Shack, its agency Weber Shandwick reached out to technology influencers as both partners and for distributing news of the campaign. “This was incredibly video-focused,” said Weber digital supervisor Alyssa Gardina. “We needed to make sure that video content got shared. We had influencers posting about how much fun it was to work with Radio Shack” on its Trade-&-Save program.
Gardina says that may be because her team stayed in contact with those tech-savvy bloggers/vloggers. “When working with influencers, don’t just film the video and leave. Follow up with comments on posts, let them know you’re listening. You’re building a relationship with them.”
Chevy was out to steer more younger drivers to its brand, said Miker Stovall, Senior V.P. for content at Fleishman-Hillard. Keys to accomplishing that? Create unique SXSW experiences for attendees and provide lots of content, including exclusive content for those not able to attend.
“We had 90 pieces of original content” during the 10-day festival, Stovall said. “And I know you can define that a lot of ways, but this was mostly videos. That was our heavy lift there. We were producing video content around the clock.”
The result? 41,000 new Facebook fans (“more than 4,000 new fans every day of the festival”) and half-a-million views on Chevy’s SXSW content hub. Stovall’s simple mantra for content strategy: “Be useful, be entertaining or be ignored. If you can be entertaining to the people who can’t be at the festival, then you can’t be ignored.”
Coming Monday: how a Dallas-based pizza business – NOT one of the big national chains, mind you - used social media to give back to the community.
Did you attend the Social Media Showcase? Are you seeing more use of video in digital campaigns for big and small brands? Please share your thoughts in our Comments section.
What’s more American than parades, barbecues, fireworks and apple pie on the Fourth of July?
Why, the sharing of pictures and comments on social media about parades, barbecues, fireworks and apple pie on the Fourth of July, of course.
Personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds will soon be filling up with montages of pics, videos and thoughts from friends and family all over U.S., illustrating one of the more positive attributes of social media – the creation of a real-time virtual community.
So why can’t all that be translated to the business side of things via social media holiday marketing?
A recent Splash Media blog post highlighted the occasional off-message status update/tweet/post as a way to humanize businesses and keep a level of fun/spontaneity in the marketing mix. Holidays offer a similar opportunity to learn more about customers while letting them view a business as something more than a logo.
I’m not just talking about the obvious discounts tied to Independence Day, which are of course valid. Last time we checked, there’s no law against offering consumer deals for those who may be out and about on Wednesday; if recent history is any indication, Foursquare will also soon get busy with such check-in incentives. Hey, the freedom to make money off of holidays – that was one of FDR’s “Four Freedoms,” right?
(Insert Jeopardy-style buzzer noise here.)
Okay, maybe it was freedom from fear (of going out of business). But in any event, what we’re really talking about is taking advantage of July 4th to enhance the customer experience on a company’s social media platform.
Social media marketers talk a lot about “engagement.” It’s a $10 word for allowing full, meaningful conversations/interactivity between customers and companies. It’s about providing content that’s interesting enough to merit a response, even if it’s just a Facebook “like” or a retweet. That content doesn’t ask people to purchase – it asks them to participate.
It’s open-ended questions. It’s asking them to share pics and thoughts. It’s pop quizzes about American history. It’s memories of the best fireworks display they ever saw.
It’s a chance to extend the customer community all the way from your businesses’ front door to their actual real-world communities, where all the parades and barbecues and fireworks and apple pie are happening on July 4th.
Here’s our July 4th question for you: have you seen any great examples of holiday-themed engagement by companies using social media? Please share in our Comments section, and have a happy Fourth of July!
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At this point, it doesn’t really matter what your political views are on the Affordable Care Act; this week’s Supreme Court ruling lifts any uncertainty about the immediate future for healthcare in this country. The direction is now set, and everyone involved in the industry has to move forward.
That also makes it an opportune time – for those who haven’t already done so – to reconsider the benefits of social media and healthcare. Splash Media has blogged about this already, bringing you some recent survey information showing more hospitals are indeed prescribing regular doses of Facebook and Twitter for educating patients. And we’ve chatted with a doctor and mommy blogger who has sung the praises of social media.
But now one of the biggest news stories of the year gives those in the healthcare industry a chance to get closer to customers – whether they are payors, patients or companies in the healthcare business-to-business chain:
* Insurance Companies – This industry impacted the most by this week’s ruling should get busy on blogs and social networks educating customers about what the ACA will mean for premiums. If these companies have an opinion on ACA, that’s fine; a strong point-of-view is a good thing in a blog post. But never forget about the customers. Their priority is answers. They deserve up-to-date, accurate information.
* Hospitals/Clinics/Private Physicians - Speaking of accurate information…those served by this group are already conducting more research online regarding health issues, consumer reviews of doctors, etc. There is more power in current and prospective patients’ hands than ever. Social media allows for a two-way connection via doctor/hospital blogs and social media platforms. Healthcare providers should seize upon that opportunity to talk about the ACA’s impact on the quality of healthcare and what’s ahead after 2014.
* B2B Providers - There was a reason that the business-related cable networks were keeping a close eye on the stocks of publicly-traded companies that sell within the healthcare space: software businesses, medical device manufacturers, etc. Vendors and current/potential partners need the latest information on ACA’s impact, just like those in the physician/patient chain.
From a social media marketing prospective, original content with strong, organic search engine optimization can push these businesses to the top of Google search results – especially when it’s all tied to current events.
Granted, the healthcare industry comes with its own set of regulatory and compliance challenges. But that should never shut the door on social media usage within that industry. The Supreme Court’s ACA ruling offers a way to “use the news,” with a potentially positive side effect: stronger trust and credibility.