Posts tagged ‘Marketing’

February 10, 2011

Question: Can comment card content be used in social media optimization by a brand?

Many of you know I traded a 20 year career in hospitality management to found Chalkboarder. I am still very passionate about the hospitality industry and culinary management/creativity.

Today comes a question from a restaurant friend – that I’d like to get your opinion on.

Can a restaurant (or other business) use content from comment cards in their on-and-offline marketing materials? Should they?

Most comment card systems are anonymous. Should a business be able to use a comment left by a customer, if the customer believes they are just addressing management? Thoughts?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below..

Disclaimer – all comments below are considered public dialogue and may be used in future blogposts by this author. 🙂

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December 19, 2010

Presenting in the Ignite Style

A Different Way to Present Concept


This past month, I was invited to participate in Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference Ignite presentations. Having never presented in the Ignite style, I decided to research effective methods of communicating in this presentational mode.

For those of you who have never done nor seen an Ignite presentation, it works like this. Presenters get five minutes for their topic and provide twenty powerpoint slides. The slides are assembled into one combined presentation and they auto-flip every fifteen seconds.

This means, as the presenter, that you can’t control the advancing of your topic slides – they change every fifteen seconds. Talk about presenter pressure! I already knew that I wanted to talk some smack to the USA restaurant industry and did some research through Google and YouTube on effective Ignite presenting skills.

The key lessons I learned from this research (which caused me to chuck my first draft) were these:

  • Go thematic. When preparing your presentation, stay in a generalized topic, meaning, don’t try to push a lot of details.
  • Use imagery. The slides are there to reinforce what you are speaking too.
  • Put tiny clues into your slides to keep you on topic; maybe one or two trigger words.
  • Be a storyteller. Structure your five minutes like you were telling a story to peers at happy hour.
  • Stay away from a bulletized presentation style.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of bright lights when you practice. Don’t worry about messing up – in fact, what counts is your ability to recover if you get stuck.

Here is the Youtube video of my Ignite presentation at PSU’s Digital Marketing Conference 2010. I planned my target audience to include social media, as a way to get exposure for Chalkboarder. Mind you, by mid-way through my presentation, my microphone hand was noticeably shaking. It had been nearly thirty years since I was on a stage that size with lights that bright.

Another of my favorite presenters from the day…

Paul Ting: Add Some Australianisms to Your Social Media

I want to give props to everyone who organized and ran Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference, especially those involved in producing the Ignite Series. They all worked supremely hard to deliver professional results.

Here are all the other links to the Ignite presentations from that day:

Jennifer Wakayama: Ugly Kitchen Contest
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Andy Van Oostrum: A Planning Framework for Personalization
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Don Bourassa: Location Based Services for Great Advertising
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Kim Stetson: Digital Organization
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Mary Nichols: Social Media for Product Development
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Matt Selbie: Customer Retention & Marketing
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David Smith: Convert Listening to Revenue
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Taylor Ellwood: Imagine Your Reality Business & Social Media
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Charlie Levenson: Everything I Learned About User Experience
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Bret Bernhoft: Free Tools
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Ayleen Crotty: Customer Superstars
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Jennifer Hancox: Digital Marketing for Restaurants & Bars
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Jeff Simmons: Grassroots Marketing Through Social Media
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Lydia Smith: One Path, Many Ways: The Camino Documentary
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Siouxsie Jennett: Google Adwords vs Facebook Ads
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Mark Brundage:  Building Communities to Create Growth
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Mark Wills: Everything You Need to Know About SEO
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Kent Lewis: A Path to Retirement Using Social Media
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Kate Ertmann: 3D Trends Marketers Need to Care About
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Rhiannon West Chamberlain: Social Media & Travel

.

Everyone did a fantastic presentation. I believe for most, it was our first Ignite experience.

October 13, 2010

Early Adopters (Restaurants) Sprint Ahead in Social Media Marketing

A majority of restaurants face serious risk as consumers increasingly shop for dining via mobile devices. A majority of restaurants risk ignoring the opportunity to drive sales by not adopting proven strategies that embrace this societal shift. They run the risk that society will view their late-game entry into social media as non-compelling, boring, or worse, spammy.

Are you using the tools of the social web yet? Even more important, are you doing so with effective and well designed strategies? Are you chatting up your fans/followers about your community, about their interests or about shared passions? Are you sharing local news from your community, such as local events outside your operation?

Brand owners and managers have to consider how entry into the social web is viewed by the broader community. In the last year, effective social web strategies for driving business have shifted. In the early days, simply broadcasting (or “shouting”) daily specials sufficed. Today, that’s considered spam. Jumping on Foursquare and rewarding “mayors” was fairly simple and effective during the newness of their web-launch, but today, if a restaurant simply jumps in without strategy, they’re behind the times.

As the use of social media by American restaurants has progressed, a clear trend has emerged. Those that embraced social media (less than 10%) in the past two years are sprinting ahead in diverse and sophisticated tactics and strategies, while those that held back run a risk of appearing unknowledgeable, un-savvy and “soo” Web 1.0.

Early adopters such as AJ Bombers, a popular restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, increased their sales by nearly 100% in the last year by effectively using social media. Two of the best food trucks in Portland, Oregon (Whiffies and KoiFusion), attribute 80% of their growth in the last year to effective social media. Success stories like these demonstrate the power and allure of social media strategies for foodservice operators.

In a study published last fall, Chalkboarder analyzed the “virtual ease of entry” (how easy it is for a new or existing customer to enter your restaurant virtually) into 2200 popular restaurants in fourteen major markets. One year ago, less than 10% had adopted Facebook, less than 6% had adopted Twitter and less than 2% were blogging. Of the 2200, less than 65% even had active websites. The base information of Chalkboarder’s study was confirmed a few months ago by Fast Casual Alliance, who hired Forrester Research to do a similar assessment. The numbers haven’t changed in a year.

Statistics from Socialnomics paint a vivid picture of the opportunity the social web offers this industry. Fifty percent of the world’s population is under the age of thirty; ninety-six percent (96%) of these millenials have joined a social network. One out of eight USA married couples met through social media. Eighty percent of companies use social media for recruitment. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is females aged 55-65 (household decision makers). Fifty percent (50%) of mobile social web traffic in the UK is on Facebook. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world.

There is still massive opportunity to reap the benefits of social media. Fundamental strategies of talking online with fans/followers, publishing community news and sharing features on your distinctive brand proposition — apart from the food and beverage — are the main drivers. Build on these fundamentals and sustainable community happens.

For restaurants that have not adopted social media, caution and research is in order. Avoid the risk of bumbling your foray into social media by seeking consult with a reputable social media strategist (perhaps over a few dinners in trade). As with any new-course business strategy, observing and researching a definable course takes a little time, but the return is measurable.

 

July 30, 2010

"Crawl" with Paul Barron of Portland Restaurants Effectively Using Social Media Aug 11

PRIORITY DISTRIBUTION

Join Paul Barron (@paulbarron), Publisher of Fast Casual Magazine and the USA’s leading influence on social media and the restaurant industry, and Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO of Chalkboarder, on August 11th as we “crawl” restaurants in Portland OR that are effectively using the social web to build community.

Paul Barron

Paul Barron, Producer

Paul, presenting “Web 4 Era for the Hospitality Industry” at Lola’s Room in SE Portland that evening (hosted by Social Media Club PDXdetails here) is producing a “Day in the Life of a Social Web Content Producer”, using video interviews and journalizing. He’ll begin the day departing the Northwest Sustainability Discovery Conference in Salem, meeting with Geoff Latham of Nicky USA, lunching at Oregon Culinary Institute, “crawling” the Portland restaurant social media scene and presenting at Social Media Club PDX’s August get-together.

In addition, he will be live-streaming the Social Media Club PDX event that night. Details to follow on the live-streaming.

All restaurant, hotel, hospitality, public relations, marketing and social media professionals interested in the application of social web tools, theory and technology for the food and hospitality industries are welcome to join us for this crawl the afternoon of Aug 11th. We’ll announce an itinerary on August 4 via social media.

Please contact Jeffrey J Kingman at (503) 481-2479 or jkingman@chalkboarder.com for additional details.

## ^jk

July 25, 2010

USA's "Most Influential SocialMedia" Voice in the Restaurant Industry Speaks at Social Media Club PDX Aug 11

PRIORITY DISTRIBUTION

Social Media Club Portland (OR) hosts Paul Barron, Publisher of Fast Casual Magazine and the USA Restaurant Industry’s “Most Influential” Social Media Voice.

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Paul’s presentation, “Web Era 4 – What It Means to Restaurants” is a must-hear for Portland restaurant professionals/owners and public relations/social media service providers.

Less than 10% of USA restaurants have even begun to embrace the social web – here is the opportunity to get leading theory from the top hospitality social media thinker in North America.

Paul Barron, with over 52,000 Twitter followers, was rated in July 2010 as the top social media influencer in hospitality in the USA by Restaurant Reality Check Blog. Publisher of Fast Casual Magazine and Social Coco Blog, Paul is actively engaged with the boards of both the National Restaurant Association and Share Our Strength.

It’s our distinct pleasure to welcome Paul to speak to the Pacific Northwest hospitality and public relations/marketing/social media communities at Social Media Club PDX.

Event Details:

Registration is open and underway, limited to under 100. Register here at EventBrite.

Paul Barron: “Web Era 4 – What it means to the restaurant industry”

As a leader in the new restaurant, technology and social media era and also as the founder of Fast Casual.com and QSRweb.com

Change Agent has often been my moniker and I welcome it with open arms. As a Publisher and new media maven I have spent the past 16 years developing online media to build brands and amass audience.  I believe that change is the one thing that is always constant.  I feel fortunate as a founder of many blogs, podcasts, viral video and social media platforms.  Each of these experiences has helped me to be on the cutting edge of every new media push since the first web page by Tim Berners Lee in 1992.

As an expert in understanding the evolution of digital media over the past 15 years, I can say I am one of the elite in Social Media in all sectors of business and continue to grow and understand this massive shift in communication.

As a trend watcher I have had a chance to be part of the biggest shift in consumer restaurant interaction in the history of the restaurant business. In the mid 90’s I began tracking and defining the Fast Casual restaurant segment that has grown to more than a 40 billion dollar contributor to the half-a-trillion restaurant business.

As an early adopter, consumer science master, programmer, designer, social creator and best of all a student of the actual technology that drives the web and this entire new media craze, I understand what it takes to create a digital footprint and develop a social brand in today’s online world.

I am happy to talk to your brand; group or company on how new media can change the way you do business.

McMenamin’s Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom

Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom McMenamin's

Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom McMenamin's

The little sister of the historic Crystal Ballroom, Lola’s Room is located on the second floor, directly below the Crystal. If you’re a fan of DJ’d dance events, raging local rock showcases or intimate seated performances, then take a moment and bookmark this page.

The navigation menu at left is your roadmap to Lola’s Room and the other offerings at the corner of 14th %26 Burnside. Check out what’s coming up on the Events Calendar, discover how to let us host your next party, or simply investigate our brewery, artwork and history.

A night at Lola’s Room should always include a stop by Ringlers Pub or Ringlers Annex, where there’s usually a vibe to fit your mood — great pub fare, inspiring beverages, engaging conversation, a good pool game, a rowdy party, or a groovy DJ in a dimmed and quiet setting.

August 11th from 5 to 9 pm. Cash beverage/pizza by the slice bar.

Giveaway Schwag

More schwag coming!

Registration is open and underway, limited to under 100. Register here at EventBrite. $10 pre-registration, $15 at the door.

March 10, 2010

Client Case Study: Coffee Fest

This past weekend Chalkboarder headed over to Meadowlands NJ to provide social media coverage of Coffee Fest’s first of three 2010 tradeshows. We were fortunate to meet some truly outstanding people within the specialty coffee and tea industry, from growers and suppliers, to roasters, coffee/tea shop owners and baristas. There seemed to be a fair number of folks attending who were planning to open a coffee/tea house.

Coffee Fest NYC Barista Competitor Megan's Signature Drink

Our mission at the Show was to journalize – to capture as much of the activity as we could to share with the friends of Coffee Fest and hopefully – that they would then share the high energy of Coffee Fest with their communities.

We’ve got some blogging to do – some retrospectives of the show. We were able to capture a large number of videos, create a Youtube Channel for Coffee Fest and engage a lot of the attendees and exhibitors through Twitter.

You can find all the videos over here at Coffee Fest Youtube, search the Twitter archives by using the hashtag #coffeefest, and stay tuned for the blog postings over here on Jeffrey Kingman’s Leaf & Berry Blog.

February 20, 2010

Small Biz Social Media

I’ve become really fascinated with how small independent businesses can take advantage of emergent social web tools. Much of my professional experience has been in the non-corporate world (except for Ritz Carlton, Hyatt, GTE Sprint, and some early career positions); independents generating less than $5 million in annual revenues.

The growth challenges posed to independents are, I believe, much more difficult than that for larger organizations. With larger organizations comes economies of scale. The independent organization manager has so many more hats to wear and not nearly the time or educational resources available.

How can these organizations take advantage of the new tools of the social web? The social web research firm Wetpaint/Altimeter found that organizations with total social media engagement were able to grow their businesses by 18%. It’s no secret that the social web offers organizations opportunities, but these players aren’t able to afford the market rate for social media strategists and community managers ($100/hour and $60/hour respectively).

**Please do not think you can conduct good social media by hiring a kid with a large Facebook account – that will FAIL miserably.

How does an independent restaurant, inn or coffee house effectively compete against the multi-units in social media? This question has been rattling around my brain for the past six months and I think there is a minimum of three answers:

Do It Yourself.  Doing it yourself offers the operator complete control. It also means significant time in learning effective strategies, tools and methods. In addition, it means significant time involvement in maintaining your social media activities (production, distribution, monitoring, engagement).

Outsource To A Large Firm. Outsourcing to a large firm can be attractive because of the automation offered in distribution, monitoring and analysis. In addition, you don’t have to invest time and money in learning effective strategies, tools and methods.  The disadvantage is that your organization will still have to do the content production and the engagement, requiring your time and attention.

Hire A Small Professional Creative Company. I posit that this is the best option for the independent small business. The creative company brings all the resources for production, distribution, monitoring and engagement – crafting and executing a sound and highly individualized strategy. Time requirement for the organization is minimal, requiring meeting in person or through technology for the creative professional to gather some raw content and give reports/feedback. It’s personal and accountable.

I’m going to forecast here that 2010 will be the year we’ll see an explosion of small creative social media providers catering to small business. Market rates will be reasonable, ball-parking in the $500 to $1000 per month range. With small business being the backbone of the American economy, I believe these social media providers will become the norm.

January 27, 2010

Brave New World

Illustration by Kathy Boake

A great article on how foodservice and hospitality operations can use social media, written for the Canadian hospitality industry by author Lesley Young for Foodservice World Magazine.

FH 01 10_BraveNewWorld

She quotes our CEO Jeffrey J Kingman in several places.

January 20, 2010

Yelp & Urban Spoon Comments

Guest Experience Staff Training

I’m researching a study of the restaurant industry, using Yelp and Urban Spoon as the main viewframe. While I’ve written in the past about how operators could use these two sites to their advantage, I feel compelled to share a different observation tonight.

Does your team need a refresher on what makes great experience for customers? I bet if you spent one hour with an all-staff meeting, asked them to all bring their laptops in for the meeting, then gave each staff member ten restaurants in Urban Spoon’s “Affordable Fine Dining” Category to view – that you’d have one hell of a good meeting discussion.

The trick to this is having your staff read the comments of these ten restaurants, then share the outstandingly good and bad comments with the team as a whole and then to look at yours.

Not only is this good training on excellent guest experience, it will give your staff the direct feedback of the dining public in your area; what they think about you, about your competition and what their expectations are of a good or great experience.

I promise you, it will be an eye-opener for your team.

The other thing it will do (bonus) is provide your staff with real-time competitive analysis of the other teams that they are directly competing with in your area. What a great way to bring your team even more together towards a common goal!

By the way, it’s so easy for operators to get their basic information on these sites. I am completely clueless as to why any operator would stuff these two sites with pictures, the menu, etc.

Also, it’s extremely rare to find an operator responding to the negative comments (much less the positive ones) on these sites. How much time a night does that take – to look for a comment from the night? Thirty seconds? And then to write a reply? Another five minutes to increase guest loyalty so they’ll tell all their friends about your place?

Yelp and Urban Spoon should be the most basic of social web management for a restaurant. An operator should visit them daily – that would take maybe two minutes, tops.

December 31, 2009

2010 Is About Meaningful Content

Written for and cross-posted on FohBoh.com. I’m one of ten front-page contributors to FohBoh – the largest social network for the restaurant industry with over 13,000 members.

There’s been tens of thousands of conversations this past year about social media:

  • what is it,
  • how do you quantify ROI,
  • how can you compare it to traditional marketing/advertising,
  • what is the role of traditional PR/Marketing/Ad agencies with it,
  • how do you use it, and,
  • what is the most effective strategy?

Have you figured it all out?

I haven’t – social media is extremely dynamic, fluid and changing all the time. I read the leading social media theorists (Mashable.com, Paul Barron, Amanda Hite, Chris Brogan and numerous others) constantly; every day. While I’m not an expert and never want to be called a guru, I am most definitely a proponent, a social media evangelist and power user, both for my business and on behalf of some of my clients.

There’s been a number of pronouncements in the past few weeks – predictions – of what 2010 will bring for marketing, public relations, advertising and social media. I’m here on the last day of 2009 to share my distillation of these predictions with you.

The End of Traditional Marketing & Advertising (Static Announcements)

Let’s face it – have the marketing/advertising/PR strategies of the last forty years worked for you over the last two years?

  • Is running a newspaper ad every week with a coupon really working for you?
  • Is running a thirty second radio ad like a used car salesman begging people to “come on down” really working for you?
  • Is the static “brochure” of a website really working for you?
  • Is getting listed on the restaurant page of the newspaper working for you?
  • Are the menu pages in the Yellow Book working for you?
  • Is your direct email campaign really working?
  • How results-satisfied are you with text messaging the special on hot wings and draft beer?
  • Did placing an ad in the State Visitors Guide really work for you?
  • Did making that 60 second video ad for the local cable network really pay off?
  • Are static messages (think: flyers/coupons/etc) on Facebook and Twitter working for you?
  • [for the major multiunits] Did that 30 or 60 second major network ad really build relationships in your local communities?

I could go on. It seems there’s countless means to market and advertise a static announcement to the public. Is it really working for you?

2010 Equals Content

Your customers want to believe you are in community with them – for their needs, desires and wishes. Are the traditional strategies listed above really demonstrating how much you value your customer?

So how can you communicate with your customer dynamically, meeting their needs and desires?

  • Listen to them
  • Comment on their messages – sincerely
  • Let them produce content toward you
  • Don’t get defensive
  • Keep the mantra simple: It’s Not About You : It’s About Your Customer

Paul Barron and I had a conversation last week about the landscape of marketing, advertising and the social web. In an excellent post titled “Real Time Search could impact restaurants – big time!” on his blog Social Coco, Paul states “The point is that real-time is consuming the web in terms of new content that was not there just a few short years ago. This new content will impact restaurants in a big way as consumers not brands post videos, blogs, tweets, wall posts and podcasts more about their restaurant experience. And guess what all this will come up in: real-time search!”

John Jantz, in an article titled “Small Businesses Will Simply Become More Naturally Social” (cross-posted on Social Media Today and Duck Tape Marketing), states: “Social media activity and behavior can help facilitate communication and connection with your entire collaboration universe: prospects, customers, suppliers, partners, and employees and as such should be freed from the limited thinking.”

Free Stuff

We all like free stuff in this industry – free samples from the sales rep, free food and goodies from the tradeshows, etc. The old saying “free is a very good price” is part of our weekly vernacular. How many of you like free positive publicity?

Why not encourage your customers to share their life-stories with you through social media? Maybe a customer’s son or daughter videotaped the parents wedding anniversary dinner at your place. Perhaps a kid on the local baseball team is a regular customer – ask him for an interview that you can share. Take a couple pictures of your favorite businesspeople around town – share them through social media:

“My friend Joe at Zeke’s Auto knows more about foreign cars than anyone else I know. (picture link on web of Joe)”

What I’m suggesting is to use your marketing/advertising efforts to build community instead of standing on the street corner bull-horning the nightly special.

The 24 to 48 Hour News Cycle

I’m not saying never talk about your business – I’m saying make the community needs of your customers take priority in your marketing/advertising. I’m saying that even large multi-units can do this – by being meaningfully engaged in local community through social media.

You have the opportunity to create a localized 24 to 48 hour news channel that benefits and build community. And when you talk mostly about others, when you put others first, when you give to the community – it will reward you.

People will respond – and they will love the occasional story from your crew! You – as restaurant owner, as chef or line cook, as general manager, bartender or waiter, hostess or dishwasher – have the opportunity; the right even… or perhaps responsibility, to connect community together – just as much as the minister, town council member or fireman.

Tell your community’s stories first through your messages and your stories last. People will notice. Make your message revolve around your customers, not you.

Blogpost Fluff: Top 2009 Facebook Statistics

Facebook currently boasts over 350 million users

50 percent of Facebook users log on in any given day

Each day, 35 million users update their status

55 million status updates are posted each day

2.5 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month

3.5 million events are created each month

There are more than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook

Over 700,000 local businesses maintain active Pages on Facebook

Users

The average user has 130 friends on the site

On average, users spend more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook

The Like button is used on 9 pieces of content on average each month

25 comments are written by users on Facebook content each month

Most users are member of at least 12 groups

International

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application