Posts tagged ‘social web’

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.

 

October 11, 2010

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It takes two to tango is an idiomatic and well-worn expression in the United States. Often spoken when describing personal relationships, it is also used to describe peer or business relationships. As brands have jumped on the social web express, how many have signed contracts with or hired web community managers and assumed that these individuals or outsourced providers can take the ball and run with it, without support?

We’ve learned at Chalkboarder that some clients are a “bear” to fully collaborate with. It seems no matter how many times a week we seek raw content from these clients, it’s damn difficult to get collaboration. The reasons are varied, of course. Some clients are simply so busy managing day-to-day operations that social community management and content production is a big after-thought.

Other clients have assumed that, since they have a community manager, that’s all they need.

I’ve spoken with other social web managers who’ve experienced this as well. One, a mentor and friend, recently told me one of her clients cut short the relationship, stating that they were going to do it on their own. My friend described to me how the former client had, in her estimation, only used her minimally, despite repeated requests for raw content and collaboration.

If you’ve hired a web community manager, are you giving them all the tools and ingredients they need to do outstanding work for you? Take a look at this – don’t assume that just because you hired a manager that the social media show is a wrap. Hiring a web community manager without providing collaboration and raw content is a lot like a restaurant hiring a talented chef into a well equipped kitchen, but then not supplying food ingredients for them to work with.

If you truly desire to take advantage of the social web, you have to provide good quality raw content to your community manager. Better yet – flood them with good raw content. They’ll generate wildly distinctive and effective dialogues, build communities and drive sales if you do.

I’m curious how many other web community managers struggle with this?

July 28, 2010

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Using Social Media to Monitor Your Competition

By Jeffrey J Kingman, CEO Chalkboarder, written for and published by Inside F&B Magazine.

Most Chefs and Restaurateurs are strong competitors. Our restaurant communities may be full of camaraderie and industry friendships but, like street pickup basketball games on the corner, we’re highly competitive. We wouldn’t put in 60 to 100 hour weeks if we weren’t.

Every strong competitor has highly developed situational awareness and observation skills. Along our careers in hospitality, our coaches, the industry trainers and mentors, honed these competitive skills in us repeatedly. Today, in the new era of Web 4.0, the competitive advantages of using social media include discovering what others are saying right now about your competition and your operation, staying on top of your competition’s latest news, and ruthless as it sounds, reaching out to your competitor’s dissatisfied guests to invite them to your place.

As much as we work hard to train staff, execute creative and effective team leadership and positively surmount daily organizational challenges, we also have to have our eyes and….

To finish reading the article please visit it here at Inside F&B Magazine.

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.

October 22, 2009

Social Grub becomes client and B2B partner

Chalkboarder.com is pleased to announce the addition of Social Grub in a unique mutual relationship encompassing representation, social media and sales.

We’ll be talking about the services Social Grub provides often from now on.