Content is king. This is true, especially when it comes to social media. But a kind can’t rule a kingdom alone. He needs a queen. And that queen is community management.
Creating Buzz in the Community and Building an Email List for Restaurant Opening
At StrataBlue, we work with lots of restaurants. And when it comes to the recipe for a new restaurant’s opening, creating buzz via social media and using email to acquire and communicate with customers are key ingredients it the success.
The proprietors of a new restaurant came to us just four months prior to their targeted open date. They didn’t have a logo, let alone a website. They were still planning the menu. And even though they’d signed up for social media profiles, they had no branding or content up.
- Our Challenge: How do you create word of mouth and buzz when the restaurant is still months away from opening?
Our StrataBlue team made it our mission to aim for massive, targeted reach and to build and educate an audience that included local foodies and social media influencers, who could help us serve up the maximum amount of online reach and digital buzz.
Cooking up the Foundation:
While the eventual goal was to grow a social media following, generate and amplify buzz, and build a foundational email list, we had a lot of work ahead of us before we could begin posting content and amplifying it throughout the social sphere. Our graphic design and social teams worked hand in hand with the restaurant proprietors to create the overall voice they wanted to convey through their branding and digital presence.
Our graphics team started from scratch to design the following:
- branding materials
- menu design
- social media profile branding (Facebook & Twitter)
- social media display ads (Facebook & Twitter)
- email marketing templates
Meanwhile, the social media team worked to set up and brand the following digital channels:
- Facebook Page
- Twitter Profile
- Instagram Accounts
- Email Marketing Account
Digital Buzz Building:
StrataBlue took care of the social media before the restaurant was open for business, so this created a fantastic opportunity for us to tell the story right from the start about the development and vision. It also allowed us to involve the local community from the outset.
Our goals were to:
- Announce the restaurant to the community and begin educating them about the concept, menu development, and plans for drink specialties and weekend entertainment.
- Build a climate of anticipation around the launch.
- Connect with the locals and foodies to create excitement and buzz within the foodie community.
Even before the time came to open its doors with a promise of delicious food, StrataBlue ensured the restaurant was an aggressive user of social media channels to connect with potential patrons, and grow its digital footprint.
- We began posting teasers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, cross-promoting content between the various platforms three months prior to a September opening date.
- To increase the number of social media impressions, both Facebook and Twitter advertising were used to drive awareness, while connecting and engaging with more followers.
- Appealing to a customer’s eyeballs is where Instagram came in, and we were able to show off what the restaurant would bring to the table (pun intended). We also used all social profiles to chronicle the evolution and construction of the restaurant, posting photos of both food and interior progress.
- Socially shared and promoted content was also dedicated to staff Q&As, specialty cocktails that were planned, and entertainment acts that were being booked to perform.
- While the website was being designed and built, we set up a landing page to announce that the new concept was coming. An embedded lead capture form was used to gather subscribers who wanted to be the first to know all the launch details, including opening week festivities.
Measurement & KPIs:
We defined KPIs to measure our performance, which we carefully measured over the course of the campaign:
- KPI 1: Growth of the social following across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- KPI 2: Overall digital media impressions and reach
- KPI 3: Email list subscriber growth
- KPI 4: Increases in website traffic (the landing page went up two months prior to launch and
the full website was launched several weeks before opening)
The restaurant’s grand opening was a massive success! During the first five months (three months prior to opening and two month after), the restaurant’s website received 49,000 visits by nearly 35,000 users, and the brand now has a database of 2,100 email address with which to send targeted e-newsletters.
Prior to opening night, Social Referral traffic and Direct traffic made up 19.14% and 25.33% of website sessions, respectively. After five months, the client was able to attribute nearly 10% of their website traffic to StrataBlue’s social media efforts. Direct website traffic, which demonstrates brand awareness and also includes some email and social media traffic, made up 21.43%.
The social media strategy achieved fantastic results within the first five months: 7,100+ Facebook Likes, nearly 1,250 Twitter Followers, and 960 Instagram fans actively engaging.
Overall, the multi-channel campaign drove well over 2.5 million digital media impressions across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Two months post-opening, the StrataBlue team continues to use social and digital marketing to generate traffic to both the client’s website and brick-and-mortar location. Business is booming!
Would you like to see what we can do for your new business? Get in contact with us today!