|Southern Art Dining Room in Atlanta, GA|
It all started with a Tweet. A colleague's sister sent a tweet that she was going to Southern Art, a restaurant and Bourbon Bar in Bucktown, Atlanta. She got an immediate response from @SouthernArt and @ChefArtSmith via twitter, and she told her sister about it.
Her sister mentioned it to me when I started planning my gastronomical adventures for the week I would travel to Atlanta for the CDC Conference. (Are you still with me here?)
As we googled reviews for Atlanta restaurants, Southern Art rose to the top, and because I had anecdotal reference, I suggested it to my fellow travelers. On the way, I tweeted that I was excited to visit the restaurant and I was already planning my food choices based on their online menu.
I immediately was followed by @SouthernArt and they asked when I would be there. I replied "in about 10 minutes."
Here's what happened behind the scenes. @SouthernArt's social media person analyzed my twitter profile and recommended that they pay extra attention as I have 600 followers, more than 1500 tweets and a blog, which they researched as well.
Essentially, they identified me as an "Influencer." And holy buckets was I flattered.
We had a beautiful lunch including a charcuterie board presented by the chef, all along, just enjoying a beautiful atmosphere and food that was clearly created by a culinarian.
As I boarded the plane home, I checked my email. I had a note from former de Novo intern, Cece Weideman, who is now the social media manager at BCV in Chicago. She sent me an entire string of communication that showed our engagement online via twitter, a client alert from BCV to Southern Art, an analysis of my reach, and a report back from the management on what we ordered, how we seemed to receive it and that the chef had presented the charcuterie tray himself.
Southern Art recognizes the power of social media, but they also recognize the disadvantages of not doing it, as I always say, consistently and consistently well.
They engage with BCV to manage and alert them of good and bad mentions and generate an engaging experience for the digital foodie. That's key. If you can't do it, find someone who can and partner.
Now, that was just four people at lunch, right? A month or two later, one of our clients, Mendota Hearth, visited Atlanta on business and based on our experience (publicly shared) booked the private dining room and brought a large group there for dinner. That was where social media really paid off.
Can you make it work for you? The questions you really have to ask yourself are:
Do you or will you commit to treat Social Media as a part of your overall marketing strategy?
Is your brand worth repeating?
Answer these two questions honestly, and you have the blueprint to using social media successfully. Commit - not just to social media, but to making your brand experience extraordinary, and you have all the tools you need to make it work like @ChefArtSmith.