Social Tools to Make (Marketing) Life Easier
Maybe this is my age talking, but it’s still kind of wild to think about how far social media companies have come in just a few short years. They’re not “startups” anymore, they’re full-fledged companies deemed mission critical for business success. Crazy.
Recently, a few different services have added features that make using these social tools for marketing more efficient. First, Instagram announced it will offer analytics like follower demographics (including age, gender and location) and post analytics (how well a given post is performing.) The new tools are meant for businesses, at least to start, though it’s not clear if you need to be an advertiser to see these tools. (My best guess is that customers get them first, but that’s just a guess.)
Twitter made some high-profile changes this week, too. (The changes’ profile is a little too high, if you ask me.) After years (years? Definitely months) of speculation, the 140-character limit is changing… kind of. In a blog post and a subsequent tweets, Twitter detailed the coming changes: @replies won’t count toward the 140-character count limit. Attached media in the form of photos and videos won’t count toward the 140-character count limit (though URLs will still count.) And they’re adding retweet and quote tweet functionality to allow you to RT or quote yourself, which sounds way narcissistic at first, but is a good way to refer to your own content when expanding a thought. These don’t feel like huge product changes, but the blog post tells us to get ready for “even more,” whatever that means. At the very least, these changes are a step in a good direction for Twitter, and will hopefully make it even more accessible to more people.
Speaking of Twitter, a slight but important change to Periscope, its acquired live-video-broadcast service. Previously, videos disappeared from Tweets after 24 hours. Now, they’ll be saved indefinitely. The feature was announced earlier this month, and implemented in Tuesday’s app update. (If you want your content to go away after 24 hours, you can configure that in Settings, too.)
Speaking of Periscope (stay with me here), I think there’s a real opportunity for kitchens to take advantage of it as a learning tool. It’s essentially a window into an otherwise unseen universe; now that videos stay put, it’s an excellent way to chronicle discovery and new ideas and progress. I’ll talk more about that later, stay tuned.
(If you’re interested in the above, Inc. has a great piece about choosing the best social media marketing platform for your next campaign.)
The Buzz-Creating Power of Social Media
Let’s stay on social media marketing for a bit, shall we? Last week, Ben Leventhal called out a coming-soon restaurant in Portland for a really, really awesome use of Instagram prior to its opening: Dame, opening this summer, created a fun Instagram landing page that lives at @damerestaurant. It doesn’t show the restaurant, just what I’d consider an inspiration board for the restaurant, presumably to 1.) garner excitement for the opening, and 2.) feature content ahead of the opening so that future patrons know where to find the restaurant on social. A follow now means instant updates later when it opens, which means an inside edge. Plus, if you pass an under-construction storefront and are looking for more info, you can find it in a place that’s comfortable. (I don’t know this restaurant, so these are all assumptions, but I think it’s pretty awesome.)
Obviously marketing and buzz-creation are important parts of any restaurant’s launch plan, you know that. But this is a great example of the creativity allowed by social media marketing and good food for thought when it comes to opening (or just re-energizing) a restaurant.
The Recipe Video, and How It Got So Huge on Social
Have you noticed an increase in recipe videos on Facebook? I certainly have. The New Yorker has a look at the phenomenon, explaining how these videos got so popular. In short, as said by BuzzFeed’s Chief Marketing and Creative Director, “even if you can’t cook … you watch, and it becomes very addictive.”
But the other reason, besides containing food which is a universally pleasing subject, is that these videos are hyper-focused, and they aren’t posted from the general BuzzFeed account, they come instead from BuzzFeed Tasty, a separate URL that contains only food videos, which means Facebook’s algorithms love it.
This is a serious oversimplification of the process, so the New Yorker article is worth a read if you’re into this stuff (it’s short.) But basically: create high-quality content that applies to a subset of a larger audience and watch those social engagement numbers rise.
The Delivery-Only Restaurants Are Coming
As an investor and advisor in Maple, David Chang got his feet wet in the delivery-only game. Now, his delivery-only restaurant, Ando, is ready for business. Launched last week, (with 200 people given access on day one), Ando’s focus seems to be sandwiches, fried chicken, donuts, and other foods that travel well (that is, if its Instagram accountis any indication.)
I like delivery-only as a C+T topic for a couple of reasons: ordering is digital through an app. (I don’t miss calling restaurants, that’s for sure.) And word-of-mouth is a huge deal when it comes to marketing these restaurants, and word-of-internet (or word-of-social-media, honestly) is perhaps the best vehicle for promotion; one no longer requires a brick-and-mortar storefront to get attention. Though the market in San Francisco seemed saturated with delivery-only options for a while (and we saw some, like SpoonRocket, close completely), putting big names like Chang and Momofuku behind the experience gives it a lot of cred. I expect more of these, and we’ll probably see the market ebb and flow as we have in the past, but the strongest will absolutely survive here, especially in an on-demand economy that’s thriving in a takeout-friendly city.
- How DinnerLab blew through $10 million on a failed restaurant startup — Forbes
- Book the best seat in the house (that would be the bar) with OpenTable in Chicago — Open For Business
- What to do when the restaurant takes your favorite dish off the menu — WSJ