Social 5: Viral Edition

Check back each Friday for a list of our 5 favorite things to come out of social media. This week the SoMe team brings you our favorite viral content. Enjoy!

5. Jimmy Fallon and Jonah Hill hashtag it out in “Hashtag #2″. The sequel to BFFs Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s massive viral sketch. Plus an oscar award winning cameo.

4. “Sochi Olympians skating to 90s songs” Tumblr. Topical and nostalgic are the elements in this winning piece of viral content.

3. Old Spice’s “Huey Lewis Hair” interactive campaign. As absurd and delightful as you’d expect, viral video powerhouse Old Spice wants you to choose what Huey Lewis song their head of hair plays. Just watch.

2. Big Lots’ Dancing Moms Bring Thrift Back. Created to announce Big Lots being the official thrift wholesaler for Hostess, the ad relies on the things that make us smile: choreographed dancing, moms and catchy tunes.

1. Emotional Baby. Babies and soulful singing. Try not to shed a tear.

3 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant’s Social Media Marketing

Think about the last time you went out to eat. Did you wander down the street and go into the first place that looked good? Maybe you did… but more likely, you probably already had a place in mind you read about on a foodie blog or in the paper. Or, you asked your friends and family for a recommendation. Or maybe you loaded up Urbanspoon and let a shake of your phone seal your dining fate. Nowadays, people are increasingly conducting research to make more informed decisions on everything from buying a house to eating dinner.

So if diners are paying close attention to restaurant’s online presences and social media marketing efforts, what happens if you aren’t using social media to its fullest potential? Here are 3 easy ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts:

1. Make Connections

Sure, social media marketing is a great tool for restaurants to reach their audience. It’s easy to tweet your daily specials, list them on your Facebook page, and talk about your upcoming events – but that’s not all people want to hear. One of the best ways to use social platforms to your advantage and get the most long-term ROI is to make lasting connections with your fans and followers. Don’t just tell them about your specials, ask if they enjoyed them—or what deals they’d like to see. Social platforms are also a great way to manage customer service and take the pulse of how people feel about your restaurant and service, to make sure it’s the best it can be.

2. Make It Visual

The web, social and mobile platforms have begun to put serious importance on visuals. Content consumption is fast paced and to the point – the saying a picture is worth a thousand words has never been truer. Brands are seeing a severe decrease in engagement with text-based posts. Luckily, eating is a sensory-focused activity, and food is one of the most photo-worthy subjects in existence. Take your restaurant’s social media marketing plan and make it visually intriguing by showcasing the vibrant colors of your seasonal salad, or even a behind-the-scenes look at how your signature dish is prepared. And don’t forget to consider lighting and color: natural light works better than a flash, and warmer hues make food look more appetizing than cool ones.

3. Make Their Experience

Okay, you’ve got great visuals, lots of conversation and reviews are climbing. While these are signs of success, you don’t eat dinner on the Internet. Make sure to encourage customers to get off their computers and come into your restaurant. You can incentivize them to make the online-offline connection by offering online only, in-store redeemable coupons. Or you can invite them to participate in a contest, and stop by to enter. Whatever you do, make sure to highlight the experience of what your restaurant has to offer.

These are just a few keys to successfully marketing your restaurant on social media. Want more insight? Contact us for ways to help you stand out on social. In the meantime, what do you think is the most important factor to online reputation success for restaurants?

How to Protect Your Brand on the Loveliest Day of the Year

This blog post is part 2 in a series of posts on how to protect your brand during popular holidays.

With Valentine’s Day on Friday, your initial thought might be to appeal to your core customers and their love lives, right? Wrong.

Be mindful that Valentine’s Day is one of the most sensitive days of the year, putting a spotlight on your consumers and their relationships. So what is the best way to avoid excluding a segment of your market, or angering the segment of the population with the most purchasing power? Embrace all kinds of lovely social media campaigns.

1. Lou Malnati’s “Heart Pizza” Campaign

The keywords here are “Special Someone,” “Friends,” or “the entire family.” Lou Malnati’s is making Valentine’s Day a celebration everyone can take part in by offering limited time only heart-shaped pizzas.

2. ZOOSHOO’s “Seeing Red” Sale

Women love to shop. Whether it’s for the Fourth of July, Presidents Day, Groundhog Day, or Valentine’s Day, a good sale is always in fashion. ZOOSHOO is using February 14th to spread joy to all by creating a fun color-centric gift code.

3. Shopanthropic’s “#GlobalLove” Campaign

Love for a cause! The philanthropic shopping blog is encouraging users to use February 14th as a day to spread good will globally by supporting the sale of environmentally-friendly or fair-trade gifts.

What interesting Valentine’s Day campaigns have spoken to you? Share with us here or on social media!

Photo Credit: Zooshoo.com, LouMalnatis.com, Shopanthropic.com

3 Essential Ingredients to Engaging Facebook Posts

Our Chicago based digital marketing team is always thinking about how to effectively create Facebook posts that will resonate with our clients target audience to maximize both reach and engagement. From our years working in digital marketing, we can point to three basic ingredients that contribute to a Facebook posts’s success:

Know your target audience – leverage Page Insights and other free Facebook Analytics tools to see your demographics, audience overviews to speak to your most engaged fans.

Have a point of view – develop a voice that your fans can engage and feel comfortable with. Don’t try to be the loudest or hippest person in the room – be your brand voice and be as engaging as you can be.

Timing – knowing when your audience is online is one of the biggest success factors in creating reach. Forget about those “optimal” time to post infographics – use your knowledge of your market to time your content for the best traction.

Below are examples of these tactics we’ve implemented on client campaigns:

1. ORS Haircare– Global consumer product company

ORSFBpost

11,176 people organically reached | 5,076 likes, comments & shares

Success factors: Timing (morning), compelling image, targeted content, call to action

2. 235 Van Buren– Real Estate Development Company

3,876 people reached organically | 356 shares, likes, and comments

Success factors: targeted audience, timing (1:40 PM)

3. Bin36– Wine bar and restaurant

1,278 people reached organically | 99 shares, likes, and comments

Success factors: Targeted audience

Facebook posts can be incredibly engaging if you leverage the best images, the right content, and time your posts for maximum exposure (and relevancy). How can you do this? Keep a pulse on your post activity through Facebook Insights or feel free to drop us an email!