As a social media editor, there are several emotions I feel when I come across an innovative and successful social media campaign that I am not working on. The first? Insane jealousy. That was my immediate reaction to The Social‘s social media campaign.
The Social is a local Chattanoogan bar, attached to the famous Chattanoogan eatery The Public House, and their social media marketing is a work of art. The campaign is engaging, interesting and, above all else, valuable. By interacting with their Facebook page, users gain access to special deals and coupons. The result? An army of brand ambassadors. Here’s a breakdown.
The posts made by The Social are interesting. They usually contain a strong visual element which is, let’s be honest, the most compelling content on the Internet. Whether it’s a photo from a previous event or a picture of that evening’s special, you can bet that The Social’s Facebook page will usually have a high-res picture that’s interesting to look at.
It’s a well known fact that the average person loves food. Chances are, those of you reading this blog at this very moment were tantalized by the above photo. Why shouldn’t you be? It’s a gorgeous image of unique cuisine that can be found exclusively at The Social. In the midst of all the melodramatic status updates and pictures of babies you don’t really care about, a photo post of some delicious food is more likely to be shared and “LIKED.”
The bottom line? The Social makes quality updates.
The updates and posts made to The Social’s Facebook are wildly engaging. Because The Social is owned by The Public House, the two use their social media assets in conjunction with one another.
This type of post is made weekly, and I love it. It’s a perfect example of how to make engagement on social media valuable for a consumer. When you follow the above link from The Social’s page, you find a fun and engaging contest at The Public House’s page.
This is social media marketing at it’s best. There are two things that stand out to me in this campaign that many business might find risky. The first is that The Social diverts attention from their sales to promote The Public House. Of course, because both institutions are housed in the same building, and because a coupon for Public House food can be used at The Social, it’s safe to say that if the sales of one entity go up, the sales of the other will as well.
Secondly, The Public House is giving something away for the price of engagement. Now, most profitable businesses aren’t quick to give their product away for nothing and as such are afraid of giving things away through social media.
I see a disconnect there, because in running a similar social media camping, a business isn’t giving something away for nothing, they are giving something away for valuable promotion. The friends of any user who engages with The Public House’s post will see that engagement in their timeline and, as a compounded action, the engaged user will be likely to promote The Public House because they’ve won something valuable.
It’s treating your audience like a VIP, it’s giving them special treatment and delivering appreciation for social engagement. It’s beautiful.
Finally and, perhaps most uniquely, the social media marketing employed by The Social (and The Public House) is valuable to the consumer. Most brands that are doing a good job on social media offer interesting and engaging content, like those post detailed above. However, where The Social breaks away from good marketing and falls into great marketing is through the extended value of their campaign.
One hundred dollars to The Public House? A free evening at the Sheraton Read House? Concert tickets to see Kris Kristofferson? Where do I sign up?!?!?
Following the above link takes you to a Facebook-app sign up page. To enter into this competition? A user simply has to “LIKE” The Social’s page, “LIKE” The Public House’s page and enter their email address.
Following The Social and The Public House on Facebook is valuable. It’s easy, costs the user nothing, but provides a chance to win something truly valuable. And The Social runs this kind of contest all the time, because they know that making a Facebook audience happy produces brand ambassadors.
The Proof in the Pudding
Want some proof that The Social’s social media campaign works? Consider this blog. I am a brand ambassador for The Social, in part because they have won me over through their extremely engaging social media efforts.
However, there is one important aspect to what makes The Social’s marketing so effective, something important that I’ve left out.
The food, the drinks, the service, the ambiance, it’s all fantastic and delightfully affordable. Yes, The Social’s social media marketing is interesting, engaging and valuable, but their product is also marketable. Often overlooked, but the best thing any brand can do for marketing is to have a product that’s highly marketable.
When I first came across The Social on social media, I was jealous. But now, after engaging with the brand online and experience the brand in person, I’m just proud. I want The Social to succeed, and that kind of word-of-mouth publicity is something you just can’t put a price on.
→ David Pembertonl; follow… @Dave_Your_Fave