Business and Operations
Using social media to stand out
By Alix Richardson
You can get great ideas from watching others’ success
By Alix Richardson
Make social media part of your company’s strategic plan because your customers and potential customers are definitely online.
Make social media part of your company’s strategic plan because your customers and potential customers are definitely online. You should be too. Use social media to interact with customers to get feedback, find out what you’re doing well and what could use improvement. Communicate upcoming events, offers, and contests to reach a larger audience than you do now. Engage with your customers and let them know what differentiates your company from the rest. Do you use fresh local ingredients? This is the type of information people want to know! And it may cause someone to choose you over a competitor.
Before you start setting up every account possible, your first step should be a social media strategy. Take the time to look at which social networks your target markets are using.
Outline your social media goals and objectives in this strategy, and plan out how these goals will be measured. Taking the time to get this strategy on paper can really improve your chances of having a successful social media presence. Not having a strategy is one of the biggest mistakes companies are making, so if you don’t already have one in place, put this at the top of your list for 2013.
Once your strategy is in place, make sure your accounts are set up properly. Even if you’re not ready to get started, it’s a good idea to set up accounts to save your company’s name (if it’s not already taken).
When your social media accounts are up and running, make sure you have someone dedicated to monitoring and keeping accounts updated regularly. You will need to build targeted fans and followers, and you will need to retain those fans and followers by keeping them interested. If you want people to “Like” your Facebook Page, make sure you’re giving them something worth liking. Avoid being too self-promotional. Post relevant information that is useful to fans and followers, as well as exclusive offers, and/or sneak peeks. Make sure you are monitoring review sites and responding to all comments. It is important that these are not overlooked or ignored. Even if a negative comment is made, do not delete it.
Show the customer how you can turn a poor experience into a great one. Don’t forget to be social. It’s important to respond to any questions, comments, complaints or praise as soon as possible. Every comment, post and tweet is an opportunity to stand out and really strengthen your relationships with customers and potential customers.
Incorporate QR codes on all of your printed material (pizza boxes, menus, etc.) to direct customers to your website, to “Like” your Facebook Page, or to follow you on Twitter. This can be a great way to build targeted fans and followers. Get creative. Why not add some QR codes to your menu that will allow customers to watch a short video from your chef explaining the ingredients while cooking up that menu item? These types of ideas can really set you apart in the industry, and it doesn’t hurt to keep customers entertained while waiting for their order!
Need inspiration to get you started on your social media journey? Google Ramon De Leon, who started delivering pizza when he was 19 years old and is now the managing partner of seven Domino’s franchises in Chicago. He’s passionate about pizza and shows this by going above and beyond customers’ expectations. A woman went to Twitter to complain that her pizza was late and the order was wrong. De Leon made a video with the manager both apologizing for her experience and vowing to make things right. One of our favourite ideas that De Leon has implemented is using Twitter hashtags next to each menu item. This encourages and makes it easy for customers to share exactly what they’re enjoying at the moment.
You may also consider adding a custom tab on your Facebook Page that enables customers to order directly via Facebook. And what about offering check-in deals to customers who visit your location? These are the types of things that people are likely to tell their friends about.
Pizza Hut is another one to watch. The amount of sharing their fans and stores do on Facebook is impressive. For example, one customer requested a side of magic with their order and received a container labelled “Side of Magic” with Lucky Charms marshmallows inside their pizza box. The customer was impressed and posted it on the Pizza Hut Facebook Page. Within a week, the post received over 12,000 “Likes” and more than 220 shares. Now instead of having one happy customer they have thousands.
Alix Richardson is the manager of business development for Miss Mediosa, a full-service social media company. Miss Mediosa specializes in social media management for businesses across Canada, the U.S, and the U.K. The company focuses on strategy development, setup, management services, and more. For tips, tricks and ideas, follow Miss Mediosa on Twitter (@MissMediosa) and Facebook (Facebook.com/MissMediosa). For more information, feel free to contact Alix at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 403-770-9659. Visit the company online at www.missmediosa.com to find out what “Mediosa” means.