On Wednesday, the Social Media Club was honored to have Stacey Kane, Director of Marketing for California Tortilla for a special keynote presentation hosted by WhoRunsGov. She spoke to a huge crowd of burrito-and-beer-loving folks at the Washington Post HQ, a group of social media lovers in store for much more than happy bellies by the end of the night. Special thanks to WhoRunsGov from the Washington Post for hosting – it was a great venue!
The event kicked off with a short presentation by Get Spontaneous, who reminded us all, the real world is awesome. Get Spontaneous is a beta website designed to take advantage of just that, offering a sort of “Pandora for Events.” They get to know you and your interests, and they make recommendations about events you should head to. Sounds simple enough and we dig it. Looking forward to seeing how Get Spontaneous evolves over the next few months.
Because Stacey had so many great insights throughout her talk, it makes sense to boil them down to the top takeaways worth keeping in your back pocket, helpful if you work in social media for a consumer brand, especially a restaurant.
- Don’t let a negative experience aired on Twitter linger with no response. Respond within 24 hours, take offline, and make it into a positive, even if it means offering free food. Caltort’s number one rule is never lose a customer, and that is something they adhere to. Restaurants and stores should adopt this policy if they have not already.
- Don’t treat social media as the solution, treat it as what it is, a conduit for word of mouth marketing.
- It isn’t about likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter. As Stacey remarked, it’s about “butts in seats.” Don’t get hung up on metrics that don’t matter–focus on the tactics that get people in stores (coupons/deals, Wifi offering), and actively track those efforts. Caltort has had 13 months of positive sales growth, completely paid-advertising free.
- Make your brand easy to talk about. Implement tools and incentives that will make your new products easy and desirable for people to share with their friends.
- Make your customers feel smart and and like they are “on the inside.” In my mind, this rule harkens a bit to the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which advocates that it isn’t about YOU, it is about the other person. If you make your brand about your customers, they are going to be more responsive and interested. When Caltort was introducing a new vegetarian burrito, they tweeted out to their followers that the restaurant was debating calling the product, “the Vegito.” It got a ton of feedback, mostly negative–and turned into a sort of crowd-sourcing project. Finally, the “No Meato Burrito” was born and it’s creator was publicly recognized for it.
But the best part of the night was an example of Stacey implementing that very last rule of making us feel like we were “on the inside.” Call it a selective intelligence leak or call it a free (intense) focus group for Caltort…the last few minutes were focused on the potential new branding that California Tortilla is considering.