This summer, Hue (pronounced HWAY) Vietnamese Restaurant will be opening its second location in Wauwatosa (the original location is off Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View). Now is the time to craft a social media strategy that will take this neighborhood by storm! Since it is a new location it will be fairly easy to measure the effects of this campaign, if done deliberately and with care, beginning with soft ROI (in the form of brand awareness, engagement, and word-of-mouth) to produce hard ROI (via revenues generated as a direct result of the plan). Once the strategy is in place, it must be consistently audited to ensure that the desired outcomes are being achieved; yet, the beauty of utilizing this approach is that the customer base will inform them as to exactly what it wants in order for this to be accomplished! People love to be engaged in their communities and they love it even more when they know that they are being heard. Hue must start now in an all-out effort to immerse itself in its new environment and bring these people out to play.
I would advise that the business owners begin by informing their already-vast following that they are planning on opening a new location, and where and when this will be so that they can begin generating word-of-mouth buzz. This can be done via the forums that they are already using, such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Urbanspoon, etc. Second, they should advertise links to their social media accounts in the storefront of the new location (not yet open to the public), which receives a lot of foot and drive-by traffic, to increase visibility in that community. This would be a short-and-sweet message letting people know where they can find more information as to what’s going on behind the scenes and what to expect once opening day does arrive. For this, in addition to the creation of the new location’s own dedicated social media accounts for the local residents to interact with, I would suggest creating a blog that introduces the owners and the cuisine, with weekly updates as to what menu items will be featured, how they are traditionally eaten, and the process that goes into their creation (with an emphasis on fresh vegetables and locally-sourced meats). This would also be the place to propose what kind of events the restaurant plans to host, such as food and beverage pairings or a cocktail club that would feature the witnessing and sampling of craft cocktails exclusive to Hue (here, community feedback could inform and shape potential events to increase both soft and hard ROI–again, capitalize on what the community wants and finds interesting!). Finally, once the restaurant is open, use social media as a game to lure in new customers (for example, if a customer is able to get their friends to come in after “checking in” via a geotagging application, such as Foursquare, that customer gets a free drink or appetizer).
Just how is one able to measure and keep track of how these strategies are (or aren’t) affecting business? To start, simply have the staff ask, “How did you hear about us?” each time they come into contact with a new customer. A standardized method as to how and when to do this would be helpful but not at all difficult, and if worried about consistency of the method then create an incentive for them to ask by making it a contest (the person with the most feedback at the end of the shift gets a free drink or meal). Using “coupons” or “passwords” that customers can only receive by using a specific social media site is another way to see where and how much of a return is being produced by these tactics. In the case of this and the geotagging example, these can be tracked by creating individual buttons on the restaurant’s point-of-sale system. At the end of the day, week, month, or year, all the information as to what types of promotions are being used (i.e. where people are mainly hearing about the restaurant) is available on an easy-to-print report! Once the strategy has been evaluated, simply modify it based on where the most revenue is coming from.<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/zinajo/some-roi” title=”SoMe ROI” target=”_blank”>SoMe ROI</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/zinajo” target=”_blank”>zinajo</a></strong> </div>
Getting hungry? For more information about Hue, visit huemilwaukee.com.