We thought we were ahead of the rest in creating a Facebook group (The HWY), then a Facebook fan page (The Highway) and finally a Facebook profile (Hwy Highway). That was until Kelly Noble from Glam Digital came along and gave me the heads up.
Little did we know, a profile page for a business violates Facebook’s T&C’s and what’s the point in having a group and a fan page for the same purpose? The problem was, like so many venues, we’d left our social media strategy to our IT guy who wasn’t really interested. We certainly didn’t realise the potential impact social media could have on our business.
I am lucky to have a General Manager and the owner of the Highway who although are not at all Twitter savvy, trust me when I tell them social media is a great marketing tool for us. They let me sit at my desk and (among other things) tweet, Facebook, foursquare and blog away hoping to see it reflected in our monthly figures.
After 9 months, it finally has. Our marketing bill is way under budget and our turnover has increased across all departments. We no longer feel the urgent need to spend thousands on radio campaigns, flood the city with posters or give in to the constant phone calls offering advertising space. Although these mediums have their place, I feel much happier knowing only those who wish to know about us, do know about us. We’re no longer throwing very expensive mud at a wall hoping some of it will stick.
Where did our success come from? Is it because we engage our guests and answer their questions? Is it because users can put a face to the tweets & posts? Or is it because we’re one of the first venues to embrace social media?
I think it’s mix all the above, as well as having a social media strategy & policy that works. Taking advice from people who have used social media for longer than I have, not spamming our followers and rewarding those who show interest seems to work for us. Why don’t other venues give it a shot?