Restaurant Social Media Marketing Results In The Flesh

“I love it when a plan comes together!” – Hannibal Smith, A-Team

I’ve worked on my fair share of social media campaigns, and every once in awhile, a project comes my way that I have an extra ounce of vested interest in making a success.  A few months ago I had the honor of taking on doing some social media consulting for one of my favorite local restaurants Emory’s, a fine dining establishment north of Seattle and in my neck of the woods.  I’ve been a regular there for some time, and had a good friend that opened up the door for me to work with them.

Emory’s has an interesting history as the original building actually burned to the ground a few years ago and was completely rebuilt and re-launched.  It’s a fantastic restaurant right off a small lake, and their are very few options like it in the area.  Good food, great environment, and fantastic service.  They were doing good business, but wanted to ensure they didn’t suffer from the same early year drops in business.

They turned to social media as an area to focus on and I had the opportunity to craft and implement a plan for them.  The plan consisted of:

  1. Give their FB page creative a facelift
  2. Create and launch a promotion
  3. Use a FB ad campaign ($500 budget for Feb) to target users within a 10 mile radius of the restaurant to promote a gift card giveaway to increase FB likes.
  4. Increase their Twitter reach by identifying users within close proximity of the restaurant.
  5. Re-vamp their engagement/content strategy to incorporate more interaction, photos of food/daily specials, and highlighting nightlife events.
  6. Re-design their website to include a blog and better social integration.

We launched all this work at the beginning of February and within 1 month achieved the following results:

  1. Grew FB likes from 1,200 to over 6,000
  2. Over a 1500% increase in engagement (combination of likes, shares and comments on wall postings)
  3. Grew Twitter following from 30 to over 1,200 targeted users

And the absolute most important stat:

  1. Grew restaurant guest count rate in March 1.7% over previous year after an 8% decrease in January, and 6% decrease in February.

Emory’s overall was projecting a 5% decrease in guest count for 2012, mainly as they had a good 2011 being the first year post fire.  However by putting a small investment in time and money into social media, they were able to turn around negative guest count rates, into a positive one by the 2nd month of the campaign.  I also predict that if they continue with the momentum and utilize these strategies, they can expect staying in the positive with guest counts, or at the very least, leverage social media to counter the doldrums they are accustomed to experiencing during certain times of the year.

The moral to this case study is that social media can work, especially for restaurants within a budget that can be profitable.  And it is extremely measurable.

Own a restaurant or know someone that does that could use the same help?  Send them my way and I promise similar if not better results!

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