Have you ever heard the expression “conversations are 90% listening and 10% talking”? Well in social media this also rings true, so today I wanted to give a shout out to a restaurant that is dedicated to listening to the thoughts and opinions of their customers. I’ll also identify how this can benefit your business by strengthening the relationships with your customers and increasing sales.
Grill’d Burgers gets this week’s Thumbs Up Award for the great work on managing their Twitter presence. Just have a look at their profile, it’s filled with replies — replies to people asking questions, people mentioning the brand or talking about their experience, to people checking in on Foursquare and people giving feedback on their meals and about the restaurants.
You could argue that there are actually too many replies on their feed, and that there isn’t enough content being published. But the content strategy for Grill’d is slightly different, in that their replies are their content. What better way to engage your customers than to chat back to each and every one that mentions your name?
It’s doing fantastic things for their online reputation, and how refreshing is it to see a corporate Twitter profile that’s full to the brim with positive, personally crafted, individually targeted messages? I’m sure they are breaking some kind of “Twitter Golden Rule” or “Tweet:Reply Ratio”, but hey, I’m not going to report them.
Why It Works
In my experience there are two activities which people love to talk about on social media more than any others: one is airlines, and the other is food. It must be that both activities involve a lot of sitting down with your hands free to tweet, but nonetheless, food and restaurants seem to be something that people want to tell others about, and when they have a complaint or a comment, they want it to be heard and acted upon.
This is the essence of the Grill’d Twitter strategy. To make people feel as though their thoughts and opinions are being heard, and at the same time growing the brand and building loyal advocates. Using Twitter to engage customer’s mentions and ask them about their experiences is a fantastic way to help people feel valued as influential members of your community.
In the long term this will indicate who are your biggest and most valuable brand advocates, and with careful monitoring and dutiful listening, these are the people who will become your most valuable marketing assets: brand evangelists.
Ideas You Can Use
The best thing about the listening strategy employed by Grill’d is that it’s not complicated and it’s easy to replicate. Keyword monitoring has been made dead simple with and allows you to monitor live mentions of your brand, competitors or industry. For simple monitoring we use HootSuite(affiliate link), but there are plenty of others including TweetDeck, Seesmic,Monitter, or even the good old search function on Twitter itself which is quite powerful, especially if you hit the Advanced Search link.
The only thing to remember when setting up new monitor lists is that the Twitter API only goes back around three days, so it’s not much good when searching for historical tweets.
Time management is also an important method to factor into your listening strategy, so here are three steps to get you going:
- Schedule specific times during the day to read, action and reply to your brand mentions. People don’t expect an immediate response but generally same-day turnaround is acceptable.
- Choose your listening terms wisely. If your brand doesn’t yet have a lot of buzz on Twitter you may want to track specific phrases in your industry. These will give good insights into what’s being talked about and will open avenues for you to engage with people should you be able to add value.
- Be yourself. Yes, this was the very first rule every made about social media, but it’s easy to forget when you are interacting as your brand. Think about “who” your brand is, and be that person when chatting to people. It will help extend your marketing efforts and will cement your brand’s values within your online community.
Grill’d has provided a text book case study for how to monitor, listen and involve customers through their Twitter profile, helping to grow a loyal base of followers. So today we’re happy to award them this week’s Thumbs Up Award. Well done guys!