BuzzRocket's Blog


Umami Burger: Social Media Marketing Done Well


I’m writing this in a post Hatch Burger euphoric state of mind, so forgive any rambling thoughts or typos: I’m in heaven.

My trip to famed Umami Burger would not have even been a thought in my head, had it not been for their social media efforts, specifically on Twitter. It all started when I posted a pin from my Pinterest file “Say What?” about a Knork – Spork’s knife/fork cousin. Umami picked up on my tweet and responded (assuming they were monitoring the keyword “Knork”), proudly announcing they now had this freak of utensil at their restaurants.

Their tweet triggered something in me. For those of you who are fortunate to have enjoyed one of LA’s top burger spots: You know what I’m talking about. I got to thinking about Umami, more specifically, my favorite menu item: the Hatch Burger, which is topped with roasted green chilies and house-made American cheese on the best brioche bun around … I digress.

A couple of tweets later, they had me converted into a paying customer, as I was calling to place a takeout order. My world soon came to a screeching halt, when, after several rings, I got the machine. Umami happened to tweet me as this was happening, I responded that I was disappointed they were closed on a Monday. They immediately switched from Marketer to Customer Service rep, tweeting me their La Brea location’s hours, verifying that I used the correct number (I had). I called back – something I wouldn’t have done, had they not been in communication with me via Twitter at that very moment. This time: success. Ten minutes later I was at Umami, checking in on Foursquare; my food, fresh and hot from the kitchen, waiting for me at the counter. Another 10 minutes later, I was home, posting a pic of my burger to Instagram. Another 20 minutes later, I’m writing this blog post.

Granted not everyone Umami tweets will be like me: an existing, enthusiastic (and hungry) fan, who is extremely tech savvy, influential online and boasts almost 13,000 Twitter followers. But they managed to catch me during a perfect storm, and from their social media marketing and customer service efforts, converted me into a paying guest. In turn, I shared my experience across several social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and WordPress – embodying what interactive marketing is all about: reputation management, engagement, advertising and the coveted word-of-mouth marketing.

Umami didn’t get me just from this one interaction. They do an excellent job of having a presence across many platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, Tumblr, Flickr, and beyond – posting updates and quickly responding to customers online. Their consistently engaging posts have planted many seeds over the past few weeks – today’s tweet session was the tipping point. And I’ll be back; not only because I love their food, but  they keep reminding me via Facebook and Twitter just how good it really is.

By Gretchen Schneider, Principal, Interactive Marketing. Gretchen lives and breathes all things social media. Based in Los Angeles, she oversees the interactive division for treadsocial, working with brands and personalities to strategically market themselves in an integrated, engaging manner online.

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Google + for Brands

A hundred days after Google + gave brands the boot, they are welcoming businesses back with open arms. Today Google launched Google + Pages, allowing brands to establish their own pages to market their goods and services to its 40 million users. While Facebook boasts more than 700 million users, brands may be reaching a more captive, less saturated audience on Google +. Unlike Facebook, Google + Pages can add users to their circles, but only if the user adds the page first.

I just set up our company page (add treadsocial to your Circle … you won’t regret) and it was just like setting up a regular Google + profile. The only things I found confusing were:

  1. 1. Switching between my Profile and the company Page.
  2. Managing photos is terrible.
  3. I’m unclear as to whether or not you can create a branded url.

Should be interesting to see how this all pans out. Personally, I love Google +, but the thought of managing yet another page for another brand is giving me a headache. How do you think Google + Pages will impact brands online?


Facebook Porsche

It’s like this car was made for me. Porsche wrapped this 911 GT3 R Hybrid with 270,000 names of their Facebook fans. We looked for a while but couldn’t find our names. Regardless, very cool. Kind of obsessed.

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Facebook Timeline

I can’t decide whether or not the just announced Facebook Timeline app totally freaks me out. I’m about as out there online as anyone can be, but I don’t know if:

  1. I want to share all that information about my life;
  2. Anyone would actually care enough to look at all of that information about me, or
  3. I would ever care enough to roll through someone else’s timeline (and I’m all about a solid Facebook creep).
What about you? Are you excited about all the new features Facebook announced this morning?

I’m going through changes …

I feel like much of Facebook’s more than 750 million users are singing Black Sabbath’s classic ballad today. Not since bin Laden was killed have I seen a single image posted on Facebook so frequently. This time a lot less political and a lot less serious … this someecards.com greeting.

As everyone knows, Facebook made a total overhaul of its features, settings and functionality this week. Users now have to select which “stories” they want to see in their feeds, sort out their friends into categories (forcing me to come to grips with the fact that of the 956 Facebook friends I have, I would only consider less than ten to be “Close Friends” and the rest, depressingly, “Acquaintances”). This is all meant to enhance the user experience, make us choose the news we want to see and share. I’m kind of enjoying the lifting of whatever algorithm they had on my account (I realize I could lift it myself, but I’m lazy like that). I’m finally seeing what all my friends – close and acquaintance alike – are doing via my feed, or through the ticker feature in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

I’m also seeing brands’ posts again. All the brands I have “liked” over the course of my four years on Facebook. And as someone who represents brands on Facebook, I’m happy to know others are experiencing the same. I am, however, curious about what will happen once users get over the initial shock of all the Facebook changes and start organizing their “stories” – btw, stories??? Facebook, you’re making me sound like an elderly redneck woman talking about her soaps … I digress.

As much of an uproar Facebook has caused today with its new bells and whistles, guess what? It’s not over yet. Expect more announcements (i.e. changes) tomorrow as Facebook rolls out more music and entertainment sharing features at the f8 conference.

I love you Facebook, but please, slow your roll. Let us breathe, take in, and enjoy your new features before your next massive transformation.

Until then, sing it with me “friends”  …

By Gretchen Schneider, Principal, Interactive Marketing at treadsocial. Gretchen lives and breathes all things social media. Based in Los Angeles, she oversees the interactive division for treadsocial, working with brands and personalities to strategically market themselves in an integrated, engaging manner online.


Social Media Week LA #SMWLA

Social Media Week Los Angeles (SMWLA) is part of an international, multi-city event “connecting people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media.” SMWLA kicked off this morning with a welcome from Michael Terpin, city host of SMWLA, and founder/CEO of SocialRadius followed by  a keynote address from Robert Tercek, President, General Creativity and host, THIS WEEK IN MEDIA.

Tercek offered a great overview on social media’s impact on all of our lives, whether you have a Facebook account or not. It’s true. How we receive, process and delivered information has been completely revolutionized by social networks.

I, for one, am looking forward to hitting several events all week and getting actual FACE-TO-FACE time with like-minded people! I’m also hoping to be inspired and learn more, more, more.

Click here for the schedule of events. If you aren’t located in one of the hosts cities, no worries. You can stream the sessions from your computer.

And stay tuned for more updates from BuzzRocket!


Facebook changes … again. We can’t keep up!

It’s difficult for us to keep up with the ever-evolving Facebook functionalities … and we’re the experts! It seems every time you blink, Facebook has changed the way the behemoth social site works.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype and major changes in Chat, adding the ability to video chat (Has anyone actually done this???). We’ve seen Check-Ins enhanced with Bing maps, more accurate, branded location-based pages. We’ve seen Deals bite the dust.

And last week we saw a few major changes to the way you receive updates on your wall. Perhaps most interesting is the new Subscribe feature. People can now (if you allow them) follow your updates – a la Twitter follows. Gone are the days of waiting for Pete Cashmore to finally accept my friend request. Now I can see his updates and even post on his wall. As a subscriber, you can select which types of updates you want to follow. As a publisher, your public updates can only be subscribed to, and you must elect to have this ability – it’s not an automatic feature.

Facebook also launched Smart Lists, self created lists that make it easier to manage your friends lists. For marketers, these Smart Lists function much like the Page Lists that were recently added to the left navigation on the Newsfeed page. The Smart Lists are automatically updated, making your Newsfeed a one-stop shop for updates across your Facebook account. This feature also allows the user to organize friends as “Close Friends” or “Acquaintances,” making their newsfeed more relevant. Users can also share stories with select groups within his or her Friend Lists, which allows for a little more privacy. All of this should also allow for better friend suggestions to help Facebook users build a better network.

We’re not sure what this will mean for brands on Facebook, if any of this will effect the algorithm brands are forced to deal with to stay relevant on the social giant. But by the time we figure that out, all of the aforementioned new bells and whistles will be obsolete.

By Gretchen Schneider, Principal, Interactive Marketing at treadsocial. Gretchen lives and breathes all things social media. Based in Los Angeles, she oversees the interactive division for treadsocial, working with brands and personalities to strategically market themselves in an integrated, engaging manner online.


Facebook, Skype announce partnership

Group chat. New design. Video calling! Oh my! Mark Zuckerberg today announced  via livestream on the Facebook Live page several new apps to come. In typical Facebook fashion, they kept us all waiting. At least the Facebook Twitter like comment thing was entertaining.

Onto the good stuff … Without question, the most exciting was the announcement of the partnership between Facebook and Skype as Facebook will today launch Video Chat, a near seamless video chatting app accessible through your buddy list. Within 20 to 30 seconds, users can download a plugin and start chatting with their Facebook friends. Sounds like it will function like AIM video chat, which has been around for several years.

There were many questions about the business side of things; how Skype would benefit. Skype CEO Tony Bates pointed out that Facebook and the video communications behemoth have a “shared vision of what communication can be” and that this partnership would get them to their goal of 1 billion users.

Other announcements included todays launch of group chat. Zuckerberg pointed out that more than half of Facebook’s 750 million users are utilizing groups. The new Group Chat feature will make it so you can have ad hoc chat. Also announced was a new design, which will make it easier to see who’s online with a fullscreen Facebook view with a visible sidebar buddy list.

Ben Parr of Mashable asked if group video chat was on the horizon, to which Zuckerberg replied, “I wouldn’t rule it out.”


Nike launches new ad on Facebook

Screw the Super Bowl! Facebook is where it’s at, and Nike knows it. The athletic shoe giant proved it through their latest ad for their user submitted video campaign Chosen. We love how they launched the ad featuring their “crew” of Paul Rodriguez, Julian Wilson, Danny Kass and the rest of the Nike team. to their more than 4.5 fans. They also had their contest invite housed on YouTube.

Nike Chosen invites you to, “submit a video featuring your crew’s creativity and style. The chosen crew will score the ultimate prize: premium travel, exclusive events and custom product. Five minutes of video could win you the experience of a lifetime.”


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