David Ross, also known as “The Doctor” and co-owner of Dr. Dawg in Glendale, WI, has vibrant, mouth-watering images of hot dogs on his Facebook page by design. “We felt that we needed good quality images of select products on our page so that we would get those taste buds going.” That’s a lot of taste buds considering Dr. Dawg has nearly 1150 fans.
Dr. Dawg uses an integrated marketing approach of traditional and social media. Katie Ross, David’s wife, oversees marketing and promotion for the restaurant, including regular comments/images/video postings and interactions on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, blogging and reviews on targeted food sites such as Yelp!, urbanspoon, Zagats, foursquare and Serious Eats, and email marketing via MailChimp or Constant Contact. They also advertise using their yellow and red sandwich board out on the sidewalk in front of the store, the Dr. Dawg van, their mobile kitchen (awesome hot dog stand for catering and special events) and even reach out to the local schools using flyers. Newest Dr. Dawg marketing tool – just launched – is the free Dr. Dawg iPhone app; it has the complete menu for placing orders from your phone and even has a save order feature (if you like what you like…!). Just go to Apps and search Dr. Dawg.
Dr. Dawg’s Facebook reach has been 100% organic. Ross indicated they have never done any Facebook ads and is “beyond skeptical” about ever going that route. “The biggest bang for our buck is doing email marketing and blasts using Mail Chimp or Constant Contact. Getting noticed on the food blogs is also effective.”
“Business is going in the right direction. We’re up 30% compared to year-to-date last year. We’ve reached the tipping point where we have loyal, supportive, returning customers,” adds Ross. “By this time next year, we’ll have three stores going in the Milwaukee area.” [Note: ovalpike.com exclusive!]
As a long-time businessman and entrepreneur, Ross cautions new businesses to be very careful about being drawn into older, more conventional, and often more expensive forms of advertising such as billboards, magazine, radio or TV ads. “If a new business had three or four stores that they could amortize the cost over, that would be a different story.” And he adds for all SMBs, “You’ve got to be on social media – Facebook, Twitter, website, even mobile communications – to build awareness and presence. You need to be where your customers are and hit them where they want to be hit.”
10 quality content tips from Facebook
The third step in the four-part HubSpot-sponsored webinar series, Facebook for Business – 4 Steps to Success, featuring Chris Luo, Facebook’s head of global SMB (small- and medium-sized business) marketing, focuses on engaging your fan base with quality content.
The four steps recapped include:
1. Developing your page – the foundation for building relationships.
2. Connecting with new fans – organically or using Facebook ads.
3. Engaging fans with quality content – specials, promos, pictures, videos, etc.
4. Influencing friends of fans – how to maximize and drive more business (will be presented on June 27th)
Step 3 is “where the magic begins,” according to Luo. “Your Facebook fans are 2-times likelier to purchase from you.” Luo offers 10 actionable and tangible tips for serving quality content to engage your fans:
1. Post regularly – this is not a one-and-done but an ongoing marketing strategy. Luo suggests developing a conversational calendar that designates dates and posting topics/specials, etc. To stay top-of-mind without bombarding your fans, he also recommends posting at least one-to-two times per week.
2. Be succinct – stay between 100-250 characters. According to Luo, postings less than 250 characters and three lines of text receive 60% more likes.
3. Post at optimal times – optimal time will vary from business to business so you’ll need to test for your best time. Luo’s examples were for restaurants and retail stores; they may want to consider posting earlier in the day while fans are still making plans about where they’re going to eat or to shop. He indicates that the highest Facebook engagement time is between 9 and 10 p.m. for the 18-24 year old demographic.
4. Respond to comments and messages – this is where authentic interaction actually happens with folks on your page. During the webinar, Luo mentions that you can delete the negative comments. However, he clarifies in the Q&A that he meant deleting negative spammer comments or messages, and to use your page as a customer service tool to address “real” negative comments again emphasizing authenticity in your responses.
5. Ask questions – ask questions that people want to answer. Apparently, fill-in-the-blanks are getting 90% more interaction and engagement than straight text questions.
6. Post photos and videos – Bold colors and striking images stand out. Luo says that using photos gets 120% more engagement than average Facebook posts and videos weigh in at 110%.
7. Give fans exclusive access to content – this is where you can turn leads into sales. Suggestions include posting free webinars, discount codes, free ebooks, etc. Don’t forget to review the metrics available in the Admin Panel for what’s working and what’s not.
8. Use page post ads – you have the capability of tuning posts into actual ads using Ad Manager.
9. Use promoted posts – NEW FEATURE to maximize reach! Facebook will be rolling promoted posts out in the U.S. to those with 400 to 10,000 fans very soon. It’s apparently as simple as composing a post and clicking the Promote button. But, you’ll pay per reach: $5 for 2500, $10 for 4000, etc. Click here for a quick overview about this feature.
10. Review your insights –the Admin Panel holds a wealth of information designed to help you drive your fan and page engagements.
(Source: HubSpot webinar series, Facebook for Business – 4 Steps to Success)
More interesting stats shared as an aside from the webinar (Source: Jeff Bullas, bit.ly.LSSJ5N):
• Monthly active users on Facebook now total 901 million.
• 1 in 7.7 people in the world have a Facebook account.
• Monthly mobile users now total 488 million.
• 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day.
• 83 million active monthly users accessed Facebook solely from mobile in March 2012.
• Facebook hosts 42 million “pages” with 10 or more likes.
Gail is a Milwaukee marketing examiner, likes Dr. Dawg and would love it if you visited and ‘liked’ her Facebook page, MaxIt LLC. Please click on the Subscribe button above if you wish to continue receiving articles from Gail. She’d be thrilled if you did.