Social Media for Offline Business

Being a social media for offline business guy, I take special note when anything local businesses are doing online and making visible to the customer. This weekend I had the pleasure of dining at MaggieMoo’s on West End in Nashville and thought I’d share that experience.

MaggieMoo’s is the first place I’ve been where their social media marketing efforts have gone beyond a Facebook sticker on the door. For the first time ever, an employee contributed positively to their efforts (unlike my example at Daily’s Gas Station).

Next to the register they have an 8 x 11 stand-up flyer suggesting customers “like” them on Facebook (as you’re about to do with the button at the bottom of this post :)) – but they didn’t stop there. The employee actually pointed out the sign, suggested that I “like” them on Facebook and added “Do so before March 15th because we’re giving away free ice cream that day”.

[stextbox id=”info”]Social Media Marketing is about 2 things:

  • Engagment and Community
  • Driving Traffic to take action[/stextbox]

What a breath of fresh air that was. Promotion, scarcity, likability and a knowledgeable employee. However, social media for offline business is still a leap. With 4 kids in tow, MaggieMoo’s was asking a lot of me to remember to go to Facebook and “like” them the next time I logged in. And since they didn’t gather my contact information, they didn’t have any way to remind me.

So at this point they’re relying on “hope”.

Unfortunately, hope comes into play again with their Facebook strategy as well. Since they haven’t uploaded any special, custom pages – they still don’t have a way to grab your contact information (which is the Gold in marketing). There’s no place to put your e-mail address or anything. And since you can’t message all your fans at the same time on Facebook – they don’t have a real good way to get me back to their FanPage – other than hope.

When you press “like” you’re taken directly to the wall where they pretty much post specials and promotions. I did find mention of the “free ice cream” down the page a bit, but there’s a disconnect immediately without seeing that promotion front and center.

That covers gathering contact information, but I’d also like to see them working to create more of a community on their page.  I love that they posted a photo of one of their truffle cakes, but I would like to have seen them “tag” the person whose party it was eaten at. Maybe even start a “tagging” promotion for people who upload their party photos.

I’d love to see discussions about the best ice cream cake stories, or messy kids with their ice cream cones.  Perhaps questions like what’s your favorite “mix-in” ice cream flavor, or name this mix-in recipe, or even stories of ice cream cakes that melted before they could get eaten.

Social media is about taking a group of unrelated customers and turning them into a community of fans. But a marketer must recognize the temporary nature of everything on the web. How good is 1,00o friends on MySpace right now? Without moving people from Facebook’s world to your own list – you end up with nothing for your efforts.

At least at MaggieMoo’s – you started out with great ice cream.

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