Today’s post is by Christina Trapolino, the social media strategist and community manager for Jason’s Deli. She is passionate about social media best practices for brands as well as individuals, and her work as an early adopter on Google+ has been featured in publications including Gizmodo and the Huffington Post.
Jason’s Deli has been a nimble, innovative company for over 36 years. In 1996, we saw the potential value in online ordering when very few restaurant companies did. At the time, there wasn’t a transactional system that existed for the restaurant industry, so we backed a developer to make online ordering happen for Jason’s. Luckily, online ordering took off. Today, we see social media blossoming in much the same way, and we believe we understand why.
The power of social media is all about the customer.
“Social” may be seen as a four-letter word by some executives, but Jason’s Deli believes that social media is far from a waste of time. It’s a way to gain insight by tapping into our customers’ needs and expectations. It’s also a vehicle for advertising that can be targeted to a granular level. Most importantly, it’s a way to publicly show our customers who we are: a brand who cares because we’re made up of real people with real values. We use social media to show our customers we are ready to listen and serve on any channel at any time, and we believe this kind of behavior is part of a true word-of-mouth strategy just as much as it’s part of a customer care strategy.
Enterprise-level social initiatives require measurement and work flows that scale.
When Jason’s Deli hired me in December, I was tasked with creating a social media strategy for the company. I was hired for my experience in community management and for building a large following as an early adopter on Google+. It was clear to me from the very beginning that Jason’s Deli has values which are perfectly suited to social media — it’s a completely human company with a huge number of internal initiatives that evangelize a customer-centric focus. I knew right away that social media could take Jason’s Deli to a new level in terms of building relationships with their guests, but in an enterprise environment, it’s never as simple as tweeting.
When I arrived, management of social properties was completely manual — which is to say, the company’s community managers did everything directly through Facebook and Twitter. Clearly, this kind of labor does not scale. Furthermore, measuring the reach of a tweet is nearly impossible without third party software. How was I going to identify what was working already and what wasn’t? It was obvious that we needed to start shopping for a Social Media Management Solution if I was going to keep our executives on board with social.
Our business goals include empowering our delis to engage socially while still maintaining brand
standards, measuring the success of initiatives, and creating a scalable set of workflows for community managers. Not an easy task, especially with 20+ franchise groups! The only solution on the market that allows us to achieve these goals elegantly is Spredfast.
Spredfast has allowed us to add critical data to our social initiatives. We hold a weekly trivia contest on Twitter, but until we got Spredfast, we were unable to determine the reach of each contest, nor the growth rate. Now, we are able to see exactly how much engagement this initiative achieves and when, which helps us determine the best time to post and what kind of content resonates best with our followers. This summer, we’ll be holding a contest that encourages guests to share their “dream sandwich” with their friends for public voting, and we know Spredfast will be an essential platform because of its incredible data aggregation.
With one piece of software, we have been able to reduce the workload for our community managers, track the results of each campaign, and now we’re even starting to aggregate data to share with departments outside of marketing. Spredfast is helping us determine how to most effectively become social leaders in our industry, and that’s something we didn’t shop for. It’s a byproduct of great software.