Companies around the country and the world participate in social media each and every day. I have decided to take a look at two different restaurants, Smokey Bones and Applebees. Being in the food industry myself I found these businesses to be an excellent selection in comparing the social media efforts of both companies.
At Smokey Bones, they specialize in three things; good food, good drinks, and good times. If you have ever been there before, you can probably relate to all three of those things. From ribs that were roasted overnight, to unique bar beverages, all the way to the special nights out that they offer, Smokey Bones delivers. At Smokey Bones, they are big fans of sports, loud music, and surprises. Over the past several years, they have managed to successfully turn themselves from a failing restaurant into a successful one. How do they get their message out? They use their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
Smokey Bones uses two sets of Facebook pages. They have a corporate page and then they have local pages. The corporate page promotes food and beverage items that all stores carry, and specials that are company-wide. All of their posts are complete with pictures, which helps them to better sell the things that they are talking about. Their local pages not only repost things that the Corporate page posts, but also includes events specific to that location, and pictures taken onsite. The local pages are useful for people in the immediate area to the restaurant to know what is happening.
Although the Smokey Bones Twitter only has about 5,400 followers, their account is really cool. They are able to post their photos and promotions similar to Facebook, but they also retweet their customers’ comments from their own pages. When a customer uses #smokeybones the restaurant can then find the comment, and share it on their own page for everybody to see. The cool thing about that from a corporate standpoint is that they can see the actual pictures of the food and beverages taken in their restaurants. This can serve many purposes including visual quality control.
The Smokey Bones Instagram is the source of a lot of the pictures found on Facebook and Twitter. I was surprised however, to find that they only had about 1,200 followers compared to 94,800 likes on Facebook. The company does not seem to be as active on Instagram as they are on their other social media outlets.
Applebees as a company believes in operating on the principles of exceptional value and family fun. Applebees draws people of all ages and lifestyles with its fun, family-friendly atmosphere and signature bar and grill menu. Unlike Smoke Bones targeting people twenty-one years and older, Applebees is focused on the family experience. Applebees gets their messages out through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
Their Facebook page has a mix between promotional posts and PR type posts. From looking over their page, I get a real sense of the company’s social standpoint on top of getting a feel for the type of food they have to offer. Similar to Smokey Bones, Applebees also has local store pages. However, the local pages for Applebees do not repost from their corporate store, and they do not have many photos on them. From a customer standpoint, the local pages are not very appealing to me.
Their Twitter page is very similar in the sense that they retweet posts from their customers, and they have a ton of promotional pictures on their page of their items, drinks, and specials going on. Unlike Smokey Bones, Applebees has about 406,000 followers on their twitter page. They are very active on Twitter which I like from a business standpoint, because it shows their customers that they truly do care. Their Youtube cannel is very unique. There they not only post their television commercials, but hold video contests for their fans. This is another smart way for them to stay connected with their customers.
The two restaurants have their similarities and differences, but at the end of the day, their social media campaigns are reflect who they are as a company. They reflect their goals, values, and mission and that is important for a company to demonstrate in their social media campaigns.