Getting a social media following for your business is like the stations of the cross; you need to generate posts, make sure your pictures look ‘likable’, get some graphic design help to make the images worth sharing, create the copy that’s not too short but not too long so the readers won’t skip over it, keep it under 140 characters for tweets, use hashtags (but not too many hashtags), sponsor a post or two…Not only is this exhausting, it’s not even guaranteed to be successful. But once you get your following up, some dedicated fans to retweet and like your posts, and reach expanded, it’s all worth it.
Businesses have gotten more and more creative when it comes to gaining a social following. Gone are the days of putting the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbler, and the like icons at the bottom of your website and hoping people click through. Gone are the days of saying “We’re on Facebook!” in the store window or the bottom of the menu. And most devastatingly, gone are the thousands of people you used to reach without even trying through Facebook’s new algorithms. Now we get your likes through contests that are only available after you like a page, we get your retweets through paid posts that infiltrate your feed, we get your follows by liking YOUR picture of OUR food (ha! sneaky right?).
I recently added a new favorite fast-casual restaurant to my list. I went to Shake Shack for the first time, and wow did I not know what I was missing. For those of you who have never been, here’s a brief summary: the decor is what could be considered rustic chic with exposed beams and picnic style tables and ordering is a similar process to Moe’s where you check out the menu up on the wall before ordering and similar to Panera where they give you a buzzer for when your food is ready. The buzzer is what caught my marketer’s eye.
In tune with Shake Shack’s chill atmosphere and hipster vibe, these are the buzzers you stare at while waiting impatiently for your hormone and antibiotic free burger and creatively swirled concrete (think DQ Blizzard but with better flavors and more rich). Funny, simple, and understated; promoting social on these buzzers is ideal. If you look around where someone of Generation Y is waiting on something– be it food, the ATM, or a friend to show up, he/she will be constantly on his/her phone, scrolling through the infinity feeds of social media. This is Shake Shack’s way of saying, “All your feeds have been updated, you’re food’s on its way, now check out our social pages to add some variety to your wait.” The buzzer is a prime location for branding, so why not use it to market your brand and push what you want to focus on. This time its social, next time it could be the to promote their t-shirts, accessories, or even their stock.
Oh, and did you notice the buzzer in Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer’s hand as he rang the ceremonial bell during the company’s IPO on the floor of the NYSE? Ding ding ding!