Social Networking Gets Slater’s 50/50 off to a Strong Start

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Dec 26
Communicating back and forth is part of what builds a community.

Communicating back and forth is part of what builds a community.

The first time I heard about the concept of viral marketing was in Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book, The Tipping Point. He described the elements necessary for a product to take off and catch the public’s imagination like a virus. The impression I got was that while you can know what elements are necessary, you can’t guarantee that you can get the mix right when you deliberately try to make a product go viral.

The marketer’s dream is to have a product go viral.

This remains true about social networking. Some things are so well done that they capture the imagination of a few people who are influencers, and those people spread the word. If they’re respected and their followers or audience agrees, they too tell their friends. Suddenly your product or service goes viral. At least that is every marketer’s dream.

What you have to say should be entertaining or informative. Though important, video is not the key. Slater’s 50/50 is an example of a business doing well in its first months thanks to raving fans who use the Internet to tell others about their restaurant. Most of us get excited when someone has made it possible for us to have a fantastic experience. That’s what’s essential for most people to talk up your business to their community. Implied in my statement is that you need exceptional products and service. A clever new idea helps.

People love to give their opinions and are doing so eagerly.

Never before in the history of the world has it been possible for the average person to state his or her opinion and be able to reach literally millions of people with their opinion. But some very observant people have created thriving businesses on the Internet thanks to the desire of people to share their opinions and to connect with others, to create communities. In this case, the keys to Scott Slater unusually well established goes in large measure to several of those Internet companies.

Thanks to Yelp reviewers, Slater’s 50/50 develops lots of loyal fans

I asked Scott Slater yesterday what he did to get people started reviewing his restaurant on Yelp. Other than participating in the Yelp OC Bacon Elite event held in Orange County California, Slater said that people just started reviewing Slater’s 50/50. It caught on and spread like wild fire.

Four powerful social networking activities

While my other articles admire his marketing skills in general, Slater pulls ahead of others in his use of social networking to make people aware of his business. Social media enables him to break into the public’s awareness with little capital invested, a real boon thanks to the Internet.
a.    User review sites
The powerful thing about user review sites is that people voluntarily describe their personal experiences with the merchant, in this case, a restaurant. A wise business person will review the comments to see what’s working and what needs adjusting. To show you how effective these sites can be, as of Thursday, December 24, 2009, Yelp shows 152 reviews giving Slater’s an overall 4 star rating out of five possible. Urbanspoon has 157 votes with 85% liking Slater’s 50/50.
b.    Facebook
Slater’s also using a Facebook Fans Page with 621 fans (as of December 24, 2009) who get updates on promotions and specials, like his announcement today, “Need a last minute gift? Come in today, Christmas Eve, and get that special someone a Slater’s 50/50 gift certificate at 10% off!” One fan wrote me that she likes reading about these specials.
c.    Twitter
From the looks of Slater’s posts on both Twitter and his Facebook Fan Page, he has them linked so that he can efficiently post to Twitter and have it show up on Facebook. This is a smart way to maximize your time and reach friend and followers, everyone connected with you with less effort. I personally have Twitter updates also go to my LinkedIn account.
d.    Restaurant.com coupons
This is an online coupon service that several people mentioned being the reason they tried Slater’s 50/50, though many of them had first come across the restaurant at the Yelp OC Bacon Elite event.

The social networking landscape changes by the minute. No one I know can keep up with it. However, you can pick one, two or three sites to monitor and contribute to on a regular basis. While nobody can force something to go viral, you can, however, use social networking to give yourself a stronger position in the marketplace. Like Scott Slater, pay attention to your customer’s comments on sites like Yelp and UrbanSpoon.com, use Twitter to update your followers as well as link it to your Facebook account or page. Finally, if you’re a restaurant or a merchant, consider the value of putting coupons or discounted gift certificates on a site like Restaurant.com. When you help people get to know, like and trust you, selling becomes fun, fulfilling and mutually rewarding.

This is the fourth in a series of seven articles looking at how a real business combines both standard or more traditional marketing and Internet marketing with social networking to get a strong launch. Please check out my earlier posts and watch for the final two.

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About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.