Last week my firm broke new ground in blending business with social media. Just typing this sentence gives me chills–in a good way. New territory, learning and doing is just part of my DNA. Maybe that’s why I love meeting new people and truly have a passion for using social media for business growth.
My client, @SwankysTacoShop (swankystacoshop.com) asked us to create some buzz (and business) in their Franklin (Nashville, TN) shop. As a regular participant in the most popular chat on Twitter, #CMchat (Country Music Chat) established by the fabulous @JessicaNorthey (see her blog post about this here), I thought why not do a live #CMchat in Swanky’s Franklin, bring in Jessica and create a first-time chat in the store. At first I thought Steve Shotsberger (@sshotsberger) was going to fire me for being crazy. Instead, he said, “Amy, that’s a great idea…write it up, get me a budget and we’ll look at doing it.” The rest is history.
Not only did we get results for Swanky’s, but also Jessica started talking it up and before you know it, we had 7-10 people (probably more) flying and driving from other cities, states and even Canada to participate in this chat. AMAZING doesn’t do this justice. I got to meet the fabulous friends @AnnTran_ (here’s a link to her blog post), @joycecherrier, and @MomsOfAmerica as well. You can see all the pictures from other blogs so I won’t recap that in this post. Special thank you to Nashville native and huge promoter of #CMchat, @MelissaOnline. Another big thanks to @DrBuddyLee; with his help we were able to stream this event live on the web from Swanky’s on Ustream.
A last minute surprise and twist was author, friend and wonderful teacher, @MarkWSchaefer‘s announcement that he wanted to come and see this for himself. He did; Now this is key for me as Mark and I have worked together and he’s a good critic. I knew if he saw this live #CMchat for himself, he’d give me some good, constructive feedback. This is the man who told me a year ago, “Amy! Your blog content is great but your blog sucks as a format.” I fixed it fast and love Mark for telling me the truth and always helping me.
Now, onto the ROI for Swanky’s and the reasons why every business that ignores this is nuts. There are so many great benefits that I’m just going to bullet point them:
* Increased followers by the hundreds and continued benefit from tweets.
* Packed the house: Steve Shotsberger told me #CMchat was extremely successful and generated great sales. What?? I SAID IT: SALES, BABY! THERE’S the ROI for you CFOs!
* Not only did we do this in the Franklin store, but I also drove this crew back to Memphis for round #2. Double your pleasure, thank you very much!
* New faces in the house. Swanky’s saw new visitors who will surely return. Building relationships with your current and future customers is an essential part of the social movement.
*Publicity: five blog posts, hundreds of pictures and counting…the vibe is still going. Google Swanky’s and note the difference a week & an event like this can make!
*Future events for Swanky’s: we had some great artists in the house and performing at both chats. Management liked what they heard and there are talks of booking the artists to perform again. A big shout out to @ben_gallaher, @leegibsonmusic, @CraigMoritz and @natalieharperPR, and everyone else who shared their talents with us.
* “In real life” fan creation. Swanky’s has real friends who are talking to them on Twitter and they’ll keep talking. Our strategy: #CMchat is now part of Swanky’s Monday night menu items! And, we’ve recommended that Monday nights (typically slower for most restaurants) be “Music Monday”.
*The fans are asking for more locations…Swanky’s might see Twitter as a research tool for feasibility studies on expansion ideas down the road.
*Great training experience for the Swanky’s team as well as my own team. Special thanks to Lindsey, Lacey, and Kiersten for all the assist. I took two of my staff to Nashville to participate and learn–all in all it meant two days out of the office, which is clearly an investment in social and our learning by doing.
*STATS: Over 110 million impressions for #CMchat this week. Staggering!
This case study is a perfect example of how you can successfully combine SOCIAL with traditional media to create awareness, new customers and revenue for a business. We’d like to think we’ll be doing this a lot and who knows where we’ll take this show next time? Jessica and I are forming #CMchat Live. Join us, won’t you?
If you’d like to know how to schedule a #CMchat for your brand, business or event…contact me at Team Howell by emailing me: Amy@Howell-Marketing.com or call us 901-521-1453.