It’s not always easy to accurately measure
and track the results of your social media efforts.
Sometimes I think I know what
engages our customers, and then, oops, maybe not.
I’ve been doing the Facebook Page for
my parents’ restaurant, the Original Hotcake House, on a regular basis since
September 2009. Our fan base has continually grown without us doing any great
measures to encourage it. We don’t do coupons, contests, or anything else to gain
likes. We don’t have a landing page and we don’t do any giveaways.
I don’t post at any particular time
of the day and I don’t do scheduled posts, for no reason other than I feel it
is too automated and not personalized or social enough.
It would be great to do all of the
above, don’t get me wrong, but we just haven’t taken it to that level yet, and
my dad has been happy with the growth of our fan page.
I on the other hand, I always want
more! More. More. More. More likes. More action. More engagement. I want to hit
the 10,000 mark! But it’s not up to me. So I’m limited in what I can do. And,
every now and then, I’m surprised by what does gain engagement with our fans,
even without contests, giveaways, etc.
For example, the eve of Father’s
Day, I just happened to post a photo of my dad with his back to the camera,
with him wearing one of our Hotcake House t-shirts which have our famous nostalgic
neon sign on the back of them. (Our sign is a landmark in the city of Portland,
Who do you think this is?
There was nothing special about the
photo. It was just a photo. We were at the tire store, and my dad was standing at
the counter with his back to me. I saw that he was wearing a Hotcake House t-shirt,
so I took a picture of him.
As I was taking the picture, I knew the purpose was to post it on our Facebook
Page, but what I didn’t know is that it would be the most viewed post our
Facebook Page has ever seen!
had 2686 views, 31 likes, 299 engaged users, and 19 comments. This is a lot for
only words I put with the photo were: “Who do you think this is?”
comments we received were whacky and funny! Many thought that he was a
celebrity (we do get celebs in the restaurants), while others said the more
obvious comments like “someone with a flat tire”, “someone wearing a Hotcake
moral of this story is: This photo, of a mysterious someone’s back wearing the
Hotcake House t-shirt, ended up receiving the most views EVER of anything I
there’s one more caveat to this story…
very next day, which coincidentally happened to be Father’s Day, was the day
with the MOST sales ever generated in the entire 35 years that my parents have owned
As I said earlier, social media can be tricky to track and measure. But what do
you think? Simply coincidence or does social media get some credit where credit
might be due?
dad firmly believes that the heightened activity on our Facebook Page, due to
the photo, indeed played a part in generating the highest revenue day the
restaurant has ever seen.
and foremost, don’t ever underestimate the power of Facebook. Secondly, don’t
ever think that you always know what type of posts your customers/fans are
going to engage with. Over the past few years, I’ve failed at both of
these. But, I always learn at the same
time. I’ve learned to always, always,
always try something new and different.
particular post was a huge success in more ways than one. It definitely engaged
our fans. In addition, it appears to have had an impact on the bottom dollar
for sales that day. And, as a business, whether it’s a brick and mortar or
online, your bottom dollar is what you’re always chasing.
and mortars, if you do not have a Facebook Page, I encourage you to seriously consider
adding it to your marketing strategies. I especially encourage you if you’re a
service-oriented business – and I double and triple encourage you if your
customers are of the age that they are using social media.