Marketing by Hanging Out

One of my favorite terms from business school is ‘management by walking around’.  The idea behind this being that by getting out from behind your desk in the ivory tower, you learn a lot about how your business is run on a daily basis, and may find places where you can use your lofty position to make your employees more effective.  A lot of times an employee may see something as ‘just the way it is’, but if you’re constantly walking around and asking questions, they may start to see that things can be better.

But I’m not writing about managing today, I want to talk about mobile marketing through social media and that the same idea can be applied to marketing when you think of social media marketing as hanging out with your buddies.

In Central Indiana, we’ve got a great set of restaurants.  These include Scotty’s Brewhouse, Three Wisemen and Scotty’s Lakehouse that feature awesome food, including my favorite burger ever – the Shewman (Bacon, Cheese, Jalapenos and Peanut Butter).  One thing that makes Scott Wise’s restaurants so unique is his use of social media to market them.  Scott actually watches all of his own feeds and responds to almost every tweet he gets.  I’ve sent him multiple questions and gotten responses rather quickly.  Scott has made himself buddies with every single one of his patrons.

Going one step further and realizing that as his business expands to more and more locations, he won’t be able to handle all this himself, Scott has empowered his managers at each location to also tweet and respond on Facebook.  I was out with some friends trying the pizza at Scott’s Three Wisemen when the ball jar containing our water shattered above the table (glass from hot dryer + cold ice water = boom), spilling water all over a friend.  Sensing the potential for fun internet discussion of physics, I snapped a picture and used FourSquare to check-in and show everyone how the glass had just shattered in mid-air.

Within minutes, the restaurant manager had responded to my tweet, and even retweeted the incident, assuring all that everyone was okay and towels had been deployed.  An unfortunate incident with a busy kitchen and limited dishes turned into a funny story shared with every fan of the restaurant, building up the brand for everyone, not just the customer that got splashed.

How active are your employees and managers in the social media life of your company?  How can you connect all of your customers and constituents and start building your own community like Scott Wise has done?
David Egger IRU Mobility Programs Lead Marketing Manager AT&T About David