Thursday, May 28, 2009

From the kitchen to Twitter; the power of social media

Last week we launched a new product for our restaurant clients. It’s a interactive tool that allows our clients to get proactive and empower diners to make their own choices when it comes to nutrition information and the “what’s better for me” purchase.

It’s called our Nutrition Calculator (in-vogue name coming soon..) and you can see it here: http://www.menucalc.com/calc/mixtgreens/

And to learn about it here: http://www.menucalc.com/calc/

NOTE: I’m not sales plugging, or should I say sales blogging, but I had to reference the topic :-)

Moving onto the interesting stuff such as “how does this help my restaurant?” I’ll explain:

Our client, Mixt Greens: http://www.mixtgreens.com/, a San Francisco-based Eco-Gourmet® restaurant that serves environmentally responsible fine food, found that during week 1 the calculator had generated 742 customer uses with an average of 6 calculations per customer. A co-founder of Mixt Greens said "we have seen an increase in website traffic due to the calculator. Our customers are very excited that the nutritional information is available and that they can customize to exactly what they are eating, which will contribute to long-term customer loyalty and happiness."

And their customers say “the calculator is really helpful for anyone counting calories, Weight Watchers points or just trying to be aware of what they put in their mouth. I track everything and it's no longer a shot in the dark!” and “I try to monitor my daily food intake, so being able to know exactly what is going into my body at a place that I like to eat at a lot is really helpful for me.”

I did some recent Google’ing I found that people on Yelp, Twitter and Facebook all gave Mixt Greens a thumbs up for adding the calculator to their website. By listening to their customers and being proactive (Mixt Greens is not affected by a menu labeling bill), they have managed to generate buzz in their target market.

And the best part: it’s free! Social networking is free.

As the days went on, I received my normal Google Alert referencing our company name. Instead of our name coming up in a trade newsletter, it was from a Twitter user who had linked to our calculator saying “FINALLY!” – In less than 2 days we had managed indirectly reach the third most used social network (Facebook being the largest, followed by MySpace): Twitter; with reportedly 4-5 million users. Again, for free!

We didn’t intend to reach the Twitter community, but through the power of social media we did. Most of our target users may not be on Twitter, they are most likely to be on the restaurant community site: FohBoh: http://www.fohboh.com/ but from a restaurant’s perspective, the 4-5 million users on Twitter are all potential diners.

For someone who has spent 10 years in the “disruptive technology” world, I was thrilled to see the speed and accuracy that Mixt Greens informed their customers – and more relative to this blog, the momentum at which their customers were able to tell Mixt Greens exactly what they thought.

It's time to get social!

I look forward to your comments…

Lucy

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