QSR Industry And The Social Web

It’s interesting to me which industries decide to engage in social media.  It is even more interesting to see who does so in a way that makes sense for their brand and is seen as authentic and true.

The QSR industry (QSR stands for Quick Service Restaurant, if you aren’t aware) in particular seems to have a big opportunity here, as many people are already quite fond of their brands.

In fact, the tactics they can take don’t have to be anything crazy and could be quite simple, especially if there is pent-up demand for their presence in the social space.

Everyone is marketing web products like crazy online.  Physical products are used by people online too, and the realization that most reading this already know is that those active on the web don’t see a difference between interacting on and off the web.  It’s a big missed opportunity here not to join the conversation about your own brand.

Purely having a website and static presence isn’t enough to engage your true fans, they crave a deeper interaction.  Not having a social presence on the web is analagous to going to your own birthday party and then standing in the corner, ignoring everyone who is trying to talk to you, or is talking about you.

Follow Popeyes on Twitter

Popeyes Chicken is using Twitter in a positive way to interact with their fans in this space.  If you search for Popeyes on Twitter, you’ll quickly notice there is plenty of positive feedback about the brand.  It was a smart choice for Popeyes to enter this space and they seem to be doing well interacting here.

They aren’t capitalizing on social media like they could though.  It feels a bit disjointed to me to purely participate in microblogging without having their own blog to document their experiences in Twitter and tell deeper stories about the brand.  That’s great that they are using one tool, but microblogging is just an “outpost” to what your web presence could be in it’s most optimized state.

Then, there are others in the QSR industry (and plenty of other industries) who set up shop in Facebook/MySpcae:

Jamba Juice has setup a Facebook fan page that easily amassed 47,000+ fans on the site.  That’s a great indicator of the popularity of Jamba Juice in the social space, although the page seemed like it was a bit thin on information about the brand.  Merely has a few lines about the company overview.  They didn’t even add any product photos to the page.  Facebook is a great place to have a presence, and their logo now sits on 47,000+ profiles next to those fans.  But again, seems like a missed opportunity not to build interactions with those people who have opted in to receieve their messages on the network.

Popeyes and Jamba are using the tools, sure.  But what I’m getting at is these tools could be used as outposts to draw traffic into somewhere with a deeper interaction and converting the people to subscribers of their brand.

Let’s look at how a web professional uses outposts successfully to draw traffic and interest to his blog and build community.

This is an image from Darren Rowse at ProBlogger representing how he uses outposts (the social networks on the chart) to draw traffic to his blog, ProBlogger (the logo in the middle represents his blog).  He uses them to:

  • add content
  • build relationships
  • test ideas
  • grow a profile
  • listen
  • experiment
  • make connections
  • try to be useful
  • play

Read Darren’s whole post here.

Essentially what Darren has is a consolidated place on the web that he can call his home base, the place he wants to draw people to become subscribers of his content and continue to interact daily.  Your home base cannot be a static website, at least not if your goal is sustained traffic building.  It needs to be something social that is frequently updated with content people will actually care about.

The goal here is not one-off traffic.  Your goal should be to build consistent, loyal traffic that is going to spread your brand and build your business.  People don’t return to static websites, or even interactive websites that are really still the same each time you visit.

Everyone has stories to tell, not merely bloggers.  Brands potentially have even more stories to tell about what they’re doing.  Using social media services here is just one part of the puzzle.  You need an integrated approach with a home base on the web (a blog is the perfect platform) where you’re building return, loyal traffic and providing those people value, community and connections.

This matters for the QSR industry and really any industry looking to boost their exposure and traffic on the web.  Ultimately more traffic, more share of voice and more interactions on the web equals greater business and sales off the web.

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