For my talk at the Columbia Business School Alumni Club on the evening of June 16th I’m preparing a case study of five local Times Square Restaurants. As my readers may have guessed, I refine my ideas as I write and convey information – it’s as if the act of sharing the information with others, gives me more information. I’ll stay away from Sentiment Analysis for the time being in this case study.
Clearly, I’ll be developing this idea more – and I welcome your input.
I also find considering other points of view are often helpful in getting a better result in Social Media Monitoring – if I can’t talk about what I am measuring and how, it’s difficult to get that information – and I bet that’s pretty symptomatic of many in this new, emerging field of Social Monitoring – they don’t want to talk about and show the actual data they collect – which actually keeps the industry from evolving as quickly as it could or should.
My hypothesis starting out .. was that I’m going to find more Social Media Activity at Havana Central’s Times Square restaurant location on W.46th (because we have a community strategist, Cecilia Pineda Feret, and we’re actively doing Social Media Outreach and an owner that is supportive of Social Media) than the others (consisting of Carmines, Bond 45, Heartland Brewery/ChopShop and Blue Fin). As I don’t know the management of the other restaurants in this study, I do not know for sure what they are doing or not doing with Social Media – except what I found in relation to looking at specific local restaurants in Times Square, Manhattan – not the chain or franchise. My other suspicion, is that overall, I would not find that much Social Media activity in any of the 5 restaurants since Social Media is still emerging in this sector (dining).
Using Radian6, I crafted very targeted queries for each restaurant that included the FourSquare URL, the restaurant name + “Times Square”, and various references to meeting, dining, drinking and music. I excluded references to Mayor Bloomberg dining at Blue Fin after the bomb attempt recently, and any references to police activity which sometimes crops up.
Here’s the first chart – over the last 30 days Havana Central Times Square had close to double the average number of social media references as the other 4 restaurants, and close to a third of the total references, period.
One of the problems I ran into was writing queries that reflected just social media activity or outreach – a form of marketing – (a meetup, tweetup, FourSquare checkin, perhaps a tweet that some one was at the restaurant) vs. any information about a particular restaurant location that was online. I reasoned that if I just focused on social media activities, I’d probably find next to nothing on any of the locations, even Havana Central would not show all that much – so I decided to open up the query to music, menus and dining in general – reasoning that act of showing up in Social Media is … Social Media (even though it might not have been caused by outreach).
According to Radian6, Havana Central had visitors who on Twitter that had the most followers (opportunity to see) – but the numbers of followers were much closer between Havana Central and Carmines and that might who happened to drop by and tweet there.
I think it’s worth comparing these results to the Roger Smith Hotel – because they went all out on Social Media and have made a name for themselves as the Social Media Hotel – something no restaurant has done yet.
One thing a restaurant has that Roger Smith does not – is the propensity to buy – just about anyone that who says they are at a restaurant is probably going to be a customer and will be ordering.
That might not necessarily be true at a hotel (on the other hand, when people do spend money at a hotel, as those who are staying there, they usually spend much more – case in point – just the cost of the room, not to mention eating and purchasing other items and services there).
In either case, Restaurant or Hotel – the more social media activity detected (via Monitoring, in this case using Radian6) the more money is likely to be spent at that location. Let’s step back a second and think about why that is. Today, it is still next to impossible to tie Social Media activity (a Tweet, Checking, Post, Blog Post, Photo, etc) to actual purchases, but it is clear that such activities are proxies for actual purchases of services, or meals, or rooms – even if we can’t always prove it yet (but will in the near future).
So with that in mind, you would think the more people check in using FourSquare to a restaurant, or to hotel, for that matter – the better – as in both cases, people are going to more likely than not be purchasing something – and as more people use Social Media – more people will be “checking in”.
We know Roger Smith Hotel (and Roger Smith life) has been active almost two years now – I want to compare these five restaurants using Radian6, and I can’t go back more than 30 days with a new profile – so we’ll look at Roger Smith’s last 30 days.
Roger Smith Hotel has 11 times more “buzz” than Havana Central (and they work pretty tirelessly on achieving that, as well) and more than 3 times the amount of buzz of all 5 restaurants, combined, over the last 30 days.
But what is even more compelling is the amount of twitter followers (the opportunity any follower is going to see a tweet or re tweet is small – but when you have close to 700,000 Twitter followers who could have seen an offer or message – that is impressive, and can not be ignored (see below).
We know “OTS” or Opportunity To See isn’t the same thing as money in the bank but it starts to count a lot who might potentially see a post or listing. Want to know who is making up the bulk of the OTS opportunities for Roger Smith Hotel over the last 30 days? Think Paul Baron (the same guy I met a few months ago) – the “Agent of Change” and @Jakrose, etc – you can sort the River of News by Twitter Followers (too bad it doesn’t do Facebook Friends as well – oh well – next year).
Last year I spoke with Brian Simpson who started Social Media outreach at Roger Smith Hotel and he told me that he could trace as much as 20,000.00 per month in additional income to the hotel as a result of the Social Media Work he and his team are doing there – and I bet that he’s not captured everything – and he listed out what he captures – including Lily’s Restaurant – etc.
When you add all the people who stay at Roger Smith – like @iJustine and @ChrisBrogan, you kinda figure – that a good turn comes back – over and over – and mind you – the charts above just show activity over the last 30 days – the cumulative charts over the last two years would show far more.
But wanted to end this post on the starting point – the missed opportunities all the restaurants in this study have – there’s so many possibilities to get people coming in and saying they are “in the restaurant” which means – they’re spending money there – creating value – it’s a wonder that more focus hasn’t been put on Social Media, before now.
The peaks in activity at Roger Smith Hotel is closely tied to events – in this case (May 9th/10th) a Clambake on the 16th Floor Terrace and a Digital Somethings panel – I bet Brian is able to tie every activity at the hotel to increased income – and everyone who Tweets is usually with someone else, several people.
So lets take another step back and go to the restaurants – which are all comparable in prices for a meal – let’s eyeball it and say a typical meal for 1 is between $30-$40 dollars (in the “moderate range” even at Blue Fin, which is fairly expensive – I have been there.
Assume that your social media activities generates 100 people a month that come in due to social media – check in – and they are with at least two other people – (average reservation is usually for 3 people) – that means every check in is worth close to 100 bucks – every tweet could be worth that much as it’s a proxy for activity – we know these people who are tweeting are eating and drinking – and not all of the people in a party tweet – one will, maybe the others won’t.
If we look at 100 people (reasonable in Havana Central’s case – as we’ve documented that much, at least, in all three restaurant locations) per month – we get 10,000 dollars per month due to Social Media Activity – and that’s not counting all the people in the Follower and Friends stream who see the message – even if they don’t act on it.
Finally, the missed opportunity is in finding ways to distinguish people who tweet and check in who were coming in anyway (we should encourage this – give them a drink – that is what I helped come up with) vs those who would not ordinarily come in – but will now – because they will get a discount via a promotion – or a friend ate there and liked it (recommendation).
I don’t think there is any doubt Social Media Activity translates into Money – for now, we’re still using proxies, but in the future – we’ll have the exact dollar amounts – even now, we have a pretty good idea about Social Media ROI – and if you don’t believe me ask Brian Simpson over at Roger Smith Hotel – he’ll tell you.
But I can not end this post by throwing out how we can start recording new activity – a new visit vs repeat visitors (just like we do in Web Analytics).
Ok, say we go back to Havana Central – and talk about Twitter and FourSquare check ins / tweets. Say we use Radian6 to export a River of News for as long back as we can go (in this case, over 6 months) and de-duplicate – so we have a list of all the people who have checked in – but only one instance of each.
Every month – we get a list of all those who have checked in or tweeted – and compare it to the list I have just mentioned above – if the tweet or checkin comes from a new account/handle (someone has not checked in before, or tweeted before about Havana Central) it counts as one acquisition (or $100.00 as I suggested – it will all equal out even if it turns out sometimes less is spent and other times, more).
|VPEPR||RT @IvetteZurita #HPRA NY Kick Off June 15, 5:30-7:30 pm, Havana Central, Times Square, RSVP http://ow.ly/1QPOr #pr #latism||2352||2369|
|ENVIRALMENTALST||Best Cuban food you can get without a communist dictator looking over your shoulder (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||1260||1575|
|TELENOTICIAS_||Inaugural HPRA-NY event on June 15, 5:30 pm @ Havana Central Times Square, NYC. Please come…you’re invited!!! #HPRA #HPRANY #HispanicPR||966||749|
|_DAVIDHENRY_||Inaugural HPRA-NY event on June 15, 5:30 pm @ Havana Central Times Square, NYC. Please come…you’re invited!!! #HPRA #HPRANY #HispanicPR||788||542|
|EZMAC99||I just ousted @laurenkristine3 as the mayor of Havana Central – Times Square on @foursquare! http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||601||500|
|IVETTEZURITA||#HPRA NY Kick Off Event June 15/ 5:30-7:30 pm at Havana Central, Times Square, 151 West 46th Street, NY RSVP http://ow.ly/1QPOr||452||496|
|CHRISTINASEES||Ahhhh dame comida!!! (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||732||430|
|CEASETHEDAY||@HavanaCentral love my droid. gowalla’s photo upload feature is neat. buzzed is great cause it integrates to droid easily, but 4sq is my fav||322||325|
|JUSTINLEUNG||Getting some lunch. (@ Havana Central) http://4sq.com/7rLMFm||339||305|
|WONDERMARQ||Cuban tapas and mojitos! (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||246||286|
|CORYRYANFRANK||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||392||237|
|PAULOBETO77||Following the 4sq tip. î„… (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||263||217|
|SPINSTRIPES||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||425||215|
|LAURENKRISTINE3||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||354||154|
|ANDREAVERDURA||Yum!!! (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||304||148|
|LISA_FAYE||RT @ChefBoyAnde: I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||366||143|
|CHEFBOYANDE||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||367||115|
|TRIN14||…yum… (@ Havana Central – Times Square w/ 2 others) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||262||94|
|WANTTOBDELUDED||@THATdudeDomO well, there’s sangria 46 and victor’s cafe. i’m a fan of both. i’m a tad anti Havana Central because the food just isn’t wow||126||84|
|SHORTYS2CUTE||Lunch @ Havana Central with the Hubby (@malafe15)||50||79|
|ALLDAYBOOGIE||At havana central for lunch..paying my tibute to cinco de mayo||95||78|
|PABLOCRAYO||Chillen w/ @tom_fishman (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||120||50|
|BRIANHGIBSON||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||60||35|
|EFBAUM||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||55||26|
|EBONYBEAUTY305||Is in times square with my loved ones eatin @Havana Central. Anyone wana join?||49||20|
|APT_6||Try the new and improved @apt_6 hat trick: Lillies for breakfast, Hale & Hearty for lunch, Havana Central for dinner||30||18|
|IAWILLIA||I’m at Havana Central – Times Square (151 W 46th St, btw 6th & 7th, New York). http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||16||12|
|REDSPDR||Time for mojitos. (@ Havana Central – Times Square) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||24||11|
|ROBERT_SAYLOR||@OGOchoCinco next time your in the city try havana central. its off of times square. awsome food!||31||6|
|SROD2010||moooojitos!- (@ Havana Central – Times Square w/ @redspdr) http://4sq.com/7D9XfC||6||2|
In this case, over the last month – these Twitter/FourSquare accounts are logged – next month if any of these show up they are tracked as customer loyalty while new visitors are treated as aquisitions.
The list of visitors who have returned in the following month gets handed over to the community strategist to reach out to – these are encouraged to come back in. Meanwhile, the new visitors are also treated differently – and when possible – are asked how and why came in the first place – this information is put into a CRM (a spreadsheet will do as an interim solution).
That’s how you start building ROI – that’s how you start showing the results of what your doing – this is where it all starts adding up. You need to build these lists and keep updating them – then you have something you can take to the BANK.