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  • Writer's pictureHappy Hippo Media

How we helped a restaurant achieve crazy revenue in first month of opening.

A lot of business owners these days are continuously asking the question, 'how do we use social media for business?' and generally don't know where to start. We recently had a customer come to us with the same question. They had an amazing idea for a traditional American style smokehouse where they would smoke meats for as long as 14 hours. It was going to be located on the Central Coast of NSW Australia where nothing truly like it existed and the name was F220 Smokehouse. They had a passion for smoking meats and turns did we! We quickly became acquainted with the idea and got brainstorming.

We decided straight up that there was nothing better for attracting an audience than a telling a good story. From day 1, before the fit out for the restaurant even started, we began shooting small 30 second videos that were teasers of a larger overall story. Luckily, the owner of the restaurant was one charismatic guy so we were able to use his unofficial passion for "part-time-acting" in our videos where we would shoot something that made people laugh and make them look forward to the next piece of content that we posted. These small videos entailed everything from the owners past to the reasons why certain decorative pieces like the timber from railway sleepers were chosen in the fit out. We went into detail and hoped our followers would love it.

ALRIGHT, let's just take a quick step out of this story for a second. People log into their social profiles to be entertained, to connect with family and friends and to find information. They DO NOT log into social media to be sold to. This being said, a vital part of your social strategy as a business owner should be to either entertain or inform people. Show them something that will make them smile or that they can use. Do this and they will like you...and once they like you THEY WILL BUY FROM YOU.

Now back to the story...

In total there was about 6 weeks of story telling videos leading up to the grand opening. As soon as people liked our video we would hop into the 'Facebook Page' app and invite those people to like our page. Yes, you can can also use this strategy on your business social pages. I'll repeat that one: log into the 'Facebook Page' app on your mobile device (app icon is a white background with orange flag in the middle), go to your business page, choose a post and click on where the 'likes' are. From here you should see a list of people who have liked your post and you can invite them to like your page. Voilà!

Another way we increased followers was by using the owners existing network. He had previously opened and ran other restaurants around the Central Coast and people knew of his passion of being a good restaurateur. We shared to these people the news of him opening up another establishment and they jumped at the opportunity to find out more. Simply sharing this page to his audience gained us another couple hundred page likes.

Eventually word began growing of this new restaurant in town and each day the organic page likes began increasing and the engagement levels with every consecutive post growing. It got to the point where people thought we were already open and were requesting to book even though in our videos the restaurant was still being built and there were timber sleepers laying everywhere in the background. From this response we knew that we had created a timeline of small videos that people loved.

It got to the unofficial opening night where we already had a full house booked with a total of 850 page likes on Facebook and just a couple hundred on Instagram. The owner used this as a night to test the efficiency of the front and back of house staff. We used the Facebook and Instagram story features for coverage of the night to show followers how it looked and this sparked huge interest. They then began taking bookings and were continuously booked out for weeks in advance. They achieved a revenue in their first month of what they had forecasted to do in a years time.

It was mission success!

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