What is in this article?:
- Texas Roadhouse boosts social media efforts
- Driving customer engagement
The casual-dining chain has has increased its social media efforts and investments to amplify its traditional marketing.
Driving customer engagement
What content have you created or used that has moved the needle for your guests?
Durham: Instagram, like most people at this conference have been saying, is really picking up a lot of steam for us. We have several tools out there that pull Instagram photos that people take within our four walls. So how do we pull in that user-generated content, photos of hand-cut steaks, and republish that at the local level to generate conversation? It’s exciting for us when we publish local content, and people realize that the pictures come from their friends.
In a market segment that’s so competitive like casual dining, how do you stand out? What’s going to make people share your content on Facebook over someone else’s? I think harnessing your users that are already posting content for you — that’s why Instagram’s been so huge for us in the past year. Sharing that for the whole world to see, giving customers recognition and saying thanks has worked really well.
What other challenges are you working on right now?
Durham: Our biggest challenges today are the multitudes of platforms and keeping up with more than 100 social networks. We have to find out which ones we’re going to be passionate about and where we’ll put the time and resources into to really own, because sometimes companies spread themselves too thin across platforms and end up not being effective on any of them.
About 90 percent of what people are saying on our social pages right now is positive, and that really goes back to our operators. If you have great people in the restaurants executing on food quality, service, and the restaurants are clean, what is there to complain about? Maybe 10 percent of comments are negative … and when you see that stuff you just have to make it right.
Do store-level managing partners have a lot of control over Texas Roadhouse’s social media, or do you manage that?
Chesser: Every single restaurant has a dedicated local-store marketer. They’re dedicated to going out in their five-mile radius and connecting with local businesses, schools and churches. It’s their job to know the community and engage with them, and then give us the local content to post for them. If they’re having an event at their restaurant, they know we’ll get it on their local pages and let their fans know digitally.
Durham: We’re piloting about 20 locations now that are managing their Facebook and Twitter accounts solely on their own. … The whole point of social is being connected to people in your community, so we would love to get [to 100-percent local control], but it depends on whether it makes sense in the long term.