Whenever I am asked to speak about digital marketing, I mention a chocolate lounge in Washington, D.C. called Co Co. Sala. I talk about how I visited the lounge five years ago to celebrate someone’s birthday, yelped about my experience, and received a private message from the co-owner.
Co Co. Sala last graced my blog in October 2009 when I encouraged other restaurants to follow their social lead.
I mention them again as a result of something that happened last week at Syracuse University. I was invited to speak at a social media roundtable at the Newhouse School of Public Communications and mentioned the restaurant during my presentation.
This is what happened next:
She recalled meeting with one of the co-owners four years earlier.
I explained to Bharet how social media was “word of mouth on steroids” and would provide exceptional customer service to its guests. I proposed that I handle all of the restaurant’s online presence, including social media.
Bharet was intrigued but asked me to name one single DC or NYC restaurant actively involved in social media. I couldn’t. At the time, there were a few restaurants who had Facebook pages but most of them were not very active. Twitter profiles for restaurants were not common at all. Since he was still hesitant, I asked him to try it out for a few days and then decide. After the first day, he was hooked. The rest is history.
But Monica tweets from her own office or the subway or wherever she happens to be. Isn’t that a loss of authenticity?
I asked her to clarify.
When you go to Co Co. Sala, it’s not just about the food… it’s about the experience. The restaurant treats each of its guests as VIP. With social media, we are able to create that same exceptional experience which they receive offline …online.
For example, if I notice on Twitter that someone is having a bad day and has reservations at Co Co. Sala, I am able to alert the restaurant in real-time, “So-and-so is coming in and is having a bad day. The Fetish cocktail is her favorite. Please send one over.” I also include a photo in case they are not familiar with the guest.
If it was someone at the restaurant tweeting, due to time-constraint, they would not be able to retrieve the same level of detail. It becomes more reactive, than proactive.
Another important benefit to having someone outside the restaurant managing their accounts is the mere fact that the internet never sleeps. The restaurant is not open during the day on weekdays. However, there are people constantly tweeting and asking @cocosala questions during the day. With my role, those tweets are addressed at all hours of the day and not just during business hours. Delivering exceptional customer service is extremely important to Co Co. Sala – and me.
Monica continued that she sends the management an hourly email that summarizes tweets, mentions, Yelp reviews, Facebook comments, etc. I think this is awesome. I’m accustomed to managers receiving weekly reports, even daily. But hourly? I suppose there’s no better way for management to grasp what people are saying about them and how they’re responding back.
I reached out to some friends who are fans of their Facebook page and inquired why they clicked like. Their common response was outstanding customer service and real-time social engagement.
You can visit their website at CoCoSala.com which has links to their social media channels such as the below video from the Food Network.