For this week’s “Follow Friday,” I’d like to introduce you to Outback’s social media team. As you might know, Outback invited me to attend the Outback Bowl and spend New Year’s in Tampa. (Pictures here.) Because they were willing to share the behind-the-scenes activity, I gained a new appreciation not only for their social team, but also the restaurant as a whole. And, as a bonus, Outback offered some gift certificates for me to giveaway to the prTini readers who asked the best questions. Read on to learn why the Outback team loves Twitter and how they view negativity. Then, follow Outback on Twitter and Facebook.
From E_Hanson: Outback does many giveaways on Twitter. Do you find this is an effective way to engage followers and get them excited about the brand?
Outback: Twitter has proven to be an effective channel for us to connect with our customers and foster meaningful, authentic relationships. While we often will leverage a give-away to build excitement around the brand, nothing compares to having a real, genuine conversation with customers and Twitter has been the best channel to execute this in so far. Want some real proof? Just ask: @mhannaford or @MVNUSID or @ValerieHaines
From billyspringer Do you have a strategy in place like @SHAQ (60% of his tweets are humor, 30% inspiration & 10% promotions/selling stuff)? And what input do stores have in terms of your social presence?
Outback: We do have a secret sauce of how we distribute our content. But, we can’t tell you the secret (that’s why it’s called secret sauce). However, broadly speaking we balance our content so it’s a combination of conversations and promotions. The greater Outback team has a hand in what we talk about, whether that be national promotions, product launches or local content/events and sponsorships.
From mfsabre: I would like to know which social media has been the most successful for Outback ( Twitter or Facebook) and how is this determined/quantified?
Outback: We would be fooling you if we were to put a steak in the ground (pun intended) and say that 1 channel is the end all be all for us. It’s an important to leverage a mix of all channels to truly bring social engagement to life. However, we currently tend to focus our efforts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
From soluckyducky:What is their viewpoint on using social media to respond to consumer complaints? Or in another way of putting it, what sort of bearing does social media have on upholding their (stellar!) reputation?
Outback: If you think about it, social is just an online expression of our offline experiences. So, it’s very natural for customers to reach out to us (among many other brands) if they have an issue, concern, or feedback. We don’t view negative feedback as a roadblock to our “success”, rather it’s an enabler and an opportunity for us to wow the customer and change their perception about Outback. In fact, a number of issues are resolved by the Managing Partner of the local Outback Steakhouse.
From GinaBericchia: How to you manage your team to work efficiently without duplicating efforts?
Outback: Our team works very closely and has assigned responsibilities/roles/channels. As our team is highly collaborative and all in the same location we haven’t had any duplication of efforts.
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