St. Louis brands kicking arse
Last December I wrote a snarky post about the worst social media profiles in St. Louis. It was funny because, well, I’m sort of a funny person and my insight was undeniably accurate. It was also a bit cynical. Let’s blame it on the gray, cold weather and my tendency to read Poe in the winter months. Earlier this week I decided to start a follow-up post, this time highlighting a few local brands that are doing a mighty fine job in the Twittersphere and on Facebook.
First, let me say: social media is time consuming. It really is. I’m one of the primary Tweeters for Evolve, yet it can often be difficult for me to spend time checking into the social channels when there’s so much more on my plate. Time is money, after all, and I try to spend it wisely. It can be hard to measure ROI through social media, especially if you’re not e-commerce and can’t track the customer through the sales funnel. But I do firmly believe that social media interaction is worth the effort because it gives you a chance to connect with your customers, both current and potential, in a less buttoned-up way.
When I discover a brand, the first thing I do is check out its social media profiles, especially Twitter. And while I can’t say I’m the most conventional person in the world, I’m sure my habits aren’t far from other Twitter addicts in the Lou. The profiles listed below are a few that have impressed me with their committment to the social waves. If you’re struggling to understand how to connect, read the briefs below; you might be inspired to log into Twitter.
This beloved local brand is a staple in the Evolve office. We can’t possibly contain our excitement when we see those gorgeous green AIPA labels brightening the fridge. I’m proud to say that Mabie and I hustled over to the Tap Room this year when this hop-tastic concoction was finally released. We’re super fans. You know how I found out that Schlafly AIPA was going on tap that day? Twitter. Thanks @Schlafly.
Schlafly does an excellent job of sharing news, events, and conversation with the St. Louis community. Heck, I recently acquired a piece of Schlafly history in my apartment because I read that the Tap Room was replacing their chairs – thus giving away their old ones. Of course I was all over that. One final note – I want to give a shout out to @JaredBrewsBass because he is (unintentionally or not) a superb contributor on behalf of the Schlafly brand. He tweets often about the brewing process – and it’s clear that he loves his job.
Who doesn’t enjoy walking through the aisles of dusty records at Vintage Vinyl? This venue has got everything, from Pixies to Lana Del Rey. Even better, @VintageVinylSTL is super tuned in to community happenings, making it a reliable source of information on Twitter. I enjoy reading VV’s endorsements of other local establishments, especially music halls. It’s also useful to find out about Vintage Vinyl’s in-store, free performances – like the one I just found out about today via VV’s retweet. Hey Vintage Vinyl – I think I’ll buy a record from you soon. Because you’re awesome.
Robust Wine Bar // Milagro Modern Mexican
When I asked Twitter for suggestions regarding brands that are kicking arse in social media, my buddy Blake mentioned Robust Wine Bar and Milagro. These places are two very separate entities, but I’m grouping them to make a point. It’s no surprise they both came recommended; @RobustWineBar (managed by owners, Stanley and Arlene) has more than 12,000 tweets under their belt. This brand is clearly digitally devoted to its fans. @MilagroModMex, managed by the watchful eye of Adam, is also proactive on Twitter.
While I’ve honestly never been to Robust Wine Bar or Milagro, I am certainly intrigued by the owners’ perpetual engagement with fans and other businesses. It’s evident that Robust Wine Bar’s knowledge of wine is vast – dare I say “robust”? Likewise, Adam of Milagro is clearly passionate about this city, exceptional food, and customers. I look forward to visiting both institutions soon – especially because they are supportive of each other (see the tweets below). Twitter love is the best kind of love.
The word of the day is redemption. You may have noticed that Schnucks made the list last year for social media profiles that bum us out. And at the time, it was true. This brand, however, made one heckuva comeback. The brand still has a boatload of domains, but as far as their activity on Facebook, Schnucks is rocking and rolling. Each week customers wait patiently (or not so patiently) for the Wednesday Wows and Friday Drive Time Specials. Aside from these coupons, the brand does an exceptional job of featuring weekly specials and sharing recipes. Plus, they invested a solid amount of time into building out the timeline – it’s worth checking out.
Honestly, what makes me adore Schnucks more than the coupons is the brand’s patience with demanding, dense customers who continually ask questions that have already been answered in the descriptions. “Do I have to print these out?” “Are they available at Culinaria?” I tip my hat to you, Schnucks. Someone over there clearly understands the value of social media.
If you’re a local business, hopefully you’ve gained some inspiration from these brands. Social media changed a lot about how brands interact with and influence customers. It’s safe to say that this kind of communication isn’t going anywhere soon, so do your best to make time for your fans on Twitter and Facebook. That might mean scheduling a few tweets ahead of time. That might mean searching for questions you can answer, even on weekends. The pay off will be nice. Guys, it will be real nice.
Written by Emily Wisely. Find her on Twitter!