There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or is there?
Richmond has a very active Social Media community. I’ve been told it’s the second biggest in the country (although I’ve yet to see hard statistics to back this up). Many Richmond business owners have joined the conversation, but only a few are truly embracing Social Media and using it to constructively build their brand.
One such company is the chain restaurant, Arby’s, locally owned by The Restaurant Company, founded by Richard Ripp. ( An interesting aside is that Ripp also opened Can Can Brasserie located in Carytown, VA). Upon visiting their website you can see their commitment to social media with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and RSS feed links prominently displayed on the home page. You’ll also notice that they ask, “Are You An Arby’s Insider? Join our community for exclusive local savings and contests!”
So how are they fostering community outside of their website? I became interested in them by watching what they do on Twitter. According to Twitter.com, ArbysRVA has been a member of Twitter since December 4, 2009. They are always coming up with fun and innovative ways to engage the local Richmond community (#RVA). For example, this summer has been a scorcher with record heat. Recently, ArbysRVA offer a free lemonade drink to everyone if the temperature hit 95 degrees, which it has…numerous times. Pretty sweet, no pun intended.
This week, I personally benefited from being part of their community. Check out the conversation below:
Within three days of the last tweet, I received my VIP card in the mail, in a hand address envelope.
I asked the local company to describe what Twitter has done for business in 140 characters or less: “Social media has given us a new way to interact with our customers. It’s allowed us to create meaningful relationships and have some fun!”
So not only does social media give business owners a way to foster community and add customers, it’s actually a lot of fun. Take a look at how well @ArbysRVA is doing:
They have a Twitter following of 1,054 and are listed on 100 lists. That’s a pretty good community, especially when you remember they’ve only been in the game since December of last year. Great job guys!
So, in closing I’ve got two questions: How are you using social media to engage your community?