Once upon a time there was this restaurant called Moody’s in Truckee, CA. It was run and operated by a gentleman named Mark Estee for 10 years. Mark was more concerned with cooking great food and staying in the kitchen then he was with his reputation out in the public. He admitted that he was younger, maybe naïve, not nearly as polished of a business owner as he is now.
“I always understood the value of public relations and marketing. But I just figured if these people want to come in, they’ll come in. I will cook great food, provide a great atmosphere and people will come in. If they don’t that’s their problem. I did not see a value in truly connecting and interacting with the public especially by using Facebook or any other kind of social media for my business.”
Mark also admitted that social media intimidated him. He didn’t know anything about it, he didn’t want to put the time in, and he feared the negative feedback he would possibly see from opening the social media flood-gates. He was very hesitant and continued to avoid the opportunity.
Fast-forward 10 years, on November 17th 2011 Mark Estee opens Campo, Reno. When mark was sitting in his bedroom creating his mission statement and business plan, he committed himself to getting involved with social media marketing. His first step was hiring Abbi Whitaker with The Abbi Agency to help provide him with the tools he would need to begin his social media venture. Mark committed to Abbi and this is where the magic began.
“When I first started I told myself that I CAN NOT be scared, and I knew I just had to jump in. Social media marketing is a whole new playing field. It is extremely time consuming; you have got to stay on it. It takes time to be yourself and make sure you get in touch with everyone who is taking time out to support your business. I am myself. I am consistent. I can’t reply instantly to every message, I try! But I am human and I am running a business- this is me.”
One of Mark’s fears of social media soon became a reality- a couple complaints on these social media platforms caught his attention.
“I am providing great food, I have built this beautiful restaurant, I had just donated $10k to a charity- but we had one small error on our webpage and it came back to me ten-fold. I remember thinking to myself ‘who even looks at that?’ ”
I asked Mark what his strategy is with handling these public complaints:
“I tell my crew that if we don’t make mistakes- we aren’t trying. I am expecting mistakes, and I know I have to deal with the consequences after-even if it is as small as our hours of operation on our website. The nice thing about social media is that I am able to immediately contact these customers directly. I investigate the situation to see what happened on our end and then I will call, email, engage, apologize, listen, and move forward- I will fix it. I won’t discuss the matter on the Web, I will take care of it privately.”
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, Open Table, and his personal blog on Campo’s site (which is my personal favorite, check it out) have proved to this restaurant owner that social media marketing DOES have a huge impact on his business. His customers are able to connect directly with Mark as well as help him make changes to be more appealing to his clients, and that is so important to him.
“People can see that I am funny, I am approachable, I am serious about my restaurant, and they can get a feel for our presence. Social media affects my business daily.”
Once upon a time this restaurant owner didn’t believe in the use of social media to help his business grow. Fast forward 10 years (with some help from The Abbi Agency), customers can now enjoy “Minute Mondays” with Mark, where he discusses what Campo will feature this week. Also “Back of the House Fridays” where Mark will introduce a new member of the Campo team to his friends. Where can you view these weekly features you ask? Facebook, where else?