Case In Brief: Texas Roadhouse Serves Up Geographically Relevant Content

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The steakhouse chain improved its geo-tagging, allowing it to better engage with customers on social media.

Social media has revolutionized the way customers interact with their preferred brands, opening a new avenue for engagement that's available around the clock. Especially in today's smartphone-abundant world, customers are tapping into their social channels to communicate with each other as well as with organizations wherever they are.

This trend has opened up new opportunities for organizations to engage with both their existing customers and prospects in meaningful ways, allowing them to be where their clients are at any time of the day.

Texas Roadhouse, a 20-year-old chain of steakhouses, wanted to improve its social-mobile engagement to be better able to interact with customers of its 400-odd restaurants around the United States. Although the company was actively using the brand's Facebook page to engage with customers, it wanted to add more relevance to its communications, aware that customers are more likely to seek and engage with information that pertains to places they frequent and are interested in. Dave Dodson, Texas Roadhouse's director of communications, says the company has always taken a very local approach and wanted to continue with this focus.

Like many other organizations with several retail locations, Texas Roadhouse was facing a challenge of inaccurate geocodes, either because customers entered them incorrectly or because customers who don't immediately find the local on social media decide to create new entries. This was making it confusing and difficult for customers to find the Texas Roadhouse they were at either on Facebook or Foursquare. This was leading to missed opportunities for engagement, either because the customer gave up searching or created a duplicate location. "There were times when customers weren't checking in because they couldn't find the location," Dodson notes.

In order to resolve this challenge and increase customer engagement at the local level, Texas Roadhouse partnered with MomentFeed to resolve the venue inaccuracies on the two social channels. As Dodson points out, the relevance of local content means a higher level of engagement.

Results

Locally based engagement has proven to be a winning recipe for Texas Roadhouse. Between August and November last year, content published to the company's local pages on Facebook generated 71 percent more engagement than content published on the brand page. This content generated about 21 million brand impressions and increased check-ins on Facebook by a third while the number of customers tagging locations went up by more than 50 percent.

Further, because Texas Roadhouse is using one dashboard for all its social channels, the company is finding it easier to interact with its fans and followers. "[The dashboard] is allowing us to pull in content that we weren't able to see before," Dodson notes, explaining that previously Texas Roadhouse had to go to several different pages to see posts.

This system has also made it easier for the brand to publish content on different pages, while still retaining a local flavor to make the information geographically relevant, for example including information about an upcoming event at a particular restaurant. "It's easy and people really engage with photos and local information," Dodson says.

Lessons Learned

Engage locally: Customers are more likely to engage with content that's relevant to them.

Invest in social: Social media shouldn't be an afterthought, but an integral part of a company's strategy.

Make it easy for customers to check in: Making sure that locations are properly geo-tagged will help customers check in at their present locations.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION