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Here is my report regarding my Facebook marketing campaign for Abe’s Cajun Kitchen. Based on extensive research, I am confident through the use of a carefully prepared presentation, you as well can prepare an effective presentation to your business of choice. Facebook can enhance Abe’s brand recognition and awareness in the Clear Lake community as well as surrounding areas in Houston.
Purpose and Scope
I have performed extensive research to determine how well Facebook could help a small business like Abe’s Cajun Market. Abe’s location relative to my job exposed me to the unique food, flavors, and culture the restaurant has to offer. Having a love for food, business, and social networking sparks my curiosity and has driven me to research and produce a comprehensive marketing strategy to determine the potential effects Facebook can have in regards to sales and brand exposure for a small business like Abe’s constrained by a cash-strapped advertising budgets.
Sources and Methods Used
By careful examinations of the activities of Facebook and other social networks and the way business is being done online by other businesses who keep their brands, I believe a small business like the Abe’s Cajun Kitchen can benefit from the social networks branding and marketing strategies. From my research on the applicability of Facebook in business, I have come to the conclusion that every business, small and big alike have the responsibility and ability to grow through social networking. Smith &Treadway (2010) stated that as opposed to the former belief that Facebook was a childish affair; trends have changed with business fan pages and brand names becoming more frequent in the social network. In addition, there are increasing numbers of adults who use Facebook not just for personal use, but also for business related issues. Given that more than half of Facebook users are post college persons; there is business opportunity in using Facebook to reach the target population. This report analyzes the use of Facebook and how Abe’s Cajun Kitchen can apply this technology for branding and marketing purposes.
Create Profile and Fun Page
Although the average Facebook user uses the social network for personal communications, I believe that companies can use Facebook for marketing and making their brands known to the target customers. I would suggest that Abe’s Cajun Kitchen uses its real name as it is already doing. However, Abe’s Cajun Kitchen should by all means avoid opening personal accounts and Facebook groups since they do not support Facebook applications or Facebook markup language (Bradley, 2011). With at least twenty five fans on the site, Abe’s Cajun Kitchen may consider setting up a user name so that people can easily access the eatery’s plug in URL.
Communicating Daily Specials
The daily specials are preceded by customizing the profile page. This entails having an attractive profile picture that is automatically associated with the eatery (Smith &Treadway, 2010). On this page, Abe’s Cajun Kitchen fill out relevant information on the business, the location, special feature of the eatery and any other information that is important for the satisfaction of the clients. This is the first interaction with the customer and potential partners when they open the fan page of the restaurant (Bradley, 2011). It gives the first impression that a client gets about the business hence must be well thought out and evaluated in terms of quality, the target clients, the costs of food and hygiene. Directions to the premises alone are not enough, the page should have wording that is aimed at enticing the customer into the restaurant; pictures speak volumes and hence must portray how the restaurant would want to be viewed by the world outside.
Appropriate Use of Pictures
Although Abe’s Cajun Kitchen may put the daily specials on their menus, a first time customer may not be aware of any such offers. The restaurant must hence ensure that it colorfully lays the days offer in the status update panel (Smith &Treadway, 2010). This way anyone visiting the page knows what is on discount and what is on offer on that particular day. Pictures speak volumes, so I insist that the picture of the foods on offer should be appetizing. The arrangement should also attract the potential buyer of the food to want to eat. In essence, it should increase the appetite to eat or perhaps just taste the foods that are provided. With a belief in customer satisfaction, the aim is that at least the higher percentage of clients should appreciate the authentic Abe’s Cajun Kitchen taste and flavor, one that is only original to this restaurant. Abe’s Cajun Kitchen believes in appealing the eyes as well as the taste buds, a marketing strategy that does work in the competitive food industry (Bradley, 2011).
Customer Response and Appropriate Advertisement of Foods in Season
Given that Abe’s Cajun Kitchen is not the only restaurant in the Clear Lake Community and the surrounding Houston areas, there is need to keep a competitive edge above other food stores in the area. This provides a customer response avenue so that customers have up to date information on the goings on of the restaurant (Bradley, 2011). This may imply that the restaurant uses the fun page to advertise which foods are available during a given season.
There are foods that are available seasonally, the restaurant can keep its marketing strategy and public relations clear by advertising the seasonal foods that will be available on the menu (Smith &Treadway, 2010). In addition, such updates should remain clear on the entry dates of such products and if there are any incentives that accrue to individuals who are the first to buy the product or have bought the same product in large amounts at one go on the initial day of entry. This will make the customers not only prepare their appetites for the food but also anticipate the joys of the day before it comes (Bradley, 2011). This is because the suspense period allows the customer to draw mental pictures of what to expect.
The Use of the “Like” Feature and Collaboration with Other Social Networks
Facebook have recently changed their properties from fan pages to the “like” feature (Smith &Treadway, 2010). This hence means that there are provisions for people to like the Abe’s Cajun Kitchen page without necessarily becoming fans of the product. The restaurant can hence enhance its marketing strategy by providing incentives for the customers who like the Facebook page. According to Bradley (2011), this can be in the form of discounts when they do buy the products or gifts. This way, the customer is motivated to inquire more about the restaurant and the services that they offer. The restaurant may promote the existence of the Facebook page to the customers by using social plug in widgets in collaboration with the restaurant website.
Apart from making use of the like feature in Facebook, the restaurant can make special use of its e-mail and blog spot by posting announcements that are linked to the Facebook page. In addition, the restaurant may cross link with other social networks so as to promote the existence of the Facebook page to new users (Smith &Treadway, 2010). This also allows the restaurant to be in a position to answer questions and concerns of clients that have been posted in other social networks. Additionally, the technology allows the restaurant to cross post information to the clients. According to Bradley (2010), the restaurant may also consider purchasing Facebook ad that that further enables it to promote the existence of the Facebook page and by far increase sales and build a brand owing to the number of people that access Facebook and other social networks on a daily basis.
In using the social networks in marketing and branding, the restaurant should be sure to build a working and effective public relations systems (Smith &Treadway, 2010). Collaborating with other social networks is a means of reaching the masses in an effective way. However, the connection between the customers and the restaurant is only built through effective two way communication which demands that the customers get a response(s) for their questions the soonest possible.
Achievements, Setbacks, Problems and Workarounds
The use of vanity URLs have been effective in making the website of the Abe’s Cajun Kitchen available to most users. Additionally, it has been effective in reaching a greater cache of clients (Bradley, 2011). It is also cost effective in passing information quickly to a large group of people. However, the feedback system has not been effective and theft of intellectual property on the Facebook pages has been hard to control. This being a social network and us having the main aim of reaching our clients the best way possible has sometimes raised ethical dilemmas in practice (Smith &Treadway, 2010). There is hence a need for appropriate laws that guard intellectual property on the social networks.
Creating a profile and/or homepage is important in letting people know of the presence of the restaurant giving specific information that the client would want to know on the first day of visiting the page. It gives a mental picture of what services to expect and the location of the restaurant. Continuous communication of the daily specials on the Facebook wall of the restaurant further informs the customer of daily activities and offers of the restaurant (Smith &Treadway, 2010). Pictures speak volumes hence the quality of pictures that are posted on the wall should be attractive and appetizing. Additionally, the main aim of being in business is to make profits by making customer satisfaction the first priority. Bradley (2011) stated that this would involve advertising foods in season and featuring the like properties of Facebook to give an overview of online customer satisfaction. Blog spots are important in knowing customer expectations and satisfaction and may be used in conjunction with other social networks so that one Facebook post can reach a multitude of people.
From my research on the use of Facebook in marketing and branding, I have come to the conclusion that branding needs a period of time. This needs reliability of the restaurant and appropriate use of technology at the desired time. Facebook is a real marketing strategy, with a potential of reaching a multitude of people over a short period of time. Other media would not have the propensity to reach the masses like Facebook does in marketing. I had enough time and resources to do this research. The information of success stories in using social networks in marketing was encouraging and gave the hope that there is more to be tapped in e-marketing through the use of Facebook.
With the changing market trends and shifts in branding and market strategies in the business arena, there is more to be expected as far as using social media to promote business is concerned. Most companies are moving into acquiring vanity URLs from Facebook to promote their businesses. I recommend that future students of this topic consider studying the frequency of the use of vanity URLs and their overall impacts on business performance. Studies into marketing and branding trends and their applicability in the contemporary settings would be a good topic to study and discuss.