Jimmy’Z Kitchen: How to get super fans, not just likes.
Jimmy’Z Kitchen opened a 16-seat counter service restaurant in South Beach back a few years ago. In an area of high concept and investor-backed places, Jimmy’Z ‘s is known for low key but “foodie quality food”.
Things really started growing when Chef Jimmy’z Carey introduced Mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish as a weekly special. Jimmy likes to say that he built the following and interest in a new restaurant in Wynwood Miami “one Mofongo at a time”. Jimmy’Z Wynwood Miami was a big leap for Jimmy, with 70 seats in the heart of Wynwood, a historically Puerto Rican neighborhood that’s been invaded by galleries and become trendy.
Before Wynwood, Jimmy had a personal fan page but hadn’t had the time to actively use social media to grow his business. To gear-up for Wynwood, Jimmy needed to tap into social media, and fast. He was lucky that one of his school friends is Natascha Otero @NataschaOS, a veteran PR pro who really gets social media and community. I caught up with Natasha to talk about her approach for Jimmy’Z Kitchen, how she created an engaged community organically using no ads, no apps, all high touch.
Here are some real gems from her approach that I think are very relevant for restaurant owners, but could also work for most businesses.
Used a professional Chef Jimmy’z Carey personal page in order to friend and connect with fans on Facebook. Invited Jimmy’s personal friends and proactively reached out to users who show interest in Jimmy (Foursquare check-ins, Yelp reviewers, restaurant guests).
Created a brand page JimmyZWynwood to reach a wider audience and engage fans regularly.
Why it works? : The personal professional page was critical for inviting potential fans to the brand page.
#2 Tip: Joining the conversation on Twitter: Created a #Mofongo cure theme to actively engage users already talking about mofongo via @JimmyZWynwood. Natasha focused in on Mofongo as it’s really tied to Puerto Rican culture, and a unique dish that folks are passionate about.
Why it works? : Folks are already talking #Mofongo so she could join the conversation in a fun and personable way. And who doesn’t need a #Mofongo cure!
#3 Tip: Not taking it personally on Yelp: Responds to every review on Yelp good or bad. If a review is bad, they actively work to fix the issue. They often invite negative reviewers back for another try.
Why it works? : Users are taking the time to review your business, and responding helps build cred that you are on top of the customer experience.
#4 Tip: Connect with your FourSquare fans: Proactively find folks that check-in to the restaurant to follow on Twitter and friend.
Why it works? : These users have shown interest in your brand, and are good targets to convert to active fans.
#5 Tip: Get social in real life too via events: Jimmy’Z host NOCHE de BOMBA y PLENA! events to give back to their community. The last event drew 400 guests for a night of bongos, great food and dancing. It was a great opportunity to reach out to local Puerto Rican communities and create lots of buzz for the restaurant.
Why it works? : Use your niche to reach out to potential fans in real life that will be passionate about your brand. Adds a lot of personality, and helps your brand to stand for a good time.
And you can’t buy the kind of buzz you get from 400 people having a really good time.
#6 Tip: Get active with your local social media community: Jimmy’Z Kitchen participated in the Foursquare day buy offering a free craft beer. They regularly attend and support social media events like Social Media Day put on by Mashable.
Why it works? : These are your active participants. They comment, like, tweet and check-in all day long. So they have reach and influence. For example I got the lead for this case study from @vicequeenmaria who knew about Jimmy’Z Kitchen from local social media events.
I think Jimmy’Z Kitchen’s social strategy really stands out for it’s focus on building engaged fans, and doing it organically.
And it’s a good approach because as summed up by the Miami New Times: “This is the sort of place you can hardly wait to recommend to friends.”
Hope you’ve learned something, and make sure to try some Mofongo at Jimmy’Z Kitchen if you are ever in Miami.
It’s good for the soul food.
What do you think it takes to get a super fan?