Since 2011, the Alliance has been hard at work changing the story of Pioneer Square with a social media marketing strategy. Social media is the new “word of mouth” – our connected digital lives make it easier than ever to share opinions on everything from news to products to places. Viral photos and tweets can make or break public perception in a day, so it’s important to share all the positive things happening in the neighborhood online.
The Alliance is active on two social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter. If you are already on one platform or the other, use the following tips to help us get your business out into the web-o-sphere:
For restaurants in Pioneer Square, the simplest way to get exposure on social media (and capturing top of mind awareness) is by announcing your daily special with the #PSQlunch hashtag. If you’re on Twitter, you can start doing this for the next lunch rush. Include the hashtag in a post yourself, or you can ask to be included in our daily lunch retweet list, which we go through every weekday around 11 am. Please note that if we retweet and include the #PSQlunch hashtag for you, we may need to edit your announcement so that it fits 140 characters.
Here is an example of Central Saloon tweeting their lunch special of the day with the #PSQlunch hashtag:
Friday at lunch special: Grilled chicken club on sourdough w/fries! $6.95 #PSQlunch
— The Central Saloon (@CentralSaloonWA) March 7, 2014
This is us retweeting Fuel Sports Bar’s daily lunch special through our @pioneersquare Twitter handle. In this case we added “RT” (for “retweet”) and #PSQlunch for them:
2. Media Attention
If you have a restaurant that is lucky enough to have some local media buzz, make sure we see it! Keep in contact with us and email us a link, or just mention/tag Pioneer Square on your Facebook or Twitter post. On Twitter, you can integrate “@pioneersquare” into the message of your post. If it’s retweetable (see number 5), we’ll definitely retweet it. Otherwise we’ll save it for later.
Here’s the Puget Sound Business Journal tweeting an article about Good Bar. We found it right away since they mentioned us using our Twitter handle, @pioneersquare:
On Facebook, you can also use the @ symbol to tag us – start typing “@Pioneer Square Seattle” and click on us when it appears in the drop down menu. You may need to “like” our page before this shows up for you.
3. Not All About You
Retail shops are a bit trickier to promote. Unlike the food scene, excitement is a little more difficult to conjure up for retail (and services). It helps to observe the most important rule in social media marketing: It’s not all about you!
An oft-repeated tenet of social media marketing is the 80/20 rule. Of everything you share on social media, 80% of your posts should be about something relevant yet bigger than yourself. The last 20% of what you share online can be directly advertising your business. There are exceptions, but to make your social media outreach work make sure it’s balanced – when your audience receives constant social media messages asking them to buy something, it comes off as self-serving. Try posting messages related to holidays, big events, Seattle, and Pioneer Square.
Every month we promote gallery shows by connecting them to the First Thursday art walk, which started in Pioneer Square and has taken on a life of its own. If you are participating in the First Thursday art walk, make sure we have you on our radar and that we can share images and details for your show easily:
4. Brand Universe
So what should 80% of your social media posts look like? Define a topic relevant to your brand. This topic is now a part of your brand universe. You can create blog posts, images, or videos related to this topic and share it with your followers. Or you can seek out content peers have already shared, and retweet or re-share. As long as it is relevant, aesthetically pleasing, and interesting your fans will like it. And since they’ve connected you to that article or picture you shared, they will keep your business in mind for future reference.
Cats are part of Pioneer Pet’s brand universe, so they regularly post pictures of their two adorable shop cats on Facebook:
5. Be Retweetable/Shareable
But wait, there’s more! In order for us to retweet or share your content, it has to be relevant for followers of our Pioneer Square Facebook and Twitter feeds. The best way to do this is to mention or tag us (see number 2) and connect the story about being part of Pioneer Square. Just being in the neighborhood shows that you care about being part of history, revitalization, and Seattle. Tell a story about being in the ‘hood. We love those stories! And so do our audiences.
Here’s Washington Bikes on Twitter, promoting an item in their gift shop. Although part of the message is to “buy now”, they made it easy for us to retweet by connecting themselves to Pioneer Square. (And they also included a picture, and mentioned us using @pioneersquare!)
— Washington Bikes (@WAbikes) January 27, 2014
If you’re in the neighborhood and just getting started with social media, hopefully these tips will get you oriented. Just know that the Alliance is online and is a resource for you to utilize. See you in social media land! If you have any questions or if you want to be on our radar for future promotions, email hien[at]pioneersquare.org.
Alliance for Pioneer Square