Andrew Puglia, sales and marketing manager of Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Miami Beach, warmly chuckled when I mentioned how surprised I was that there wasn’t an empty seat in the place at 3 in the afternoon. Usually, restaurants have a lull between lunch and dinner. But not Yardbird. Yardbird is always busy, and there are tons of good reasons for that, but according to Andrew, the exposure social media has provided his restaurant is one of the most crucial.
You mentioned that Yardbird is very active on social media. What platforms are you using?
We have pages on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but we see the most activity on our Instagram, by far. The Instagram Stories have been a great opportunity to share daily content with our guests, without over-saturating their feeds.
Who’s responsible for posting?
That’s really a team effort, all the way from the back offices to the front-of-house staff. We all take great pride in everything Yardbird posts online, because at the end of the day it’s a public representation of who we are. Whether it’s concept, design, or the end product, we make sure that the shots always entice the customer.
Having the most mouth-watering images is always a must, along with timing. The right posts at the right time entice our target audience to stop in. Whether it’s for a family brunch, business lunch, happy hour, romantic dinner, or special occasion, we really want our guests to be thinking about us even when they’re not here. That’s how we keep em’ coming!
I agree with you, it’s extremely important to have high quality content online. But that can be time-consuming!
It is time consuming, for sure. Our team is great, and we use social media management software like Buffer to organize a schedule, and post on multiple platforms. We also make sure to always have a surplus of content so we’re not constantly trying to create content.
Are you using paid ads on social media?
We use geo-fencing periodically for special events, or when we open a new location. It’s proven to be an extremely effective way to get the word out quickly, especially with openings in new cities.
Do you ever run promotions for your guests to produce some of their own content about you?
Yes, we’ve offered incentives for guests to post about us in the past, but it’s always been just to do something nice for our guests.
We have continually found that the best way to get people to engage with Yardbird on social media is by making our restaurant a memorable, photogenic experience. By doing that every single day, we see guests are eager to share our experience without any incentive!
We also see a lot of restaurants inviting social media influencers to eat in exchange for posting about their experience online. Do you currently use influencers to promote your brand?
We do host influencers periodically throughout the year. Their value is unique because their audience is very receptive. One statistic I read said that millennials are 27% more likely to make a purchase based on a non-celebrity influencer recommendation, than a celebrity endorsement. And I believe part of that is because they really take pride in what they post. We love investing in influencers who are as excited about posting the best content as we are about southern cooking.
Often, influencers will approach us, and we spend time checking to make sure they’re someone we want to promote our brand. Because as powerful as influencer promotions are, it’s extremely important to make sure they’re a right fit for our brand. I look for what platforms they use, the size of their outreach, and the way they engage with their followers.
– – –
For many, Yardbird is considered “A house of worship to farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, culture and hospitality.” This place is so down-home southern that their (surprisingly comfortable!) stools are actual tractor seats. Swing on by!
Yardbird Miami Beach
For other worldwide locations, check out their website.