We are happy to announce the launch of two contests today: WMBF’s Best of the Grand Strand and Cleveland’s FOX 8 HOT LIST. Last year, the Myrtle Beach WMBF’s Best of the Grand Strand contest almost tripled the number of votes compared to the previous year. We are excited to see how the 2011 contest heats up and so far we are off to a great start!
Cleveland’s FOX 8 HOT LIST garnered over 140,000 votes last year. In 2010, the category with the largest number of votes was Pizza, with over 6,000 votes! Clevelanders must really love their pizza! Will Antonio’s Pizza be able to keep their first place win? If so, it would make it their fourth consecutive win. Guess we will have to wait and see!
Voting started today, and we are excited to hear from the Cleveland and Myrtle Beach locals. Can’t wait to find out who the BEST of 2011 are!
It’s no secret that timing is everything. Anna’s Taqueria, one of Boston’s most beloved burrito eateries, explains how it juggles promotions, tweets and community outreach to maintain and grow its business.
Insight #1: Establish goals and stick to your vision.
Growing up in San Francisco, Mike Kamio developed an early taste for delicious global cuisine, especially the authentic Mexican taquerias in the Bay Area’s Mission District. When Mike opened his first Anna’s Taqueria in Brookline in 1995, he carried with him his childhood memories of what a high-quality, customer service-oriented Mexican joint should be. Fifteen years later, Anna’s Taqueria boasts six Boston-area locations and has made itself a local staple through community outreach initiatives and strategic social media campaigns.
“The ingredients to Anna’s success are simple: think long term, be a part of the community and keep the business focused,” advised Mike Kamio.
Insight #2: Tweet your own horn!
One of the ways Anna’s Taqueria keeps itself in the community spotlight is by practicing consistent social media marketing. Fairly new to the social media scene, the business just started to push for Facebook and Twitter followers before the 2010 launch of CityVoter’s Boston A-List competition. During the competition, Anna’s Taqueria doubled its Facebook fans, while its Twitter following quadrupled.
“We update our Twitter page several times a day and our Facebook several times a week. We post on company or industry news, media coverage, specials, menu changes and of course, promotions for voter-driven contests like The Boston A-List,” said Mike. “We also actively communicate with followers who Tweet at us, expressing our gratitude for their support. Twitter and Facebook have become invaluable to us; they are great platforms for answering questions, addressing concerns and responding to feedback, whether negative or positive.”
Insight #3: Don’t be afraid to compete.
Anna’s Taqueria participates in many local “best of” type competitions because the contests provide a wonderful opportunity for the business to reach out to its customers and engage with them. Not to mention, it’s a guaranteed way to keep Anna’s top of mind for burrito lovers!
Insight #4: Create sustainable promotional and marketing campaigns.
“We keep our supporters engaged, which is why we’re able to increase our fan base. While we didn’t offer any specific promotions during The Boston A-List competition, we do like to come up with new and creative ways to connect with our customers. Anna’s is in the middle of a year-long campaign that celebrates our 15 years in business. On the 15th of every month we offer free burritos at all six Anna’s locations, making sure to Tweet and Facebook about this every month,” said Mike. “We also offered a catered burrito party for 50 people to the person who sent in the best Anna’s memory or experience,” he added.
Insight #5: Respond to your customers’ enthusiasm; give back.
Anna’s Taqueria has also found a unique way to engage with the local community by becoming the sponsor of the “Arlington Burritos,” a local teen soccer team that wanted to name their squad after their favorite nosh spot. After each game, the gang congregates at the nearest Anna’s, sporting their red jerseys with the iconic Anna’s Taqueria logo, to chow-down on custom-made burritos and tacos.
“In 15 years, Anna’s has amassed an amazing and dedicated following. We feed off the enthusiasm of our customers and community organizations, both of which have made the Anna’s experience what it is today,” said Mike.
Insight #6: Don’t forget the power of human interaction.
While Anna’s Taqueria has recently made a big push with its Twitter and Facebook campaigns, it also makes sure to connect with its customers face-to-face, whether it be in the burrito assembly line or on the soccer field because, according to Mike, at the end of the day, “A restaurant is part of the community.”