Social media marketing does several things that traditional marketing can't:
- Interact in real time
- Have a personality
Wow Bao is a relatively unique concept. At least, I'm not aware of a food place serving up similar eats. The food itself is different, kinda quirky, and fun. Even the name is lively and bright. Wow Bao continues that theme in their social media channels.
Their first hit is the character of "BaoMouth"; a little red ball with arms and a face, mid a "happy yell". If this thing were to come to life in front of me, I imagine it would be literally bouncing off the walls. The Twitter feed matches that energy. It is evident when scrolling through BaoMouth's feed that there is no auto-anything. It's customer service, product promotion, and sometimes, just plain fun:
But it's not just talk. Wow Bao knows that followers appreciate a little incentive for being followers besides semi-snarky banter. From "Secret word Wednesdays" to free birthday baos, the business creates loyalty by both rewarding followers, as well as bringing them into the restaurant itself.
BaoMouth understands that social media is about giving your business personality, invoking a feeling, and having a real-time channel where all customers are heard and appreciated.
I hate to even say my thumb is down for this one...maybe it's just a little sideways; while BaoMouth definitely gets the concept of interaction, I would love to see more call for their (generally enthusiastic) fans to share their experiences at Wow Bao. Retweet pictures restaurant patrons send; take a poll of 'Chicago's favorite bao"; ask what kind of bao they'd like to see next. Wow Bao could continue successfully without these, but I personally would love to see the restaurant take advantage of the fact they do have such an exuberant following.
I have never actually had a Bao. But I feel like I'm qualified to critique because as a person who has never set foot in a Wow Bao, I know what they do and where I can find them just based on my followers raving about them.
I see at least 3 or 4 check-ins or tweets about baos daily. Either someone is hungry for them, getting them, bragging that they have them, or complaining they don't have them. The social media presence of this niche supplier is great. I also love the handle, @BaoMouth totally cute.
The only recommendation I would make it to have more content about their other menu items. A lot of emphasis is put on the Baos, but they have other dishes as well. Potstickers, customized bowls, salads and even homemade ginger ale!
The Verdict #### 3/4
We give BaoMouth, the voice of Wow Bao, 4 & 3/4 hashtags (we don't throw out the 5-ers willy-nilly) for carving out its own unique voice in the social media world, acting as both promotion and customer service, and not being afraid to have fun!
Jen Healy is a Global Social Media Specialist for a really big international (go figure) company on the Northside of Chicago. Her claim to social media fame involves a stint as the social media intern for the RedEye, America's Test Kitchen, the title 2011 Downtown Dash Champion and “Top 10 World's Coolest Interns.” (Yes, it's real, and it's spectacular.)
Katie Holland is a Social Media Supervisor for a really big international (different from Jen's) company out in the west suburbs of Chicago. Her claim to social media fame involves a mention in the bestseller Groundswell for a Twitter interaction in 2010, and serving as co-chair of the Social Customer Care subcommittee for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. She is also featured in Rebecca Black's video for Friday. (Okay, not really)