Social Media Increases Success of Local Restaurants

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It started as something people used only for personal reasons.
Now, social media is being used by potential employees and the businesses that hire them.

Local restaurants in the Brazos Valley are also embracing popular sites like Twitter and Facebook, offering exclusive deals for their online friends because it's proving to be very good for business.

Mary Beckman and her husband Wade own and operate the Shipwreck Grill in Bryan.
Their customers "go to work" for them in a sense, when they "check-in" on facebook or post reviews of their favorite dishes.

"They're constantly connected and plugged in and so they're constantly seeing what you've got going on," Beckman said.

So they figure, why not reward customers by offering special deals and discounts where everyone hangs out these

Beckman said, "People go, saw your facebook, that's why I'm here, saw this, that's why I'm here and it's just fun to see your restaurant full and people excited."

Wednesdays used to be Shipwreck's slowest day of the week, but now, thanks to specials like this, customers are getting excited and they're filling the seats.

Beckman said, "We've almost doubled our sales on Wednesdays, I mean, it's crazy."

Jared Blair, a patron, said, "I come back at least once every time I'm in town."

Blair loves eating here, but says he can't always convince his girlfriend to make a pit-stop when they're in town.

"I want to go to Shipwreck and she agrees reluctantly, sometimes, but if I have coupons, that's just an extra little oomph on my side," added Blair.

By using Social Media as a marketing tool, restaurants like Shipwreck can reach out to customers wherever they are--even if they're out of town, like Jared.

Blair said, "Knowing that they have coupons now, I'll be able to hit it up more often and eat less Ramen."

Beckman added, "I think it's just worth the time and effort to put your business in the place where everyone's looking."

Social media has become such an integral part of their success that they're considering creating a full time position for a media marketing manager.

Another local eatery seeing success with the use of social media is Blue Baker.
Their owner says they've also seen a spike in business since creating a facebook page and offering special promotions to their cyber-friends.
They have recruited a social media marketing manager to join the company.