Goldsmith Tavern, a pub in New Cross has received a great deal of online coverage over the last week or so. The reason being is that this unremarkable pub has quite a remarkable operation going on upstairs. Tuesday to Saturday it plays host to Yianni Papoutsis and his 10 strong team who serve the best burgers in London – and it’s the WOM story involving Yianni, the Meat Wagon and #MEATEASY that I want to tell you about.
The Meat Wagon first hit our streets in 2009 as the stainless steel vehicle toured south east London serving up top quality burgers and a good time. The wagon’s owner and driver, Yianni would pitch up in random places, such as the middle of an industrial estate in Peckham, before using Twitter to let people know the Meat Wagon’s location. This type of guerrilla dinning experience really took off and people began Tweeting positive reviews and comments about the Meat Wagon’s tasty burgers.
It became clear that Yianni was onto something special as the wagon grew a legion of foodie fans across London. But in December 2010 disaster struck. The Meat Wagon was stolen. Even the reward of ‘free burgers for burgers for life’ has yet to solve this crime. Which brings us back to the Goldsmith Tavern where, Yianni and his team are working all hours of the day to try and raise enough money for a new Meat Wagon. The chop-up restaurant is packed out every night as fans mobilise via the Facebook event function to send out invites and use the #MEATEASY to perpetuate the Meat Wagon myth.
Yianni hit upon the magic formula of a great product, exclusivity and a fantastic experience. The Meat Wagon uses social media to communicate these three elements and generates a tremendous amount of positive WOM. Interestingly, the Meat Wagon has decided to use a blog over a website which I think is a shrewd move. A blog allows a company to tell its story and keeps fans returning with new content. In addition, blogs are easy to manage, have great SEO and enable fans to take part in the conversation. Whereas, websites are static and normally used to describe products in detail, but with the Meat Wagon there is no need. Everyone knows what a burger is.
Here’s my take of how the Meat Wagon uses social media:
- Drive sales by announcing the Meat Wagon’s location
- Generate positive WOM by encouraging fans to use #MEATEASY
- Listen to feedback from customers to improve products
- Enable the Meat Wagon to tell its story
- Keep fans up to date with latest news and allow them to comment
- Increase online search visibility for the Meat Wagon
- Build an online community of burger fans
- Speak directly to customers
- Utilise the events feature to invite fans to the Goldsmiths Tavern
It’s undoubtedly a nice story and whilst Yianni describes himself as a ‘professional amateur’, he masterfully uses social media to tell it to a growing number of loyal of fans. The Meat Wagon is a great social media case study for any SME out there.