Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tumblr full of New Orleans

While I am away from the office this week to explore pizza in New Orleans, I wanted to share just a few social media tips I have learned while down here.

Amici Ristorante is the new coal-fire pizza in town. 
In New Orleans, most restaurant traffic is word of mouth but the smart pizzerias realize that all social media is really, is amplified word of mouth.

We ate at quite a few good pizzerias in town, all under four years old and all very busy with repeat business. One pizzeria, Pizza Delicious, used flyers and social media for their pop-up business on Sundays in town. They gathered a cult following and because of their success have opened a full-time brick and mortar. More on them soon as the owners also used Kickstarter to purchase their pizza oven and with very little capital made quite the successful pizzeria in just a little over a year and a half.

Every pizzeria we visited had a presence on social media. Every one. As we interviewed each owner or manager or chef, they all said that there was not even a question to be on Facebook, and some on Twitter and Instagram, because it is a free and easy way to connect with customers and promote yourself. Why wouldn't you be on it? (This is what I ask every day when I come across a pizzeria still without a presence online).

The majority of the pizzerias we talked to focus on quality of the food and highlight what they do on social media. Many also work with local concierges to help draw in the tourist market which makes up about 20-40% of their businesses on average. But the majority also spend very little time or money on traditional advertising, focusing instead on the customer experience.

We will be examining the New Orleans New Pizza Experience soon in PMQ Pizza Magazine. Stay tuned!

Finally, Tumblr can have a big impact on the pizza world thanks to the band Pizza Underground. The group had a show down here in New Orleans and while we talked most about love of pizza, they also discussed how their Tumblr page became active before they were even known. Once a few people heard about Pizza Underground, the Velvet Underground cover band that changes up the lyrics to be about pizza, the fan art began pouring in. Today, the band is well known and is on a national tour, soon to head out for a tour in England, so the fan art is becoming a pretty regular occurrence. Check out their art page on Tumblr and read more about the band in an in upcoming issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine.