Shake Shack is the little burger stand that made it big. As founder Danny Meyer said in a recent Fast Company feature, the whole thing grew out of a hot dog cart accompanying an art installation in Madison Square Park. Even when it shifted to a permanent kiosk there in 2004, there was no suggestion that it would be more than a one-off.
The formula is so simple it’s easy to forget that at the time, no one was even coming close to getting it right, at least not on a large scale. Classic wax-paper-and-potato-roll hamburgers made from top-quality beef; hot dogs, split and griddled; crinkle cut fries; dense, delicious frozen custard and shakes; and great service.
That menu has made the company a frank success. They had a successful IPO in January of this year. They have more than 70 restaurants across the world, with plans to increase that number significantly.
And they’ve done it all with very little traditional marketing. They’ve relied on word of mouth, spent time on scouting great locations that are integrated with neighborhoods, and focused on customer experience and satisfaction rather than major media campaigns.
Social media, however, is a major focus for the company. In fact, the strength (and cost-effectiveness) of their social media efforts got a shout out from Goldman Sachs in their post-IPO report on the company.
We like seeing people do awesome things on social media, more so if it involves burgers, so we follow Shake Shack closely on social. We recently got a chance to talk with Allison Stadd, the company’s Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, who’s responsible for Shake Shack’s stellar social presence, about some of the company’s aims for its social media channels.
Bridging the IRL-Social gap
A good customer experience is critical to Shake Shack’s brand, and that goes for how Shake Shack employees interact with customers both in-person and on social media. Their aim is to have consistency between experiences with the Shack no matter where they happen.
Allison says, “The experience you have connecting with Shake Shack on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Periscope, Snapchat or any other social channel should ideally give you the same feeling you get when you’re interacting with a Shack team member at the Shack itself.”
The in-person / online link extends to customers letting Shake Shack know about their experience, via “a survey link on receipts that directs guests online to let us know how their experience was.”
They’ve also created a “live-GIF installation at our Vegas location that lets guests snap GIFs of themselves which get streamed to the Vegas Shack page on our website.“