Building a brand and creating a culture via social media
It All Started With A Pop Up Stand
My first visit to Playa Bowls was in September of 2016 with my father. We met up at the Belmar location to grab a quick lunch together. My dad could not stop gushing about the uniqueness of their acai bowls as I glazed over a wide array of menu options. Playa Bowls catered to a niche in the market for acai products by offering consumers a product uncommon to the Jersey Shore. The support and love of the company has helped the business grow and extend into 21 operating locations throughout New Jersey and New York with even more locations coming soon.
The BelMarketing team recently conducted an interview with Rob and Abby, Owners of Playa Bowls. The company’s primary account on Instagram has roughly 45k followers in addition to each store location having their own pages across social media outlets.
The Playa team’s social media efforts help to keep followers updated on event happenings. Abby says, “Social media has impacted our business tremendously. It has helped us reach so many people.” Rob continued by stating how social media allows Playa Bowls to reach a diverse amount of people.
Their customer-centric approach to social media offers a positive customer experience before and after a sale. Abby’s outline for the company’s social media marketing strategy includes: bringing in more customers, growing the brand, showcasing new products, and building a culture.
Promoting A Creative Brand
As stated on their website, the Playa Bowls team “thrives on bringing a happy vibe with a serious quality offering.” Abby described to us how they keep the culture alive in their brand image on social media by posting photos of their travels, sponsors, and of the team surfing. Rob told us how social media has been the company’s number one marketing channel. The Playa team engages with followers on social media on a daily basis. Each store location has it’s own social media accounts that are run by the store manager. Rob and Abby closely monitor the pages to ensure the quality of the content being posted. Any issues or concerns are discussed with the manager at hand and if needed, a follow-up post might be created that better aligns with the brand image.
Scan through any of Playa Bowls’ Instagram pages and you will find plenty mouthwatering photos of their bowls. Inspiration for new bowl items can come from anywhere. Abby and Rob enjoy traveling. Ideas for some of their bowls are derived from the places they visit.
Their colorful bowls make for eye-catching content on social media. Influence of the team’s social media postings stems from the urge to remain current and up-to-date whilst remaining aware of one’s surroundings.
The Playa Bowls website has a merchandise section that allows supporters to purchase Playa swag like T-shirts and iPhone cases. Aside from their travels, Abby and Rob are always scanning through Instagram which sometimes helps to spark ideas for new products.
When asked about their biggest social media failure, Rob provided us with the raw honesty about Playa Bowls hitting a plateau with followers on their Instagram at the 45k mark. Every follow they have made has been acquired organically. Rob and Abby have never paid for a single follower or made use of any type of software to increase their follow rate. They started questioning their social media tactics and began researching marketers at one point.
Ultimately, they retreated to their old ways of posting content every day. They have been trying to place more people on their Instagram through their new employee spotlight. Overall, the team is working to make things fun again.
Building A Following
Abby advises other local business trying to build up their social media following to post every single day. She notes that posting takes a lot of time and effort. Abby also encourages that one should be strategic about the times they post.
Rob further explains how Instagram offers analytics that allows businesses to view the time of day that customers are most active on their page. He recommends that local businesses study social media and follower trends specific to their industry. Select a time frame to study the market and analyze trends. Rob suggests studying social media for roughly two weeks before implementing a new strategy.
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