What Radio Brands Can Learn From … Buffalo Wild Wings

“B-Dubs,” as I’ve heard friends call it, has one of the top 50 branded Facebook pages.  They’re headed for 5 million fans, focusing on two things:

  • Wings, and
  • Sports.

If you’ve been to Buffalo Wild Wings, this’ll make sense to you.  BWW is a sports bar that made its reputation around Buffalo-style chicken wings.  This is roughly similar to when a radio station promotes itself by talking about image and usage.  Image is about who you are as a brand; usage is the best way to use your product.

For your station, image might be “best variety from the 90s to today.”  Usage could be, “listen all day at work.”  For BWW, you could say image is “wings.”  Usage is “sports.”

So, head to BWW’s Facebook page.  Until you click “Like,” the page you automatically land on is their “Flavor Fanatics” page.  That page is basically a list of their BBQ sauces, with a chance to “Like” the ones you favor.  Then, when you “Like” the page, it takes you to their wall (their main Facebook page).

It’s interesting that their wall has more posts from their fans than from Buffalo Wild Wings.  I hope they’re responding to all those questions and comments they’re getting, because that’s one of the new expectations of social media.  When someone asks you something, they expect an answer.  You disappoint them if you don’t get back to them.

Almost all BWW’s posts on Facebook have to do with wings or sauces (image), or sports (usage).  First example:

Here are two pretty typical posts about their food … again, specifically, wings and sauces.  They’re not doing much to drive people to come in and buy food; it’s more about suggestion and interaction and engagement.  From that, I’m sure, they’re hoping to make you hungry enough to come in and buy a dozen or two wings.  Here, they’ve used two pretty simple methods to build engagement on their Facebook page.  In one, they ask a fill-in-the-blank(s) question.  In the other, you vote for your favorite style of wings.

If you are a passionate follower of chicken wings and sports, I guarantee that you have an opinion on the above questions, and probably the ones below, too.  This doesn’t do much to introduce the product to anyone … but that’s OK.  Remember, social media is about talking to your hardcore fans.  It’s not about talking to newbies or samplers.

If wings are their product, viewing sports on TV is how they built their version of listening occasions.  There’s not a lot of talk about coming back to try some new sort of sauce; it’s about coming back to watch another game.  They’ve even seen that an NFL strike is a threat to their business, and have produced this video on YouTube.

You can see that their social media approach to sports is not much different from their approach to wings.  The two big take-aways for radio from BWW are:

  1. Stay focused on what people use you for (branding counts); and
  2. How you communicate is as important as what you communicate.

Notice they’re posting very brief updates.  Many are only one short sentence!  A long post is three sentences long, all of which are necessary to make their point.  Are you that economical with words in your social media?  Or are you still tweeting your promo liners?

Every week, we focus on a different major online player to see what radio can learn from them.  If you’d like to talk confidentially, one-on-one, about your situation, gimme a call or shoot me an email.  Start by clicking my name to the right, below.

Chris Miller

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One comment

  1. radiosocialmedia

    One extra thought: What about those stations that have a ton of cume (total number of listeners) … but a low share of audience? They’re not getting enough listening occasions.

    Could it be that they have “Wings” … but they don’t have “Sports?”

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