So, this week’s ThursdayThought isn’t with anybody else – it is just my thoughts for this week. The reason for this is that life has been a little crazy at the moment – everything seems to happen all at once! More interesting #ThursdayThought interviews are on their way, just enjoy a few week’s of my thoughts again whilst I get everything back to normal.
This week I have been thinking about how businesses use social media effectively or in different ways. This immediately led me to think of the White Moose Cafe.
You may not recognise the name, but you are likely to have heard of it. The White Moose Cafe was just like any ordinary cafe until August 2015 when one customer started the cafe off into a chain of events which brought it into the limelight. The cafe literally went viral.
Remember seeing something on social media about the cafe who ‘don’t accept Vegans’ or who ‘want a doctors note for anyone with coeliac disease’ ??
This is that cafe.
But why am I going on about this cafe? What on earth does it have to do with PR? It is a good question because really, it is just a small cafe in a hotel in Dublin, Ireland. But being a PR student, I’ve realised that it is actually much more. A business who have utilised and made the most of social media.
They are controversial. They have had many ‘PR disasters’ because of the comments made. But actually, how they came back from these and how they viewed these situations is something that I find truly remarkable.
The thing is, we as consumers have become so critical of brands. So critical of their every move. It has meant that brands have to become much more aware of their activities and ethical practices. We get shocked when we hear or see a brand say something that we don’t agree with. We expect brands to stay neutral and say what we expect. But not this cafe. This particular cafe has outspoken on social media about coeliac disease and vegans. But doing so has gained them a brilliant amount of exposure.
They have made claims about Vegans and Coeliacs with the most recent situation causing a sign outside the cafe to read ‘Under 65’s only – ID required’. To some, these remarks have been extremely offensive. However, many of their followers deem them to be harmless and funny. This small business now has 113,228 likes on Facebook, 9,492 followers on Twitter and 11,300 followers on Instagram. I could not find statistics for Snapchat (supposedly an extremely popular platform) but it is pretty amazing how many followers they have there. This is pretty impressive.
One of their social media posts about coeliac’s managed to gain the cafe coverage in 43 news articles globally, 14 radio and TV shows globally, with 25,000 new fans and increased takings.
The humour that Paul uses is a form that we as consumers aren’t used to seeing. But whilst I see how this can act as bad PR, it is also refreshing to see a personable side to a brand come through. Instead of following other business practices, they are outspoken but they do have a personality. And I feel that this personality helps to identify the brand. This personality is creating coverage and expanding their reach. Snapchat seems to be increasingly popular (whitemoosecafe) with Paul snapchatting his days working in the hotel. People now travel to the cafe just to see Paul and Jason after following them on Snapchat. They have managed to use social media to their advantage to go viral and promote the business. The phrase ‘all publicity is good publicity’ is advocated by Paul the manager. He believes that even if people don’t agree with what he says, they will often comment on social media and widen the reach of the business in doing so.
So really, this business is controversial. But at the moment, it seems to be working for them as an individual case. I do find it remarkable how Paul has remained to continue this approach and it benefit the brand. It is tricky to say whether this approach would work for a big brand, but it is refreshing to see. A lot can be taken from how this brand is using social media to engage with their consumers.
As I’ve said, things are a bit crazy at the moment for a number of reasons. Sometimes, things happen all in one go and it takes over. My blog has suffered slightly here. So for the next few week’s, there may be a lack of posts or not like my normal ones. But bear with me for a little while. LucyEmily will be back with some exciting new things soon…