So you’ve answered all the questions you need to answer before creating your social media accounts. You are weeks away from a soft opening or grand opening. What’s next? There are a couple of questions to ask yourself: What do you want people to know about your business? What are you willing to reveal or keep secret until your opening?In most cases, I think you should let the public know as much as possible. You want to tell your story: not just what the business is, but why it’s there and what your goals are going forward.
I’ve met owners who were uncomfortable showing a renovation or remodeling in progress, but social media works best when you let your guard down a bit. Besides building up a bit of wonder about what the finished project might look like, it gives you a visual at a time when you might not have much else to show. They’ll ask questions, they’ll tag their friends, they’ll congratulate you on your new venture.
Case Study: The Prelude
— The Prelude (@ThePreludeRGV) September 8, 2014
We’re going through this process with The Prelude, which is both a music/event venue and a one-stop resource for musicians, right now. We’ve shared open house and grand opening show dates, we’ve broken down what services we offer, and we’ve started to take bookings. We’ve sprinkled in photographs to show the location in downtown Harlingen and photos and videos of work in progress inside. We’re also encouraging people to follow us across different networks, and soon we will share the venue’s still-under-construction website.
The owners are also planning on making a series of short videos explaining their goals and expressing their excitement about expanding opportunities for musicians in the Rio Grande Valley. As more shows and events are booked, we will share those as well. The Prelude’s open house is October 21st, but we have no shortage of things to talk about until that day. If we do our jobs right, their opening week events will be packed and they will be booked for weeks if not months after that.
Case Study: Gamehaus Gastropub
We had about a month to build up to the Gamehaus (a restaurant, arcade, sports bar and venue) grand opening, even though we didn’t find out the date until days before. The owners did not want to show the renovation in progress, so we focused on smaller details that were ready. We also focused on hiring servers, bartenders and cooks to staff the large facility.
The grand opening was our first chance to really show the full venue, so we took pictures that weekend and shared the album to kick our campaign into full gear. While we would have liked to show more of the space, the games and the food and drinks before the grand opening, we showed enough to build a buzz and then had plenty to share as the business really got rolling.
Invite your social media following to your soft opening
Perhaps the best measure of success for a social media campaign building up to your public opening is to use it to invite people to your soft opening. Given about a week’s notice, you should have a good idea of how many people you are reaching. In addition, you’re rewarding your followers in a way that should turn them into your biggest champions going forward.