Play Food & Wine, a restaurant in Ottawa, has decided to put 100% of its marketing efforts into social media. The restaurant, which opened in 2009, has used Facebook, Twitter and their e-mail database as their sole marketing platforms for the last 10 months.

According to the story in The Globe And Mail, Play’s Food and Wine Director Grayson McDairmid is quoted as saying:

We have sold out every event we’ve had since we opened by using only Facebook, Twitter and our mailing list – so it’s hard to deny their effectiveness. 


Their web site is nothing fancy. The Facebook page is solid if unspectacular, though there are quite a few customer posts and the restaurant responds regularly. They spend most of their time on Twitter with many daily tweets, retweets and responses. 

A success story like this must mean that Play’s social media universe is huge.

Not really. They have about 500 Twitter followers and about 680 Facebook likers. (And an unknown number of addresses in their e-mail database).

Less than 1000 people on each social media platform yet their business is thriving!

How can this be?

While the actual Canadian dollar cost for this is low compared to traditional media marketing it is clear that the management at Play has made the serious (and necessary) commitment of time to make this work.

The quality of your social media contacts are far more valuable than the quantity. So many businesses and non-profits get hung up on those numbers. Play has learned that cultivating a small – but very loyal – base of social media customers reaps huge benefits.

As a result, they have created a community of passionate followers who love to share their dining experiences with their own personal network. Play gets the publicity while making their customers look like heroes.

 A very nice return on investment.

Your thoughts?

Steve Allan

Social Media Specialist


About Steve Allan

I am a Social Media specialist uniquely focused on the management, messaging and marketing of social media platforms for non-profits and small businesses.
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