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Replete with wood detailing salvaged from Hurricane Katrina, 15 TVs, a DJ booth and a casual, fun sense of décor, Southern Hospitality, located on 2nd Avenue in New York City, is home to all sorts of clientele. The venue profits from outstanding BBQ, booming bar sales and, most recently, an extremely successful Twitter campaign.

“We are very active on Twitter, and we send out 40 tweets a day on average,” says Chris Russell, director of operations for Southern Hospitality. “Our tweets range from little BBQ factoids that our followers might find entertaining, to constantly updating our specials. We might post something like, ‘Show up in the next 10 minutes and say, ‘Damn I need a cocktail,’ and we will give you a free Margarita.’”

Other incentive tweets have included asking patrons to come in with a Yankees cap on backward and the first drink is on the house, or saying the daily “catch phrase” the venue tweets to earn 10 percent off their total bill.

“We have been doing this for four months now,” Russell says. “It’s growing by the day.”

The bar has close to 2,000 followers now, and management can track the progress easily to see how the promotion is stacking up.

“One way we track it is if someone comes in and takes advantage of a drink special, we get their Twitter ID. Then, we follow up and say, ‘Thank you,’” Russell says.

“Additionally, [customers who use the catch phrase] are tallied directly to our computer via a 10 percent off button on our computer.”

When Russell posts a special that’s active “for the next 10 minutes,” he usually finds two or three customers stopping in each day to take advantage of it and about 20 to 30 stopping in for the 10 percent off deals. Table tents and posters alert guests to the Twitter promotion, as does the bar’s Facebook page.

“We are in the middle of brainstorming football promotions via Twitter for the fall,” Russell adds.


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