MassNightly: Plan your night out!

Tanya Williams, my best friend since elementary school, came to visit me this weekend. In casual conversation with her, she mentioned she loves her current internship as a social media intern with a startup called MassNightly. I was eager to hear more about her experience, so asked her for a more formal follow-up interview to gain more insight.

Can you tell us about MassNightly? What makes social media so critical to your business model?

MassNightly is a medium that finds food/drink specials, live music and special events in bars and restaurants around Massachusetts. We take the hassle of searching where to go on any given night by having a ‘one-stop-shop’ mobile app/website where all the specials live. Social media is critical to our business model because of how ever changing our industry’s content is. Everyday calls for new events, specials, and promotions; which calls for us to consistently update data. Currently there are two interns working part-time developing social media content.

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MassNightly Website: Screenshot taken directly from www.massnightly.com. The mobile app has similar features

As a small startup, it’s interesting that MassNightly is focusing so much on social media. Which social media platform is most important?

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MassNightly mobile application

Right now, Twitter is our most important social media platform. Twitter is easy to use and the format is ideal for what we want to accomplish. We can tweet several items in one day regarding daily specials and events. Often, we use Facebook as a way to reach a broad, targeted audience by boosting posts. Although we don’t have a big budget, it’s critical that we are impactful with each post. As the company grows, I imagine more resources will be invested in growing our Facebook presence.

How do you gain new followers? Giveaways or certain types of content?

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Example of hashtagging events and tagging locations via @MassNightly

We try to gain new followers by hashtagging and tagging related sources in our posts. For example, if we tweet about a special at a local restaurant, we tag that restaurant in our post. This way, when a customer looks up that restaurant through, they are able to view the tweet that we have posted. We typically use hashtags to show events like #Movember. As our CEO says, “There’s no sense in yelling if no one can hear you”. The more our content is liked or retweeted, the more likely it is we will captivate a broader targeted audience. In addition to hashtag, we try to create organic content that will draw in viewers and create interest, as opposed to retweeting or reposting recycled content. Word of mouth also plays a role in gaining new followers as we are still a relative new company.

Do you think you face any unique challenges because MassNightly is a startup?

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MassNightly Facebook Page Preview via MassNightly

We’re not the only outlet trying to be a “center source” for bar and restaurant deals. We have competition, but we let that be an element that drives us to be better. This has particularly been a motivating factor in investing more in social media. As a startup, we also face the unique challenge of developing a user base, and are trying to keep our churn rate as low as possible in order to develop loyal customers. We are still striving to create a more solid and secure base of followers, as we continue to enhance our business model and perfect our mobile application and website.

Personal Reflection:

After talking to Tanya, it became clear that MassNightly’s success is heavily dependent on social media. Their product is extremely useful, especially for our age group, as it seems like my friends and I are always trying to strike a balance between getting food and drinks, and saving money. The issue is that many people in their target audience do not know about this product because of MassNightly’s limited budget and resources. Social media is clearly NOT free, as the common misconception states. MassNightly is an example of a startup trying to find a balance between creating a social media campaign, without exhausting their budget on social media alone. I hope with this post they can get some free publicity as I know how driven and passionate the MassNightly team is behind their product! Spread the word.

Follow them on: Twitter – Learn more at: MassNightly – Like them on: Facebook

11 comments

  1. Great post! An interview is always an interesting perspective for a blog post. MassNightly does a great job utilizing Twitter and Facebook for unique purposes. The company has a limited budget, but they utilize these two platforms for a constant flow of information. For a startup, these two networks are important for developing a loyal fan following. Being able to provide accurate and constant data is essential for differentiate themselves from the competition.

  2. This was a great post! i liked how you did the entire post in an interview format which was different from most posts we read. MassNightly could be a great company and a great idea but users have to be very proactive for it to work out. The hard part is getting the ball rolling but once it picks up speed MassNightly will be a successful company. Great Post!
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  3. Very cool business concept! I really enjoyed reading this blog. It is always great to hear how startups are using social media to make their share of voice larger despite often times a small digital/social staff. It’s great to hear Tanya understands the power of Twitter and is focused on this platform for a specific purpose. I especially think MassNighty CEO’s quote “There’s no sense in yelling if no one can hear you”. This is so critical on social media. You don’t want to be pushing out product content that is clearly looking to generate forced engagement or drive sales. Genuine, thoughtful and relevant content to your fans needs and interests will certainly have a better chance of getting re-tweeted and liked. Similar to @johndentinger‘s interview last week, it seems the use of hashtags is particularly effective in driving awareness and pulling customers in. I think the power of hashtags is a very interesting topic. Great interview!

  4. Great post! I liked how you constructed an interview, that was a very unique perspective. What are her day to day tasks for her internship? I think that it is smart of MassNightly to hire young social media interns who probably know more about the social media industry than older employers who may have started the company. I have noticed that a lot of companies these days seem to be moving in this direction. Hopefully this can be an advantage to all of us undergrads trying to find a job or internship!

  5. ariellebudney · ·

    Great post Nicole! The CEO’s quote really resonated, and I think it’s a good mantra for social media. Too many posts are not only expensive, but also detract from the quality of the experience. If companies post too many things that don’t interest me, I’ll unfollow them; quality is definitely more important than quantity. Mentioning the restaurants in the tweets is also a great way to potentially build a larger following. It’ll be interesting to see what strategies MassNightly will use to grow their following and ultimately expand to other social media sites. Hopefully, social media will be a successful tool to differentiate them from their competitors. Nice interview!

  6. A new resource for finding cheap beer in Boston—why did this not happen sooner? Interesting to hear that their strategy is so reliant on social media when, presumably, social media would be their biggest competitor for making evening plans.

    I find it incredible how many businesses they tag in every post—strikes me as a smart growth hack, but I’m wondering if tagging a ton of businesses is really a sustainable marketing strategy and if their number of likes is representative of their true consumer base when so much is done to goose this figure.

    Either way, great case and interview!

  7. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing Nicole! I really like how she said social media is not free, because it is not. It requires staff time, resources – and that is money. And as a company grows and needs more eyeballs / improved targeting, they need to pay to play and gain that visibility. The other point that I thought was interesting is how Twitter allows you to maintain a very constant stream of interactions with your target customers. I know that the recommended # of tweets is 10-12 / day so that a feed does not feel like an inbox and this is certainly something that would work well for MassNightly because they benefit from sharing the latest with customers. On any other platform, posting that many times a day would likely hinder engagement and annoy some. But Twitter is perfect for that.

  8. Interesting post. Might be more useful in cities that actually allow a happy hour.

  9. I really like this post! This seems like a really interesting new company and I am sure we will be hearing about it more in the future. I think creativity is the cornerstone of business in the future, because it is applicable in so many ways now-a-days, especially with gaining a following on social media. Great post – will definitely be looking into MassNightly!

  10. Really interesting concept that they have! Also sounds like a tough space to be in. To me it seems like they would need to be out at many bars around the city to help get the app out to people and build connections with bars. However I can see the difficulty with that as a start up and limited staff time–again just reiterating what has already been covered multiple times here: social media is not free.

  11. Nicely done, Nicole! I always enjoy reading interviews about start-ups’ use of social media. Looking forward to future posts.

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