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