Jeff Platt is the CEO of SkyZone, an L.A.-based chain of indoor trampoline parks with 80 locations--and he's learned an ultra-efficient way keep an eye on his business and customers through social media.
As told to Scott Leibs.
I believe in "brutal facts." You have to be willing to really understand what people are saying about you and your brand. That means listening, and today listening means social media. I use Twitter for direct communication with our employees, customers, and others. And Instagram, because our parks are very visual, and people love to post pictures when they go to a Sky Zone facility. I think there are about 190,000 photos of Sky Zone on Instagram right now. I can get a crowdsourced look into virtually all of our parks.
We were surprised to see how many of the photos on Instagram are of our "Sky Socks," the special socks people wear on the trampolines. They have become our badge, our identity, and we're looking at ways to incorporate them into our marketing. We also learned that many tweets about us have to do with the planning that goes into a trip to Sky Zone: who's coming, when, who's driving. There could be an opportunity to get in on some of those conversations and make a special offer--something like, "Hey, get five friends together and we'll give you a free pass." People don't expect an offer like that. It could be a great way to build loyalty. We're researching it now and plan to roll out something next year.
I grew up on social media. Most of my senior team didn't. So I forced them to create accounts and get out there and listen. People worry that social media can become very time-consuming. I block out time for it at the start and end of the day, maybe 60 to 90 minutes total. I don't think of it as work. I can scroll through 30 Instagram pics in just a couple of minutes. What might seem like "a lot" of time to some people actually isn't, once you see how many different ways you can improve a business by making the most of social media.