Red Mill and Blue Moon can both be classified as local, fast-gourmet burger chains. Each has three locations in Seattle proper (though Blue Moon is soon opening a 4th). Although Red Mill has a bit more history (est. 1937), both chains are revered as neighborhood staples, and regarded by many as ‘must trys’ for both locals and visitors alike.
Red Mill has developed a reputation as a Seattle culinary staple, having been touted as “one of 20 hamburgers to try before you die” according to both GQ Magazine and the Oprah Winfrey show. Red Mill has also been featured on Travel Channel’s ‘Man Vs. Food’:
Given such press and fanfare, along with deep roots in the city, Red Mill most likely approaches social media much differently than Blue Moon.
Blue Moon Burgers are the new kids on the block. Having only been in existence for around 5 years, they are inherently lesser known, and perhaps more in critical need of an effective social media platform.
- 206 Twitter followers
- 104 Tweets
- 6,570 Facebook likes
- 27 Facebook posts since Jan 1st, ’14
- 3,636 Twitter followers
- 10,600 Tweets
- 3,178 Facebook likes
- 40 Facebook posts since Jan 1st, ’14
- Foursquare Mayor receives free fries with every order
- Diners may order take out through Twitter or Facebook
Outcome and Reaction:
Despite a 70 year head start and numerous national awards, and having proved the will to seek expansion, Red Mill appears stuck in the mud. Perhaps slow and methodical growth is their game, but regardless, their social media and outreach appears to be dwarfed by newcomer Blue Moon. Of course, Blue Moon has required social media tactics in order to succeed in such a highly competitive space. But, as demonstrated time and time again, they’ve appeared to be consistent, transparent, attentive, and thorough in their approach.
To me, it’s no wonder why they’re continuing to expand even more so in 2014. With such an enormous investment in social media, the word gets out fast… with ears come customers, and thus revenue. Their reliance on social media in particular as a means of generating orders is quite novel, and something many competitors may soon be offering themselves.