PART OF THE FAMILY – Holly Foster Media

“We came to this country with recipes and love in our hearts, to succeed in our American dream. We have fed generations in the Bucks County area, and we still thrive to be the best in all your food and catering needs. Big or small we can handle it all … come on in and bring a bottle, or order takeout and enjoy our cuisine at home. Thank you to all our patrons over the years; now we are truly family …”

(Mannino’s Family Restaurant, 2018).

Mannino’s is a small, family-owned Italian restaurant that has been in business for thirty-two years. I highly recommend it, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s a recent review a customer left on IDine® about their experience:

Mannino’s is a BYOB with a nice, neighborhood atmosphere, with a wide selection of excellent Italian dishes at very good prices! The staff is friendly and accommodating” (C.J. from Yardley, PA, IDine®, May 17, 2019).

C.J. is right; the food is excellent. But is excellent food the reason they’ve been around so long? Look closely at the review and you’ll see the secret to their longevity: a neighborhood atmosphere, in addition to a friendly and accommodating staff.

When you eat at Mannino’s, they make you feel like you’re part of their family.

That sense of belonging can also be applied to a business’ social media presence. In the marketing world it’s called community management, and Mannino’s would do well to take their established brand voice and expand it to their social media strategy.

“There’s no doubt that great content is how brands can make themselves stand out on social media, but community management is what will subsequently set them apart – for better or for worse. A solid community management plan will maintain your brand’s reputation, engage and excite your audience, and help keep a pulse on sentiment and future opportunities” (Duffy, 2019).

Responsibilities of a Community Manager

Community management requires more than just creating great posts. A good community manager must:

  • be the voice of the organization.
  • engage in real time.
  • be responsive and problem solve.
  • build relationships.
  • be authentic.

More often than not, small businesses have one person (who may also have other duties) to boost the awareness of their brand on social media. Community management is a job that often gets overlooked, but it’s increasingly necessary as more and more people use social media to get answers to everyday questions. It’s digital customer service, and people expect businesses to be responsive.

In addition to posting to Mannino’s existing social media channels (see WHAT’S FOR DINNER?), their social media person should also use a set of FAQs to ensure timely responsiveness. It’s important to monitor their channels for any questions or complaints on a regular basis and respond quickly.

Based on their average work day of twelve hours, I would recommend checking for and responding to any online questions or complaints four times a day: opening time, lunch time, dinner time, and before closing.

If questions arise that cannot be answered by the preexisting FAQs, their social media person should immediately contact a predesignated member of the Mannino family, who can then determine an appropriate response. The same procedure would apply in the unlikely event of any social media crisis that might arise.

“… 67% of consumers have engaged a brand’s social media for customer service needs. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of exposure for a brand! Ultimately, creating a brand with an inclusive and helpful community via social media is the goal of any business” (Gregory, 2019).

Sustaining the Brand by Building a Community

“When businesses invest in community management, they transition from an everyday brand to a human brand — one that cares deeply about the people who support them, work for them, and interact with them” (Baker, 2019).

In his book, Patrick Hanlon defines The Social Code as that which “provides the core that helps create communities that people can believe in, feel they belong to, rave about and prefer above their many options” (2014).

A business’ social code is comprised of seven things:

  1. Creation story (who they are)
  2. Creed (what they’re about)
  3. Icons (how they are identified)
  4. Rituals (how they do things)
  5. Sacred words (specific words understood by their community)
  6. Non-beliefs (what they’re not and never want to become)
  7. Leader (the person or persons who created the community)

The leaders, Tony Mannino and his wife, came to America from Italy with their recipes and a dream and succeeded in opening what has become a food staple in the Bucks County community. Their creed is quality and the respect they have for their customers. And how they do things? Each dish is handmade with love.

Mannino’s Icon

Order a handmade cannolli at Mannino’s and you’ll understand that it’s a sacred word for delicious; there’s nothing like them anywhere else. And that’s exactly how they want it to be; no cookie-cutter food here.

They always have and will always be a family restaurant. A place to come to after a hard day of work, or a place to celebrate your daughter’s baby shower. A place to order your custom pizza for take out, or to just tell Tony or Vinnie what you feel like eating on any particular day. They take care of you. You’re family.

Tony Mannino and his daughter Santina

“The workings of Earth and the universe can make our place as individuals feel small. But the makings of community help us to feel large again. Communities lift us up with purpose and spirit, and bond us together.”

“Through becoming part of a community, we find ourselves” (Hanlon, 2014).

So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. And don’t forget to tell them Holly sent you 🙂

until nxt time …

References

Akimoff, T. (2018, January 12). The evolution of the social media manager [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@timakimoff/the-evolution-of-the-social-media-manager-79816817f968

Baker, K. (2019, May 14).The ultimate guide to community management [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/community-management-expert-advice

Balkhi, S. (2019, January 7). 5 things you can do to “humanize” your brand. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/325370

Barnhart, B. (2018, June 14). Community manager versus social media manager: What’s the difference? Retrieved from: https://www.themuse.com/advice/difference-between-social-media-community-manager

Duffy, L. (2019, June 21). Community management is essential to an effective social media marketing approach. Retrieved from: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/community-management-is-essential-to-an-effective-social-media-marketing-ap/557229/

Gregory, S. (2019, April 30). 6 key E\elements of using social media for customer service. Retrieved from: https://freshsparks.com/using-social-media-for-customer-service/

Hanlon, P. (2014) The Social Code. Author.

Mannino’s Family Restaurant. (2018, June 20) @manninos312. https://www.facebook.com/manninos312/ [Facebook update]

Mannino’s Family Restaurant. (n.d.). Retrieved from: https://www.idine.com/details.htm?merchantId=20876&fId=&reviews=true&page=2&sortType=&sortBy=

Header photo by Rafael Peñaloza

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1 thought on “PART OF THE FAMILY

  1. Holly,
    I love your use of quotes throughout this blog post! I initially thought to do a large organization for this project, but I think your choice of a local business was a great choice. You outlined the role of a community manager well and identified the social code well. Your personal connection to the organization shines through because it seems like you are passionate about the success of the business. The voice of the organization is clear, and the way you address the community management role shows how much of a family element there was at the restaurant. Well done!

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