Crowdsourcing Case Study: The Rib Room

FSC Interactive used crowdsourcing to build an online community and increase awareness of a historic bar in New Orleans. Learn more in our case study.

Digital Marketing Goals

The Omni Rib Room was interested in attracting a young New Orleans professional crowd. The restaurant is a historic landmark and located in the French Quarter, however, they felt that they weren’t reaching the interactive audience and had no online presence.

At FSC Interactive, our online marketing goals were to increase awareness online and develop presence on social networks, arm the Rib Room team with the tools needed to manage and update social media and generate a database to promote new happy hour specials geared towards a younger audience.

Digital Marketing Research

The Rib Room established an Advisory Board comprised of regulars and local influencers to discuss messaging. The board felt that the bar did not have a distinct presence and suggested renaming it. Given the Rib Room’s goal of engaging a new audience, we suggested they rely on the local community to crowd source the name. FSC Interactive then researched for online influencers and local professional groups that could best impact this audience and create momentum for the name change. We looked at local culinary and cocktail bloggers, groups and associations and vetted them based on members and audience interaction such as comments and discussions on social networks amongst members.

Digital Marketing Plan and Execution

Rib Room held a contest to rename the bar. The effort was intended to create a sense of friendly competition and leverage the New Orleans community’s interest in the Rib Room. We encouraged locals to submit an entry to secure a place in the landmark’s history. The winning submission would earn the contestant a permanent seat at the bar, denoted by a bronze plaque. The positioning reflected the tradition of the bar, while also taking a step toward change. The entire effort was crowd-sourced through online submissions, complimented by in-restaurant written ballots.

The Rib Room did not have a website, so FSC Interactive worked in conjunction with a design firm to build a social-media friendly online presence with an easily updated content management system and sharing functionality. The updated content served to increase natural search results as well as promote fresh copy and images. The site was scheduled to launch the day the bar name was announced. In the interim, we created a landing page to collect submissions and e-mails for newsletter promotions. We also developed a Facebook page and built out the profile with robust information, events and photos of the food and cocktails.

FSC Interactive promoted the “Name The Bar” contest through Facebook by messaging members and identifying partners such as local cocktail aficionados and young professional groups to post to their pages for cross promotion. We also identified 20 local bloggers to promote the site. We worked in conjunction with traditional PR to garner coverage on online media outlets such as NOLA.com.

The final top 10 names were chosen by the Rib Room executives and were voted on by popular opinion. The voting took place on the Rib Room website’s temporary landing page and reflected real time results. As the contest progressed, we discovered voter padding by overly zealous competitors. We also discovered heated debates on Facebook regarding the naming contest. An e-mail campaign was launched by the community with an impassioned plea to “Save the Rib Room Bar!” We encouraged the dialogue and interaction and watched closely for negative backlash.

On August 4th, the contest winner was announced during a private party for all top ten contestants. The winning name by popular vote was “The Rib Room Bar”, thus preserving history and re-enforcing the strong community ties to the bar.