ORLANDO, Florida – From its humble roots as a hot dog cart in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park, Shake Shack now boasts locations as far-flung as Russia and South Korea. Along the way, it has relied heavily on social media to communicate how it has “upped the ante on what to expect from a restaurant that serves this kind of food,” says VP of Marketing and Communications Edwin Bragg.
“Snapchat’s been really huge for our brand,” Bragg says in an interview with Beet.TV at the annual Masters of Marketing Conference of the Association of National Advertisers. “Snapchat is really a window into real-time Shake Shack. That’s what people want to see. They want to see the opening that’s coming to a town near them and how that plays out.”
“We use them for different reasons,” Bragg says. “We really give people behind the scenes and we think people really appreciate that access. Social media is an active dialogue, unfiltered.”
Most of its promotional efforts consist of Shake Shack’s own media, “and some select paid media on Facebook, which you need to do to make sure that your fans actually see what you’re sharing,” says Bragg.
The company waited five years from the time its mobile hot dog cart—created to support an outdoor art installation—had blossomed into a permanent kiosk to take the plunge on a second location, on the upper West Side. One of its chief calling cards is “high-quality food that’s all of value” and creating a welcoming atmosphere at its locations.
“We’ve put a lot of attention and detail into incredible design and finding great sites that we think will be a magnet for people to congregate,” Gragg says. “And that all goes back to our beginnings in the park.”
Of the ANA’s Masters confab, which attracts nearly 3,000 attendees, Gragg is enthused to be in such mixed company. “It’s a fun moment for us to be in a conversation with all these incredible brands,” says Gragg.
We interviewed him at the ANA Masters of Marketing annual meeting in Orlando. This video is part of a series produced at the conference. Beet’s coverage is sponsored by Cadent. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.