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Mastering social media's new tools: Facebook

Facebook 360: A new spin on behind-the-scenes

Some restaurants use social to give fans a glimpse inside their operations. Facebook’s 360 technology allows users to take in the entire view. The tool provides an interactive point of view, letting fans move and play with images to make them feel like they’re part of a scene. 

Bonefish Grill 

To promote its Bang Bang Shrimp, Bonefish Grill used 360 video to put viewers at a different vantage point than the average shot—at the center of the plate, looking out instead of in and visualizing what it would look like to be the popular dish. As Facebook users spin around in the video, the viewpoint stares up at diners plucking shrimp off a shared plate as they laugh and toast over cocktails, and words pop up suggesting how it feels to be the desired appetizer. 

Starbucks

For the launch of its Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino, the brand posted a 360 photo full of minty surprises. The shot focuses on a woman with mint green sunglasses, shirt and nail polish holding the new Frappe, but as viewers scroll around they can spot a pup decked out in a mint green sweatshirt, an album titled “The Mintnight Hour” and a guy (also enjoying the new drink) in front of a mint green house. The “Easter eggs” had fans chiming in with what they saw, extending the conversation.

Olive Garden

For the launch of its recent Tour of Italy promotion, Olive Garden set a table with the menu offerings and let Facebook users “tour” the dishes through a 360 photo. Instead of a highly stylized studio shoot, Olive Garden shot the photo in one of its dining rooms, going for an authentic experience similar to how guests would actually enjoy the dishes in its restaurants. 

Facebook Live: Extended real-time engagement 

Facebook’s live video tool has offered up a different medium for creating content on its platform, but it’s also an ideal way to capture customer engagement for a longer period of time. Operators are using the feature to not only reward customers engaging with a brand, but to keep them tuned in instead of scrolling on. 

Moe’s Southwest Grill 

More than once, Moe’s has used Facebook Live to engage with guests via videos that don’t have obvious brand intentions. This year, to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Moe’s set up a pinata in its headquarters and let a staffer dressed as a giant burrito take a swing—keeping true to its quirky, playful brand voice. Fans guessed how many swings it would take for the “burrito” to knock down the pinata, and winners were given branded T-shirts. 

Sonic Drive-In 

For National Iced Tea month, Sonic partnered with rapper Ice-T to push its new Frozen Teas. The chain created a life-sized ice sculpture of the rapper holding a mic. A live video focused on the statue, and when it melted enough for the mic to drop, the first 100 fans to comment won a limited-edition T-shirt. As they waited in anticipation, users hypothesized when the mic would drop, all while Sonic stayed busy engaging with them. 

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