Welcome to day two of the countdown to the launch of Side Dish Soiree. I’ve been putting in a lot of work to get people interested in what we’re doing, so I started with some basic marketing strategy. For starters, I started using the #sidedishsoiree hashtag on everything I posted related to food. If it was about Martha and Snoop, I used #sidedishsoiree. If it was a post about local food vendors, I used #sidedishsoiree. It was important to me that the name got into peoples heads.

To my surprise, I started being tagged in friends posts related to crazy food news, recipes and articles about Neiman Marcus luxury greens. What this indicated to me is my messaging of of Save Our Sides, which I’d also been including as a hashtag #saveoursides, was resonating with my target audience. Brand awareness and loyalty, FTW. Also, by not only pushing promotional content, but integrating my brands message into the sharing of other viral content, I was able to make Side Dish Soiree a part of a larger conversation. I even went so far to share a Biden/Obama meme referring to Lawry’s seasoning salt with the hashtag #sidedishsoiree. It worked!

Last Saturday night, I published the event page for Side Dish Soiree’s launch party in Long Beach. I sent out the event page with only 9 emails collected on my email list for the west coast (I’ve segmented my list by regions to get some insights on where I should go and to make sure I only send event notices to people who can actually get to the dinner parties). So, to get the traction I wanted, I had to think outside of list subscribers as my target audience. The people on the list are just the people who decided to get notifications, especially since I had no real offer to entire more to sign up. For this reason, Facebook and Instagram have been my targets for attracting new eyes to the brand and getting feedback to properly build this venture. I’ve posted daily to both and made sure to use existing food pictures that I’ve taken for the past couple of years to create a foodie focused IG account.

The goal for both of the IG and FB is to reach folks who aren’t on my current FB list. By using appropriate hashtags, we’ve gotten some views, but not as many as I will when I start using more video and ads on both platforms to drive traffic to the site that’s being built with the goal of capturing visitor info for retargeting. Until then, organic reach has been decent, mostly because of the consistent posting, hashtags and public videos that have been shared thus far.

We currently only have 10 spots available for attendees and as of last night we had ZERO who had reserved a space. What to do? Get gutta. I started hanging out on FB and finding any food related topics to chime in on, naturally of course. When and if it made sense, I shared the link to register or tagged foodies in my posts. What proved to be extra helpful was me circling back with people on my list but who hadn’t yet registered and letting them know registration was open. Then, boom, voila, two registrations as of the time of this posting.

One more thing, since we made the tickets donation only, we were scare of people UNDER donating. Since Chef Quianna also has merch, we decided to make there be a minimum donation to receive a branded t-shirt. That ended up being one of the driving forces for one of the registrants purchase. Noted. Perks sell tickets.

There’s so much more we are doing, including third party outreach for media placement, strategic partner promotions, and also content creation. Check back tomorrow for the updates on what we’re doing using that to drive ticket sales.

Want Side Dish Soiree to come to your neck of the woods? Visit sidedishsoiree.com and let me know WYA?

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