On Saturday night, Big 10 Restaurant and Bar reached out to its customers with a tweet.
“Stop on in for 2-4-1’s on anything in a pint glass from 9pm-midnight,” the tweet said, “and catch the College Hockey Championship game & the Twins!”
And the Stadium Village restaurant isn’t alone in riding the social media wave to promote its services.
BarBird, a new mobile app and website recently launched in Minneapolis, aggregates local bar Twitter feeds like those from Big 10.
The site filters live tweets into categories such as happy hour, specials, live music, ladies and no cover.
“We want to increase the potential that someone will go out and have an awesome, memorable night,” co-founder Pierce Lamb said. “Most of the time it’s boring and expensive.”
The site, started in Portland, Ore., has apps for 44 major U.S. cities, 25 college campuses and six international cities. BarBird recently launched a Golden Gophers version, more localized than the Minneapolis version.
The app aims to help people choose the right venue for the night, and in the future Lamb said they’d like to integrate group communication into the app through group- and bar-wide texting rooms.
Big 10 general manager Ray Graves said the app seemed like a good idea but that the restaurant has recently been approached by a number of people with similar ideas, all trying to promote the latest deals.
“Eventually someone will stumble on a formula like Facebook and MySpace and that company will actually be successful at it,” Graves said. “[But] anything that gets the information out there is great.”
While the restaurant tweets at least once a day, Graves said there aren’t many students among Big 10’s 33 followers and that most are alumni or past employees.
First Avenue seems to be having some more success with its tweets.
Machen Davis, head of marketing for the concert venue, said the business has even grown to rely on Twitter to announce shows, ticket sales and venue changes.
“We’ve definitely seen the benefit of it,” she said.
More people show up at shows, ticket sales have improved and there is more of a general awareness, Davis said.
“I think with social media it’s only going to get more popular.”
University of Minnesota student Luke Accola said he normally texts his friends when planning his night but that an app like BarBird would be nice.
Rather than going all the way there and spending money on a taxi, Accola said he’d like knowing if there’d be no cover or live music before heading out for the night.
“It looks like it’d be pretty cool,” he said.
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