Expert Interview – Creating Buzz-worthy Social Marketing

On a recent visit to New York, I had the chance to have lunch with Marcus Byrd, Marketing Manager at Dos Toros. Originally from California, Marcus heads up the marketing department for this rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant concept with locations in New York City and Chicago. 

LC: Wow, this food is fantastic! Tell me about this place!

MB: Dos Toros is a fast-casual taqueria that was founded by two brothers, Oliver and Leo Kremer, from California with a simple dream, to bring the best of the San Francisco taqueria experience to the rest of the country. We proudly cook our recipes from scratch using the finest ingredients and naturally raised proteins. Working together, our terrific and talented team strives to deliver uncompromising excellence, one burrito at a time.

LC: As Marketing Manager, what is your role?

MB: I head up marketing for all of Dos Toros’ 16 locations. I’m also from the Bay Area and share the distinct passion of bringing best-in-class flavor to the rest of the country. I lead the company’s press, brand and influencer relations, as well as development of in-store, digital and social content strategies, new restaurant opening strategies, and social corporate responsibility initiatives. Over the years I’ve been at Dos Toros, we’ve seen hockey stick growth, just opening our 16th location this month.

LC: You wear a lot of hats! How big is your team?

MB: Our team is lean! We have a Senior Designer and a Marketing Coordinator.

LC:  What are some of the most effective methods you’ve used for promoting Dos Toros?

MB: Some of the best tools for promoting Dos Toros have been our Community Partnerships and our New Restaurant Opening strategy. At Dos Toros we firmly believe the product speaks for itself and encouraging first-hand experiences is paramount to converting new customers. Community events such as partnering with local high schools and colleges, tastings with local businesses, and promoting corporate social responsibility are all ways we can showcase Dos Toros to potential guests. Additionally, our new location launch strategy has been very effective in spreading the word among potential guests who are hyper-local to our spaces. We host a $1 Burrito Day for every store opening, which immediately creates a seismic buzz in the surrounding neighborhood. We serve upwards of 2,000 guests on our opening days. The influx of carry-out bags printed with the Dos Toros logo is perhaps the most effective in terms of word-of-mouth!

LC: I love your Instagram posts. How big a role does social media play in your marketing programs?

MB: Social media has been incredibly cost effective in developing avenues to reach guests in their natural environments. By integrating ourselves into our communities’ Instagram and Facebook feeds, we strive to create valuable touchpoints to incite future purchasing behavior. We also work on encouraging mentions in daily media outlets, via PR and partnerships.  We have really treated Instagram as our go to platform for Dos Toros news because of the highly visual nature of the food industry, and our appetites! New store openings, new products, discounts and promotions are all premiered on Instagram first. While we also utilize Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter as well, Instagram has emerged as our highest engaged platform due to the craveable nature of the food we sell and Instagram’s incredible rise in popularity among the 18-35 metropolitan crowd.

LC: Well, it works! I am always hungry after seeing your posts. You use lots of images and videos on social media. What is your process for planning the photo and video shoots? Is it very formal and planned out or more spontaneous?

MB: Our photography style is a healthy mix of both ad hoc and formal.  We have a content calendar with certain events and holidays planned out 2-4 weeks in advance to ensure we source the appropriate content, however part of the beauty of social media is its spontaneous and viral nature. For example, we try to leverage the current cultural zeitgeist by paying attention to the trending memes and putting a @DosToros or @PintoTheBurrito spin on it. Likewise, our Instagram stories garner thousands of views and have proven a great way to report live from the kitchen or charity event, as the case may be.

LC:  What are some tips you can share with other restauranteurs that want to amp-up their marketing programs?

MB: I’m always focused on our two core audiences, our guests and our internal team, and how we connect with them. The internal impact on our Dos Toros team of big marketing pushes is a big consideration in the way we game plan incoming promotions. Secondly, I think marketers need to be adventurous but also realistic in how their customers receive information. A traditional email list may work better for some brands than putting a heavy emphasis on social media. Marketers should always be analyzing and assessing what the right tailored approach is, and that comes from a keen understanding of exactly who their audience is.

LC:  Can you share any plans for Dos Toros in the coming year?

MB: Dos Toros is headed for a record year in 2018! We just opened our 16th location and 2nd in Chicago at 300 S Wacker. We have another slated to open in the market this summer as part of the Wells St. Market food hall. We have tons of things up our sleeve, so you’ll just have to follow us on social media to see how the rest of 2018 rolls out, pun intended.

LC: Thanks for taking the time to share the Dos Toros story and your marketing expertise.

MB: My pleasure! And, I’m glad you enjoyed your lunch!

To learn more about Dos Toros visit www.dostoros.com or follow them on Instagram @DosToros.