Embracing technology rather than shying away from it has allowed The Briar Club in Houston to utilize YouTube as a cost-effective resource for engaging and building relationships with members.
You can learn a lot about someone when you point a camera at them—especially when it’s a video camera that captures their every movement and sound. You can also learn a lot about people from how they react to filmed messages. And in the case of The Briar Club in Houston, everything that’s been learned about the club’s staff, and members, after it launched its own YouTube video channel last September has yielded nothing but positive lessons.
Noting that the ever-evolving world of technology keeps presenting clubs with an unlimited supply of new, cost-effective resources for engaging and building relationships with members, The Briar Club set out to fully embrace one of those resources: the ability to post videos through a free YouTube account. And as part of that, it was also determined to maximize the fun that could come from the embrace.
Using a handheld video camera, the club began to prepare a series of short filmed messages that capture memorable happenings or promote future events. The videos are posted to a free YouTube account—http://www.youtube.com/user/BriarClubComm—and links are also shared in weekly e-blasts and posted on the club’s website.
Casey Newman, the club’s Director of Communications & Marketing, says the “process” of making the videos boils down to three simple steps:
- Step One: Get your camera ready for action!
- Step Two: Pick your promotion, and involve club staff!
- Step Three: Create a free YouTube account, upload and share with members.
|THE GOAL: The Briar Club in Houston wanted to capture memorable moments, promote upcoming events and reach members on a more personal level.
THE PLAN: Tap into the growing world of video by creating a YouTube “channel” for the club.
THE PAYOFF: Increased member engagement and patronage— a video promoting a chef’s Chile Special led to dining-room sellouts.
Newman also adds a “helpful hint” for a fourth important key to success: Have fun with it! And certainly, that’s been the case for many of the “stars” who have emerged from the videos that have been made to date. “The club staff has embraced their creative side in skits to promote upcoming events or other exciting happenings around the club,” Newman reports.
As a result, Briar Club members have “enjoyed a laugh or two” from the filmed messages, Newman adds. Even better, the videos have helped to make staff more familiar to members, by putting “a name to the face”
and further strengthening relationships around the club.
Best of all, the messages in the videos are clearly getting through and having the desired effect. The club’s first video, of its chef introducing Hatch Chiles as a promotion for upcoming seasonal specials he would be featuring, is credited with generating enough viewership to cause the club’s adult dining room, The Lounge, to be sold out for two solid weeks.