“I knew getting in on the ground floor of social media would allow me to take my career where I wanted.”
That's P.F. Chang's Assistant Manager of Social Media, Nick Restivo, explaining how his interest in tech and following the social landscape on Mashable led to his career as the company's social team of one.
He says it started with a role at Complex Media creating social content for the men's magazine. He also helped grow their Twitter following significantly and their Facebook presence by over a million fans.
“Social media is so broad that I can touch on so many different parts of the digital space. I like wearing multiple hats and that I don't have any two days that are the same.”
At P.F. Chang's, Nick took over the social media responsibilities that used to be spread throughout their marketing department.
“It was about figuring out what the goals are. They knew they needed to have social media, but they didn't really what to do with it,” he says. “So my first week was spent setting up the basics like getting the tools we needed and putting a plan in place.”
He says that in the future, they'll focus on establishing a clear brand voice and alignment between P.F. Chang's and their Pei Wei brand.
Within his role, Nick gets a lot of support from other teams.
“I'm in touch with everybody — talking to brand managers and assistant brand managers and getting approvals from the VP of Digital. Once they have an idea of their content calendar and know what they want in terms of that, I plan the social side with them. In terms of creative and how we craft tweets, I collaborate with a creative director on what we want to do,” Nick explains.
His social strategy's influenced by what he reads on Mashable, Adweek, and Digiday, keeping an eye on millennials like himself, and watching what other brands are doing on Twitter.
“I look up to brands like Nike, REI, Patagonia, North Face, and GoPro, and after seeing their presentations at SocialMedia.org's Brands-Only Summit, Wendy's Brandon Rhoten and Lowe's Brad Walters,” Nick says.
He says that where it used to be an afterthought, the role of social is gaining traction in marketing planning meetings.
Nick explains this is especially true with more reporting and the success of some recent campaigns. For example, their Paint P.F. Chang's Pink campaign last October donated money to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in exchange for selfies in front of the iconic P.F. Chang's horses painted pink for awareness. That earned them over 15,000 selfies on Instagram alone.
“Everything is so numbers driven and about proving ROI. Getting people on board with social is the hardest part. Since some people aren't as comfortable with social as others, the hardest part is educating everybody on the power of social and showing them what we can do.”
Since they're starting from scratch, Nick thinks there's a lot of room to grow for the brand in social media.
But for now, he takes it one person at a time, searching for keywords, brand mentions, and responding to every single one.
“It's always been positive. Any time you get a brand to respond to you when you're not expecting a response, you're excited about that,” he explains.
“Just from that we've seen so much growth. It's just little wins here and there, and once we get a bigger social plan for 2015, I think we can actually own something in the food space.”
Find Nick and say hi on Twitter and ask why P.F. Chang's periodically sends the San Diego Chargers a bunch of lettuce wraps. He's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2014.