Mud Dock Cafe & Cycleworks: a social media transformation

Mud Dock Cafe & Cycleworks: a social media transformation post image

Mud Dock Cafe & Cycleworks on Bristol’s harbourside is renowned for adventurous, memorable marketing. Yet it was lagging behind competitors in one area: social media. BuzzedUp stepped in to provide strategy, tools and techniques.

When Jerry Arron and Beverly Newman founded Mud Dock back in 1994 they were brave pioneers who foresaw the development opportunities of Bristol’s neglected Harbourside.

The physical landscape of the dockside has changed dramatically over the last 18 years — as has the marketing landscape. Mud Dock Cafe & Cycleworks is now an established, very distinct brand: a distillation of industrial chic, cycling culture, and high quality, good value European food.

Never one to stand still, Mud Dock owner Jerry Arron recognised he wasn’t making the most of social media. He called in BuzzedUp (Mick Dickinson) to do a review and to set Mud Dock on the road to some effective new marketing.

“Mick re-invigorated our blog, which had been dormant for years, posting stories on a whole range of topics that reflected well on our brand. This schedule of posts formed part of a new strategy that included a lot of Twitter activity plus Facebook promotions and local media coverage.”

Over six months, BuzzedUp carefully grew Mud Dock’s Twitter following from 136 to 650: a very high quality following, comprising members of various cycling tribes, plus influential members of the foodie community in Bristol and the south west.

We also managed several sophisticated Facebook campaigns, including:

  • Prize-winning sweepstake competitions
  • Fan-only voucher promotions
  • Photo contests where fans vote up their favourite entries
  • Complex event-based ‘countdowns’.

See examples of Mud Dock
and other Facebook promotions here.

Although we didn’t quite hit the target of 1,000 Facebook Likes, the activity means Mud Dock is now connected with a very loyal community in the place it likes to be: Facebook. The data shows a very engaged fan-base who do a lot of sharing for Mud Dock, and who regularly return to the Mud Dock Facebook page.

On Mud Dock’s blog, BuzzedUp published 29 original posts over six months, regularly achieving 1,200+ page views per month.

“I was impressed with how Mick got to know the team here, interviewed staff from all parts of the business to tease out their stories. Many were featured in articles and indeed contributed their own content.” (Jerry Arron)

Local media coverage is crucial for restaurants and cafes. We were delighted to place several high profile stories for Mud Dock. Bristol’s number one food critic Mark Taylor quoted Jerry and Beverly extensively in his feature on the future of Bristol dining; and he favourably reviewed the Cafe in The Bristol Evening Post (and online). Mud Dock was covered many times by leading Bristol news sites Bristol24-7 and Guide2Bristol. As part of the PR strategy all the top local food bloggers reviewed the Mud Dock Cafe.

Mud Dock now manages social media in-house based on sound principles and guidelines from BuzzedUp.

Contact Mick Dickinson to discuss smart marketing for your restaurant, cafe or venue.