Category Archives: Other

Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog is Moving!

So I’m finally biting the bullet.  Over the weekend, I’ll be doing some website maintenance and migration.  So pardon the dust and the mess…

The end result is that Big Wayner’s BBQ Blog will have a new web address!  The new URL will be http://www.bigwaynerbbq.com.  A lot of work has been done already, but here are a couple of things you need to know about this move:

  • If you have previously subscribed to receive email notifications whenever a new blog entry is posted, you will need to re-subscribe.
  • If you are using the RSS link on the front page to subscribe, you will not need to change that.  However, any news readers you use may say that there are a bunch of new articles.

All in all, I’m excited about the move!  I’ll have a lot more flexibility to do much more cooler things to make your reading experience that much more enjoyable! Look forward to seeing you there!!

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Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

I’m taking a break from the Teams that Do Know Jack series today to get a little bit off-topic.  This fall I will be joining more than 130,000 walkers from across the United States in this year’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

I am asking for your help. By making a donation, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.

So why should I be concerned about diabetes?

  • There are 25.8 million Americans currently living with diabetes.
  • Diabetes is currently outpacing heart disease, cancer and AIDS.
  • If nothing is done, one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

With the help of people like you, the American Diabetes Association can raise over $20 million to help Stop Diabetes.

So how can I help?  It’s very simple.  You can click on the image below to make a secure donation.  It is 100% tax deductible, and every little bit helps!

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

Together we can Stop Diabetes. One step at a time.  Thank you!

Social Media, BBQ, and You: Embrace the Trend

A few days ago, I asked for some opinions on social media as it relates to the BBQ industry.  My goal was to prove a point that the social media phenomenon is one that people in the BBQ industry should fully embrace.  In order to do so, I set out to determine the amount of effort that successful users of social media in terms of BBQ, the things that they are doing right, and the positive consequences of their actions.  To those of you who were kind enough to answer the questions I had, thank you very much!  Now, on to the meat of the matter (pun totally intended)…

No matter how you look at it, social media marketing goals can be broken down into three distinct categories: enhancing brand recognition, conversion growth, and brand monitoring.  Whether intentional or unintentional, those of us talking up BBQ on Facebook and Twitter are working to achieve one or more of these goals.  Now there are wrong ways to do this and there are right ways.  The one wrong way that immediately comes to mind is having all of your Facebook statuses, Twitter posts, etc., essentially say “buy my stuff”.  My goal for today, however, is not to focus on the wrong way of doing things.  My goal is to highlight what others are doing right and how you can do the same thing.

The first, and maybe most important, rule of social media marketing is to embrace the “social” aspect of it.  Interact with your followers/fans, and put a significant amount of effort into it.  This was one thing agreed upon by those who took the survey, with 100% of survey respondents stating that over 25% of their social media interactivity involves interaction with others.  This gives customers the warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing that there is a person behind that brand taking interest in what we have to say.

Embracing social media is also something that does require a bit of time commitment.  It is not a “flash-in-the-pan” thing that you can do every once in a while and expect to be successful; there has to be a commitment to utilizing social media outlets.  All of the survey respondents stated that they devoted at least 9 hours a week to social media activities, with 86% stating that they devoted more than 17 hours a week.  Each of the respondents has accounts on Facebook and Twitter.  The majority also have blogs and are active in various forums, message boards, and other online communities.

In addition to the above information, I asked some free response questions to get a better gauge of the respondents’ mindsets.  One of the questions I asked was for a summary of how they use social media in 100 words or less.  The answers I received all contained two common elements: building relationships and customer service.  These two common elements embrace the social aspect of social media marketing and are a significant factor of why the respondents are successful.

How successful are they?  I asked that question too, inquiring how social media has made an impact on their business.  The response was totally overwhelming in the positive direction.  For the respondents who were bloggers, the impact has been growth of the network base and obtaining more connections.  For those that sell tangible products and services, the impact has been much more tangible.  Multiple respondents cited an increase in brand exposure (from local brand recognition to regional, national, and sometimes international brand recognition), while others noted significant increases in sales.

Obviously the return on investment in social media for those in the BBQ industry can be quite high.  However, it takes a significant amount of work and effort to reap those rewards.  I asked the respondents for one piece of advice they would offer to anyone embarking on the online social media marketing path.  In the advice given, there were certain elements that were repeated over and over again.  Those elements are:

  • Embrace every platform that you can.
  • Be yourself.
  • Don’t sell all the time.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive or rude.
The one piece of advice that kept being repeated was to be yourself.  I totally agree with this.  What makes the world of BBQ so special are all the unique personalities that are within this community.  Allowing your personality to shine through in your online activities will have the same effect that it does with any in-person activities.  
The upside of using social media as a marketing tool in the BBQ industry is huge!  In reality, it’s the same things that have been employed for years and years already by those in the BBQ industry.  The only difference now is that those same principles are being applied in a digital context.
A special thank you goes out once again to those of you that responded to the survey!  I could not have done this without you.  Do you have any other advice that you’d like to add?  Feel free to leave it in the comments below!

Let’s Fulfill a Dream for Cripple Creek Barbeque

In my time that I have been on Twitter, I have come into contact with many many people who share the same love for BBQ that I do.  Many times these people are gracious enough to let me try their sauces, rubs, or gadgets, and I use this space to showcase them.  Today, however, I want to showcase a company for a completely different reason.

Cripple Creek Barbeque is a small family-run company with a big vision.  Located in the Denver, CO metropolitan area, John and Stacy Lynch aspire to bring high quality barbecue (using sustainable foods and practices) along with their sauces (all-natural, no high fructose corn syrup) and rubs to the masses.  Their firm philosophy in using locally sourced meats and produce will be an invaluable asset to the local economy.  However, John and Stacy need our help to make this vision a reality.

To bring their high quality barbeque to the good people of the Denver area, Cripple Creek Barbeque has set out on a quest to raise the funds needed for a food truck.  To make this happen, Cripple Creek Barbeque has partnered with Kickstarter, a company allowing entrepreneurs to use an “all-or-nothing” approach to raising start-up funds.  The target goal for Cripple Creek Barbeque is $12,000.  As of the time this blog was published, they have raised $9,360 of the $12,000 needed.  With less than 3 days remaining, Cripple Creek Barbeque needs your help to make their vision a reality.

You can go here to get to Cripple Creek’s Kickstarter page where you can pledge any amount, starting at $5.  I’ve pledged $20, and I challenge you to match or beat my pledge.  Let’s get Cripple Creek Barbeque over their goal!  They also accept donations via PayPal.

BBQ and Social Media — Your Opinions Needed

Social Media.  It’s the latest craze.  It has completely revolutionized product discovery, customer service, and news delivery.  Social media has allowed like-minded people all over the world to easily connect to one another to various reasons.  But how has it impacted those in the BBQ industry?  That’s what I aim to find out.

I would like to hear from any one who is involved in the BBQ industry in any form or fashion — whether you are a restaurant owner, competition team head cook, rub or sauce maker, or simply a fellow blogger like myself.  I want to know how the social media movement has affected you.  You can contact me one of three ways:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post below.
  2. Use the contact form found here.
  3. Send me an email at brownkw@gmail.com.
I look forward to hearing from you!