Kogi BBQ co-founder Alice Shin on social media / by Mike Takahashi

Kogi BBQ

Kogi BBQ as most everyone knows here in Los Angeles, is famous for starting the whole food truck craze with their Korean BBQ tacos and by utilizing the power of Twitter to build their loyal following.

Alice Shin, the co-founder, recently gave a speech at TEdxOrangeCoast where she spoke about Kogi BBQ's early days trying to do traditional advertising by the book and it completely failing. How every mistake they made was a result of doing things the way people told them it should be done. Finally, after one failed attempt after another, they decided to simply start listening to their customers online through social media such as Twitter.

I don’t use hashtags, I don’t even know what they’re for.
— Alice Shin Co-founder of Kogi BBQ


Currently, Kogi BBQ has 86,000+ followers on Twitter,  22,000+ fans on Facebook and 9,000+ hits a day to their website http://kogibbq.com, all amassed without hiring an advertising or PR firm. However, Shin admits she is no expert in social media and explains, "I don't use hashtags, I don't even know what they're for...I don't study up on what's new or what's now in the realm of social media."

While I admire Shin's honesty, for a brand like Kogi, at some point their organic growth will slow without an online strategy and it shows.  If you take closer look at Kogi BBQ, you'll find out that they actually have 2 other brands: Chego and A-Frame.  However, there is a big disconnect online.  As a huge fan of both Kogi BBQ and Chego, I didn't even know about A-Frame until recently.

Posts made on their blog at http://kogibbq.com are often mixed in with other news about Chego and A-Frame. A better approach would be to create a separate website that encompasses each brand.  Here's an example with Los Angeles based SBE. SBE's website is a central destination for each of its brands in the hotel, restaurant and nightlife industry. It presents news on what's happening, projects in development, career opportunities and so forth.

The website itself for Chego and A-Frame are minimal at best with only a menu.  It would be great if you went to Chego or A-Frame's website and you could see the latest specials (which they currently announce randomly on Kogi BBQ's website), photos and other information as a start.  There's so much more they could be doing, maybe they don't study up on what's new or what's now online either...

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