Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool in the hospitality industry. Happy diners tell their friends and family about their experience at your restaurant and that is more effective than any marketing or advertising that you do on your own. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, and negative statements made about your restaurant can drive potential customers away long before you've even had a chance to reach out to them. With online reputation management tools you can limit the negative effects of what customers say and accentuate the positive.
There are two types of sites where you must be concerned about your restaurant's reputation online. The first are review sites, like Yelp, where customers are encouraged to give semi-anonymous reviews about their experience. Outside of writing good reviews and posting them yourself, there is little that you can do to control your restaurant's image via review sites, so it is important that you use your energy elsewhere.
You must do all you can to drive potential business to your restaurant website, not that of some third party. There are many brand-stealing reservation-only portal websites that are happy to live off your restaurant's reputation and sell you bookings that are rightly yours to begin with. Some even assume control of your customer base for their own marketing purposes. Make sure you are maximizing your restaurant's business while staying in control of it!
All-in-One Restaurant Marketing and Monitoring
Social media is where you need to use restaurant brand monitoring tools to control your brand's image and build a stronger customer base. Consumers "like" and share information on social media constantly, and when they do so, they give you an opening to communicate with them. As long as you provide the customer with relevant content and give them a reason to say positive things about your restaurant, you can harness the power of the word of mouth marketing these customers provide.
Restaurant brand management tools make handling your online reputation and engaging with you customers much easier than you could do on your own. Armed with these tools, you are able to keep a close eye on what people are saying about your restaurant by tracking what they say and what they share about your business. This allows you to retain a measure of control over the conversation about your restaurant brand on social media so that you can steer the conversation and gently guide perceptions about your business in the direction that you want them to go.
Brand and reputation management are more important in today's digital economy than they have ever been. With the right online reputation management tools you have the ability to affect directly what consumers are saying about your restaurant and use the power of word of mouth marketing to your advantage.