Have you jumped into the restaurant social media pool yet? Wondering how to get started or how to pump up your current online presence? With a little thought, your social channels can be one of your greatest marketing tools.
According to statistics, nearly 87% of people who dine out on a regular basis, utilized some form of restaurant social media communications, last year. These people used a number of social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, Pinterest and YouTube, which accounted for 50% of the overall total.
Here are some tips for incorporating social media marketing and monitoring in your restaurant budget.
1. Monitor Your Presence Carefully
Keeping a close eye on your pages and responding to customers promptly, whether they had a positive or negative experience, is one of the biggest musts of having a social media presence. Aim to give feedback to customer comments within 30 minutes to one hour, even during the hours when your establishment is closed.
2. Create Great Content
If you want people to follow your social pages, give them something interesting and unique to look at and share with friends. Video is one great way to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at the daily goings-on of your chef and staff, and can be utilized on multiple channels, including, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram and Facebook.
3. Provide Avenues for Feedback
Customer surveys are a quick and affordable way to give your customers a voice and help you improve your service and offerings. Be sure to keep your survey short and simple.
4. Go Mobile
Location-based marketing – using both mobile sites and apps – is quickly gaining traction. According to technology surveys less than half of restaurants had a mobile site and nearly a third had a mobile app. Ensure that you have a strong mobile presence, so customers roaming in your neighborhood know you’re there. Menus are critical; other services you can offer via mobile might include reservations, ordering and viewing nutritional information on your dishes.
5. Implement Customer Loyalty Programs
Customer loyalty programs are designed to give your patrons a financial reward for social media participation – for instance, a discount on food at your establishment. Experiment with ways to provide this service – for example, special deals or coupons that are only available to your social media followers.