I want my client to get more involved on social media to increase his restaurant sales. Where do we start?
The promoting is for a restaurant business. I want my client to expand their family based business and be more visible on social networks. Aside from Facebook, where should he start? Radio stations seem like a good place to start too. Any suggestions?
Try tripadvisor.com, instagram and foursquare. Do not worry about radio stations and focus on social media.
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Create a Hootsuite account and post daily on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Pictures of food and cocktails. Instagram as well. Keep their Yelp & Facebook profiles active with fresh pictures. Create events. Offer a "check in" reward. I.E. free bar snack with cocktails if you check in at the bar. Once they have all their accounts, they should spend 1/2 - 1 hour day looking, posting & following others. get those conversations started!
It would be great if you can go and register our business at the industry association, connect with people on your local social networking portal.
You are in the right direction - the combination of conventional & Social Media marketing is the absolute best way to go . . . but I question if radio is the most effective. In our experience printed advertising, whether loyalty cards handed out, newspaper or other marketing material with the business's URL clearly written is the best way to go. Moreover we create sub-domain redirects so the the Facebook page address (for instance) could be facebook.businessname.com . Finally if you are already using Social Media run some kind of contest. You might find some ideas at ideas.net-presence.ca We'll be adding one campaign per month for restaurants.
Andrea, beyond Facebook you can consider Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and even Google+, as additional social media strategies for your client.
A strategy for Pinterest is to feature some the restaurants best dishes and events. We are very visual creatures, and seeing delicious plates of food, and fun filled events (if it exists) are a great way to showcase the restaurants ambiance.
There are many creative avenues using Pinterest that can produce an interest from your target audience. As with Facebook and Twitter, you can create a following of fans that could draw more attention to the restaurant. You could easily create 'Pins' related to the restaurants local area to show support and create an interest for the general area.
StumbleUpon could be used to link to a web page that features their menu choices, map of their location, business hours, and special offers. Most people may not know it, but SU is a search engine site geared towards finding published online content just as you would on Google or Bing.
It's easy to setup, and there is an advertising option if you want your page submissions to appear first when people search for terms related to the restaurant. If you have the resources, posting high-quality photos of the restaurant, their staff, customers, the atmosphere, and of course their menu items in a creative way, could also be a driver for their business.
Getting the restaurant to create a Google+ business page is very important because the community is growing, and there's an incentive for businesses that have an actual physical location. According to an article by Socialmediaexaminer.com titled 'How to Use Google+ to Expand Your Business Influence', Google+ had an active and growing list of 359 million users.
There are several features that can be used to promote the restaurant's brand, but most important would be Google+ local places. Follow this link http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/google-plus-for-business for an overview of Google+. Just as with Facebook, you can build communities and social circles to interact with users, who then can become followers (ie. influencers).
With some planning these three social networks can create more brand recognition for the restaurant. Of course, using some traditional methods for cross-channel marketing can give your efforts a tremendous boost. Hope this helps, and happy social network hunting.
Any social media activity is only as good as its contribution to an overall marketing strategy. Recommendations therefore cannot be limited to any particular channel without a clear understanding of the objective you believe Social Media will play in your client’s marketing mix.
What is the objective, what is the offer, what is the incentive, then how can you stimulate the most effective restaurant promotional channel “word-of-mouton” to deliver it? The best answer may have nothing to do with social media (or radio for that matter).
If as you consider SM is your client’s most influential and rewarding marketing media, firstly search for restaurants in the area and see what SM your client’s local competitors are using. Then simply call the restaurants and ask them ‘how many bookings can be directly attributed to their favoured SM channel?’
An hours research and you will have your answer and your recommendations qualified and quantified with some real-world evidence (or not)!
Other expert opinions may then be more useful.
Does your client have a Web site yet? Does it have their menu and hours posted?
That gives you a good place to link as you share quick pointers out through other routes. Some of those other routes have been mentioned. Since it's a restaurant, location based methods are good. Yelp!, as others have mentioned; many places have local restaurant review sites; claim the location as the owner on Yahoo! and Google maps, which will let you link to your site.
Have you considered localized Google Adwords? You can target their neighborhood or within a certain SMA. You might also look at Nextdoor for very targeted neighborhood info.
Radio only if it is talk radio in my opinion. As far as social media I would suggest Pinterest (more female driven and girls love to talk food), instagram, twitter, and yelp. As with all things social when someone talks to your client via these channels respond politely and thank them for being your customer.
To be effective in social media you need to maintain and monitor several platforms. In my opinion Twitter is important but you have to promote it and interact with posts. Post specials and items you want to highlight and invite regular customers to follow. For retail Foursquare is good. It allows people to check in, leave comments and make recommendations to other. Be prepared to response to any negative posts. Radio can be expensive and make take awhile to see results. Enhance any paid marketing efforts with social media.
Yelp, Google Local are good places to start, his facebook business page is important too
he must keep up on it, or have someone do it for him.
Do you have Scout Mob in your area? There's also Urban Spoon and Open Table. All great ways to gain consideration. What's the age range of the patrons. If it's younger then Instagram is a good bet. I agree with the comment about Yelp also.
I suggest you to use Instagram to share pictures of the restaurant, the people and their dishes from there to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. In addition you can create a profile in Foursquare so people can check when they are at that place and share pictures and more information about the restaurant with their friends and contacts and use the right profile to do that.
About radio stations you should be careful not to waste money that it´s not going to give you the results that you are expecting. You should start with the social media advertising effort (paid in Facebook, to get more followers and potential clients of the real target group you want to get). You can do a lot of BTL activities with low cost and great results. Just remember, as a lot of people has told you, be careful to have the business plan before any activity so it would be a planned growing of the business and you´ll have all the KPI´s to measure all the strategies you do.
Two key attributes of the restaurant business are 1) visual and 2) local so I'd use social media that supports those elements. Pinterest would be a good way to showcase photos of menu items, restaurant decor, staff and customers. If the restaurant has an interesting theme or hosts events (banquets/parties, cooking classes, chef's table), how about uploading short videos on YouTube to promote them?
You don't give any details on expansion so I'm not sure it that means expanding the size of the current location, offering new services like catering or take-out, or actually opening a new location but Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter would all be good social networks to promote expansion,
Radio is a local medium but it's not a visual or social media so it seems like a less attractive option.
I'd also suggest local PR and events. Can they contribute food to local pantries, participate in farmer's markets/neighborhood food fests, or feed volunteers at fundraisers? All of these are ways to "socialize" the customer experience and get more people to try their food/know their brand - and can provide content for online social media efforts.
You will need to tap into the local buzz, there are several options, Citysearch, Yelp, Manta are just a few. Please, don't forget to set up a page on Goggle+, what you post there, with hashtags will quickly go into the Google search stream. Blogging is one of the number one ways to get you onto the search engines, be sure to add all of the social icons to your blog and website ! For great banners, and ads easy to create, I use Pagemodo. Pinterest for business is also very important to your SEO, so create those promoted pins and be sure to add a map to your Pinterest page, and link it to your website or blog. You may do a search on my business to see what social media, etc. platforms I have used to get into the search engines. Do a search on Holly's La Bella Boutique...you will see ! I know it seems daunting, but the effort should only take you about a week. To make FB badges, Pinterest Badges, etc. for you blog and website, just Google it for easy instructions. If you need any help, let me know. I wish you and your client much success !
Foursquare and Pinterest. Offer incentives to check-in. Encourage staff to take pictures of patrons with their cell phones.
AZ Social Media Wiz
I would start with my current customers -- collect emails if possible, from website reservations - comment cards on table, at checkout or email - announce a special dinner, Ukrainian, Polish, French -- reservation only, meet the chef -- recipies on the website blog - support some community fund raiser -- and then begin to work the Facebook page
Andrea, I have been mentoring a restuarant for the past year and a half. The best results for a B2C business are getting reviews from foodies and the local press, as well as from Yelp and Trip Advisor. A feature in the local newspaper where they sent out a secret diner to the restaurant and then did a review of the bistro turned out to be the best free advertising. People are now making reservations and saying they heard about the bistro from the newspaper feature.