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?
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.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Yelp! While Facebook is key in the consumer market, you build trust with reviews from Yelp. Have him encourage his patrons to review the restaurant.
As for an actual social media campaign, if you make it fun enough for everyone to take part in, they'll do it and people will see it.
Instagramming the day's special seems also like a no brainer.
LInkedIn remains the best destintion for B2B, though I think you want to focus on the B2C aspect more. I would suggest Twitter and Pinterest / Instagram. Twitter's micro-content is great for sharing quick tips on food and dining, spreading branded and hashtagged consumer advocacies, while Pinterest and Instagram are the two most visual social platforms where your client can share their dishes and even their work stations, busy nights where the tables are full, et cetera. Plus, both can be used free of charge -- all you need is a good strategy for pulling in followers, finding influencers, and maximizing both.
If you're considering radio, then might I suggest a less-than-traditional method of paid online advertising that really works? Rich media ads are visual, engaging, and appealing, and would probably work with content for a restaurant.
Hope that gives you some ideas.
Well you aren't going to get him to do what you want if you don't know what you want. What kind of client are they? Seems as though if you are in the marketing business, you should should be the one giving the suggestions and not asking them???
Google+ is extremely important for SEO and validation of your website and engagement. Because it is a local business I suggest focusing on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Using Pinterest is great because you have a visual product, but you won't get to many people coming to your restaurant because of that engagement.
You can use radio stations for a grand opening, but not as a long-term solution. The ROI isn't good enough for most restaurants. Focus on customer service and quality food to create an exceptional brand. Marketing is more than just advertising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That's all great that you want to do that, but it starts with the goal, the strategy and the plan. If they are like most restaurant owners they are understaffed and they more than likely don't have the technology or the savvy to doing a lot of social media.
All too often companies try to do too much on too many channels when they don't have the personnel to handle all of the different channels.
Have you conducted a technology savvy audit of the owners and staff (management) to see who has the skill set to get heavily involved in social media? If you haven't I'd recommend that you do.
Yes, radio is an option as is print ads and online programmatic display ads. Have they locally optimized their website?
The best way to promote...and improve any restaurant business is reviews on public sites like google. Why?
When someone types in something like "Restaurants in Asheville" or "Chinese restaurants in Houston", the first things that are going to show (on mobile and desktop) is google places. The searcher will then look down the list for the one with the highest rating and most reviews. Think about it. We all do it. So how do you make people leave reviews?
Well..besides holding their credit card ransom after you run the bill, you can do this:
Set up a page on their website, or even a google form that is a feedback/review system.
On the first page of this system have a rating option.
How would you rate NAME?
If someone chooses Poor or Fair, they go to a feedback form (Google form, survey monkey, etc...all free options).
If they select Good or Great, they get sent to that businesses Google listing to leave a review.
Create incentive by offering 10% off their next visit if they take the time to leave a review or feedback. Either way, the feedback that they will get will help make the restaurant better. The reviews will increase people through the door. 10% is a negligible cost for marketing time and time again on a $2.00 loss.
We are now starting a beta implementation for our clients as an add on service and some of their Google review pages which have been stale are seeing 4 and 5 reviews a week. Outstanding!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Definitely LinkedIn! The company pages there are going to be the next niche. LinkedIn has been working hard trying to figure out how to make those pages pop. I actually found a service company by searching LI before.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr are my personal favorites when doing social media work. Hope this helps!
Number one start...you have to have a foundation from which to build. Next I would contact the promotions managers at the radio groups in your market that target your clients clientele. A restaurant is in a unique position because they offer something that radio groups are sometimes seeking to flesh out another promotion or event. There could be some high profile charity or upcoming event where food or sampling could be available for a minimal investment or barter as it adds to the event for the station. I ALWAYS encourage my client to use couponing or Facebook likes to those samplers to enable them to have a way to invite those listeners into their location. I would additionally ask the promotions director if they were looking for prize sponsors for a lunchtime feature. Request reciprocal links always with any media partner and offer an in house discount for customers that like your page in house...example 1/2 price appetizers. Also make certain they are providing good content on their social media ...not just come see us on their social...recipes- fall party tips etc. If patrons are celebrating a birthday snap a picture and ask them to tag themselves. It's also fall festival time give gift certificates as donations to schools and booster groups in your area and ask them to tag you in their social media. Like any journey the most important step is the first one.
The right social media platforms can vary depending on the business. (In fact, I've done a quick video on the subject, available in the MosaicHUB resource center: http://www.mosaichub.com/resources/resource/choosing-the-best-social-media-platform-for-your-b).
While Facebook has the most far-reaching audience (if it were a country, I believe it would be the third most populated in the world!), there are other platforms that might also work. For example, you might consider Pinterest. It's the "stickiest" (longest average visit) platform on the Internet. Also, it's primary audience is women, and one of the most-pinned, popular topics on Pinterest is...FOOD! (Also kids, home decor and health/beauty.) This could be a great spot to showcase photos of their most popular menu items, introduce the audience to the owners/family and even post videos of fun events, etc., the restaurant is holding! The sky is the limit! And Pinterest posts have a longer lifespan than almost any other platform, because people search by keywords (use hashtags in the descriptions) and then re-pin...over and over again! It doesn't disappear into the ether like a tweet or a status post.
While LinkedIn is good for B2B (maybe establishing vendor relationships), consider other platforms that might be a cool way to promote the restaurant. Think about your goals for the restaurant, as that will also help you determine the best platforms to use. Also think about Yelp, FourSquare and other location-based networks, as well.
Please shoot me a message if you need more info, as I could go on forever about this stuff. Happy to help.
All the best,
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
Foursquare and Pinterest. Offer incentives to check-in. Encourage staff to take pictures of patrons with their cell phones.
AZ Social Media Wiz
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 !