In our last blog, we discussed ways restaurants can increase their visibility online through map and location listings. This time we are going to discuss the social side getting found.

Get Social – Everyone else is doing it!

Marketing Future

There is no getting around it, social media is here to stay. If you own a business you must get on board if you want to even come close to competing. Do you have to be on every single platform? No. Should you be on at least one? Yes! The best place to start is Facebook it is the largest social network and most likely going to have the bulk of your customers on it. Build a community, get used to the ins and outs and then expand.

Know your demographic, when deciding what other platforms to use. Instagram rivals Facebook with the number of users and popularity. Facebook owns Instagram so the two platforms work together really well. For a restaurant, it would be a good idea to start out with Instagram right away. Two words food porn! Now don’t be mistaken thinking that food porn is a video on where people include food in sexual foreplay as you couldn’t be more wrong, food porn is simply photos taken of delicious looking food. Twitter is that needy clingy friend who always needs constant validation and attention, are you going to reach your core audience there? Likely not. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a twitter account but don’t kill time and yourself trying to get that validation back. If you aren’t trying to reach people under 20 Snapchat isn’t a priority either.

Keep track of any hashtags related to your business. If you use a platform like HootSuite to manage your social media you can create streams that track hashtags and some keywords. Comment on, like, and share posts that your customers are sharing about our business. Utilizing this content makes your customers feel even more special and are likely to recommend you to other and stay loyal.

Have a Brand Persona – Don’t be goofy online if your business is more serious!

What are the values of your business? How do you want to be described? Are you fun, outgoing, and quirky? Are you a little more serious, upscale, professional? The way you interact and present yourself on social media should match what guests encounter when they walk through your doors. Make sure that anyone posting on your social media channels is very aware of how you will and will not want your business to be portrayed.

Videos – Get ready for your close-up!

Videos account for nearly 74% of all web traffic. 55% of people watch videos online every day. Do we really need to go into more detail on this one?

Newsletters – Email is not dead!

What? Why did I put email marketing under social media you ask? Because email is social! It engages people, you are having a conversation with them that encourages them to actively do something like make a reservation, read your blog, etc. Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact help small businesses to reach customers through promotions and newsletters. They also provide ways to integrate with your social media accounts.

You don’t have to send out a daily or even weekly email, but it is important to keep your customers updated on the happenings of your business. If you built your email database in a legitimate way those people want to hear from you. Use your email newsletter to celebrate your success, new employees, discuss new menu items, upcoming events, or share special discounts. If you can send out a newsletter at least once a month with fresh content do it.

Geo-Targeting – Imaginary borders are your friend

When it comes to online advertising you are paying when someone views (Facebook) or clicks (AdWords) on your ad. If you have a one-day-only special you are promoting on facebook do you want to be paying for someone to see it who lives 400 miles away? No. You want it to reach people close by that are able to take advantage of the deal. Geo-Targeting can be set by zip code or a mile radius, saving you money and making sure your ads are reaching the right people. You can Geo Target with Google AdWords as well.

Live in a destination resort? Through zip codes, you can expand your Geo Targeting audience to areas that have a reputation of visitors to your destination! You can also target people by likes and interests. Taking advantage of this targeted marketing

Pictures – Next best thing to smell-o-vision!

You should take advantage of that camera in your pocket and take pictures of your food, drinks, staff, daily specials, most anything fun and interesting that is relevant to your business. Most restaurants present their daily special to staff to try before opening, take the time to plate it up nicely and encourage staff to snap some images and share on Instagram.

Marketing with images

Hire a professional photographer to take shots of your regular menu items. Get a good gallery of different shots of all your dishes to share over time. Take new photos every time your menu changes if possible. Update your photos as often as is possible. Keeping it fresh is important.

We’ve seen you roll your eyes when everyone at the table pulls their camera phones out and starts snapping pictures of their food trying to share on social media. But, that’s FREE marketing! Why discourage or turn your nose up at it?

Be sure your social channels are claimed, easy to find and actively monitored.

There is no doubt that the marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years, and it can be intimidating. But, it’s not impossible to. Digital Marketing companies like Mobloggy are here for you tackle the areas in which you need help. Keep calm and contact us for a 45-minute consultation!