Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Why Your Restaurant [Establishment?] Needs Social Media

September 27, 2011

You don’t have to be a “Webhead” to rely on social media as a part of your life. Even the non-technically proficient among us count on social media, if not for interaction, then at least for reviews and recommendations.


Does your establishment have a social media presence? If not, it should. This isn’t just another marketing channel to let people know about your restaurant. Today’s social media has a huge impact on how people see your brand. If you want to influence your image, you need to get on the scene and play the social media game with your restaurant.


Why You Shouldn’t Fear Social Media


Social media can have a HUGE impact on your business–potentially more than paid advertising could ever have!


You already know that word-of-mouth advertising is the best kind of advertising you can get – and it’s free! Good social media provides you with word-of-mouth advertising in the online world.


When you put your restaurant on a social media site like Facebook, this makes it easy for customers to recommend it to their friends. Studies have shown that 90% of people trust recommendations from their friends (we won’t ask the other 10% who their friends are…).


Even better, customers are still 70% likely to trust a review from someone they don’t know – just as long as they feel like the reviewer is a genuine customer and not a business owner posing as one. You can increase these recommendations by building your social media presence online.


Best of all, social media presence costs very little – just a little bit of time if you do it yourself. You can also outsource how you represent your brand online, but it’s best to be at least peripherally involved in the process.


Other Ways to Promote Your Restaurant with Social Media


Ever heard of Foursquare? It provides your customers with valuable discounts – provided they let their friends know they just came in to your restaurant. This isn’t some intrusive sort of spam, either; Foursquare “check-ins” can be set to show up immediately on sites like Facebook. This can really put your brand in front of people’s eyeballs.


If you use this service, make sure you display the fact in your restaurant with a sign, or on your menu. Don’t forget Yelp and other review sites, too! There are plenty of ways an operator can make a difference with online media. All you have to do is pick two or three and start rolling!



White Castle Embraces Web 2.0 for New Slider

October 28, 2010

We’ve talked in this space extensively about the idea of making greater use of the so called “web 2.0” to reach out to your customers and get them to come in and try something new. Well, it turns out that at least one major chain has taken the idea and run with it (we like to think they got the idea from us, but who knows?)

New Burger–Like Us and Try it Free

White Castle recently introduced a brand new slider (White Castle parlance for their mini hamburgers in case you don’t usually descend to such fare). The new burger is called the garlic cheese slider and it is available with fries and a drink for $2.99.

However, for those willing to pop over the White Castle Facebook page and click on “like” (Facebook parlance for becoming a fan of a particular food or item or whatever), a coupon awaits, offering a free slider.

A Page from Norelco’s Playbook

The marketing concept is of course the age old idea of giving away the razor and charging for the blades. White Castle is hoping that by giving out a free burger, they’ll get people to decide to buy fries and drink with it as well, not to mention coming back again and again to get them for full price.

However, the genius of the marketing campaign is that it makes use of a marketing tool which is aimed at the exact demographic that White Castle tries to reach.

Targeting is Key

The fact that White Castle has managed to come up with a slick idea to reach out to their base is critical. They understand that they are appealing to hungry college students. But even the finest restaurants can make use of the web 2.0 revolution to get more people in the door.

Higher end restaurants may also have a Facebook page, however it could be available by invitation only. Or maybe you work with LinkedIn, the professional version of Facebook. The possibilities are endless and you only need to use your imagination to come up with an idea that will work for you.

Put the Social Back Into Your Use of Social Networks

September 18, 2010

Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and to a lesser extent LinkedIn are the new ways that restaurants are getting people to drop by and spend food dollars. Facebook allows restaurants to set up a “fan” page. This means that a customer can sign up and say they love your restaurant. The “mini-blog” site Twitter offers followers for you to send short messages to.

The Problem with Social Networks for Restaurants

However, too many restaurateurs are taking the easy way out – putting up a fan page and then doing one of two things. They either send out spam e-mails to anyone who signs up, telling them to come in for a night out right now, with nothing else to offer. Or, almost as bad, they simply let the fan page sit there, collecting virtual dust.

Twitter accounts are the same way – there is a right way to use them and a wrong way to use them. Even LinkedIn can be important if your restaurant sports a fair share of business meetings. Here’s what you need to know in order to make things happen with these important tools:

Customers Want a Relationship With You

Whether you simply ignore your Facebook fan page or you send out spam messages, you are making the same basic mistake: you are ignoring your customers and/or treating them as if they don’t matter.

Customers who become fans of the restaurant want to know if there is a special event going on. A special event by definition is special – it doesn’t happen every single day.  Daily emails aren’t usually such a great idea. However, when you add new menu items or have live performances, that would be a good time to send out a message.


The other use that people find for Facebook and Twitter accounts is offering loyalty coupons. Sending out a 10% off your first entree coupon can go a long way to making people think of your restaurant when they want to have a night out. Just make sure you really do offer some value for customers so that they have a reason to pay attention.

How to Use Social Media for Restaurants as Great Recession Comes to an End

July 10, 2010

In December of 2008, at the beginning of the bleak recession, the New York Times featured an article outlining a trend among restaurant customers: eating in.

The Dark Days of the Economic Downturn
Thank goodness we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as the Great Recession begins to come to an end. During the darkest days of the economic downturn, job loss by the hundreds of thousands was a common, monthly occurrence and consumers scrambled to make ends meet.

According to a 2008 New York Times article, one of the most popular methods was most challenging for restaurant owners: eating in. The article underscored the bleak reality by sharing the results of a survey conducted by marketing research firm Mintel International, which discovered that 60% of those surveyed said they had begun to eat in more and dine out less in order to save money.

Customers Return to Eating Out
Although consumers are beginning to take tentative steps toward resuming their pre-recession habits, including dining out more frequently, improvement is slow. Factors like a nearly 17% food inflation rate and a continuing rise in fuel prices are causing growth to stagnate. Capturing those customers ready to trade their kitchen aprons for cloth napkins at their favorite dining establishment may require creativity among restaurant owners.

Using Social Media to Grow Consumer Base
The rise of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook have caused many business owners to consider how implementing the services could grow their consumer base. Those who have successfully used the networking services suggest:

  • Use social networking to create a dialogue beyond the restaurant.
  • Use the sites to send information about news, sales and events related to the restaurant.
  • Avoid too much sale-pitch related information.
  • Cover things going on in the local community.

Using social media allows restaurateurs to connect with those who want to hear from the restaurant. It allows customers to see the restaurant in a new light.