Posts Tagged ‘social media marketing’

3 Tips to Rev Up Special Offers and Successfully Introduce New Menu Items Through Social Media

May 2, 2014

One of the best aspects about social media is that it allows you to communicate with your restaurant’s customers instantaneously. This makes introducing new offers and menu updates a cinch. If it’s done correctly, social media can be a powerful tool to get your audience talking, induce incremental visits to your restaurant and build a loyal customer base. Here are three tips that will help to rev up your social media efforts, whether it is to introduce new items or simply better engage your community.

Design a Web Based Restaurant Menu, Optimized for Mobile

The most critical aspect of a successful online campaign, social media or not, is of course having a website that is properly designed and optimized for the web—and these days, that means optimized for mobile web viewing as well. Make sure that your menu, in particular, is web based and not a PDF. Web pages are easier to share on social media than PDFs, and they are easier for search engine bots to categorize and return as a search result. Social media sites can also pull more information, such as pictures, titles and descriptions, to include along with the post from a web page than it can from a PDF.

Smartphone use is, in some ways, driving the growth of social media, and it’s also critical that your webpages are properly designed for mobile if you want to properly utilize this form of marketing. Make a paired-down, to-the-point version of your site that is easy to read and takes customers to the information they’re looking for with as little hassle as possible.

A Good Picture of Your Restaurant’s Food Is Worth a Thousand Words

Nothing gets people interested in a new item more than a good picture of the taste-bud stimulating delight that awaits if they visit your restaurant. All social media networks have a strong visual component; some are designed exclusively around the sharing of images (Pinterest or Instagram, for example.) Posts that get shared are almost always those with a good picture. What this means is that it’s worth it for you to invest in a little professionally done food photography of your menu offerings. Send them through your social media platforms and post them on your website. Make sure to include sharing buttons to let people easily pass those mouth-watering photos around.

Take it a step further and install a “photo op” where people can take fun pictures of themselves at your restaurant and post it to their own social media sites. Or, consider rewarding people for posting their own images of themselves or the food in your restaurant to their social media channels.

Partner Your Restaurant with Other Businesses to Promote New Items

Another great way to rev up interest in new menu offerings is to promote them by partnering with a business, group or well-known individual in your community. For example, you might ask a local celebrity to describe his or her favorite dish and then create a version of it in their honor that you can promote. In another example, you could partner with a local charity and donate a portion of the specially created menu item to a fundraiser on their behalf.

The options are truly unlimited, in terms of utilizing social media to create buzz about your menus and service offerings. The key is making sure that what you’re trying to share is interesting and of benefit for the customer to know, is visually appealing and is optimized for easy online and mobile viewing.

Why Restaurant Owners Shouldn’t Ignore Traditional Print Marketing

February 1, 2012

The National Restaurant Association recently performed a customer survey, and you might be surprised at some of the results. Despite all the hype being put on social media and mobile marketing these days, customers still respond best to traditional forms of advertising like television, word of mouth, and even newspapers.


Don’t Get Me Wrong about Social Media and SMS Marketing


Now I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I think these “new media” forms of advertising are useless. In fact, mobile marketing is just getting started, and it is more similar to traditional marketing than many people may think.


The important thing is that we shouldn’t ignore the old, just because we now have the new. In fact, the NRA’s statistics show that the old methods are valued by more customers than are the new methods.


So it’s the smart operator who will keep using traditional advertising and marketing channels, while slowly integrating new media into his or her routine.


Newspaper Advertisements for Restaurants Still Work


57% of respondents to the survey said that they check newspaper and magazine reviews when choosing a restaurant, while 51% of overall respondents said they also check newspaper advertisements when making their decisions.


Compare that to 37% who based their decisions in whole or in part on a promotional email, 36% who regularly consult online dining guides, and a dismal-yet-still-significant 25% who get “e-advice” from Yelp and other “user-created content” (i.e. consumer-driven) sites.


45% reported using the Internet to help them make their decisions, and that number will probably grow by next year – as will the numbers for the above-mentioned sources.


But at the end of the day, traditional methods are still king. At least they are for now. So you should definitely use them today!


The Most Traditional Marketing is Still the Most Effective


Surveyed customers preferred one source unanimously over all of those mentioned above, however. 93% regularly rely on recommendations from one or more family members, while 92% frequently consult friends.


It’s plain to see that word of mouth is still the most relied upon and trusted form of marketing your business. That’s just one reason to make sure every guest’s experience is a good one!