Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

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.