Restaurants seem to pop up on a weekly basis making staying on top of marketing (local & national) extremely important for those who want to remain successful. There are a variety of strategies to use social media marketing for restaurants that can definitely help to increase the customer base. Many restaurants have used social media in the past and present to significantly increase their customer base but it does take a bit of creativity and consistency.
There are a variety of location marketing websites focusing on social media marketing for restaurants. Some of the main ones include FourSquare and Food Spotting. FourSquare uses the GPS functionality of the smart phones nearly everyone seems to be using to help to map out what restaurants are offering and where they are in relation to where you are standing. Restaurants can sign up for the service free of charge and users using the program could potentially be notified the existence of your restaurant when they are near it all while unlocking new features and earning badges for mapping out the culinary world around them. Food Spotting allows customers to easily upload pictures of menu items, rate them, map them out and recommend them to other users.
Nearly everyone has a blog these days and those interested in social media marketing for restaurants are certainly no exception to this rule. Restaurant SEO should focus on the type of menu being offered to help narrow down the search field as well as the location the restaurant is located in. Whether the company offers deep dish pizza in Chicago or Italian cuisine in New York makes a huge difference in how the blog is rated. Write blog posts about things such as menu items, celebrity guests and upcoming events to help form a relationship with potential customers. Restaurant SEO is important but content is still king. The point is to communicate with the audience.
People who specialize in giving restaurant marketing advice use Facebook as one of the key social media strategies. Facebook can help restaurants to gain new clientele and can help to gauge how effective the company’s online strategies are. The timeline version of Facebook allows business owners to more closely monitor how many people are viewing posts and can more easily place Facebook ads to be seen in locally targeted areas. Social media marketing for restaurants can use Facebook to announce daily specials with mouth-watering pictures, allow guests to upload pictures to the restaurant’s page, announce contests and giveaways for clientele and much, much more, all with minimal effort.
Another extremely popular social marketing website right now is Pinterest. This website allows users to post pictures and links to various boards. Social media marketing for restaurants cannot discount this website’s influence now that users can post pins automatically to their Facebook pages. TechCrunch has reported that this website has reached ten million unique visitors per month faster than any other standalone website in history. Restaurants can use this site in a number of different ways, such as pinning pictures from great reviews from food critics, conducting contests from followers who pin something from their blog, and posting pictures of new menu items, ingredients and restaurant décor.
Restaurants can even partner with other local bloggers to have reviews, giveaways and coupon offers to their local readers. Social media marketing for restaurants can use the power of bloggers specializing in food, cooking, parenting, mommy bloggers or location specific bloggers to generate consistent foot traffic. This type of social media campaign can help restaurants to increase in popularity and give them brand recognition to help reach a larger, more varied audience that may be virtually unreachable through other means. Look for blogs with good Google Page Ranks and high local readership to get the most exposure possible.
Last but definitely not least, Twitter is extremely popular, especially with the foodie crowd. It is amazing how much can be said within 140 characters and a picture. Restaurant social media marketing can easily combine Twitter with a restaurant’s main website, blog and Facebook pages to help to gain followers and increase sales exponentially. Twitter is also an easy way to release limited numbers of coupons and offer giveaways to followers who re-tweet.
There are a huge number of ways that restaurants can use social media to help expand their business and increase sales. Everything from huge restaurants to small mom and pop joints can benefit from these sorts of marketing strategies. In general, these strategies are all aimed at increasing communication with customers and improving customer relations.