I read an interesting article today on the under-utilization of social tools by restaurants.
It got me thinking about how Fusionfarm has in the past and will continue to help local eateries by offering four social media marketing ideas for restaurants.
Offer an incentive
Facebook and Twitter are great social tools a restaurant can utilize to get customers in the door and keep them coming back. Facebook offers are an easy way to give your patrons an incentive to come in to your restaurant or as a way to thank your loyal customers. Offers and coupons created for your social media audience is a way to drive customers to your restaurant.
Show off with photos
As a restaurant, you have a great product to showcase. Do it with photos. If you have a new dish or a daily special use photographs of your food dishes or drink specials and publish them on social outlets. Consumers respond well to photos on social networks and are more likely to share. Sharing an appetizing picture will entice your audience to come in and try it for themselves.
Food is only one part of your restaurant, share photos that show off the ambiance and dining experience. Photos and or videos provide a "behind the scenes" look into the personality of the staff. This content allows you to extend the experience of your restaurant to your social networks.
Take advantage of recommendations
The article linked to above offers these great statistics which can help guide social media marketing ideas for restaurants when it comes to recommendations.
Consumers are 71 percent more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.(HubSpot)
49 percent of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants. (Mashable)
58 percent of Facebook users expect offers, events or promotions when they become a fan.(HubSpot)
What this means for a local restaurant is be active in social media. Your fans and followers will reward your restaurant by recommending you to their friends. And, don't forget to thank them for those recommendations.
Participate in a deal program
Yes, this may sound selfish since I help run our deal program Here's The Deal. But we've seen great success with local restaurants who've participated. The value of the deal program is to get new customers in the door. A targeted offer for your business in front of an audience seeking deals is an effective marketing tool to drive people to your restaurant.
More than 80 percent of our deal buyers are new or infrequent customers to the businesses they purchase deals from. Once they come in, it's up to you to provide them reasons to remain loyal and keep them coming back. Good news for local restaurants, with our program, 94 percent of buyers are somewhat or very likely to return back to the business without a deal.
One huge advantage of running a deal with Here's The Deal is that a local restaurant then has access to an email database of every customer who opted-in to utilize as part of its email marketing.
Need more specifics?
The article mentioned above is by Paul Beaulieu. And he offers some great advice on social media marketing ideas for restaurants.
"Here is one example of how video could help your social reach. Suppose you have a special for the night: Let’s say osso bucco. You record the chef on your smartphone, for 30 to 45 seconds, explaining the dish and the reason it is special. You then go to YouTube and upload the video. YouTube has great video-editing capabilities. You place your logo on the video and post. Then, you use Twitter to tweet about the dish and post the video on your Facebook page. Maybe you let Foursquare followers know where you are having that dish, and you create a quick video blog about it. The point is no matter what channels you are using, integrating video is a great way to spread your message.
"I was talking to Steve Vilnit, director of fisheries marketing at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He says the department regularly takes chefs out on the bay to show them the variety of seafood caught in Maryland. I can think no better way to promote your restaurant and local sourcing. What a wonderful promotional video you could create by showing people how you source locally."