Having an online presence is no longer viewed as a luxury, but rather a necessity in a competitive market. It’s not enough to have a website and a good Facebook page for your business. Ahead of time, you need to develop and optimize your social media presence as well. And one of the best ways help your local restaurant’s reach is by testing your digital marketing strategy.
Find out what customers are searching for on Google. Search for phrases such as ‘Pasta’ or ‘Italian cuisine’ to get an idea of what they are looking for and how they might be searching in the future. Are they interested in quality or quantity? Do they prefer something on the go (or at home) or do they want something that takes time to prepare? Use the data you get from searching queries about these topics and analyze your social media posts to determine which ones are most likely going to be converted into customers.
For example, if you have organic Facebook posts about Pasta from your local restaurant chain, you should make sure that you include some sort of information about how you prepare it or give away coupons or discounts based on how many people liked them/booked through them/spent money there in the past week/month. When it comes down to it though, there is no substitute for good content marketing; so building up such content is crucial.
1 – Why Billboards Are a Waste of Money
If you are a local restaurant, if you want to be successful in the digital age, you need to start embracing the digital marketing age. Digital marketing is real and it’s here to stay. You can buy billboards or flyers but it’s not necessary. It’s more important that you spend time and money on good content.
You can use social media to create buzz by posting tweets, pins, and photos of your products online; engage with customers by following them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram; post reviews of your products online; post videos of yourself talking about your products online; submit user reviews on Yelp or Google Places; ask customers to leave reviews online. You can also create pages (like Yelp) for each location where they can share their experience with your business
2 – Trust and Reviews are Key
While online reviews are a great way to get your products in front of potential customers, the trust and credibility of those reviews is paramount.
This requires having a good track record in customer service and quality of food or drink. The objective is to create a positive experience for your customers, not just for them to be satisfied with what you’ve served them but also with their interaction with you as a company. This means that if they like what they’re getting, they should try it out; if they don’t like it, they should tell you why.
3 – Get Visible with Google Maps
If you’re planning to have a local business, you should definitely consider using Google Maps for your storefront and other marketing. In fact, it can even be a good place for you to advertise.
A local restaurant could use Google Maps as a way to show visitors their location and give them directions on how to get there. They can also show where they are located by giving the address on Google Maps in the title of their page.
4 – Introduce a Loyalty Program
Over the last couple of years, many local restaurants have been experimenting with loyalty programs, whether they be customer-based (i.e., customer rewards) or customer-initiated (i.e., customer discounts).
The best way to go about this is by marketing your restaurant as a place with a lot of ‘hidden gems’ and offering discounts when customers come in and visit. In doing so, you can offer customers a way to get rewarded for their loyalty and make them feel special!
Here are some suggestions for ways to do this:
1) Start a tab on your website for your local restaurants with blurbs from the owner or manager, reviews from happy customers, or even photos of the restaurant from around the neighborhood. This will give potential customers an idea of what it is like inside your establishment and they can evaluate it based on taste and customer service.
2) Offer an online coupon book where you give out coupons that allow you to earn points towards paying at your establishment. For every $1 spent, there are three points that can be redeemed towards getting a meal free at the restaurant. This will encourage people to check out your restaurant more often by adding value to their shopping experience.
3) Promote specials all month long for one or two nights only or when sales are low. This also attracts people who might not normally visit your restaurant on regular days if they are aware of these special promotions. The more people you can convince that they should check out during these times, the more money you’ll make off their visits! If done correctly, this could be very profitable for you!
4) Invite social media influencers into your establishment through Instagram and/or Facebook pages where they can promote specials by posting pictures that show off how great the food is (and how much fun it is to dine there)! Make sure though that these posts do not promote other brands first because this could come across as spammy and untrustworthy as well as cause negative brand awareness in certain areas of town/regions. Stick with promoting one local business or product only and make sure that it is timely and relevant so that it does not become unwelcomed after several months!
5) Promote specials before opening hours (or close enough). This will attract those who may not normally visit during regular business hours if they know about them because no one else knows about them other than you! Once again, make sure that this is
5 – Use Instagram for Customer Service
There are several ways to get your customers to post photos of their food for you to see and find. One way is through Instagram, a platform owned by Facebook. Here is a list of some great examples from users who use it to share their experiences with food in their local area.
Apart from that, you can also use it for customer service purposes as well. For instance, you can encourage your customers to use #instagram and share pictures of the food they ordered by using hashtags such as #food #foodie #instafood #localrestaurants. You can also make suggestions and ask them if there’s anything else they need help with.
This will likely be a good way for you as well since it will give people a chance to show you what they think about your products as well. Don’t forget that it’s important to use social media influencers too! Like this person who uses Instagram at all times (she has over 2 million followers). She posts pictures of what she’s been up to while using her camera phone – which is something that many restaurants should do in addition: if she loves the food, why not let her show off her skills?
6 – Add Online Ordering to Your Website
While the digital marketing age has many advantages, there are also its downsides. If you’re in a restaurant business and you’ve been using online ordering for a long time, you’re probably well aware of how efficient and convenient it is.
But it can be hard to get the word out about your business, particularly if you are not a big brand name or have very few social media followers. There are some basic ways to get your name out during the ordering process:
1) Share Your Website Link on Facebook/Twitter: By sharing your website URL on Facebook or Twitter (using the #hashtag), you can share your business on social media. This could be useful if you own multiple restaurants or have a large number of locations.
2) Post Your Order History: You can share information about your orders on all of your social channels (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter), including providing links to view each order. Of course, this information is important to share so make sure that it is accurate, as you don’t want people to think that they need to look up every order they place because they forgot them.
3) Use Instagram/Pinterest Marketing: If you do any type of food photography, Instagram and Pinterest can be great platforms for getting customers interested in your restaurant; however, since it is not often used as much by restaurants these days (it was only popularized by those who post food pictures and recipes), this does not really work well for most businesses with limited social media following. Nevertheless, if Instagram and Pinterest are important platforms for you (they are used by many foodies and influencers), then this is an effective way to get your business noticed during ordering process; just note that most restaurants use these platforms for exactly that purpose.
4) Personalize Your Website: You can always add such content directly onto your website using custom widgets or links called ‘Personalization Widget’; however, this method may not work well when targeting more specific audiences such as students or college students. Alternatively, you can use another tool called ‘Social Media Optimization Toolkit- POMO’ which allows businesses to create custom landing pages just by entering certain information based on their target audience’s preferences regarding certain topics such as ‘food related/soup related’ etc…
7 – Conclusion
In conclusion, digital marketing is a great way for local restaurants to reach new customers and book more reservations. By using the right strategies, your restaurant can see a significant increase in business. Cyrusson can help you create a digital marketing plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. Contact us today to learn more!