by Ola Ayeni, guest blogger & founder of Dining Dialog and myeateria.com
Let’s get right to the point – restaurant owners and operators are extremely busy individuals. They are constantly managing their staff, striving to keep their customers happy, and doing their best to keep their restaurant profitable. With the long hours they put in running their business, updating their status on Facebook or Google+ just sounds like another annoying item to put on their to-do list. Naturally, it may come as a surprise that social media can actually increase profitability for a restaurant if done effectively. Social media management may be worth the time and extra few minutes each day, in order to see the profitability of its efforts.
Huffington Post gathered “100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures From 2012” which helps explain why social media is important for your restaurant’s bottom line. Social media has completely changed the way people eat, shop, socialize, and interact with their favorite brands and businesses. For restaurant owners, social media pages are just one of the way to place yourself where your customers are. Social media is the perfect platform to socially integrate your brand into the lives of your customers. Facebook and Twitter still rank the highest in number of users but Google+ is not far behind.
According to last year’s statistics, there were nearly 850 million monthly active users on Facebook last year. So if your restaurant doesn’t have a Facebook presence or it you are rarely on it, it’s time to start making that account active and get socializing! Also, tweet away. In 2012, there were 175 million tweets sent each day throughout the year. If you are a restaurant owner, it is safe to say that the majority of your customers are Facebook and Twitter users.
Here are some creative ways to utilize your social media accounts:
– Post your Soup of the Day. Instead of having to call you, customers can head to your Facebook or Twitter page to find out what soup you will be serving that day. You can post a yummy picture of your soup with your status too.
– Weekly/MonthlySpecials: Special items often change on a daily basis. Social networks are great places to post your specials. If you want to add a sense of urgency to your message, tell you customers how much you have left.
– Don’t let them forget about your drink specials! Like your Soup of the Day and your specials, you can remind your customers about the drink specials waiting for them after work.
– If you are having an event, letting your customers know ahead of time is a great way to ensure that they put your event on their calendar.
Don’t forget about Google+. It is not uncommon for people to put Google+ on the backburner. Facebook and Twitter have been the most utilized by consumers but Google+ has some advantages that the others do not. Just last year, 625,000 people joined Google+ each day.
Here are a few reasons you may want to consider using Google Plus for your restaurant.
– Google indexes it so it makes it easier for customers to find your business.
– 60% of Google+ users log in daily.
– It is a newer platform but growing rapidly.
– Google+ joined forces with Zagat, which makes it easier for you to see your restaurant reviews and also share them.
By using your social networking as a marketing tool, you are given the opportunity to be in your customer’s lives outside of your restaurant. You are able to interact with them on a more personal level, which lets them know you care about them and appreciate them for supporting your business. You have the opportunity to bring in more customers, equaling more profit by simply updating them about specials or events. Lastly, you can expand your reach to potential customers.
Ola Ayeni is the founder of Dining Dialog and myeateria.com. eateria™ is a digital loyalty marketing platform and a whole new way for restaurant, food and hospitality businesses to interact with their customers based on their on-the-go lifestyle. eateria™ utilizes the best combination of connected channels of email, social media and text message. Dining Dialog is a cutting edge, full service new media marketing company servicing the restaurant, bar and food service industry. For restaurant marketing tips, visit our eateria™ blog at blog.myeateria.com.