Put It In the Fan’s Hands

In today’s day and age, people look for restaurants on Yelp, Facebook, Smart phone applications, and so on. Social media and online marketing is everywhere, and key, if you want to be able to rise above the rest.

Twitter and Facebook have opened two-way avenues for the restaurant and customer to connect on a level that wasn’t feasible in the past.

Here are just a few ways that restaurants can use their Facebook and Twitter pages to increase business:

–       Promote specials during slow hours: Post up on Facebook and Twitter a special promotion during the restaurant’s slowest hours. This puts “butts in seats” when people normally would not come in. By only posting on Facebook and Twitter, it entices the customers to “Like” the Facebook page or follow the Twitter handle because they can find exclusive information via those portals.

–       Enable people to make reservations through the restaurant’s Facebook page. Yes, OpenTable is great, but isn’t it better to be able to go directly to the source? Terra Restaurant in San Diego lets their customers make a reservation online, which increases convenience and therefore customer service and satisfaction.

–       Promote weekly events on all social media channels. El Vitral Restaurant and Tequila Lounge offers a weekly tequila tasting, where one can pair great tequilas and fabulous food. With almost 1,000 fans, El Vitral has a solid fan base to work with, but does not take advantage of it. With a creative strategy put in place, they can push out their weekly Tequila Series and stir up word of mouth with their online social media campaign. Also, promoting an event online is great because the fan or follower feels like they are getting the inside scoop on everything that the restaurant has to offer.

–       Let fans decide what to put on the menu! Terra Restaurant San Diego puts the menu in the fan’s hands. They list ingredients on Facebook and then let the competition begin! Many fans post their suggestions and the winner receives a free dinner from the restaurant. A strategy like this promotes engagement, gives fans incentive to respond, as well as spread the word. It is a fun and creative way to reward the fans and make their experience at the restaurant a bit more personal.

A restaurant is only as good as its customers. If the customers are passionate and loyal to the restaurant, they will give more rave reviews. I know that if I come across a rave review about a place, or if a restaurant has an online exclusive, I am all about it. Who doesn’t want to be part of the club?





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