Three Pieces of Digital Advice for Restauranteurs
Over the next few weeks, I thought it would be interesting to offer three pieces of digital marketing advice to specific industries. With restaurants as one of our specialties, there is no better place to start.
Restaurants Require A Great Website
It is very surprising to hear how many restaurant owners and marketers ask why a website is needed in the age of Yelp, UrbanSpoon, GrubHub and similar apps and websites. Why can’t they just rely on these platforms for their digital marketing. The first reason is FourSquare. Remember it? Many don’t. FourSquare promised to change the restaurant industry. It may have, but it is far from an important part of today’s restaurant marketing plan. Today, platforms are appearing and disappearing quickly. A website is your guaranteed home online. More importantly, it is a digital representation of your brand. A customer, when visiting your site, should feel as if they are walking into your front doors. Only your website can ensure this. It is completely customizable and can never be taken away from you.
Create a Review Strategy
Online reviews are far too important to neglect. In fact, it’s critical that you have a review strategy. The first part of your review strategy should be to encourage reviews. Now there are a lot of rules from Yelp, Google and other people regarding reviews. You cannot incentivize positive reviews. You cannot reward them. But there is a cool product that we developed (sorry for the plug, but it works) that will help you boost your positive reviews while simultaneously collecting email addresses and identifying customer service issues. They are called ReviCards and you can learn more about them at www.getrevicards.com.
After implementing a collection strategy, you need to make sure you monitor online reviews. There are a few ways to do this. The most simple and effective is just to make sure that you have claimed your restaurant and have registered a working email. You will be notified if anyone leaves a review. Make sure you acknowledge and thank those who leave positive reviews. More importantly, make sure that you acknowledge and reply to all negative reviews. Mistakes will happen. Acknowledging this, fixing issues and communicating with unhappy customers will mitigate the negative effects online. People understand that there will be complaints. If you answer complaints properly, they will value your response more than the original complaint.
Social Media 101 for Restaurants
We have had tremendous success online (growing audiences tenfold in three months) with a simple strategy. We start by using Facebook because so many people are there. We create a weekly post and then promote that post to geographically targeted consumers who are friends of current fans. With the right content and this advertising strategy, you will see a REAL, measurable change in your online success. It’s that simple. And that effective.
There you go – three simple pieces of digital advice that will change your digital marketing strategy. They are simple and somewhat easy to implement. If you need help, tweet us at @BoxlessMedia. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Have you found something else that we neglected? We would love to hear your thoughts. Just comment below!