Social media has become the focus of many restaurants’ marketing and advertising efforts, and restaurants everywhere have an increasingly visible presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Instagram. Social media for restaurants is gaining popularity among restaurants, big and small, across the country-according to a survey by a Nation’s Restaurant News, 47 percent of survey respondents indicated that social media was the most important part of their 2012 marketing campaigns. To remain innovative in the fiercely competitive restaurant industry, it is imperative that your turn your restaurant into a social media restaurant.
Check out the following reasons why your restaurant should be using social media:
1. Reward loyal customers: Offer special promotions just for your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or people who have checked in to your restaurant on Foursquare. This type of restaurant social marketing is a great way to get people to stay connected with your restaurant on social media platforms and reward your loyal customers.
2. Monitor your online reputation: It used to be that a newspaper review could make or break a restaurant’s reputation. However, these days, it’s all about the restaurant’s online reputation. Creating social brand pages on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp should help you own the first search engine results page for related keywords. In addition, social media for restaurant can help ensure that old news about your restaurant does not appear at the top of the search engine results.
3. Learn more about your fans: A restaurant can learn more about its fans by using Facebook Insights. Facebook Insights can provide a restaurant with valuable metrics such as “Friends of Fans” (the number of Facebook users your restaurant can potentially reach if all of its fans either talk about or share your Facebook page on their account), “People Talking About This” (the number of new people who have created content about your Facebook page in the past week”, and “Weekly Total Reach” (the actual number of people who have seen that created content about your Facebook page in the past week).
4. Engage your brand community: On social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, you can engage your brand’s community by asking questions or seeking input on new menu items. For example, on Facebook you can create a custom poll using Facebook Questions, Facebook’s in-house polling service, or by using the application Poll, which has been used by huge corporations such as Pepsi, ABC, Nintendo, and 20th Century Fox.
5. Save money on marketing and advertising: Traditional advertising avenues such as print ads, billboards, radio ads, and television commercials can be prohibitively expensive. Since all of the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) are free, connecting with users on these platforms is a free way for restaurants to advertise and market themselves to customers.
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