For restaurants, being active online is one of the essential pieces of an effective marketing strategy. A big part of a restaurant’s online presence includes the active management of your reputation via review sites and customer engagements on social media platforms. Every review presents restaurants with the opportunity to connect with customers and improve their experiences, whether the review was positive, negative, or somewhere between the two.
Statistics from the National Restaurant Association show that:
- 88% of adults use technology (online resources, mobile phone browsers, apps, PCs, etc.) to look up restaurant locations, directions, and hours of operation
- 70% peruse restaurant menus online
- 57% read restaurant reviews from apps or sites
- 54% take advantage of rewards or special deals online
- 54% order takeout or delivery directly from a restaurant’s website
- 49% look up restaurant nutrition information
- 43% make reservations
- 26% pay for meals using technology
Improving your online presence can have a dramatic impact on whether or not you’re lassoing in these customers who rely heavily on the Internet when it comes to their dining experience. Whether you’re just getting started with social media or looking to boost the efficacy of your virtual efforts, here are three big ways to improve your restaurant’s online presence:
1. Use Sponsored Posts
Facebook allows for extremely precise geographical and niche targeting, which is perfect for restaurants who need to reel in the locals. You can also geo-target for Twitter posts as well, ensuring that each post you create is reaching the right customers for your restaurant. Sponsored posts are a way to pay to ensure that your posts, at least, make it to the Facebook walls of potential customers. Optimize your ads by precisely targeting the audience each ad was designed to influence.
2. Get an Instagram Account
Instagram relies primarily on pictures and videos, and restaurants, with their unique, engaging environments and varied menus, can make good use of these mediums as a way to attract new customers. You can also engage current patrons as they’ll likely be snapping pictures of their meals and posting on Instagram as well. Make sure that you’re posting images of your menu items that are visually appealing (like colorful fruits and veggies, frosted glasses of bubbly soda, etc.) while responding to posts and pictures that have you tagged. If you’re new to Instagram, learn more about how to get an Instagram account here.
3. Engage in Review Sites
Review sites like Yelp give users a way to post their reactions to any given business, including restaurants. While patrolling these sites to gain insight into customer experiences is a great way to improve your restaurant and menu, don’t stop there! Engage users on these sites to close the feedback loop and improve their experience even further. Correct issues and connect with customers who have had a poor experience to try to regain their loyalty. You’ll also benefit from a nice bonus: other users can see your interactions and that can speak volumes about your ability to connect with your clientele.
The restaurant industry’s demand for reputation management has spurred the further expansion of the digital marketing industry. Improve your online presence to see a boost in user trust as well as brand awareness, which can be the key to the success of your marketing strategy.
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