As one of the most revolutionary developments of this era, social media has transformed the way people shop, communicate, and express themselves. But even as trends are changing, one thing hasn’t- everyone still needs to eat. With most people using their cell phones for almost everything, you don’t need the genius to tell you that utilizing this technology is an easy way to make your restaurant stand out in the crowd – of hungry people.
Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants fail to recognize how adding social media to their marketing mix can allow restaurant owners to engage more with their customers. It’ll not only get more people in the door but also help create an active conversation about it online. So, it’s time to avail opportunities to retain the current clientele and gain new ones while continuously improving an online reputation.
Here are 6 reasons why local restaurants need social media marketing:
Your customers are online, so should you
People and businesses are already online. The next step is getting yourself noticed on social media. 79% of the US population is using some form of social media. With numbers expected to grow over the coming years, this is where you need to be.
Think about it from the following perspective. When a customer comes into your restaurant for a bite, he’s probably using a social media app to share details of the visit with friends online. And don’t forget those hashtags. Whenever someone clicks on a Hashtag (#), all the posts having that Hashtag (#) will be displayed. So, a #content next to your restaurant will get you noticed. This creates a great potential for local restaurants to grow as it gets their name out in front of a large audience- without spending a dime. It’s time to implement using hashtags in your social media marketing activities. Start with Twitter and Facebook to raise brand awareness.
Increase your popularity
Everyone loves being on social media. And they’ll take everything there as well, whether to sing praises or bash your business. This is where you’ll find reviews about any experience. Businesses needs to actively communicate with their target audience by answering their questions, providing information about menu and prices, clarifying doubts, acknowledging compliments, responding to criticisms, or resolving complaints. Actively speaking with customers can improve service and sales. You need to exhibit your perseverance and commitment, helping to gain their trust and increase your popularity.
Develop a relationship with customers
Most restaurant owners believe that social media marketing is limited merely to posting photos of their dishes and waiting for crowds to appear. Before that can happen, you need to build a relationship with your customers. Just like any ordinary relationship in the real world, it takes time, effort, and a well-designed strategy.
But with social media, it’s a tad bit simpler. For an additional cost, you can get paid ads to boost the online visibility of posts by targeting them directly to your audience. Therefore, identify where your customer base is active and select that platform to connect with them.
The easiest way to build a relationship is to be present online and reach people outside the walls of your restaurant. Customers love to hear from their favorite places. Continuously interacting with them will have a significant impact on their perception of you. Remember that satisfied customers are more likely to spread praises to friends and family by word-of-mouth as well.
Social media lets you target an audience
Social media marketing utilizes tools to analyze customer preferences, track a visitor’s activities, and engage with them to create accurate information about the target audience. With traditional advertising, this is usually time-consuming. But social media marketing tools can help grow your brand, generate more traffic to your website, and bring more revenue to the restaurant. Remember, other forms of lead generation such as collecting customers’ emails should also be implemented.
Social media marketing a cost-effective way to improve your overall business
Compared to traditional advertising, which is already on the decline, social media marketing is affordable along with a variety of tools. It can reach more people than traditional print, radio, or television advertising does. Let’s not forget that food is one of the most visually appealing and stimulating items. With the proper social media management, it can increase brand exposure, giving local restaurants the power to flaunt their brand, products, and promotions consistently. And because of its up-to-date content and quick responses to queries, it has the potential to make your restaurant recognized as reliable and authoritative.
Social media marketing is interactive
What’s a business without customers? Social media provides a huge opportunity for local restaurants to communicate with them in real-time, a bonus to outshine the competition. Keep in mind that the conversation that is generated isn’t always positive. However, being receptive to any feedback is the key to success. It’s a great way to become aware of any shortcomings, letting you make the right moves to improving your restaurant. Whether it’s a complaint about poor service or dirty bathrooms, you’ll know exactly where to focus on winning back the customers. If it hadn’t been posted, you would never have known about what was turning your customers away.
Creating brand awareness and engagement through social media platform needs time, skills, and planning. Getting the right results from any strategy requires adequate knowledge and tools to keep you on track. Being aware of the potential your restaurant must grow on social media is a step in the right direction. It’s best to understand how customers are reacting to your brand initially. Utilizing social media analytics software is a way to stay informed about the analytics of your social media posts and campaigns. It’s time for restaurant owners to tune into social media as a means of helping the business expand.