5 SIMPLE THINGS EVERY RESTAURANT SHOULD BE DOING ONLINE
As a restaurant owner you have it easy from a marketing stand point. As a general social media marketing agency owner running accounts for service-based businesses we have to think out of the box when it comes to strategy with the lack of a tangible product that can be photographed and featured.
A restaurant has a constant stream of relevant up to date content at it's finger tips that can be utilised to help push your brand online. Let's look at these in detail and some other tips and how these can be applied to your business.
1. Google My Business
The first thing any restaurant should do is ensure your website is indexed with Google and your 'Google My Business' listing is set up and optimised.
Google is one of the most relevant websites for any business. No matter the size of the company, the industry or the location, consumers will use Google to search for information about the company and more. In many situations, the first thing that people will learn about your restaurant will come from the things that show up in search. Google announced several changes that will help restaurant owners put their best foot forward in an online search.
Google is the ideal tool for local restaurants, that want to reach potential customers in their area. It’s not uncommon for consumers to search for “restaurants near me”.
What is more Google will now automatically include the most-popular dish at a restaurant.
The way the new feature is set up requires little or no action by the restaurants. Google doesn't need a copy of the menu or access to sales data. The favorite dishes are determined by a machine learning algorithm that relies on other data sources. Specifically, Google Maps will match dish names that are provided by Google Maps users, with related photos and reviews that have been uploaded. The result is an arrangement of a restaurant's most popular meals that's easy to see by people on Google Maps.
2. Make use of UGC (user-generated content)
User-generated content is a great way to keep your social media feeds fresh and authentic. Discover how your restaurant can promote your brand by harnessing the images your customers share.
When today’s consumers need help making up their minds about where to go for dinner, their first stop is often social media. Between the endless supply of photos posted by previous restaurant guests and the glut of customer reviews, the decision is as good as made.
It’s no wonder today’s restaurants prioritise social media. According to TripAdvisor, 60 percent of restaurant-goers take online photos into consideration when deciding where to eat. So, uploading images of your restaurant decor and menu items can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
User-generated content (UGC) in the form of images, videos, and reviews conveys valuable information about what a diner can expect. UGC also serves as free advertising for featured restaurants. User content helps brands cultivate a loyal online community of followers, and also drives foot traffic to restaurants. Incentive customers to take pictures and tag your restaurant in. When people post their pictures this exposes you to a new audience. You could even search out locals with large social media followings and offer them free food in return for taking pictures and posting them on their social media channels. This could potentially expose your restaurant to hundreds of thousands of new potential customers.
3. Staff Bios
Every once in a while create a post to let customers get to know your staff. Provide an image of them in your restaurant and share their favourite dish, how they got started at your restaurant, where they went to school, their hobbies
and anything else unique that people would find interesting. Not only does this let customers connect with your restaurant on a personal level, but it’s also a post that can get a good amount of engagement. Your staff are likely to comment on the post and share it with their friends.
4.Implementation of Chatbots
The technology has become so popular, by 2020, nearly 85 percent of enterprise-customer relationships will take place with no human interaction at all. Chatbots and virtual assistants will take the reins. It’s not as if consumers will be unhappy with this change, either. Eighty-nine percent of consumers prefer to engage with businesses via text, while 64 percent that do communicate in this way have positive impressions of the experience.
They’re a great way to eliminate tedium and free up some resources — most systems are fully automatic. And in the restaurant business, customer retention and loyalty are important, as is providing a top-notch experience and effective customer service. Always-on, always-ready technologies — like chatbots — can certainly improve the landscape. Chatbots can deliver even more benefits in tandem with AI and machine learning systems.
Consider the Domino’s pizza bot. It’s an automated chatbot, powered by Facebook Messenger, that allows the company’s customers to make pizza orders quickly and efficiently. Want a pizza? Just send an emoji — seriously, it’s that simple.
Chatbots can be utilised for a number of uses for restaurants which include:
Auto responding to basic requests eg send menus, pricing, opening and closing hours and special discounts and offers
To collect a userbase of profiles which can be broadcasted to to communicate offers and news and nurtured into paying customers. From this user base basic info inc birthdays are provided giving scope to offer birthday promotions.
5. PAY TO PLAY WITH FACEBOOK ADS
Facebook hold a massive amount of date on all of us which makes their ad platform the best the world has seen. Restaurants can tap into this data by targeting the friends of people who have birthdays coming up.
Birthdays are key events for bars, venues and restaurants, for both the celebrating individual and their friends. As such, it makes sense to try and target ad campaigns based on birthdays, which is why Facebook introduced birthday targeting.
You can use birthday targeting within the 'Detailed Targeting' element of your ads creation process - using the term 'Birthday' will bring up specific month options.
There is a lot of money to be made in the bar and restaurant trade from birthdays. And now with these Facebook ninja tricks, we can target people organising birthday events with value added incentives to come and party or eat at your venues potentially earning lots of new business.