As a restaurant owner, most of your time is probably spent making sure the kitchen is running smoothly and making sure your servers are going their job effectively. This can make it difficult to make time to create an effective online marketing campaign. Here is a great article with 5 ideas to create an effective online marketing campaign for your restaurant.
21. February 2012
No matter what type of restaurant you have, chances are that more than half of your customers have searched for your restaurant online. In this digital age, your online presents effects your business in a huge way. The question is what can you do to make sure the people who are finding your business online are actually walking through your door? Here are 4 ways you can convert online traffic to offline customers.
1) Include “A Call To Action” On Your Website
Customers may be looking for your website to find out information. But simply offering information doesn’t prompt them to act on it. A call to action is simply something that causes a consumer to act. You may have a downloadable coupon or “Like us on Facebook to receive special offers”. If you offer takeout, it could be something as simple as an “Order Now” button with your phone number. You need to have something that causes a customer to act on the information that they have received.
2) Make Sure Online Business Listings Are Claimed and Complete
Some potential customers may be looking for your restaurant while most are just looking for any restaurant. Many sites such as Google Places, Yelp, and Citysearch offer free online business listings. Most sites such as these offer the option to “claim” your business. They will verify that you are the owner or employee of the restaurant and then allow you to make changes to that business listing. Making sure your online business listings are claimed by you and have complete information is an important part of drawing in customers. Add photos and descriptions to your listings that will appeal to potential customers.
3) Test Online Offers
While you may not have a huge list of customer contacts, Groupon, Living Social, and Foursquare will. Test out different offers on these sites. They can be a great way to get new customers through the door. However, make sure you monitor these offers carefully. While they can create a lot of customer traffic, they can also be very costly.
4) Encourage Your Existing Customers To Leave Feedback
A huge part of what people look at when evaluating a restaurant is customer reviews. Unfortunately, many times people that have had a negative experience are the ones that leave reviews online. So how can you get your customers to share their positive experiences? You can start by printing something on the bottom of your receipt along the lines of “Please Review Us Online!” but that alone will not do it. Here is where you need to get your staff involved. If a customer is going to take the time to set up an account and review your restaurant online they need to know you really care. Have your staff point this out to a loyal customer. Explain how much it helps your business and advertising cost and that it will only take a few minutes of their time. Make the invitation personal.
Remember that when it comes to engaging your customers online or offline your imagination is the limit. Be creative. You know your business better than anyone else. So ask yourself; what ways would be most effective to convert your online traffic into loyal customers?
14. February 2012
With so much competition in the pizza industry, how does a small pizza business come out on top? Check out this article for some great marketing ideas!
Have you ever wondered how important your online business reputation really is? According smallbiztrends.com, almost half of consumers are more likely to use a business after reading positive reviews online. Since people naturally trend toward leaving negative feedback, how can you engage your customers to leave positive feedback? Check out this article for some great ideas.
In this economy starting a restaurant can be a pretty tall mountain to climb. Here is a great success story from The Gyro Company in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Check out this article to see how their great ideas came together and put them in a position for success.
The Gyro Co. Founder Talks Start-Up's Success
Recently McDonalds started a Twitter campaign that backfired. McDonalds started a campaign with the hashtag #McDStories designed as promotional campaign. Twitter users quickly picked up on this and turned it into an opportunity to bash the restaurant’s food and service. Check out the full story here.
Op-Ed: McDonald's Twitter campaign backfires as users turn the tables
Experts are predicting several new restaurant trends in 2012. Consumers are going to have new expectations from restaurants this new year, including healthier menu options and online ordering. Check out this great article to see how your restaurant measures up to meeting consumers demands.
Top 7 Quick Serve Trends for 2012
If your restaurant has not yet jumped into the game of using social media, 2012 is a great time to start. Many national chains used 2011 to test strategies of using social media to connect with customers. In this article some of those owners share their experience and what they plan to do differently. Check it out.
Restaurants' social-media strategies in 2012
With the down economy many restaurant owners are making changes to keep business up. La Pinata, a long time Business Software Solutions customer, is taking advantage of the trend towards fast casual. Read this article on things they are doing to keep prices low and business hopping.
La Pinata» New menu, attitude » Times Record News
Are you considering using coupons to attract new customers to your restaurant? Have you ever considered what types of customers this attracts and how it effects your bottom line? Here is a great article discussing some of the issues with coupons and some alternatives to boosting business that won’t effect your bottom line.
How to Boost Restaurant Traffic Without Discounts by Karen E. Klein