Curing your marketing ills

Social Media and Restaurants

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I will admit I am a research nerd (ok, many types of nerd am I, but I digress).  I adore spending my small amount of spare time looking at how businesses do their marketing and their social media.  One could probably argue that I have a bit of a media overload going on most of the time (see VideoDrome).  An industry that I am consistently looking at is the restaurateur field.  It is an area that the marketing can be droll or it can be quite, erm out there (see Quiznos).

The last year has been truly inspiring to watch the way restaurants, in particular, have been using social media.

A very small sample of some my favorite restaurants to watch and read include:

Chino Latino – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Wildfire Restaurant – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Ians Pizza – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Jimmy John’s Subs – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Morton’s Steakhouse – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Pizza Hut – Follow on Twitter or like on Facebook

Is there more to social media than Twitter and Facebook?  Of course there is.  If you are a restaurateur you really ought to be creating FourSquare deals, creating a blog as part of your website (a blog that you update with some frequency) and following reviews of your restaurant on Google Maps Business Reviews, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, Zagat (if you are listed) and Trip Advisor (incidentally, if you find a poor review for your restaurant, be certain to try to engage with the reviewer — you may change an unhappy experience into a very happy experience).  There are a few high-end gourmet restaurants I have seen that use YouTube or Flickr to their advantage by showing their line cooks and chefs actually preparing the food.  To see what is being said about you on blogs or in the news, be certain to sign up and receive Google Alerts.

At a minimum, you should also be providing your customers an e-newsletter that provides more than promotion, promotion, promotion.  Social Media at its heart is about the social portion of the phrase.  Involve the customers that love your brand.  Ask for pictures taken at your location to be sent to you, ask for positive reviews on the above listed sites, create a recipe contest, provide any sort of contest, ask feedback questions, or provide specials just for their social media (i.e. a Twitter only special, a Facebook fan only special, etc.)

If you own or manage a restaurant and would like to further discuss your Social Media Marketing Plan, contact Apothecary.

Written by apothecarycomm

2010/07/20 at 7:36 am

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