Tools for Restaurant Marketing. Use Them Now!
Sometimes, the best way to market your restaurant (while saving dollars) is to make use of the tools you already have. Below, we highlight 3 great tools for restaurant marketing. Each presents opportunities for restaurant owners to grow their business and each is frequently underused:
Tools for Restaurant Marketing #1: Facebook
What does Facebook allow you to really do for your restaurant though?
1. Engage Customers
Your Facebook Page is a place to convey information, represent your brand, and most importantly, engage with customers. You can speak individually to your customers, providing a voice for your business beyond just brand promotion. Connect and engage your customers to keep your brand top of mind and increase loyalty.
2. Get Feedback
You may be afraid of the idea of letting your customers criticize and complain about you publicly but by letting people voice their opinions on your Facebook page, you’re actually creating an opportunity to turn critics into fans and to correct problems before they spiral out of control. We suggest you welcome feedback on your Facebook and turn crises into opportunities. We’re all human beings. We all make mistakes. Use Facebook to respond to feedback professionally and to make customers aware that you listen to them and improve your services accordingly.
3. Facebook Ads
Paid advertising is becoming more targeted and powerful. Facebook’s new graph search is a feature available to anyone and is similar to what advertisers have been able to do for some time. It allows you to find a specific group of people who have specific interests in a specific area. For example, did you know you can target men in New York between the ages of 20-25 who like football and pizza? You can set up Facebook ads here and feel free to reach out to us for more advice.
Tools for Restaurant Marketing #2: Pinterest
We go into much more depth in our Pinterest for restaurants post with tips on what to pin and not to pin, but Pinterest is definitely worth highlighting as one of our 3 tools for restaurant marketing. If you go into Pinterest with a good marketing strategy, you can use it to…
1. Tap Into a New Audience
Because the user base is so large, and content spreads so quickly, there is a very good chance you will get your restaurant’s name in front of new eyeballs on Pinterest. And the best part? It’s free.
2. Create Brand Awareness
With a proper game plan and some consistency, you can establish your brand, and deliver your brand message. Brand awareness builds trust, loyalty and sales.
3. Improve SEO and Web Traffic
Content you post to Pinterest is linked back to the original source. This means that you can improve your search engine rankings through backlinks and drive visitors back to your own website (if that is where the content originated).
Read the full article on how to use Pinterest for restaurant marketing.
Tools for Restaurant Marketing #3: OpenTable
If you’re a restaurant owner and aren’t familiar with OpenTable yet, don’t worry they’ll be knocking on your door very soon. OpenTable is to online reservations as Google is to search. They dominate the market. In their quest for restaurant world domination they are also buying up many startups these days to add more marketing services to their offerings.
OpenTable can get quite expensive, but as hotels have used Expedia to ease the reservation and marketing process, so should your restaurant with OpenTable. We suggest combining it with your own reservations form on your website. You can avoid fees OpenTable charges for reservations through your own website and rely on them only for reservations they 100% secure. You can see an example we built for Thalia restaurant. They capture all the reservations on their website without paying additional feels to OpenTable, while also using OpenTable as a marketing partner beyond their website.
Lastly, while these tools for restaurant marketing are helpful, your own website is the central piece to a solid online marketing strategy. Without a well maintained, well optimized website, restaurant goers will have dificulty finding you on Google, or they might decide that your brand is so out of date your venue must not be worth visiting. Restaurant websites optimized for marketing should avoid using flash, look good on smart phones and tablets, an be up to date.
Got any other tools for restaurant marketing? Feel free to post them below.