Eating out at restaurants may just be the most social thing we do in public. The number of restaurants from multi-unit locations to independent mom and pops, or restaurant small businesses that are NOT using Social Media is surprising. Even worse, are those that have set up profiles and walked away from possibly the most economical medium available to them. If you aren’t going to stick with it, don’t do it at all.
Location, location, location; this is the oldest saying in the book. Location today is more about being found via location-based apps, geo-targeted search results and mobile marketing. If there is ONE thing you do, make sure you create listings for your restaurant(s), starting with Google Places. They are the number one search engine for a reason.
When you are ready to expand your location-based marketing claim your Foursquare profile, check out Yelp and get on that network called Facebook with over a Billion members and their product called Facebook Nearby.
Daily Special Content. What does content look like for a restaurant brand? Content is what you share with your audience. Ideas of what to share:
1. Your food and drinks
2. Where you source your ingredients
3. New menu items
4. Your restaurant’s decor (is it festive or relaxing?)
5. Daily and Seasonal Specials
6. What’s going on in the restaurant this week (live music, trivia, a meet up or a special event)
7. A simple invitation or enticement to come in and dine at your establishment today
The best part of social media for restaurants is that your customers are all ready doing a lot of this for you. It's a good bet that more Foursquare locations have been claimed by diners than have been by the restaurant themselves. Check-ins, endorsements and images are flooding the internet daily by fans of your restaurant. Once you are active on social media you will be able to merchandise the social traffic into profit. All you have to do is get started, embrace the medium and join the conversation.
Mary Anne Baker is the owner of INNsights Internet Marketing, helping small business get found on the Internet and through social media.