Social media can have the biggest impact on your restaurant this year. If managed with the right strategy in place, social media will deliver more value to your business than print advertising. But it all depends on the goals of your business.
Print advertising may be right for your restaurant if you are competing on price, rely on coupons to market your business, or are uncomfortable with technology. Although response rates to coupons may remain the same, print marketing attracts a certain type of customer who is more focused on price, not value. They’re the bargain shoppers who expect something for nothing. You may get more bodies in the door, but in the long-run, the penny-pinching customer will burden your staff, complain more, and cost you more to serve. Is that the type of customer base you want to grow?
Internet marketing, and specifically, social media marketing, is the best option if your goals are to increase loyalty, provide outstanding customer service, build stronger relationships, drive more referrals, increase ticket values, or deepen the emotional ties your customers have with you, your staff, & your brand.
The internet has given consumers access to all the information they could ever want, and they no longer need to rely on advertising to make buying decisions. Yelp, Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, & OpenTable are now the primary sources of this information, so logically, a restaurant should focus on gaining exposure on those platforms. As time goes on, social technology becomes the norm, and print advertising becomes irrelevant, especially for the restaurant industry.
Food for thought:
– The value of a Facebook ‘like’ is $174.
– Facebook fans will spend 43% more than non-fans.
– Social users spend 21% more with brands who exceed customer service expectations online.
– 8 out of 10 customers check reviews sites before they buy.
The research is compelling, no doubt. But besides that, the internet allows your brand to come alive in ways that were not possible before. You can showcase your food, yes, but you can also showcase your humanity; your employees, your vendors, your sponsees, your connections to the local community, your customers’ experiences, etc. You are able to tell the stories that captivate your customers and remind them often of the reasons they love to eat at your restaurant. You’ll foster deeper loyalty among your customers, strengthen the emotional ties they have between you and your brand, and empower them to spread positive word-of-mouth about you to their friends. You can’t do that with print ads.
So if you’re on the fence about budgeting to ensure you have a robust social media presence, take our advice and make it a priority. Your customers will love you for it, and your business will benefit much more than marketing a one-way, static message via print.
Did you know?
We've been managing social media accounts for restaurants since 2012. For almost a decade, we've partnered with restauranteurs who are serious about using social media to generate business. Whether you're a good fit for our service or not, let's schedule a call and we'll give you free personalized advice on how to improve your social media presence. Either way, you'll walk away from the call more confident about your ability to promote yourself online - completely for free.