If you’re like most restaurant owners, you know online marketing can have a big impact on your business but you’re not sure where to start: it seems that there is an endless to-do list for online marketing, websites to check, places to log in, new social media sites to manage. Marketing your restaurant online doesn’t need to be complicated — here are 5 keys to online marketing success for busy restaurant owners:
The best place to start with your online marketing is to create an adaptive website — a website that looks great on mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Nearly 70% of visits to your website will come from a mobile device while there are still more restaurants that don’t have mobile-friendly sites than those that do.
Not only are your customers on mobile, Google is too. Google announced that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, it will discount your website in its’ search results.
In the midst of a world with endless communication mediums, email is by far the most used medium on the planet. 92% of online adults use email and it is estimated over 200 billion non-spam emails are sent each day.
While email marketing might seem a bit tired with the increased popularity of social media, email marketing is actually become more effective as options for online communication continues to increase. The restaurant industry has seen an uptick in almost 5% open rates year over year.
Social media is the best place online for your to interact with your customers, have conversations, and show your restaurant’s personality, brand, & culture.
With the number of potential social media networks available, you may be wondering which networks are best for you to invest time in. You may choose to invest time differently based on your target customers, however, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are recommended. Some quick tips as you consider which social network to use:
Facebook: Usage is increasing with people aged 30+, decreasing with users under the age of 30 — Facebook is your best bet to reach an older audience with more disposable income. Facebook is a great platform to share events, latest happenings, staff highlights, and share photos.
Instagram: Recently passed Twitter in number of users and has become the most used network for people in their 20’s. Great for posting food pictures, things happening in your restaurant, staff highlights, etc.
Twitter: Has a wide audience — nearly 1 in 4 adults are on Twitter, the most active users are under the age of 35. Great for sharing daily specials/features, latest news/updates, and having direct 1–1 communication with your customers.
Let’s face it: consumers wield a remarkable amount of power over restaurants these days through online reviews. Sites like Yelp & TripAdvisor have revolutionized the way consumers talk about and discover restaurants. Review sites can either be a great thing for your restaurant or a major deterrent of business.
Instead of being a bystander when it comes to online reviews, embrace and encourage customer feedback online preferably through a medium you can more directly control — your website. Make it simple for your customers to provide you feedback through your site; keep the negative feedback internal, and encourage positive reviewers to share their feedback on other review sites.
Utilize the customer feedback feature in the Restaurant Logic Web Marketing Dashboard to collect and automatically respond to feedback based on sentiment.
Once you have an adaptive website, email marketing, and social media set up, you’ll need to have a strategy. Keeping your strategy on a marketing calendar can allow you to be more clear about what, where, and when you’re going to communicate with your customers (without bombarding them). Best practice is to plan your marketing 30–60 days in advance.
Hopefully you’re feeling less overwhelmed when it comes to marketing your restaurant online. If you’re looking for a resource and tools, Restaurant Logic has developed an online marketing platform exclusively for restaurants that will help you create an adaptive website and one dashboard to manage email marketing, social media, and assist with online reputation.