Tag Archives: Social media marketing

“Social Media Marketing Strategies for Restaurants”

The financial crisis is likely to hit the fine dining industry very hard. Already there have been reports of exclusive London restaurants slashing their prices in order to maintain a steady flow of clientele and therefore subsequent cashflow. Competing on price, however, is never a wise, or usually profitable, strategy, so dining establishments need to look for alternate ways to bring in the customers. One easy way is to develop a social media strategy to connect with your customers and create a community of regular diners.

While every restaurant should develop their own strategy in order to connect with their key demographic the ideas I put forward here should offer you an insight into how to go about it. The tools I’ll be using to implement the strategy are easy to learn and use. In fact you may already be using them, but not necessarily in the most advantageous way. Also the tools are either free or cheap so you should see a good return on your investment (ROI) in a relatively short period of time.

The core of the strategy is to open the lines of communication both from you to the customer and from them to you. This allows you to inform them about what you offer as well as allowing them to offer feedback about what you’re doing well and what you can improve upon. This later part essentially allows you to use your customers as a free, perpetual, up-to-the-moment focus group. Once you’ve opened up the lines of communication there’s then an opportunity there to create a community, which brings benefits like brand loyalty, reliable and trusted feedback and word-of-mouth marketing.

Though the big restaurant brands are the whales of social media, there is plenty of room in the long tail for the smaller, independent restaurant. Why? Because local is the new organic, and you can’t get local from Outback Steakhouse or Subway.  There’s no sense of place at the chain restaurants–the value that they provide is consistency across countless locations and close proximity to major highways.

So what about those smaller, independent restaurants that embrace their local clientele and cuisine?  My advice:  play up your local connections for all they’re worth. Tout your support of local organizations, growers, producers, and artisans. Promote neighborhood events that drive traffic near your store, and coordinate your social media efforts to support your organizational goals.

Social media marketing and the businesses that utilize it have become more sophisticated. More small businesses are beginning to understand how to best leverage online tools to build a community and recognize that engagement and interaction are the foundations of social marketing, but most don’t know what’s next.

What follows are five advanced strategies for small businesses that may already have small online communities and understand how to create an online presence, but don’t know what to do next.

Did you ever notice that the best local restaurants are the ones you never see advertised?  That’s because successful local restaurants wouldn’t see a high ROI on print advertisements.  They see a much higher ROI by focusing on their values. 

Hometown Heroes have 3 things in common

  1. They know their customers.
  2. They care about their customers.
  3. They evolve with their customers.

Here are 10 ways you can know your customers, show you care about your customers and evolve with your customers by using social media.

 

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“The Importantance of Developing a Social Media Strategy For Your Business”

social media how toAccording to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Report , 67% of marketers plan to increase their use of social media channels including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

As more companies integrate social media into their marketing and communications plans, emphasis needs to be on creating a social media strategy.  Without a strategy, you’ll undoubtedly be sucked into a social media time sink.

So how exactly do you develop this strategy?

It’s easy.  Here’s a practical approach to developing a social media strategy for your business.

  1. Determine Your Goals and Objectives
  2. Research, Research, and Research Some More
  3. Create a Digital Rolodex of Contacts and Content
  4. Join the Conversation to Develop Relationships
  5. Strengthen Relationships
  6. Measure Results
  7. Analyze, Adapt, and Improve

I found this PowerPoint particularly interesting due to its broad focus on the importance of planning a  Social Media Strategy and leveraging your business through new Social Media Marketing Tactics.

Do you have a social media strategy for your business? Can you articulate what a social media strategy is? Don’t feel bad if you answered no.

What’s missing from most social media strategies? The correct answer of course is the strategy.  Strategy may be one of the most misunderstood and misused terms in business, probably because every business expert has their own definition.

What is the missing ingredient in most strategies I’ve seen? Actual strategy.

However, before I can really show you what a strategy is, it helps to understand what a strategy isn’t.

What a Strategy Is NOT

  1. Strategy is not a plan
  2. Strategy is not a timeline
  3. Strategy is not a goal
  4. Strategy is not what tactics you will use to achieve your goal

Perhaps the confusion is a result of the fact that many of the above elements are included in the overall strategy document or presentation. However, skipping or skimping on the actual strategy piece is never a good idea.

The Key To Developing A Social Media StrategySocial media is starting to take hold with brands, companies and organizations everywhere. While there are still stragglers, and it is probably incorrect to say most companies are getting with the program, a good number of them are. What we’re seeing in these organizations is a maturation process. Brands are done testing the waters, playing with the tools and saying, “We Gotta Facebook Page!” like it’s the corporate equivalent of an iPhone or Kindle. Companies are now approaching social media with communications strategies in mind — How can we effectively use these social tools to reach our audiences?
 
But therein lies the next challenge for those responsible for the social media planning for organizations. Regardless of the pedigree – public relations, corporate communications, marketing, customer service, research, etc. – today’s social media task masters are probably still operating from the traditional corporate mindset or training. First, you define your audience and your goals and objectives. Then you develop talking points to convince that audience to complete the action that fulfills the goals or objectives. Then you measure, report; rinse, repeat.

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“Save Time and Money with Social Media Strategy.”

It’s easy to plan a squeaky clean social media strategy for your business when it’s on paper. But executing all of the day-to-day tasks involved in that strategy can be a different story — and a giant, tangled mess — without implementing processes to manage it.

Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and strategies that can help community management teams communicate with each other, stay on the same page, schedule posts and cooperate with other departments.

Before you launch your strategy, consider how you will manage the execution. These six steps can help get you started.

Companies large and small are rushing to understand and get involved in social media. But most of the agencies and consultants who are being paid to establish social media campaigns for corporations are afraid to tell their clients three things they don’t want to hear. Hear what Mashable believes to be most important about social media strategy.

I found this powerpoint especially helpful. It explains social media strategy by recapping the business case for social media, addressing pitfalls of social media marketing and providing a roadmap for a social media strategy.

What platforms should I be using  to promote my blog or company?

  1. How many channels will I select to achieve my goals?
  2. Should I stick with what I know or what should I push the boundaries and test something new?
  3. What channels should I use to to communicate to my target markets?
  4. What are the messages I should send out?
  5. What listening tools should I use?
  6. What apps should I use to increase my efficiency?
  7. What analytics tools are the best for our situation?

By now, most companies see the value in engaging with their current and potential customers via social media channels. As you attempt to manage your brand and interact with consumers, you should be aware of both the opportunities and potential pitfalls that you could face.

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