It's true that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the hospitality industry. Restaurant marketing in particular can be a challenge since competition is intense and value propositions can vary wildly depending on both target and local markets. So how can you get consumers to take notice of your restaurant? These three restaurant marketing tips can help you attract more guests and get casual diners to become frequent patrons.
1. Don't Just Establish a Social Media Presence; Be Present on Social Media
Many businesses see the intrinsic value in social media and set up accounts on multiple sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. However, simply creating an account and establishing a presence on these networks isn't enough. Being present on these networks with regular updates is crucial to getting the word out about your restaurant. Try posting photos of new menu items, highlighting positive guest reviews and offering special deals and discounts. These highly shareable posts will help you get the word out about your restaurant, and as users like, comment, pin and retweet these posts, your visibility will rise. The Wall Street Journal reports that Twitter even has a click-to-call feature that restaurants can use to encourage hungry users to make reservations instantly. Being present on all your social media accounts will help boost engagement with existing patrons, encourage return visits and help spread the word about your restaurant in an organic way.
2. Make Sure Local Directory Listings Are Updated
One of the biggest ways that modern consumers can find your business is through listing and review services like Yelp, UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor. Ensuring that correct directory listings are updated with your address, photos of your location, hours of operation, a link to your website and, of course, your telephone number is essential so that local browsers can find your location, read your menu and can give you a call to set up a reservation if need be. Having your restaurant's vital information available on as many of these services as possible gives your restaurant more reach, enabling more users to find your location with sites they already use through interfaces they are already familiar with.
3. Make Sure Your Website Incorporates Responsive Design
One of the most lucrative customers in the world of restaurant marketing is the walk-in customer. This type of guest is probably shopping nearby or driving around town when he sees your sign and it piques his interest. However, instead of just simply parking the car or wandering over to your establishment, this type of consumer opts to whip out his smartphone and do a little on-the-fly research before walking into a new restaurant. Making sure your website has mobile-friendly menus (with prices) and links to reviews as well as nutrition information ensures that these customers have the information they need to enter your restaurant with confidence.
Restaurant marketing is quite different from other types of marketing, as it requires considerably more effort both to attract new customers as well as hold established customer attention. However, with frequently updated social networking profiles, a community-based outreach program and a responsive Web design, you'll be able to get your restaurant on the map in your local community in no time!