Catering is one of the most competitive industries, which requires not only nerves of steel, but also lots of creative ideas. However, the problem is that nowadays not everybody considers that social media marketing can help food businesses grow. In this article you will find useful yet very simple tips and strategies which you can use to take your business to the next level.
1. Foodie Pics
Hashtag #foodporn is a classic example of where you can find tonnes of food related images on Instagram. As visual content is one of the most eye-catching things on the internet, why not use it to your advantage and seduce potential customers by posting pictures of various masterpieces you create on a regular basis?
Consider hiring a professional photographer, as DIY pictures taken using your smartphone cannot compete with those high quality pictures taken by proper camera with professional setup. That is why Splento offers special kind of service – food photographers – as demand for professional food photography is constantly growing. Do not underestimate the power of good photography, which can significantly improve your marketing campaign.
2. Loyalty Programs
There are a lot of various food apps that you can collaborate with. Partnering with online services makes it easier for your business to be found and encourages visitors to check out your restaurant through gamification and loyalty programs such as offering users a free purchase or discount for visiting it a certain number of times. Let’s be honest: punch cards are out of date.
Yelp reviews is something that many customers look at while considering which place to go to. Good ratings alongside with positive reviews build your reputation as well as boost your popularity. As Yelp will eventually automatically list your business after it is open, even if you do not register an account with them, users will be able to write reviews and post comments. So in order to avoid unprofessional image, you should better take everything in your own hands and work on your page by including relevant information such as photos, opening hours, location, menu, price range and available services, such as Wi-Fi.
Regarding feedback do not forget to thank users for the positive feedback but do not ignore negative one too. We highly recommend always replying in a polite, professional manner. You can even consider contacting particular users privately to find out what they have found disappointing and how you could improve.
4. Set Up Your Google+ Account
When you search a business using Google, Google’s Knowledge Graph provides the business’s details in the sidebar. Google’s Knowledge Graph gathers a large amount of its info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ is a huge bonus, because presence of your restaurant on Google’s Knowledge Graph allows for more prime search real estate (for free)! Also ask visitors to review you on Google+, as Knowledge aggregates Google user reviews.
5. Geo-targeted Ads
As previously mentioned, Instagram is the place to be and, more importantly, be popular. Post pictures of your top favourite dishes, restaurant interior, pictures from special events, famous guests and so on. The more likes and followers you get, the more recognizable your brand becomes! For most restaurants, local is the name of the game. Most clients will search for a good place in their neighbourhood so that is why Geo-targeting ads are quite useful. They help you save money, ensuring that only users in certain cities or within a specific radius see your ads (eliminating non-relevant clicks, which can cost you big ad bucks). Many online advertising services, from Google AdWords to Facebook and Twitter, offer geo-targeting ad options (at no extra cost). Be sure to take advantage of these handy targeting features to get your best ads in front of your best customers.
6. Be an Insta-Ham
As previously mentioned, Instagram is the place to be and, more importantly, be popular. Post pictures of your top favourite dishes, restaurant interior, pictures from special events, famous guests and so on. The more likes and followers you get, the more recognizable your brand becomes! By the way, you can read how to get 30,000 followers on Instagram without spending a fortune here.
7. Send Out Weekly Email Newsletter
Do not be too intrusive as your emails will simply end up in your clients’ spam folder. But let them know, may be once a week or once a month, about any changes to your restaurant such as new menu or special offers. Be informative and concise!
8. Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content (lovingly dubbed UGC) is a great way to engage with your users on a more personal level. Host a photo competition, where the lucky winner will be able to enjoy a free drink or any other prize. It shows how much you appreciate them receiving their demonstration of loyalty in return.
9. Show Off Your Staff
Everyone wants to know who are the real people behind your brand. Whether it is your chef or waitress, post a picture and maybe even a short bio of your employees to introduce your staff to your clients. Moreover, many successful businesses already use services of professional headshots photographers to help them build up their reputation.
10. Share Positive Press
Last but not least, major restaurant marketing tip – when you’re mentioned in the press, be sure to show off your publicity on your website and link it to your other social media channels. Fans will spread the word and new customers will be encouraged to visit in person once they see social proof and trusted sources celebrating your restaurant.
If you have anything to add to our list of Effective Tactics to Improve Your Food Business Revenues, do not hesitate to write your ideas in the comments down below!