Skeptics of social media marketing have a lot of excuses for why they don’t do it, why they don’t have time for it, and why ‘their customers’ don’t really use it. But what they really are asking is:
How can a strong twitter and facebook following help me solve business problems my restaurant faces and make real money?
Here is a real world example of how GuestFeed did just that this past week for one of our restaurant clients. I was talking to the manager of a successful restaurant that has a private dining room for functions like rehearsal dinners, corporate meetings, and holiday parties. GuestFeed has been very successful building website solutions, and marketing the private dining opportunities for the restaurant, and as we spoke he said, “The holiday season is almost completely booked, imagine if we could book the room for some Monday and Tuesday parties.” I thought that would be incredible if their private room was completely booked for December, and I asked him what he thought it would take. He told me that if he knew he would do it.
So I said lets ask your restaurant’s twitter followers and GuestFeed’s followers and see what they come up with. So I ran a simple “What would it take to encourage your company to have their Holiday party on a Mon or Tues?” message out there. We got seven responses in the first 30 minutes, and some of them were actually within or control (what is not: tell my boss to give us wed off). We were able to put together a dinner menu and limited open bar, with a fixed per person price that came in below the restaurant’s typical price point. It resulted in two bookings in the first week worth $2800 in sales.
Money invested: $0 Time invested: Two tweets: 45 seconds, Menu creation: 15 minutes.
Your social following can be a sounding board for business ideas, a source of suggestions, and a window through which you can see your customer’s perspective. Clearly you need to dedicate yourself to the building of your followers, facebook friends, and email list for this approach to be very effective. Your results would surely not be the same if you only had 54 followers compared to my 4400+ @Spirocks account and 2347+ @GuestFeed account… but as you do that, your results get better incrementally.
This kind of interactive marketing is what we do at Guestfeed, and what every restaurant should be doing to work towards turning a period of weakness into a strength. Your connections may not all ever visit your restaurant, but via activity like feedback or bringing attention to your content they may lead others through your door. There is real value there you just have to ask for it.
Feel free to ask me any related questions you have, I mean it, I love to connect.