Restaurant marketing has now become primarily a digital business . The online presence of a restaurant helps its success, because it simplifies communication with potential or already established customers. For this reason it is important to take good care of social networks and the website. In this article we offer you a general review of the good rules to follow to improve the online presence of a place. Here are the 3 tips for a good online strategy on social media.

1. Make an online marketing plan

Preparing a marketing plan for restaurants means studying the best strategies to promote your place, a new product or a special offer . The starting point is to understand what goal you want to achieve and based on this, find the method to carry it out. There are several goals, the four most common are:

  • increase brand awareness;
  • introduce a new product;
  • increase sales;
  • build customer loyalty.

Once your goals are set, the next step is to create a calendar with deadlines . The schedule will prove useful for working in advance on any promotions or launches of new menus, in this way you will not work on communication at the last second. The marketing plan also offers the opportunity to adjust the strategy in progress and to monitor the final results , making it possible to identify which practices to replicate and which to avoid.

2. Facilitate communication with the customer

Direct contact, in the case of social networks, is an advantage to be exploited for your business. It allows you to communicate instantly with customers, improving their experience . In this regard, we recommend adding a button to your Facebook page, so that you can help people take an action. For restaurants, the most suitable buttons are "Call now" or "Book now" which can refer to a telephone number, chat or website.

And speaking of chat, remember to always keep the response rate to your messages high . In addition to being good manners, it is important to give security to users who want to write to you to receive more information. Those who receive a lot of messages could consider setting up a chatbot, able to answer frequently asked questions from customers and book take away orders.

On simplifying ordering, Facebook took a big step forward in the last year, launching the Order Food platform . The service allows you to order food at home directly from the Facebook application. For now it is only available in the United States, but it is said that it will not arrive in Europe as well.

3. Encourage user interactions

With the new algorithm, Facebook rewards the pages that have the most interaction. This means that just likes and reactions are not enough, but actions that require users to make an extra effort count more , such as comments, shares and reviews.

How to increase interactions? The secret is to intrigue, amuse and retain a user, just like it happens in the restaurant world. Find the element that distinguishes you from the others and play with it to create online communication with your establishment. An example is the case of the Crazy Cat Cafè in Milan, which never fails to include in its contents what differentiates them from other bars: cats.

To encourage interactions and conversations under the posts on your page, you can launch contests. It is a perfect strategy to increase fans, retain customers and promote the place.
Reviews, especially for restaurants, are equally essential for the promotion of bars or restaurants. When they're positive, everything goes smoothly, but what about negative reviews? Although it is not easy, it is important to always answer. Only a few restaurateurs monitor user feedback and respond to the most dissatisfied, but it's an attitude that needs to be changed.
In addition to patience, the key to responding to a negative review is to say thank you, apologize for what happened, and explore the issue with a solution. Remember to maintain a serene, empathetic tone and not to get defensive. To be clear, avoid repeating the mistakes of Piovono Zucchini .

Why do restaurant marketing online?

Many of you will be wondering why marketing for restaurants with online business. The reason is that nowadays people use the web for their searches, even when it comes to food & drink. Customers-users want to be able to decide in advance where to go, already knowing what the menu and the total bill will be .

An exemplary case of the importance that social networks have acquired is that of Creamy Crime, a club in Fiumicino that has exceeded expectations in just 3 weeks of opening . Maria Belousova explains one of the reasons for the success:

“We preferred to focus a lot on Facebook communication, instead of the classic flyers, first creating an active community and then organizing a more attended inaugural event.”

What if Maria's story convinced you to open a Facebook page, but you don't know where to start? Take your first steps with our guide .

July 05, 2018