June 1, 2020

Managing Your Relationships With Restaurant Customers On Social

Why Social Does It Better For Your Restaurant.

This week on Littlefield Agency Sound Bites, Steve “Potato” Roop and Chelsea “Potahto” Clement dive into the wild world of social media. They discuss what social does that other media simply can’t, and how that all relates to a restaurant’s marketing strategy.

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Why is social media different than other media?

Roop starts by noting that we can sometimes get caught in a “user” mindset when thinking of social platforms like Facebook. But, for restaurants, social media isn’t just sharing videos and reposting pictures. It’s an invaluable reputation management tool. Social is critical in forging relationships with your customers and driving traffic. Generally, when a restaurant starts looking into media planning, social media can get short-changed or even left behind.

Social media as a marketing tool is very impactful and does things that no other media can. But, how?

Social media provides a restaurant with a unique opportunity to engage with their audience in REAL-TIME. Since social is a two-way communication tool, not only can restaurants get the word out about LTOs, upcoming specials, or loyalty programs, but they can get immediate feedback from their customers.

As Chelsea notes, insights into the customer experience are invaluable. To learn what they think of your brand and product in real-time is a major difference-maker for any restaurant marketing plan.

Relationship & Reputation Management

Since real-time feedback is a big part of a restaurant brand’s social media marketing, this makes social media the most important reputation management tool in your arsenal. Fostering an online relationship with your customers is crucial. Whether good or bad, people are going to be talking about your brand online. And, if you’re not there to respond, as our hosts put it, you’re “giving up the battlefield.”

As a brand, it’s in your best interest to control the online conversation. If you are receiving bad feedback or reviews, you can quickly address and correct those issues. If the feedback is good and full of people engaging positively with your brand, you’ll want to reward those individuals. Cultivating an online relationship with your audience will help create loyal customers and allow you to directly address negative responses head-on, which is an opportunity that doesn’t come with the other forms of media.

Customer Service

Not only is social a hotbed of real-time feedback, but it is also an amazing customer service opportunity for any restaurant brand. From menu and pricing questions to hours of operations, customers will often use your social presence as a Google extension. However, these mundane and simple questions become an opportunity to represent your brand in its best possible light. For a brief moment, your social channel can become the face and voice of your brand, interacting directly with customers and creating a stronger bond through quick and meaningful customer service.

Measurement & Metrics

Another differentiator between social media and other forms of media is data. Sweet, raw, incredibly useful data. Whether in terms of reviews and comments, or more advanced metrics around campaign performance, data from social is instant and actionable. Social media can help you track that new LTO. Learn what your customers are saying, feeling, and if the offer is being implemented correctly. This form of real-time feedback can help you correct any issues and capitalize on new opportunities. The measurement capabilities that come from social media will allow you to fine-tune your online marketing tactics and perfect your digital presence.

Other ways social media will influence your restaurant marketing plan.

Social media is full of rich targeting data, allowing you to pinpoint your desired audience. It’s an extremely affordable and effective media buy. And, accounting for roughly 80% of online time, social media is where the conversation lives.

TLDR:

  • Social media is an invaluable restaurant marketing tool that allows for relationship and reputation management, meaningful customer service, and advanced measurement tactics.
  • Social media should be a centerpiece of any restaurant brand’s media plan.