Come to think of restaurant business in the United States and you will not necessarily be startled to know that according to NRA (National Restaurant Association) the industry’s projected sales for this year (2019) will not be anywhere less than $863 billion while another report (Freedonia Focus Reports) says that this figure is easily expected to reach $990 billion by the end of 2021. A further insight into the industry’s statistics tells us that there are more than 1 million restaurants extending across the entire geographical area of the United States but are all of them booming in the current digital scenario and in the age of social media?
That’s somewhere, I want to throw the spotlight on. You might be serving the best cuisine or providing an awesome customer service to your guests, but the turnout is low or not according to your expectations. And that is because you are ignoring some of the vital aspects of marketing, say, digital marketing and when it’s about digital marketing, I particularly mean social media. I can cite several examples of restaurant businesses who are marketing themselves on social media but whine about the lack of response they receive from users. Sometimes, you also get to hear things like “Oh! We are doing well and we don’t need to be in the social media.” Unfortunately, not many restaurateurs understand the importance of being in the social media and which is why the names of their restaurants never make themselves to the top list of restaurants.
Strengths are your strengths and will always remain with you. It’s the weakness that one must be able to overcome or the mistakes that you commit on a regular basis must become the basis of learning for you. And, hence in this blog, I chose to write about top 5 mistakes that any restaurateur must avoid when marketing his restaurant in the social media sphere.
The Top 5 Mistakes That Any restaurateur Must Avoid In The Realm of Social Media
Not Being Active on Social Media Channels
You might be having a business page on almost all social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest but what if you are not taking the time out to post good content on your business pages or even respond to your customers’ suggestions and reviews? Remember that nobody likes to see a stagnant page. Life moves at a rapid pace and so must your actions whether that’s online or offline. Responding to customers’ likes and compliments through words, dislikes and suggestions in words (for improvement in food, ambience or customer service) is a great idea to make new customers as well as turning your previous customers into loyal customers. Not responding means taking your customers for granted who once annoyed will never return back.
Building a Website But Not Building Relationships
You may be having a great website where customers can go and order food online but what if you don’t appear in the top five or first page of any search engine like Google? This is where social media comes as a great help for even if your restaurant doesn’t show up in Google’s search bar, it shows up in the Newsfeed of social media channels. When you share a great story, a video or a picture of your menu or drinks with just the right caption that gets seen, read and liked by your customers. If posting a great idea and responding to customers’ views become your habit, customers will not like to skip anything that you share on a regular basis. Unfortunately not many restaurateurs follow this tip and lose a big chunk of the market share.
Taking Your Hands Off The Social Media Channel Too Soon
One of the biggest mistakes that many restaurant managers make is make assumptions about the responses on social media and reach at a conclusion of not using the social media channel to their business advantage. Let’s say, even if you have looked at Facebook Analytics and seen that no new leads are being generated or leads are not getting converted, how can you be so sure of what’s lying ahead in store for you. Many restaurateurs are also heard complaining of trolls on social media even if it was a small mistake on your part. Say, you are posting a great writing stuff on the kind of cuisine you have but few customers found it otherwise and so they begin trolling you. And, so you decide to take your hands off the social media channel. But, let me tell you this — that’s no way to be in the food and hospitality business because food business is one such business where ignorance towards trolls and negative reviews becomes extremely essential at many occasions.
Not Willing To Make Investment in Any of The Social Media Channels
The restaurateurs who have spent a few thousand dollars on paid advertisements on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram have benefited if not directly, then indirectly. As per the eMarketer’s US Social Trends for 2019, a budget on social media Ad spending is expected to increase by 19% ($37B) and that’s no ordinary news. Ofcourse, you are no longer the king when it comes to ad spending on social networking sites, but not willing to spend at all may leave you way behind your competitors. A carefully designed Ads catches the attention which you must not forget. In any case, when you keep a small budget for social media Ad spending, you can be sure of one thing and that is — an increased visibility of your posts — the results of which will come, if not soon, then not too late.
Not Offering Promotional Deals
The kind of competition that you see today in almost every sector requires you to attract customers differently. Unless you come up with a strong social media marketing plan and a promotional plan for social media where you can offer some discounts, you can not expect the least from your customers. When coming up with deals like 1+1 on customers most popular menu item or a seasonal offer for a limited time where you can waive up to 10 or 20%, you give your customers a relaxed feel. But, you must make sure you give the offers on those menu items which are most loved by your customers, else all your efforts go in vain. Not many restaurant owners realise the value of deals and discounts and hence suffer.
The Bottom Line
Social media can not be avoided in today’s date and you shouldn’t even try avoiding it since the potential is huge and risks are minimal.