Times have changed. It’s no longer essential to get the best ad placement in your neighborhood newspaper to showcase your specials, deals and new menu items. No, print isn’t dead, but there are more effective ways to get in front of this target in a more long term successful way. The Internet has provided a platform for many innovative companies to create applications and websites that attract YOUR potential customers. Are you a little curious?
Yelp is a crowd-sourced business review platform that has a lot of awesome and usually unknown features.
* The mobile app allows for geo based searching. You can see the menu, get directions and call right from the app on your phone.
* Businesses can set up check-in deals for those that wish to tell their Yelp (and/ or Twitter) community where they are dining.
* Everyone is a critic these days and Yelp knows this. They allow for you to draft up a review from your phone as you’re eating your meal. (reviewers do need to log online to review and post fro ma computer)
* The analytics provided to the business show how many people searched, asked for directions, called and of course checked in at that location.
Why is Yelp important for restaurants?
Because your customers are telling you exactly how they feel about your service and their experience. If we listen we are only able to improve and attract more customers.
How should restaurants use Yelp?
Monitor for new reviews, encourage reviews from your customers via QR code campaign or other awesome strategies. Don’t forget to incentivize potential diners by offering a check-in special.
Foursquare is a location based check-in tool that allows its users to see where their friends are, what’s near to them, who is running check-in specials and of course check-in to let the world know where and what they are doing.
Some awesome business-end features:
- Businesses are able to (after they claim their location) create check-in, loyalty, friend and Mayor specials.
- Businesses are encouraged to utilize their update feature and list their specials or announcements for your Foursquare followers as well as those that check-in at your location.
- Businesses are able to link to Twitter and Facebook for seamless sharing.
- Foursquare provides amazing analytics including gender, number of monthly check-ins and your most recent and most loyal visitors.
Why is Foursquare important for restaurants?
Foursquare provides something that Yelp doesn’t and that’s a more game-like app for its users. Everyone wants to be Mayor of a business, right? I was once Mayor of Mayor Dick Greco’s campaign HQ… That was a Mayorship to be proud of!
Foursquare also is integrated with Twitter quite nicely. You can see your recent visitors that shared their check-in to Twitter.
NEW FEATURE: Foursquare now includes the Twitter name of the business when a customer checks in and links to Twitter. Talk about a great way to encourage conversation and engagement!
How can a restaurant get started on Foursquare?
First… Claim your location. Once you’ve claimed it figure out what kind of specials you want to create for people when they check-in. Make sure you promote in your restaurant that you are on Foursquare and do have Foursquare check-in specials and be sure to update as often as you can with your day to day activities and specials!
Instagram is a photo sharing tool that comes complete with a ton of hipster photo filters to transform your images.
Why is Instagram important for restaurants?
Instagram is important for restaurants because food is HUGE online. People love sharing their food, taking images of their food and often can be swayed on a meal decision based on a social media connections reviews or pictures.
How can a restaurant get started with Instagram?
First you will need to download the app either from the Google Play store for Android or iTunes for iPhone/ iPad. Once you download the app you will be prompted to sign up. Be sure to connect your Twitter account (Facebook is not necessary for businesses) and within minutes you will be ready to start sharing mouthwatering images of your food.
Tip: Be sure to use hashtags for the best Instagram experience. If you’re sharing a picture of a burger and you’re a burger joint in NYC I would use the following hashtags: #foodie #NYCFoodie #Burger #NYCBurger #Instadelish #Instagood #NewYork #EatNewYork #DineNYC #NYC #NewYorkCity
Foodspotting is another mobile app that allows you to share images of your meal as you’re indulging. You can upload your picture to the actual venue listing and share whether you had it or LOVED it and then leave a message like “Just had the most delicious #vegetarian burger ever!
How can restaurants use Foodspotting?
Right now there isn’t really too much that restaurants can do on the actual site. You can definitely feel free to spot all of your dishes, but the gravy comes from crowd-sourcing images and reviews of your food directly from your customers.
Be sure to promote that you guys are watching Foodspotting, encourage a photo contest making use of unique hashtags for tracking. At the end of the day you want to give your customer a reason to share their delicious experience with the Internet, right?
Of course there are the regulars; Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc…., but we wanted to give you some insight on 4 unique tools that many restaurants have yet to discover.
If you have any questions about these applications or would like to see how your restaurant can use them in their overall social media strategy feel free to email us at besocial [at] kimediastrategies [dot] com or fill out our contact form below.