From highlighting seasonal, online menus and hyping special events to online restaurant reservations and illuminating your innovative design features, connection is key in today’s marketplace.
In fact, recent reports put Instagram daily users alone at 500 million. Yup. 500 million. Every. Day. Allowing businesses to connect with customers, fans, and followers like never before.
Build Guest Engagement, One Click at a Time. VSAG Founder Dan Simons spoke to the power of connecting with customers through online social media channels, such as Instagram’s Insta-stories, in a recent Forbes article. “Insta-stories,” Dan says, “are a great way to give some real, authentic… looks into your business. At Founding Farmers for example, if we’re shaping bread in our bakery, getting a delivery from one of our partners, breaking down a whole fish, or making our ginger syrup at the bar, these are all things that our guests don’t usually see. We get great engagement… and by doing this, we also get to showcase the people who work in the restaurant day in and day out, which is of huge value to us.”
Begin a Love Affair With Followers. Get to know your audience. Do your research. Build a following. Be mindful of what posts (and platforms) generate the most interest/hits/re-posts, etc. for your business. Make note of comments. All go a long way in helping streamline the process of creating high-quality, relevant, inviting, creative content. Plan content purposefully in order to get customers excited about what you have on the front burner and entice them with interesting teases of what you have on the back burner.
Bring Guests Closer to Your Brand. As reported recently in the Huffington Post, brands such as Farmers Restaurant Group, are using social media to bring guests closer to their brand, and to “double down on their exposure” with marketing campaigns that cross-promote their restaurants, support company messaging, educate consumers about their brand, create targeted print and video ad campaigns in order to successfully engage with guests, old and new.
Build Trust in Your Brand. Take followers one-step further with a behind the scenes glimpse into your brand. Videos are a great way to reel ‘em in, so to speak. Create a fluid snapshot of your mission, your partners, your team, your inspiration – any topic(s) you want to highlight – with informative, yet fun behind the scenes footage. A thoughtful, concise glimpse into your brand will begin building relationships and trust with followers, and make them want to come in and dine in your restaurant, where they feel that connection, again and again.
Tag, You’re It! Creative #hashtags that speak directly to your brand; tagging guests, vendors, your team, etc.; encouraging customers to tag your restaurant or offer positive online reviews – all add up to great ways to connect with your online audience, and inspire fans and followers alike to re-post, re-tweet, and share your content.