How To Prepare A Hot Online Restaurant Presence
The food services industry and, particularly commercial catering, have become increasingly competitive to find customers in today’s digital age. Beyond making great-tasting food is a need to create a healthy customer base beyond just word-of-mouth. That’s why online marketing has become paramount to creating and retaining a robust clientele.
Socially Feeding Your Business
Whether operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant, pop-up food truck or a commercial catering business that supplies large quantities of food for big, boardroom lunches or hospital kitchens, one of the most powerful marketing tools is social media. A number of free social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp and Pinterest are places where restaurants can share photos of culinary concoctions or photobombs from successful catered events like weddings, family reunions or holiday parties.
Still, most caterers and restaurants don’t leverage their greatest asset – online bloggers who promote your business for free. Outreach to food and event bloggers begins with a simple email describing your business or offering invites to an upcoming event. Finding food bloggers near your location can create powerful small-business promotions unique to your community.
The Customer Is Always Right
Besides sharing photographs of your food and restaurant on your company’s social pages, you can also turn to your customers for input. Urging customers to post (hopefully) favorable photos or written reviews to their social pages can virally spread the word about your business. Ask the customer to hashtag your social accounts when they do post, especially on Instagram or Facebook. That way, your business can use their social media voices to engage in user-generated content by then reposting photographs your customers send in.
It’s also important to engage with those customers who do post. On Yelp, for example, a restauranter can directly reply to a review – good or bad. Not only does it show you care about their experience at your restaurant, but it puts a more human face to your brand.
It’s also important to make your website presence friendly for search engine optimization. Specific keywords that speak to your audience earns quality placement above competitors in the search results on an engine like Google. If your business is catering, placing key phrases like “commercial catering” throughout the landing page of your site will help ensure the search engines will list you higher when someone searches for that term.
Online Paid Advertising
To generate even more targeted traffic online, you can spend just few bucks advertising with online savings companies like Groupon, befrugal.com or eatdrinkdeals.com to offer coupons that entice new customers. On Facebook, for as little as $10 a day, you can have your restaurant’s ad pop just within specific zip codes, so you know you’re reaching the appropriate audience.
The food industry is a highly competitive business in today’s busy world of food and party planning. Companies that master how to maximize their reach with so many online marketing platforms will easily stand out from their competition. A strong electronic presence and a loud social word-of-mouth can grow your business and get your kitchen really cooking.