3 Tips for Choosing Which Social Media Site Is Best for Your Restaurant

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon? HELP!

Restaurateurs are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the many options for social media marketing today. How do you decide which site is best for your restaurant?

 

(This article was originally featured in the Louisiana Restaurant Association's eNewsletter, The Dish.) 

 

Consider Your Time Constraints

If you have a limited amount of time to spend on actively marketing your restaurant online, you may want to develop a relatively passive approach.  This will mainly include monitoring sites such as FourSquare, Yelp, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, and other check-in/review sites for mentions and reviews of your restaurant.  You can even respond to negative reviews -- just dont be this guy.

 

A more active approach to marketing your restaurant on social media will include posting and directly interacting with your followers on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  You should budget at least an hour per day to engage fans, post comments, add status updates, post photos, read other posts and groups, etc. 

 

Study Your Customers

Can you describe your ideal customer?  Have you writen a detailed description of them?  Where do they live? Work? Play? What do they do? Read? Listen to?  Think about how they interact online and which sites they visit often.  Are they active on Facebook or Foursquare?

 

As you talk to your customers, ask them where they go to search for restaurants.  Which sites do they use and trust most?  Invest your energy in the sites where your customers and prospectives are already active.

 

Be Realistic About Your Budget

Setting up accounts on social media sites is free -- which is one thing that makes them so appealing to small restaurant managers and owners. But running them isn’t. Carefully review your marketing plan and budget and figure out how much money you can afford to invest in your social media efforts.

 

All channels aren’t created equal, in terms of the investment they require. Creating a steady stream of videos for YouTube will require more money than designing and managing a simple Facebook page.

 

It’s better to do a single site really well than try to manage multiple channels weakly.  We recommend that newbies select only one site and focus exclusively on that site for at least one month. 

 

Do You Agree?

There are plenty of other considerations for deciding which Social Media site is best for your restaurant.  Which top 3 would you consider?  Let me know in the comments section below. 

 

About the Author:

Ryan Sides is the Lead Strategist at Bacon Social Media and is committed to helping restaurateurs increase repeat business and save money through Social Media marketing. Questions or Comments? Find me here!

Views: 977

Tags: facebook, marketing, media, restaurant, social

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Magnus Hultberg on March 6, 2012 at 3:56am

@ryan - yes, the Twitter app is brilliant. Definitely a "best in breed". I tend to use HootSuite a lot, on desktop and mobile, but that's mainly because I am used to the interface and because I use Twitter lists extensively to divide up people I follow in areas of interest. One list for developers, another for startup people, another for customers, another for friends, and so on. Wouldn't be able to use Twitter without them! :)

Comment by Ryan Sides on March 6, 2012 at 3:53am
@magnus - thanks for reading and for the comment. I too fill my lag time with mobile time. :) To be honest though, I truly dislike the fb mobile app. I use safari and go to the desktop version. The app is too restrictive for pages. It's great for just reading and keeping in touch though. Twitters app is nice. I like the way it shows you if someone is following you or not, so you know right away if you can DM them. Twitter's app is even better on the iPad. Its left and right swiping is too cool.
Comment by Magnus Hultberg on March 6, 2012 at 3:46am

Good points. What I really like about Facebook and Twitter are the awesome mobile apps for smartphones, allowing you to not necessarily schedule in an hour every day but sneak in time for responses and follow ups in the "in between" times of doing other things.

Comment by Ryan Sides on February 28, 2012 at 1:07pm

@JonRock - good point.  I debated on including something like "If you need a direct answer, here it is..."  Maybe another blog post? :)

 

@AngelaStoner - Thanks!  I agree.  Having a tool, but not knowing how to use it, renders the tool useless.

 

Comment by Jon Rock on February 27, 2012 at 5:04pm

If I were an independent, I would suggest focusing on Facebook, FourSquare and UrbanSpoon. Twitter could potentially be a big time-sink it you don't have the time to dedicate to sending Tweets and maintaining Refollow.

Comment by Angela Stoner on February 24, 2012 at 2:46pm

Great post Ryan - most restaurants are active in Social Media (or at least have a Facebook page!) but don't know how to effectively use them.  These tips are definitely helpful! 

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Taco Bell takes on fast casual with U.S. Taco Co.

Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co.  -More

Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure
Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media debut

Ronald McDonald is giving off less of a clown vibe with a makeover that keeps the color scheme but adds a blazer, a yellow ve -More

Animal fats ramp up flavor

Chicago hot spots are serving up savory dishes flavored with animal fats such as Stephanie Izard's confit goat belly at Girl  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth of 1.2% - Added 96 net new restaurants worldwide including 69 net new Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. - Revenue increased 6.2%

Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For 20 New Restaurants In South Orange County And The San Fernando Valley

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

Earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 16.7 percent to $0.84 compared to $0.72 for the third quarter of fiscal 2013

Togo's Inks Deals In Idaho And Utah To Develop 13 New Restaurants

Togo's Eateries, Inc. announced it has signed franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in Eastern Idaho and eight locations in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2014, the brand will also mark its entry into Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with restaurant openings planned over the next few months.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service