Restaurants With Ears: Listen To Your Customers!

In working with my main restaurant client, the highlight has been interacting with customers and responding to each and every individual. Whether positive, negative, or off-the wall, this is what it takes to build a loyal community.

It is time consuming to build a loyal following say on Twitter or Facebook, but the payoff will be worth it in the end. Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Find Your Voice: Are you looking to provide a higher end dining experience? Then maybe be a little more formal in your verbiage. Are you a more laid back establishment, mainly there to help people have a good, casual time? Then make sure that is reflected in your Tweets, Facebook posts, and other interactions.

2. Be Aware: Actually LOOK through your feed and see what people are talking about. If most of your customers are in one geographic location, be aware of local news, happenings, and interests. Being able to mesh with existing topics will help you start a conversation.

3. Make It Personal: Do you have a specific bartender working that night or hostess there to greet customers? Be up front and say "hey, _______ is behind the bar tonight. Come and say hi!". Regulars get to know names and faces and this helps with connecting customers with your establishment.

4. Reward Loyalty: Let's be honest, there are some customers who just LOVE your establishment. Those people are great. Reward them...be sure to give them a shout-out, RTs, or even reward them with some type of discount.

5. Always Have Value: Whether you are promoting a special or new item on the menu, make sure your tweets have value. This also includes when you interact and respond to customers. Random thoughts may sound good in your head, but they add very little value to your customers.

If your restaurant has yet to start Tweeting or responding on Facebook, hopefully these tips will get you started.

- Josh, ChatterBuild Strategies

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Tags: Facebook, Twitter, community, listening, loyalty, marketing, restaurants

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