As a young advertising/marketing professional and food fanatic, I can’t help but see my two worlds collide on a daily basis. I’m a big admirer of locally owned restaurants and the more I continue to experience Orlando’s growing culinary scene, the more something obvious sticks out to me: As a restaurant’s social media goes, so does its business.
In this day and age of modern communication, everyone expects to be able to obtain the information they are seeking within a matter of seconds and more and more people are utilizing their mobile devices to do so. If you as a business cannot provide that information, you will hurt your chances of being successful. Social media is a tool that allows business owners the flexibility of interacting with their customers or followers in a quick and efficient manner. Whether it’s promoting daily specials, addressing questions and/or concerns from customers or just saying hello, social media provides a platform for businesses to effectively execute its marketing.
So what makes social media so critical to restaurants and more specifically, locally owned restaurants? The answer is well… Everything. If executed correctly, social media can help a restaurant thrive. Alternatively, if executed poorly, social media can help lead to its downfall. Effective social media use allows owners and managers to create a more personal connection with their customers, increase their fan base, provide real time information and establish themselves as fellow members of the local community. This is very important because the foundation of local restaurant growth is based on reputation and referrals. Without the luxury of national marketing campaigns, it is crucial that these restaurants create and maintain a positive social presence day in and day out to stay fresh in their customers’ minds. Restaurants that fail to effectively utilize social media will find that just as quick as it can be to build a great reputation, it’s quicker to build a bad reputation through negative customer comments, reviews and poor communication.
If you’re looking for examples of restaurants that are effectively using social media to boost their businesses, then look no further than these local favorites of mine:
– 4 Rivers Smokehouse does a remarkable job of sharing restaurant news and releases with their followers.
– Prato effectively keeps fans hungry and always wanting more with photo spotlights of their chef inspired dishes.
– Tako Cheena establishes their place in the local community by posting customer photos and community events.
– The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck does a terrific job of communicating daily truck location and interacting with fans.
Because social media is so readily available to the public, it’s easy to understand how it could end up in the wrong hands. So before you take your business and enter the circles of the social media world, please remember that as a restaurant’s social media goes, so does its business.
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