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There are many reasons why social media is the perfect promotional web tool for restaurants, but one that stands out is that social media has become increasingly obsessed with food. With social media, restaurants can gain exposure, cultivate potential customers, and instantly communicate with current customers.

Surprising Restaurant Social Media Uses

Customer Service

In fact, larger brands have discovered that being responsive to consumers on social media is one very important way to provide great customer service and build real relationships with customers by engaging them in conversations.

Starbucks uses one-on-one customer engagement across their social media accounts, and responds to criticism as well as welcoming positive feedback. They also started an additional account, @MyStarBucksIdeas where customers can submit their ideas for making the Starbucks experience better.

Need a few more ideas on how to use Social Media for customer service? Click here.

Using Hashtags in Menus

 

Menu of Mingo Kitchen Aid

Mingo Kitchen & Lounge




If you go outside the box, customers will take notice…and more importantly, take part. Need an example? Mingo Kitchen & Lounge, a restaurant in Las Vegas includes a hashtag next to every single item on the menu. This makes things fun and subtly gives customers a call to action.

The tags used at the restaurant could be simple and more marketing focused. For example, he could use the restaurant’s name, but the restaurant uses offbeat tags making things fun for his audience. The open-faced fried-egg sandwich, for example, is tagged #FixYoFace, while the “Snoop Dogg”-style hot dog is tagged #DoggyStyle. “I wanted some of the hashtags to be a little risqué,” Collaso – the restaurant’s owner says. “That way people are shocked a little bit.” So far, the reaction has been great, and Collaso says people love it. “The first time they go there they die laughing.”

How to get customers to post about you on social media

Collaso has even instructed his staff to use Instagram during their shift. The goal is to bring Mingo into a social media world that’s increasingly becoming obsessed with food. “People love food photos. It really does bring people in!”

Best part? It works. If you look on Instagram at their location, you will see tons of images that are posted not by the restaurant, but by staff and patrons. That simple strategy gets their team and customers to become a marketing army for the restaurant. It’s quite smart.

Using hashtags in menus can result in more social shares from customers

Culinary Dropout

Culinary Dropout casual has a “Vices” cocktail menu that begins with a full-page story about how much the restaurant loves you as a customer. At the bottom, you’re encouraged to share your experience by using the hashtag #DropoutLovesMe.  Again, this is not a branded hashtag, but a fun and exciting hashtag that encourages diners to have fun in sharing their experience.

Social Ordering

American chain restaurant, Wingstop has partnered up with Twitter and Facebook to offer online ordering via their platforms. Before this feature was available only to larger brands and businesses, but now, it is open to many more restaurants. Facebook recently announced a partnership with platforms including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, and Olo to essentially launch a Facebook food ordering feature. Expect more of these in the future and keep this in mind as a way to increase your revenue.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

 Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Monitor your online reputation
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of site. The total time spent on social media on PC and mobile devices increased by 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 88 billion minutes in July 2011. This means that restaurants can use social media as customer service. Let’s explore how.

Social Media as Customer Service Tool for Restaurants

Social media has proved to be an excellent online tool for restaurants and small businesses by helping your company gain exposure, cultivate relationships, and communicate with your targeted audience. For small businesses, the benefits of social media have extended beyond social sharing to reputation building, increasing business, bringing in career opportunities, and aggressively addressing customer service needs.

The Starbucks Experience

My Starbucks Idea 

In 2012, Starbucks initiated one-on-one customer engagement across their social media accounts. This included responding to criticism and welcoming positive feedback. They also started an additional account, @MyStarBucksIdeas where customers can submit their ideas for making the entire Starbucks experience better. That account alone has more than 45,000 followers, while the Starbucks Facebook page has more than 35 million likes.

Eleven Madison Park Customer Service




Eleven Madison Park does Research on all their Clients

Eleven Madison Park Googles the names of every guest who will come in each night. It’s a well-known tactic of the restaurant in an effort to be as familiar as possible with the diners. If, for example, the maître d’ discovers it’s a couple’s anniversary, he’ll then try to figure out which anniversary. If it’s a birthday, he’ll welcome a guest, as they walk in the door, with a “Happy Birthday.”

According to Eleven Madison Park maître d’Justin Roller, even small details are useful: “If I find out a guest is from Montana, and I know we have a server from there, we’ll put them together. In other words, before customers even step through the door, the restaurant’s staff has a pretty good idea of the things it can do to specifically blow their minds.”

Three Customer Service Tips Small Businesses

Ragy Thomas, CEO and co-founder of a social relationship management system, points out that larger brands have discovered being responsive to consumers on social media is one important way to provide great customer service. Thomas offered the following three tips for small businesses that want to utilize social networks to their full customer-centric potential:

Customer Relationship through social media

* Build real customer relationships. Many businesses approach social media as another marketing channel for self-promotion and don’t always respond when customers comment on their posts or tweet at them. Use your Facebook and Twitter accounts as an opportunity to build real relationships with your customers by engaging in conversation.

* Focus on creating a customer advocate base. If a customer has a bad experience with a company, one of the first things he or she is likely to do is write about it on social media. Instead of figuring out how to manage and respond to those negative comments, businesses should focus on providing such excellent service that they create a strong, loyal customer base that will advocate on their behalf if someone has something bad to say.

Social Media as Mirror

* Remember that social media is a mirror. No matter how good you are at responding to social media interactions, your customer service ultimately rests on how well you run your business. If your business is going well and customers love you, that’s reflected on social media. If they dislike you, social networks become a tool to amplify their voice.

Here are three social media tips to enhance customer service for restaurants, courtesy of Lorri Mealey.

Offer Tours of Your Restaurant

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A great way to show off your digs to new customers is through a short video tour. All you need is a cell phone camera to upload videos automatically to Facebook. Give a guided tour of your dining room, bar and outside seating areas. Make sure the camera work is steady and it’s well narrated. If you don’t know anything about videos, ask among your staff. Chances are, one of them will have some experience posting videos to Youtube or other social media sites.

Post Tutorial Videos

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In a world inundated with celebrity chefs and cooking shows, there is no reason you can’t make your own cooking videos for your customers. Consider making some how-to videos featuring your chef or bartender (assuming neither is camera shy). Video your chef making a house specialty or your bartender showing how to mix the perfect martini. You might have to shoot a couple takes to get it right.

Coupons and Discounts

Offer Coupons and Other Discounts Through Social Media

Reward loyal customers with coupons or other discounts for “liking” your status or “retweeting” your tweets. Make sure any discounts are clearly labeled and have an expiration date- like “Like this photo and get a free appetizer tonight, only!” Otherwise you could find yourself giving food away for weeks and months to come.
Address Customer Complaints

If a customer takes the time to post a complaint on your Facebook wall or other social media site, you need to take the time to address it. Instead of seeing it as a problem, view it as an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. You will be surprised too, to find that often other customers will counter any complaints with their own positive experiences at your restaurant. Read on for more about handling customer complaints.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

 Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Keep tabs on your online reputation
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?