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April 21, 2015

Top Social Media Strategies for Restaurants

By Walter Halicki, Jr., President, Reputation Maxx

A recent report from Living Social analyzed the trends and goals of restaurants so far in 2015. The article cited that many restaurants are thinking about how to bring in new customers and aid business during their slow seasons. Techniques that these restaurants will be using this year included strategies such as expanding their menus and increasing sales promotions during the slow months. However, of the top concerns that were cited by these businesses is one that is a main priority in the field of online reputation management, and that is connecting to customers online.

A variety of businesses, including those that operate through brick and mortar locations, are realizing time and again just how essential it is that they have a way to connect with their customer through the web. The ease and convenience of the Internet has sent many industries out of physical locations and to the online marketplace. Media stores, clothing outlets, and a variety of other services operate almost exclusively online these days and many online companies have seen their brick and mortar competition go out of business because the online service is preferred by customers.

That being said, there are several industries that still must do business in physical locations, namely restaurants and hotels. Despite the fact that these businesses cannot operate exclusively online, they must still make their online practices a priority. Connecting with their customers is now a practice that very much depends on how these businesses are able to use websites, social media, and review sites to their advantage and how they are conducting online marketing.

While the study from LivingSocial (News - Alert) revealed that restaurant businesses are highly concerned with their ability to connect through the Internet with consumers, it also revealed that many of these companies do not know where to start. Managing social media channels seems to be a huge concern for these restaurants, especially those that are not large chains and cannot afford their own in house marketing and social media staff members. These companies understand the importance of using online channels, especially social media sites, in order to connect with customers, manage their online reputations, and promote their brand. However, because of the ever growing number of social channels, these restaurants are having a hard time sorting through all of the sites and finding which ones are the most beneficial to their marketing.

2015 has already shown that hotels are focusing more of their budget than ever on online reputation management expenses, and the results from this report show that it may be time restaurants start doing the same. Practiced online reputation management experts are especially proficient in social media management and this can help restaurants sort through the different venues to find the ones that will give them the most exposure.

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