5 Things Local Pasadena Restaurants Need To Know To Stay Social
You may run or own a restaurant and may have noticed in the last year people are not putting down their cell phones during a meal. In fact their smart phones seem to be apart of the meal. Just observing patrons you see more photos being taken and not of their friends they are dining with but with your food. What is going on?
This new behavior of customers is a way they are socializing while enjoying a meal at your establishment. They maybe tweeting or posting on their Facebook. They are sharing with their friends and followers what they are eating, where they are at and how the service is. This is all done in real time. Believe it or not this is a good thing and here’s why.
- How Social Media Brings Out Your A Game
Let’s talk service here for a minute. Being attentive is one thing but ask yourself a few basic questions about what customer’s expect. Is your server knowledgeable about ingredients and the preparation of the menu or specials? Is the food coming out at an industry standard of 12-15 min. after they place an order? Is the server hitting each table 2-3 times during the meal? If your staff does not hit these basics the person at the table on Twitter may let their following know what’s up good or bad. Unfortunately patrons are more often inclined to tweet the bad or (gasp) Yelp it. Oy…
2. Yelp Friend of Foe
Look I’m not going into a heated debate what Yelp has been rumored to do or what has done to your business. I know this Yelp is powerful. Just like Amazon’s business model we as consumers check out what people say about a service or product before we put our dollar down. End of story. I suggest you use Yelp as a monitor of your social media sentiment. Use Yelp to benchmark of your service or product and respond to bad reviews. Invite them in and see if you can win them back and have them follow up with their review. Do this on Twitter and Facebook as well. Reviews on the internet last forever.
3. Know your Mentions!
For those who are not in the know mentions are a feature on Twitter. A Twitter user may “mention” your establishment and share their experience. Tweet back to them. Ask to tweet you next time they will be in so you can meet with them. Buy them a drink and introduce yourself. You now instantaneously not only have a champion to your cause you now have a secret shopper. Next time something goes a rye at your restaurant this person will contact you privately instead of blasting it out to the twitterverse.
4. Set Up Social Media Accounts
Personally when I dine out from Pub to a high end restaurant I feel insulted that they have not taken the 10 min. task of setting up a social media account. Why should I mention them if I cannot properly tag them on a tweet or Facebook. The basics go along way. Set up a Twitter and Facebook account. You will quickly gain followers and respect in the social community.
5. Invest in Social Media PR
Social media can be daunting for most small businesses. Instead of trying to figure it out invest in a pro. Stop any advertisements for the time being and invest it in social media. Also as a part of the package make sure your social media pro gives you weekly reports, teach you about social media, and is active with press relations. Your social media pro should also be able to develop relationships of your patrons through Twitter and Facebook. This investment will pay off and spiff up your image with locals who are suddenly now calling themselves “Foodies” and blog regularly.
Modernizing your business is simple. Gaining a good social media standing takes some work but is essential in your marketing plan.