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4 Digital Marketing Tips for Restaurants and Bars

4 Digital Marketing Tips for Restaurants and Bars

We get approached by lots of restaurants and bars, looking for ideas on how they can attract new customers and bring existing customers in more frequently. While we tailor each digital marketing plan to the specific needs of the establishment and their customer base, some basic principals can be applied across the board. These 4 simple tips will help you grow your restaurant or bar into the thriving, dynamic, stable business you have always hoped for.

1. Be Visible

Because the internet has become the primary source of information for people when it comes to deciding on what businesses they will frequent, it’s critical that you are present in multiple locations on the web. Ways to become more visible include having the following:

  • A professional-looking website that’s updated frequently and contains menus, location information, and hours. The website should also include a blog to help you tell your story and links to your other social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc).
  • Facebook Business Page that it is updated constantly with specials, event info, etc.
  • An optimized Google Places listing (think Google Maps listing) with contact information, photos, your logo, and maybe even some videos if you have them.
  • Claim your Foursquare listing and offer specials and discounts to Foursquare users who check in repeatedly.
  • Consider offering coupons to people who subscribe to social couponing sites like Livingsocial or Groupon.

2. Tell Your Story

Your customers love to know the backstory of how your establishment came about. They love to know things like how you got started, what the significance behind the name of your bar or restaurant means, and what you’re passionate about. Social media tools are the perfect platform to tell you story and encourage customers to share your story with their circle of friends.

3. Listen & Engage

People like to feel like they are being listened to, especially by the establishments they frequent. A social media strategy is an easy way to establish a two-way channel of communication in which you are giving customers the opportunity to communicate with you with the click of a mouse. Successful restaurants and bars encourage customers to interact and engage with them online. They encourage feedback through tools like Yelp and welcome all feedback, both good and bad.  Sometimes how you handle negative feedback is one of the most critical things you can do in your efforts to build solid relationships with your customers.

4. Think Outside the Box

Don’t be afraid to try something new. One of my favorite case studies of a restaurant who decided to try something new and have enjoyed tons of success is Scotty’s Brewhouse in Indianapolis. You can read more about what they did and they type of success they achieved by reading this blog post by Derek McClain.

About the author / Jillian Koeneman

Juiced about social media & digital. Entrepreneur. Founder @freshlimemktg | Connector. #MSU Alum. #Detroit native. Dog lover.

Latest comments

  • Keith D Shrock
    March 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Great write-up Jillian!

    It is important to be visible by continuing to add content to our Web Site Properties. This brings the Google-bots or Spiders who bring the friends, clients and customers.

    Everybody loves a story – from the time we are children we learn to listen and are engaged by stories. It’s a fantastic way to get to know someone.

    We are given 2 ears and one mouth for a reason – we are supposed to listen more than talk – when we engage people. People think you care – when you can repeat back to them – paraphrasing what they said.

    Thinking outside the box – creativity – is essential. Einstein said. “Creativity is more important than knowledge.” Good Social Media Professionals use creativity to solve UN-solvable problems.

    Your picture of a pizza reminds me of our “Naked Pizza” case study. They put a Twitter sign in their front lawn and increased business 20% fast. Now they are a national chain with dozens of locations – in less than 6 months. You are welcome to Like them on Facebook – and follow as they grow.

    We would love to show you our case study – and talk about how we can help the 29 million small businesses in the USA keep their doors open.

    Stop by when you have a minute. See you on Tweet Up

    “Happy Social Networking!”

    Keith D Shrock,
    Indiana’s Only FT4SM
    Certified Social Media