MARKETING: 7 Ways to Establish Your Brand with User-Generated Content
The influence of social media on a restaurant’s brand is hard to overestimate. Today, people don’t really trust the paid ad as much. They tend to base their decisions – like where to eat out – on word-of-mouth reviews and the reviews published on popular social platforms.
If you want to improve brand loyalty and awareness, you should consider user-generated content as a key element of your marketing strategy. This article presents four ways in which you can encourage your guests to create high-quality posts about your restaurant.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Hooters is giving away free chicken wings to single people on Valentine’s Day. It’s part of their “Shred Your Ex” event where if you buy 10 wings, and rip a photo of your ex, you’ll get an extra 10 wings for free. Apparently dumping on your ex is all the rage this Valentine’s Day season.
STEM Gender Gap
The STEM gender gap persists and, in raw numbers, its larger than it was in the 2008-2009 school year. Looking at the percent change, female students are turning to STEM. The number of male students who have been granted a STEM degree or certificate increased by 38% between the 2008-2009 and the 2015-2016 school year, while the number of female students who achieved the same degree or certificate increased by 48%.
Amazon Raises Whole Food Prices
Whelp, that didn’t last long. In 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods and started slashing prices. Now they’re back to raising prices. In December, prices were increased 550 times; in February, dozens other items have had prices increased. Whole Foods says the price increases are due to suppliers and increased costs in packaging, ingredients and transportation. Something for restaurant operators to consider if they’re seeing their own supplier costs rise.
THE VD WE ARE ALL CELEBRATING
Why it matters to you: What does Valentine’s Day do for your business?
Valentine’s day means a lot of different things to different restaurant operators. Sure, you all anticipate, prepare and execute for Valentine’s Day every year, but do you really know its impact overall on our industry? This infographic from Toast POS and OpenTable is a great starting point to unravel the effect of this manufactured holiday and how you can better prepare.
For example, we were surprised that last year sales for Valentine’s Day (Wednesday Feb 14, 2018) only increased 34% as compared to the other Wednesday’s in the month. Equally, we were NOT surprised that reservations for Valentine’s Day increased by 433% for the same comparison. One very useful bit of information is that over half the reservations that were made came in seven or fewer days before the fourteenth. Another surprising bit of insight was the number of reservations for parties of greater than two. Tables reserved for 4 (+123%), 5 (+35%) and 6 (+46%) all increased for the day.
So, this reminds us, while Valentine’s Day is for lovers, it appears that many folks use it as an excuse to celebrate with friends and family. Operators can use this fact to better prepare for the table configuration they need to properly execute service on Valentine’s Day, as well as to prepare for the coming rush of people. Use the info as a guide to review your own historical data and ensure you execute well on a night that is really important to your guests.
SPHERE OF INFLUENCERS
Why it matters to you: How to access and collaborate with social media influencers.
In our resource piece, Taking Amazing Food Pictures for Instagram, we provide a step by step approach to making your food look awesome on social media. These insights are valuable, but only deliver a portion of the strategies necessary to win at social marketing for restaurants. Other valuable aspects include other content creation like memes and social shares as well as direct social media advertising. However, a little leveraged aspect of rank and file restaurant marketing is the role of social media influencers. Many of you simply don’t know how to access your local influencers and what to do once you have created a relationship. That’s why this primer on working with social influencers is a terrific place to start.
It’s a bit of a case study focusing specifically on Columbus, OH and its robust foodie community. In speaking with influencers, the post offers great insight into how to approach and work directly with influencers to drive new traffic to your restaurant. Let me be frank: the urge for most operators is not to give things away unless they can see the immediate and valuable return it delivers. With social influencers, the impact is subtle. Sure, they can provide access to new guests that you couldn’t access without them, but if your operations falls short, none of that matters. And rest assured, these influencers won’t spare your feelings if they think you do. So prepare your business to be great and then reach out to influencers. You will enjoy seeing your name in lights on their posts and a new audience will know you’re ready for a visit.
[Source: FSR Magazine]