This guest post is by Andre Kay, CEO and chief marketing officer for Sociallybuzz, which provides social media management, marketing, fan-page management and social media consultation. Sociallybuzz is designed to help brands, franchises, restaurants, nightclubs and retailers with simple or advanced social media development and marketing while delivering businesses and brands the greatest number of options in how they define and reach their relevant audiences.
By simply setting up a Twitter or Facebook fan page, one cannot expect all customers to automatically follow or like your business. It is one of the biggest misconceptions restaurant and franchise owners have when it comes to social media. Brick and mortar businesses also have to claim and manage their businesses on Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare and Urbanspoon. Furthermore, if you are more social savvy, setting up your business on Pinterest also can be effective.
However, these steps are still just the building phases of effectively connecting your current online customers to your multiple social networks. What about your offline customers? Here are three simple and cost-effective ways to increase social awareness and engagement with your customers directly in your area. This will also help to drive offline customers to connect with your business online.
Communication: Educate your staff on each specific social media platform and keep them abreast of new campaigns and check-in specials. Communication is a key component in all levels, including managers to staff and staff to customers. Make sure team members “like” your business fan page, follow your Twitter page, and are familiar with your business on Yelp, Urbanspoon, Google Places and Foursquare. When you’re running a check-in special, encourage team members to check-in and follow the flow to make sure they have a firsthand feel on how it works. Therefore, cashiers and servers know what to do when customers inquire about your social media presence or show their phone with the check-in special.
BuzzBadges: These are social media awareness products including window clings, window stickers, door clings, door stickers, napkins, counter display and table tents to be placed on windows, doors, tables and counter tops at your establishment and storefront. BuzzBadges have a very clear call-to-action on them, including “pin us if you love us” Pinterest window/door clings, “un-lock specials” counter displays, or “check-in here” table tents. You can use these to directly increase engagement by allowing your walk-in customers to check in via Foursquare to unlock a special, scan a QR code, or “like” your Facebook fan page directly from their smartphone in your restaurant.
Follow up: As with all the communication, interaction and social media awareness products, you still need to analyze your social media platforms daily. More importantly, you need to analyze the social media platforms that played a role in your offline customer acquisition. If customers came in and saw your BuzzBadge and checked in to unlock a deal via Yelp or Foursquare, what happens next? Check your Foursquare dashboard to see who checked in and unlocked your special and thank them for coming in. Following, inform them about your lunch, happy hour or other specials. If they also left a comment on Yelp or Urbanspoon, we recommended that you thank them for the review.
This is an ongoing cycle and a great opportunity to connect with your consumers throughout their entire experience with your business from offline to online and vice versa. We have implemented these same strategies for more than 250 restaurants and franchises, with each showing an average of 77% or more increase on social engagement and returning customers.
Image credit: BuzzBadges