Restaurant Marketing: Using Social Media To Bribe Customers

  • I completed giving a workshop on "The Real Truths About Social Media" to a group of over 150 restaurant owners.
  • Probably 75% of those in attendance had Facebook pages and when asked about getting an ROI, 90.5% said they had not gotten any kind of return at all.
  • The fact is this: Too many restaurants are using Facebook and Twitter as a vehicle to send messages to their fans pimping (discounting) their product. There seems to be no other "story" to tell. So, they're just training their Facebook fans to be "coupon clippers."
  • The fact is this: Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are not a true measure of loyalty. In fact, they are probably not your "best guests." Wouldn't it be better to go back to "low tech" marketing and recognize and reward your "best guests" who are outspending your "average guests by more than 16 times.
  • The fact is this: Your Twitter followers and your Facebook fans may eventually end up just like your email list – sending them offers and information that may not be relevant to them. As a result, they'll soon "quit" you.
  • Here's the brutal honesty: Social media is not for everyone, and the success rate is low. If you're wowing your guests, providing a great dining experience, your guests will handle your social media marketing efforts for you.
  • But there is a fabulous major benefit to social media which restaurants seem to have forgotten about, and that's the networking aspect – finding those who are talking about you and getting to know them; telling stories, much like you would do at any social cocktail party, where you make valuable and trustworthy connections.
  • But right now, unfortunately, restaurants seem content to just want to "bribe people" to come to their own party – and bribe them even more to stay there longer. That's just not what the true concept of successful social media is all about.