The competition surrounds you. You’ve got everything running the way you think it should. Customers love you. But there is only one problem; you are unsure how to get more customers to love you and spread the word. Stop making the same restaurant marketing mistakes over and over again.
Here are the three biggest mistakes I witness on an (almost) daily basis:
- Hope is not a strategy. “If I build it, they will come” may have worked for Ray Kinsella but it won’t work for you. You have to have a plan, a strategy for getting new and repeat customers. Sit down with your management team and talk through what is going to attract people to your restaurant other than the food, service, and experience (which are all important of course). Write it out, identify your objectives, how you’ll measure success and assign tasks to execute it. I’m surprised how many restauranteurs don’t have a real marketing plan. It’s shocking actually.
- Paying a social media agency to do “social media management” for your restaurant. This seems crazy to say since we are an agency but I’ve seen so many bad agencies pop up that I have to address this. Just because someone knows how to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram doesn’t make them a social media marketer. You don’t need social media management, you need social media marketing. And the amount of agencies who truly understand “marketing” is few and far in between. Most will keep your pages updated and do nothing for you except waste the few hundred dollars a month they are sucking out of your restaurant marketing budget. If their efforts are not bringing in DAILY customers from Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites, then fire them as soon as possible.
- Overlooking the power of local online advertising. If you aren’t reaching your audience through social advertising you are completely missing the modern marketing boat. I’m not talking about boosting Facebook posts. That’s the shortcut and layman’s way of advertising on Facebook. It’s lazy, but Facebook will happily take your money. Sure, you’ll get some reach and some results, but you should do the work to maximize the money you are spending. I’m talking about diving into Facebook Ad Manager and learning how to target customers, having control over your ad placements (you have none when boosting from your page) and having ads separate on Facebook than just on your page’s feed. If you want to Instagram advertising to bring in customers, you have to market and advertise deliberately to the Instagram community that surrounds you. And with Snapchat’s geo-filters and Pinterest’s new audience targeting capabilities, you can’t afford to be left behind any longer.
In future posts, we’ll share some of “how-to’s” and guide you along the way. Restaurant marketing has changed a lot over the last decade and it’s often tough to change with it. You know you need to do something but not sure what it is. Our goal is to help give you the clarity you need to navigate the waters a little more smoothly.