“Mobile” is the new marketing buzzword. As smartphones become a more essential part of American’s lives, it’s becoming ever more important to integrate mobile into your restaurant’s marketing strategy.
Here are 5 mobile apps you should start using to attract more diners to your restaurant.
OpenTable is a restaurant reservation system, allowing diners to make reservations directly form their phones. Not only will this make your restaurant’s reservation process easier, but it can also improve your marketing. Over the last few years, OpenTable has been gaining in popularity and usage. Many of it’s user base use OpenTable as a way to find restaurants. By making your restaurant available for reservations through OpenTable, you open yourself to a whole new, highly profitable market.
SCVNGR is a relatively new mobile app, but it’s making headlines. It combines both the power of location based “check ins” with gaming. SCVNGR users can search for restaurants in their area that support SCVNGR and are then invited into the business to complete tasks, such as taking a picture in the business, checking in, and sharing the business with their friends on Twitter and Facebook. For doing so, they win prizes from your business, such as coupons or free items. It’s great because it not only invites SCVNGR’s large user base to your restaurant, but also incentivizes diners to share your restaurant with their friends.
You already know what Facebook is, but did you know that Facebook also has a mobile app that allows users to check in to businesses? And just like SCVNGR, you can reward these checkins with prizes. But unlike SCVNGR, Facebook has one of the largest user bases on the Internet: it’s coming close to 1 billion users. And when a user checks in with Facebook, all 500+ of her Facebook friends see that check in and are exposed to your restaurant.
Just like Facebook, Yelp.com also has a mobile app. Most users use it as a way to find new restaurants in their area, or for restaurants when they are visiting a new location. What makes Yelp different than most other mobile apps is that Yelp is based upon user reviews. When a user does a search for a restaurant, the results are listed by reviews; the best-reviewed restaurants are listed first. This gives you a great advantage over those restaurants with horrible service…encourage your customers to give you great reviews, and you’ll stand out from all the horrible restaurants.
Instagram is also a relative newcomer to the mobile app industry, but is making waves as its user base grows exponentially. In a nutshell, Instagram is a social network that allows people to share pictures with friends. The users can also share these pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and a number of other social networks. They can even check in to your restaurant with Foursquare. You may not know it, but people love taking pictures of great food and sharing it with friends. When they visit your restaurant, it’s great to encourage your diners to share pictures of their favorite dishes on Instagram, exposing your restaurant to their friends on ALL of their social networks.
The top restaurants are now using these mobile apps to increase their customer base and excel in their markets. Obviously, using these apps to your advantage requires some finesse. That’s where Brandtailers comes in. With our extensive marketing knowledge and 22 years of advertising experience, Brandtailers can leverage these mobile apps into your overall marketing strategy to make your restaurant the dominant player in your market.
Get in touch with us so we can further discuss how leveraging these mobile apps will improve your business.
Marketers are often afraid word-of-mouse will hurt more than help because it appears consumers take more time complaining than complementing in online reviews. But do businesses really need to fear these negative voices taking over their brand image? We say no. Not if the marketer commits to being actively engaged.
We don't mean hiring one of the current snake oil reputation management firms that promises to have negative reviews removed, while posting an untrustworthy number of fabricated positive comments. Studies show customers see through these even faster than Google and Yelp's supposedly legitimate algorithms. By actively engaged we mean offering a variety of different places for customers to form an opinion of your brand. Certainly Facebook and Twitter are two obvious sources, but there are plenty of other powerhouses. For example, what about making a name for your company as an
How about not only having a blog, but sharing it's content via Digg, Stumble Upon, and Reddit? And don't forget about YouTube. As the online world over saturates us with written content, people will defer more and more to video for everything from shopping decisions to consumer opinion. What about telling your brand story in pictures? There's almost always a way, so use photo sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa.
And yet, just being on all these sites is not enough. Updating new and interesting content at least twice a week is a must – everywhere. But even more important than staying active is being creative and interesting. If you give customers other online opportunities to get to know you, you'd better give them good reason why they should prefer you.
Sounds like a lot of work, huh? It is. But just having a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account is not enough these days. You need to create two-way conversations everywhere you can. That way, even if some negative reviews pop up, customers have a variety of other venues to learn more about you and what you sell. Venues that can tell a great story – the story you want them to know.