Digital community management for restaurants is a key factor in successful brand marketing and reputation. There is no restaurant without customers, right? Good customers are loyal. And how do you ensure their loyalty? Focusing your restaurant’s attention toward effective digital community management! Here are 4 tips to help you get there.
- Answer Those Reviews
Reviews are often the first impression a customer receives from your restaurant. It takes one search for them to find out what past customers have said about you before they even walk into your restaurant. Though you cannot control angry thumbs, you can control how your restaurant responds. Responding to reviews is a key component of healthy community management, because it provides your restaurant with the opportunity to show brand awareness, open communication, and impressive customer service.
Tip: Use the review platforms to gain new customers! When responding to a review, have your restaurant include a $5 off drinks special to make up for a not-so-good experience, or a “refer a friend” to receive a free appetizer. Brand marketing is the key to a successful restaurant, and reviews can help you get there.
- Let’s Talk Response Time
Social media sites, such as Facebook, showcase the average amount of time a business takes to respond to a customer’s message. Dedicating time each week, or better yet each day, for your restaurant to personally respond to inquiries, complaints, and even compliments on social media, immediately elevates your brand. It shows that your restaurant cares about its customers, and has an active ear in the conversation. Consumers thrive off personal attention from brands, because it allows them to form a special relationship. And even better, responding to customers is a way to organically market your restaurant, because you are able to tell them about deals, new menu items, and other exciting news that will influence them to keep them coming back.
Tip: Make a reasonable and achievable response time goal that will allow you to respond to your community as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here are a few suggestions for appropriate response times for businesses.
- Instill Trust with Your Community
In the time of the 2020 pandemic, you cannot talk about community management without expressing the vitality of safety in your restaurant. Your restaurant needs to stay transparent with their community and build trust. Post a Twitter thread of the precautions your restaurant is taking to stay safe. Capture an Instagram photo of your socially distanced patio, heaters and all. The more honest your restaurant is with their customers, the safer they will feel engaging with your business. Building trust with your community will go a long way, much farther than this pandemic will take us. Trust in a brand is a consumer commitment, and will pay off as your restaurant gains dedicated, trusting customers.
Tip: Check in with your community. Heightened safety protocols for restaurants have been going on for months now, and maybe it is time to update your approach! Create a simple Twitter poll and ask your customers whether they feel your restaurant is keeping them safe, and to DM your restaurant privately for suggestions on how to improve.
- Social Media is Your Friend
There is no better way to connect with your community than for your restaurant to engage with audiences on social media. If a customer posts a beautiful photo of a dish from your restaurant, or even a night out with friends where your location is tagged, a simple “like” goes a long way for your brand. Not only is that prime promotion for your product, but it also communicates that your restaurant is an active participant in their community.
Tip: Host a “weekend spotlight” on your restaurant’s Instagram Story where you repost customers’ photos of your restaurant, whether that be a hot new dish or a gorgeous view of your restaurant’s ambiance.
Effective digital community management for restaurants is an easy, but imperative step to creating a cohesive, successful brand. Think of it like cooking, you are feeding your community with digital comfort food.
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