In doing research for my BBQ Joint search engine Kevin’s BBQ Joints I can easily say that I have visited almost every BBQ Joint website, facebook page, and twitter feed there is out there. With over 3,000 joints listed, that’s a lot of websites and feeds. Time after time I noticed the same glaring mistakes by restaurant owners who were using the internet to get additional word out and create a strong ‘online presence’. Since I now consult for a number of companies (restaurants, food companies, and products) and have been doing online PR and Marketing for over a decade I thought it would be a great idea to provide some tips that I’ve learned over the years that can be used to immediately bump up your exposure.
#1 – Update your facebook page and twitter account daily (if not 3-4 times a day). There’s nothing worse than seeing a facebook or twitter page who’s last post was 2-3 months ago. First off, it makes the reader think your restaurant is closed and in that instant they will be moving on to the next place they were searching for. Posting daily not only removes that concern, but puts YOU in the mind of the public. Seeing a tweet in the morning as they head to work puts that grain of an idea to stop by at lunch or dinner, especially if the tweet sparks their interest.
#2 – Respond, respond, respond. If someone writes you a tweet or posts something on your facebook wall (or simply replies to one of your posts) you NEED to reply back that day. Even a quick ‘thank you’ is enough. It’s ‘social media’ politeness, but more importantly it strengthens their connection with you and your brand. When I recently consulted for a bread company you don’t know how often people were overjoyed to get a tweet or facebook ‘like’ from them. It made their day and kept them on as a fan and follower. Today’s social networking tools gives you the best way to connect personally with those that give you business.
#3 – Provide your information. Please put your phone number and street address on your facebook page and website (and a link from your twitter account to your website). It sounds simple and hard to believe, but you’d be surprised how often this information (this incredibly integral information) is left off. I may be the only one who has the patience to search your restaurant out, but most people are looking for great food, not a quest.
#4 – Photos – Again, this one seems like a no brainer, but sadly it’s not. It is SO important, especially these days with all of the amazing monitors out there (desktop to tablet) that your food needs to take center stage. You don’t need to take photos of every item at first (although I do recommend this), but at least your signature dishes. My friend Gary from Pigtrip.net often advised BBQ Joints to leave off the photos of drunken customers and girls in skimpy clothing instead showing great shots of what they really should be selling, which is BBQ.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for what you should do when it comes to social media and of course it does take the time, but is well worth it. There’s an amazing array of techniques and plans to really make an impact and I would thrilled to assist you in this. If you’re a BBQ Joint, restaurant, or manufacturer please feel free to EMAIL ME for consulting prices and services as I am confident I would exceed your expectations.