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Social Media Marketing for Business

David George

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June 13, 2012

3 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Fan Page Right Now

June 13, 2012 | By | 14 Comments">14 Comments

Your customers want good food and a great experience.

You want good reviews and more repeat customers.

Restaurant owners, operators, and managers have found these 3 tactics for fan pages that are working phenomenally well and keeping the crowds coming back, day after day.

So why shouldn’t you have a lunch line out the door, stretching around the block; or be booked full of reservations each night?

Restaurants using the tips on the inside of this article are! Continue to see how you can do it for your restaurant fan page…

Click play to join 150+ Restaurant Owners and Consultants learning the top 3 Facebook strategies to increase foot traffic, sell more meals, and build your brand quicker:

3 Examples of excellent experience and engaging social media

1. Let’s YO! Frozen Yogurt understands how to use modern online technologies to incite interaction with customers.

2. Havana Central, a Cuban restaurant in Manhattan, has figured out how to use contests on their Facebook fan page to increase their email lists, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers.

3. Houlihan’s restaurant chain has combined personal recommendations on social media with traditional advertising mediums to drive insane amounts of traffic through their doors.

The underlying strategy

fan page

Let’s YO! is a prime example of a small restaurant building brand awareness and engagement through social media fan pages.

Walk in the front doors and you can’t miss it – massive, 70-inch TVs displaying live Facebook and Twitter feeds of what people have to say about the restaurant!

Each table is connected to its own iPad, giving customers the ability to comment, post reviews, or share a picture of their frozen artistic creation!

Play Angry Birds or read USA Today? Beat your high score or catch up on current events after you’ve left raving reviews on their Facebook wall or Twitter feed.

According to the owner, Eric Casaburi, children practically beg their parents to take them there…and the parents do! Why? Because, there’s a unique experience awaiting each member of the family.

fan page

Havana Central has truly figured out how to effectively use online marketing offers.

According to a study by the National Restaurant Association and LivingSocial:

“Restaurants that use online marketing tend to be viewed by consumers as modern (67% emails, 59% daily deals, 65% websites) and popular (63%, 59%, 63%)”

Tanya Casteneda, Havana’s Social Media Manager, is loving the results gleaned from running contests via social media outlets.

“Win a Free One Hour Open Bar for You and 9 of Your Friends” was one wildly successful contest that gave contestants 3 options to enter:

1. ‘Like’ their Facebook page and write “Open Bar” on the wall *(fair word of warning pointed out by one of our readers: it is not in accordance with FB’s Guidelines to force contestants do anything else but Like the Page, check in, or connect with a Page’s app)
2. Follow them on Twitter and tweet “Open Bar” to @havanacentral
3. Sign up to the email list

And guess what happened…
After running just 3 contests, the restaurant increased their Twitter followers by over 50, boosted their Facebook fans by 200+, and multiplied their email list with almost 1,000 subscribers!

I’m sure most of you are starting to get the picture – Coupling unique, real experiences with engaging social media screams “ORDER UP!” from restaurant goers far and wide.

According to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics and global frontrunner in social media:

“Only 14% of people trust advertisements, while 90% of people trust peer recommendations.”

fan page

Because of this fact, Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar chain has figured out how to use recommendations from social media and combine them with billboard advertising to create a unique message.

In big cities across the country – including Chicago, San Antonio, Pittsburg, and St. Louis – Houlihan’s billboards line the highways, loudly displaying remarkable reviews and customer testimonials from social media platforms, like Twitter.

Better yet, they specifically display the posts applauding their various happy hours and other discount offerings.

Conversation and positive reviews is at the core of Houlihan’s marketing strategy, and why not?
With over 44,500 Likes and more than 3,200 Twitter followers, they must be doing it right!

How to do it for your restaurant fan page

Restaurant owners, operators, and managers: if you are serious about increasing brand awareness, your number of fans/followers, and sales, then listen close!

fan page

Building a unique experience for your customers takes no time, and absolutely no developer skills.

Remember how Houlihan’s and Let’s YO! used recommendations from Twitter to foster engagement and gain credibility?

In less than 10-seconds, you can share your restaurant’s rave reviews from Twitter with your fans on Facebook using our Twitter widget. Simply drag and drop the widget onto the fan page editor, then move and resize however you want. This will allow you to bring the power and reach of both platforms all under one roof.

fan page

 

Just like Havana Central, capture thousands of emails and information from your audience through Heyo’s Email and Contact Form widgets. Whether you use your own account, or a service like MailChimp, Heyo makes it super easy to keep your fans updated with personalized offerings.

 

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Want to go even further with your engagement like Havana? Using our Contest widget will give your audience a truly interactive experience!

In just 5-seconds, drag the Contest widget icon into the editor, drop it onto the fan page, and VOILA!

A beautiful and functional template displays, complete with social buttons, entry button, and countdown clock. Then, you can easily make it unique to your restaurant by replacing the stock images with your own. Easy as that!

 

fan page

And finally, if any of you are like myself and lack a keen eye for design, Heyo has created a pre-made template to help get those creative gears turning in the right direction.

Quickly click and drag the Restaurant widget icon into the editor, and like the Contest widget, a pretty and interactive template is displayed, helping to give you a vision for your fan page!

Want more?

We are working hard at Heyo to bring you the tools that Restaurant owners, operators, and managers need to increase their awareness, engage customers and increase sales everyday, so stay updated by joining our email list.

Just remember – customers won’t like your fan page because you convinced them to, but because they’re already convinced!

Question for readers: Have you used either Twitter or Facebook to encourage reviews from your customers? Why or why not?

Meet 

David A. George is the Chief Content Creator at Heyo. I'm passionate about marketing, Android, being at the beach, and breathing underwater. I'd love to connect with you on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Or email me at dgeorge(at)heyo.com