Restaurant Basics: Online Engagement

We talked about the challenge of inserting adaptive media into your restaurant time crunch. It’s difficult to see where you can fit it in when you are holding down 100 hour weeks trying to keep your dream afloat in a tough economy. Even if you don’t have time to do your campaign yet, you should still be present in the social web space.

If you do nothing else, make yourself aware of where you are online. We’re looking for you where we are already, as potential customers.

• Have a Facebook Fan Page, not a personal profile for your business. (And make sure you enable your business page wall to show everyone’s posts, not just yours.)

• Claim your business on Foursquare, Gowalla (and other location based services). Don’t know what I’m talking about? Google “location based services”.

• Claim your business on review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and more. Sure it’s scary to let people be honest, but it also gives you room for improvement to be available on these sites.

• Pay attention to your customers. Listen to them talking about what they do online. Do they love email in your establishment? Go with Constant Contact or Blue Sky Factory and do email campaigns. Do they text constantly while they sit and eat? You need  or a text based awareness service. Listen. Your customers are giving you clues.

These are what I would consider the basics right now in social media for a restaurant. Things you can do on your own with very little technical knowledge. Even with low to no engagement, doing these things will passively help your business by making it easier for those of us who do engage to share when we interact with your establishment in some way.

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  • Thanks so much for the Blue Sy Factory mention! Much appreciated.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • Anytime 🙂

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  • Simple and to the point advice for any restaurant owner, but another key thing to remember is to MAINTAIN your Facebook page, respond to customer feedback, listen and engage.

    If you are not going to maintain your page then at least leave a disclaimer or don't start one at all. By not maintaining the page you risk sacrificing your brand. Example: when a customer comes to your page to complain and you don't respond.