Consumer demand is on the rise for restaurant technology with 39 percent of adults reporting they would likely use an electronic ordering system at a fullservice restaurant, while 52 percent said they would use an electronic payment system according to National Restaurant Association research.
Restaurants nationwide are also embracing social media, as 90 percent of all operators are looking to use social-media tools for marketing purposes, and virtually all restaurateurs will be on Facebook in the next two years, with 78 percent saying they will be on Twitter.
We asked social media pro, restaurateur, author and partner Matt Bodnar at Fresh Hospitality during NRA Show 2012 in Chicago for his take and some tips on how to build a raving fan base through social media. Fresh Hospitality owns and operates six unique brands with more than 65 locations nationwide including Jim N Nick's BBQ, Taziki's, Martins BBQ, Octane Coffee, and Tellini's. His book "Location Based Marketing For Restaurants" teaches restaurant's how to use Foursquare to engage their customer base.
Bodnar led a social media-focused education session at the recently wrapped NRA Show 2012 where he and his fellow panelists shared tips on how to use social media to build raving fans of your brand - and keep them coming back for more. The panel gave restaurateurs real, concrete tools for making the most out of social media.
Here are a few tips to help restaurant operators looking to use social media for marketing purposes:
- People are the MOST IMPORTANT part of any social media strategy. Social media is a two way dialogue and you have to focus on building one on one relationships with your customers and your followers. One on one relationships are the only way to build raving fans of your brand.
- Content is king. Salesy and pushy promos don't work anymore. You have to provide something people want to hear and come back for. It has to be educational, informative, or entertaining. Become a resource people turn to for relevant and interesting information.
- Engage your followers and customers. Respond when they talk to you. Take a genuine interest in what they are doing. Ask them questions, but most importantly listen to what they have to say. Promote other people first and it will come back in spades.
For more information on the 70+ education sessions covering a wide range of topics from social media to sustainability to entrepreneurship to franchising and other critical information to boost your business, visit www.restaurant.org/show and download the 2012 session recordings. available at NRA Show 2012
NRA Show 2013 will be held May 18-21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place; IWSB 2013 will take place May 19-20.
In addition to Twitter @NRAShow and Facebook, you can also join the NRA Show and IWSB year-around on Linkedin and YouTube.