Your Marketing Resolutions For 2018

Sean Weddell, Senior Social Media & Email Specialist

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018? Maybe it’s getting back in the gym, saving more money, or crossing off the latest Bucket List thrill…How about turning your restaurant into a marketing machine and turning the corner from old-fashioned to modern! Stick to these 6 marketing resolutions for 2018 and never look back!

  1. Professional Photos are Key-You know the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, a professional food picture could be worth 10,000 shares. Content is key and high quality, professional photographs are expected and necessary in this new age of picture-sharing and quick media cycles. According to OpenTable’s ‘Technology and Dining Out 2015’ study, 60% of diners read reviews and look at photos before making a dining decision. Most people are visual consumers so high quality photos on your website and social media pages will turn that casual browser into a paying customer. A recent Hubspot study showed that Facebook posts with images see more than 2 times the engagement than those posts without images. Successful marketing begins with strong content!
  2. Keep it Simple-Stick to one or two marketing campaigns per month and give it all you’ve got. Food & drink holidays are fun, but there is such thing as going overboard. Be careful not to overwhelm your fans; know your brand and focus on campaigns that are relevant to you. Make 2018 your year to get creative and knock it out of the park!
  3. Reward your Most Loyal Customers-You know the 80/20 rule: The top 20% of your customers generate 80% of your profit. Collect guest information and use it to your advantage. Include a sign-up sheet in your check presenter, create a link on your website, and promote the e-club and SMS club through social media so you can build a robust list of guests who are eager for that next daily special or promotional message. Having trouble collecting emails and numbers? Host a server contest to see how many they can get in a week or a month! Reward your e-club or SMS list with special offers or discounts that only they have access to. Don’t only offer it to them, let them know they are the only ones getting this special offer and that their loyalty is greatly appreciated. A simple $5 coupon or free scoop of ice cream after dinner can go a long way for your hard-working, paying customers. Set a goal for 2018 to keep your biggest fans happy and craving more.
  4. Get an Instagram– Instagram has the third most active users behind Facebook and YouTube and may be the most-user-friendly platform for even the most inept social media user. It’s simple, create an account and post pictures to your page…that’s it! Not only will you finally be living in 2018 but Instagram also gives you access to everyone else’s photos who may have dined at your restaurant. Snap a quick cooking video from your chef, or give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your signature dish. Have some fun with Instagram and get people talking about your restaurant in 2018.
  5. Facebook Ads– Facebook is the new word-of-mouth; but with so many users (1 billion and growing!) how will you get noticed among the rest? Maximize your reach with Facebook Ads and get the word out about upcoming events, your new cocktail menu, or promote your eclub through paid advertising. Even if you have a tight budget, a simple $15 Facebook ad has the potential to reach thousands of targeted customers who may be specifically interested in what you are promoting. The platform is extremely robust and may be a little time consuming at first, but like all-things-marketing, a little trial and error is required to find what works best for your restaurant and clientele. Pay close attention to your targeted radius and audience to get the most out of your money.
  6. Participate in Restaurant Week and other Community Events– Your restaurant is an important part of the community, whether you realize it or not. People look to you for unique dishes and cuisines, a place to entertain guests, or simply a different experience that they can’t find in their own kitchens. Set a goal for 2018 to step up your role in the community and capitalize on it. Participate in events like Restaurant Week, charitable causes, fundraisers, etc. Set up a gift drive during the holidays, partner up with a local brewery/winery for a special Chef’s Dinner, or cater to a community gathering. It’s the thought that counts and your guests will reward you for being active in their community. Be the local business that your community needs in 2018!

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