Published on August 28th, 2013 | by Saurabh Pandey
How Restaurants & Pubs Should Use Social Media
dotConverse (www.dotconverse.com), my social media agency, took up a project recently with Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen (An American brewery with sole licence given at Gurgaon in India). We took up the project when things were very low for Lemp (extremely negative word of mouth on social and review platforms) and there was no organized or focused effort towards social media marketing. dotConverse team acted swiftly, created a plan and focused all energies on neutralizing, creating confidence and claiming back the lost image. Thanks also to Team Lemp for understanding and giving us complete freedom in managing.
It’s been less than 60 days and we are already observing positive effects. We also learnt a lot of things on how social media can be leveraged for restaurants & pubs specifically and I thought that we should share the learning here
1. Keep Monitoring what people talk about you: Invest in a monitoring software and track what people on various social platforms talk about you. Specifically monitor Facebook and Twitter.
2. Monitor Review Platforms: Various studies show that restaurants receive as much as 40% of calls/walkins through a restaurant review site. It’s important to manage your page on these sites as much as possible. Tripadvisor gives you a lot of freedom to manage your page. Zomato has paid and free options. You can’t change the reviews and perceptions overnight, but you can, by responding, neutralize and start creating a perception of being a guest sensitive company.
3.Respond & Tone of Voice: Don’t just track, respond to people also. People may have queries, may be sharing a good or bad experience, or may just be talking about a food item. You should respond to almost all negative comments in a very humble way. Remember when you respond there are hundreds of other prospects who also perceive your image, and appreciate if you could humbly ask about how to make good and what went wrong. So your response is not just for one person but for hundreds of others. (We all have seen how many restaurants show an attitude and rudely respond to one person, ending up losing business from hundreds of other prospects)
Similarly all positive and negative comments on review platforms need to be responded in a very humble way. The strategy should be to neutralize the anger and not get into any argument. Also important, hence, is that the conversations are taken to a platform which is more one to one or owned by you (for e.g. ask people to email you and promise them action and update)
4. Use Images: Food and drink images, employee images, property images and guest images are a must on your social platforms. The more good quality images you release, the more they will be shared and tagged and the more people will talk about you. Food and drinks images at strategic times like just before lunch, early evening, Sunday morning can also bring in a lot of walk-ins. Caveat: Do not tag people without their consent and do not over do tagging and writing on people’s walls (in-fact as less as possible). Create an account (a business page) on Pinterest and leverage boards to highlight-events, food, drinks etc. This is an excellent platform to curate and share your brand story through images.
5. Videos: Videos have great interactivity. If you type ‘pubs in delhi’ on Google, you can see over 3 million results. Videos are a huge category in shaping people’s perception and creating discovery. Most of the happening restaurants and pubs have gigs and events weekly on their properties. Videos of these gigs and events/parties need to be uploaded on YouTube and shared on various platforms. Use annotations to link to menu, reservations or contests.
6. Talk about things that appeal to your consumers: Social Media Marketing is a lot about conversations. And people will participate more in conversations that they like. We observed that things like- Bikes, Cars, Gadgets, Successful Men & Women attract 21-35 year high middle class crowd who like pubbing or trying new restautants. Your posts need to be elegant and in good taste though.
7. Groups: Participate in complimentary or similar groups for e.g. for a High En Pub, groups like Harley Owners, Beer Lovers etc. are very relevant. Once you participate share only relevant content not more than 2-3 times a week.
8. Find influencers and Engage: On Twitter and review platforms identify people who are for example foodies. Follow them, ask them questions, do a quick survey, update them about changes you are doing and request them to ReTweet the good things about you (this will happen over a period of time).
9. Let people talk to your Chef, Master Brewer or the CEO directly: At dotConverse, we have created a Facebook tab where people can directly write to the CEO about their complaints or suggestions or appreciation. These activities instill a sense of confidence in people about your brand.
10. You also have a B2B business, right? : You are talking to the CEOs of various companies in your area for corporate parties. LinkedIn can help you here. Now, remember, if you think you can quickly add a lot of CEOs and spam them with sales pitch- it’s not going to work. Remember you are here to create thought-leadership for your brand and share ideas about how a CEO can benefit from your restaurant. So, create a company page and use the updates section to share things of relevance. For e.g. you can write about how weekly team get-together can increase productivity, or How Google uses food and drinks to keep employees motivated. Once you start writing you can start sharing these in relevant groups on LinkedIn or even use a Paid Promotion of LinkedIn Company Page Status Update (it’s a new development).
Overall if you follow these 10 steps, you should be doing good. Also remember this has to go on forever, this is hygiene stuff! Best of luck and if you have questions where we can help you, do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
dotConverse is a specialised social media agency based out of Delhi NCR, India. You can visit and get more information on www.dotConverse.com