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How Restaurants Use Social Media for Customer Service

Reaching Customers Through Social Marketing

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How Restaurants Use Social Media for Customer Service

Social media is an effective tool for providing good customer service.

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Social media allows you to reach out to customers more than ever before. Traditional advertising was usually considered an interruption by customers, whereas marketing via social media encourages a dialogue between people to discuss your restaurant with their friends, as well as with you directly. There are many different ways to use social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Pintrest, for customer service, from announcing daily specials to addressing customer complaints. The key to enhancing your restaurant customer service through social media is consistency. Read on for ideas that will build a social media presence among your customer base.

Post Daily Menu Specials

Get into the habit of posting lunch and dinner specials each day, an hour or so before the shifts begins. It’s important to be consistent, posting every day, so that customers know where to look when they are deciding where they want to go for lunch or an after work drink and dinner. If possible, add good quality photos of dishes to each wall post, tweet or photo gallery.

Announce Upcoming Events

A Facebook post or tweet is an easy way to remind customers to make reservations for upcoming events, like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. If you have an online reservation system, add a link to it within your post.

Encourage Customers to Participate in Promotions

Contests, like name the new sandwich or mixed drink are ideal for social media sites, where everyone is all about feeling unique and special. Customers can post entries through email, tweets or wall posts. Or you can encourage customers to enter the old fashion way - in person, when they drop by to eat. For contest prizes, free swag like t-shirts, beer pint glasses, shot glasses, neon beer signs are inexpensive giveaway ideas.

Offer Tours of Your Restaurant

A great way to show off your digs to new customers is through a short video tour. All you need is a cell phone camera to upload videos automatically to Facebook. Give a guided tour of your dining room, bar and outside seating areas. Make sure the camera work is steady and it’s well narrated. If you don’t know anything about videos, ask among your staff. Chances are, one of them will have some experience posting videos to Youtube or other social media sites.

Post Tutorial Videos

In a world inundated with celebrity chefs and cooking shows, there is no reason you can’t make your own cooking videos for your customers. Consider making some how-to videos featuring your chef or bartender (assuming neither is camera shy). Video your chef making a house specialty or your bartender showing how to mix the perfect martini. You might have to shoot a couple takes to get it right.

Offer Coupons and Other Discounts Through Social Media

Reward loyal customers with coupons or other discounts for “liking” your status or “retweeting” your tweets. Make sure any discounts are clearly labeled and have an expiration date- like “Like this photo and get a free appetizer tonight, only!” Otherwise you could find yourself giving food away for weeks and months to come.

Address Customer Complaints

If a customer takes the time to post a complaint on your Facebook wall or other social media site, you need to take the time to address it. Instead of seeing it as a problem, view it as an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. You will be surprised too, to find that often other customers will counter any complaints with their own positive experiences at your restaurant. Read on for more about handling customer complaints.

Post Great Photos

Tag your regular customers in photos from your restaurant (be sure to ask them first). These photos will then show up in their newsfeeds and their friends newsfeeds, creating a nice ripple effect for marketing.

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