When a restaurant is new to the internet, and wants to leverage it to increase their business, asks us what kinds of things they can do, one of the suggestions we have for them is to post on Twitter, and to use it regularly. Twitter, if you don’t really get it, is a place where your restaurant can sign up and get an account.
Then you can post a short message or ‘status’ of 140 characters (ie 140 letters, numbers, spaces, etc). Anyone can see them, anyone can search on them.
They’re a great way to do a number of things for your restaurant though, from informational
to customer service:
The problem usually is though that people don’t know what they can tweet. They’re sitting at their computer and don’t know what to put in. Here’s some ideas to help you.
- Don’t try and put in what you are literally doing. “I’m grinding beef” Try and put something in that’s interesting that caught your eye. “It’s amazing the difference between good local beef and national chains beef.”
- You should be blogging as well as tweeting, and when you blog you should post a link to it on twitter. Don’t just post the link though, describe what the blog is about, see below:
- Ask questions. Hopefully over time people will follow your tweets and you can ask questions and get answers from people.
- Search for topics that interest you IN twitter, and find people who post interesting things about those subjects. Then you can “retweet” those items to YOUR followers.
- Give advice. Any basic things involved in your restaurant that you can share with people. Advice on how to properly fry french fries, or make a certain type of salad. Include a picture or a video.
- It’s important to show your human side to on Twitter. Be social. Pretend that you’re actually talking to a customer. Don’t be a robot.
- Don’t get to cocky and constantly toot your own horn. Be modest in your tweets. Humility goes alot further than braggadocio. At the same time don’t be afraid to link to good reviews.
- If you have any local partners, say a next door business, promote them as well. If you help promote companies you work with or who are near you, they might see it and help promote you as well.
- Lastly, and most importantly…Tweet your food. Every day send out a tweet about your specials, or a specific menu item. Remind people about your food. Link to a picture of it on your website or put your picture directly into your tweet (sweet new functionality from twitter). Do it in the morning, and you’ll see a difference in your lunch crowd.
Lots of things you can put on Twitter and a few minutes a day can gain you more regular customers.
You could also twitter stalk a few restaurants who do a great job of communicating, marketing and having a good time, here are a few suggestions to start with:
@TrystRestaurant, @boloco, @b_good_, @piperspub, @JerryRemysGrill