This blog post will go over how you should approach each social media platform when considering your digital marketing as a restaurant, along with other digital marketing outlets. Let's jump right into it. This is also a two-part blog series, so make sure to check out part 2 here

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine if you're using the wrong platform.

There are many other questions you could ask yourself, to better help in your digital marketing, however, I laid out a few that will help you understand which direction you should navigate. Now in the blog following, I will go over certain key factors in beefing up your digital marketing and along the way, you will be able to see how you can answer the questions. Let's jump right into it.


Do you want new customers?

As they say, “the richer only get richer”. Now how does that apply to the question above? Well, think about it, if you have any basic marketing experience you know it is way easier and cheaper to make money off your existing customer base than it is to find a new customer each sale. This is why you have to account for your target customer's mindset and the plausible demographic your restaurant vertical attracts(pizza, cafe, vegan, etc). Using a platform like Facebook, although infamous and very popular may not be a good fit for you, if the customers you're trying to attract are between the ages of 16-24.

Now, say you find the right platform for your targeted customer base, in terms of aligning audience interest and demographic. Now you’ll have to think about whether this platform converts free attention to sales the best compared to alternatives and does that conversion change based on your restaurant vertical and accessibility. Thus, the question you should answer when wanting new customers is this platform better at outbound leads or brand recognition, and how can strengths best support this specific goal of new customers.

Intentions of the customer

If I were looking for a new customer do I want to do all the work in attracting customers or should I market to customers already looking for a place to eat? For example, grabbing their attention while they’re on a platform that may or may not necessarily be targeted and designed for “already interested customers”.

You care more about followers and engagement than the facts:

Hear me out, a big following is a nice thing to have and reflects well on a business’s image. For almost all businesses, having a high following or that blue check is a badge of honor, you’ve made it as a business world. But all that is keeping up with Jones' nonsense. There are billion-dollar businesses with no social media following and 10 million follower businesses with low-profit margins. Having overall high engagement does nothing for you if the engagement comes from areas a customer physically can't be a customer.

Think to yourself, how many restaurant locations do you have? What is the total addressable market for each of these locations? If you can only at most possibly serve 5-10k people in the location's respective areas, there’s no need to produce and publish content or ad campaigns to grow a following beyond that addressable market. Also, take into account competing restaurant brands and people who simply don't eat out. Eventually, you’ll see that your following to potential customers will decrease compared to your following.


Now, this is not to say to abandon social media, as social media is one of the pre-stamps of approvals for many consumers. But to rather focus your energy on things that facilitate customer trust and engagement in key areas. It's better to have a low/decent but concentrated following than a big and bad following.

Ok, say you want to grow. isn’t better to have interest and demand in areas you are not in, in the event you want to grow in those key markets? Yes that 100% true, but if you only have 1-3 locations, abundant brand awareness isn't really breaking your bottom line. For smaller companies some things work, that doesn't work for bigger ones and vice versa. It's better to maximize your existing customer than to grow in size. Kinda like war, the biggest army is not always the winner. A small but very effective team can bring a nation to its knees.

Get them triggered, you're not grabbing their attention:

Using "Alert" or "News" or "Bulletin" in subject lines significantly boosts open and click-through rates. Along with using "Daily" or "Weekly" in subject lines boosts open and click-through rates whereas "Monthly" hurts open rates and CTRs. Having a catchy or attention-grabbing tagline is basic marketing, which everyone already knows, but using it effectively is another tool in itself. You have to realize just like you, your customers are subscribed to multiple restaurant promotion lists. A way to figure out how to stand out is simply subscribing to nearby restaurants and see how they approach their customer and create a tagline that is superior or eye-catching. You should also do an a/b test, to see if you're going in the right direction. Also when you are developing your digital marketing plan, you should consider optimizing for mobile platforms as "Mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens. (Litmus.com, 2018)" and "59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. (SaleCycle, 2018)". This also does not exclusively apply to email marketing but push notification market, social media marketing, and other digital mediums.

Conclusion

Now there are two main key factors you’ll have to think about, it is the result you want from your digital marketing and if it's right for your business at this time. If you are early into your business, starting off having a lot of customers may not be the best decision as you may lack the experience with handling such high demand. An alternative would be to focus your digital marketing on maximizing the spending of your niche existing customers. We went over a few factors and perspectives to consider when formulating your digital marketing. In the end, it's about asking the right questions to deduce what is best for your business and brand. This part 1 of 2 parts, you can check out part 2 here