Social Media Marketing | BrandEd – Part 2

Social Media Marketing

Ever ask yourself, what should I blog about? Here’s the simple answer, find a topic that you have passion for. Or blog with a purpose in mind. You might think, it can’t be that simple. It can be that simple, blogging isn’t easy however it can be made easier when you are writing with passion, or with a purpose in mind.

Recently I was asked along with a collection of SteamFeed authors (Phil Gerbyshak, Kimberly Reynolds, Sarah Arrow, Debbie Laskey, Gettysburg Gerry, and Jessica Ann) to share our thoughts and tips on how to get started blogging.

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As marketing continues to evolve some older practices still work, one of those is a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This time lets conduct one for your digital brand.

First off, what exactly is a digital SWOT Analysis?

A digital S.W.O.T. is a strategic analysis of your business to help identify your brands online STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES and your THREATS. By going through this process you will have a better idea of of how strong your brand’s online presence is and where you have opportunities to improve. This process also helps you identify untapped resources, and opportunities to better optimize your content for increased search results. The threat part of the process helps with competitive analysis and preparing your brand for threats from competition and from the Internet such as Google algorithm updates which are occurring more regularly as the web continues to evolve.

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Back in 2007 when the economy took a major hit Daily Deals were the hot new marketing trick for brands, especially restaurants. It might have felt like the perfect weapon. You mean we don’t have to spend any marketing dollars on paid media to attract new customers? Where do I sign up?

Daily Deals worked in the beginning because they were the new toy and everyone took the time to open those cherished emails, and jumped at the opportunity to get a HUGE discount. Then the issues started: Read More…

Conferences are resources for continued education, the restaurant industry’s biggest shows of the year is the National Restaurant Association Food Show commonly referred to as the NRA show – The International Food Service Marketplace. The annual show takes place in Chicago at McCormick place and is a wonderful opportunity to combine the best and brightest minds, products and services related to the food service industry all in one place.

While I usually attend in person, this year I was not able to attend but thanks to Twitter, friends and contacts who attended I was able to take advantage of staying in the loop, while well not being technically in the loop. Over the years, the NRA has done a nice job of integrating new media into the conference programming from an app that can help guide you around the showroom floor and highlight educational breakout sessions to promoting content on Twitter with a dedicated hashtag, #NRAshow.

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Every restaurant could use a reminder of how NOT to react on Social Media, sometimes the greatest examples present themselves in full color. We’ve all heard about the ABC’s, basically they are the building blocks for future growth and education. Well, let me introduce you to the ABC’s of how not to react to customers at you restaurant either in person or more importantly on Social Media. Let me introduce to another ABC – Amy’s Baking Company, they will serve as the foundation of how not to act as a restauranteur, EVER.

If you haven’t already heard or seen the great restaurant train-wreck ever documented, prepare yourself for the ensuing entertainment. I first saw this on Buzzfeed’s post, This Is The Most Epic Brand Meltdown On Facebook Ever and they were not kidding. To start with, this restaurant was chosen to be on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and was then ceremoniously let go by Chef Ramsay, which should be a red flag right there. You can view below Season 6 Episode 16 part 1 and 2 below.  Read More…

Time doesn’t stand still and neither should your brand. I was reminded of this recently when I revisited a former client’s restaurant. I have been fortunate to work with all kinds of clients, not just in the restaurant category. One client in particular had a wonderful quality, almost a sense of transformation associated with their product. The passion, the experience and the food made this multi-unit Steakhouse concept unique. You could sense it the moment you walked in the door.

As a marketer it is your job to help tell a brand’s story. The beautiful thing about branding is that it’s about building an emotional and a personal connection for customers with the brand. On the flip side it is because of this that brands need to grow and change with their audience. Never looking back but always looking forward. Read More…

Restaurants like most brands look to build loyal supporters, fans and brand advocates. There are many ways to communicate with your followers, but what do you do with them once you have their attention? If you are abusing the relationship by simply broadcasting you are not paying attention to new marketing trends.

Social Media has created a great vehicle to enhance two-way conversations with brands and their customers.  A two-way conversation requires brands to listen to their audience, this is exactly what good brands are doing today. Say goodbye to push marketing and forcing messages down consumers throats. Say hello to listening and learning… introducing Crowdsourcing.

What is Crowdsourcing?

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No matter the size of your restaurant or the number of units, Social Media is a marketing practice that you need to be using to promote your restaurant brand. It is well documented that Social Media is trending upward. A good sign of that is the adoption of Social Media by big brands and national media outlets. It has come to the point where if you don’t see social icons displayed on traditional mediums such as TV, Outdoor and Print that you question who’s doing their marketing.

As I promised in 13 Things Restaurant Brands Need To Do in 2013 I want to dive deeper and highlight further some of my recommendations. Number 6 on my list was Get Active in Social Media, Seriously What Are You Waiting for? So if you are like lots of people out there who need to see major brands jumping on a trend this post is for you.

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All restaurants want to drive more traffic to their restaurant. Picture sharing is where the social media action is this year. So sharing your food and encouraging your customers to share food should be part of your marketing plan to drive traffic. Create the craving with images.

Sure this is not a professionally taken photo that was art directed, stylized or retouched but it sure looks inviting. Doesn’t it?

Why do you think TV works better than radio for restaurants? Because we like to see the food we are going to eat. Until someone comes up with a way for you to smell food across media outlets, restaurants have to create food cravings visually. If you can’t afford TV or you want to mix up your media, consider using social media to share your images. Let’s be honest, your customers are doing it already.

While I certainly value the importance of professional looking food pictures for your website and for advertising purposes, today the timing is more important then the quality. For a restaurant the easiest content to share is pictures of food.

With the increase of mobile and geo-target influenced impulse purchases, social networks with effective mobile apps such as Foursquare, Instagram and Twitter you now have an easier way to fill the empty seats in your restaurant. Those additional tables can be the difference of having an ok week and having a great week. Low cost and high ceiling is a no brainer.

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Happy New Year! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and readership, I hope that you have found my previous post helpful. Now that we have entered 2013, I wanted to highlight some goals and initiatives for your marketing efforts. Before you get bogged down with the reality of running a restaurant or marketing a restaurant be sure to look back at the success from 2012. Well, what did you learn?

As you look ahead to 2013, consider the following 13 suggestions. Think about tracking your success and note what went wrong with your failures.

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