Weekly Column: 2017-04-07

Social media has now become an inevitable part of running a business. Through social media, online marketing has become a necessity in order to acquire more customers, so in the end, the online marketing strategy is what determines the success or failure of a business.

“Marketing is a tool that can bring success to any business. Therefore, management must understand the business from the perspective of the customer.”

In particular, the competition in the restaurant industry is very intense and competition continues steadily as many restaurants open and close their doors each year. Look at the common factors among the restaurants that have done well in this atmosphere of intense competition.  They know how to highlight their specialties with a high understanding of what the customer wants and base their marketing activities on customer-oriented strategies.

So what online marketing strategies should you plan and employ for your restaurant to survive this harsh competition?

First and foremost, as mentioned before, you must appropriately utilize social media, which is the hottest “in” thing in the world.

Traditionally, marketing had been centered around several large companies that were able to invest astronomical time and finances that small restaurants could not possibly do. It was strongly recognized, at the time, that restaurants could only succeed with how good the food tasted along with a certain degree of luck. Then online marketing emerged. Due to the popularization of smartphones, anyone is able to market online. Online marketing, which breaks down the barrier between restaurant and customers. The advantage being low cost, high impact, and allows the restaurant to communicate directly with its customers and receive immediate feedback.

Now, because many potential customers can obtain information through social media before making their purchasing decisions, it is very important to have marketing that captures the customer’s attention in the multitude of contents and to encourage them to share this with others. By sharing pictures of delicious food or providing the atmosphere of a store, you draw their attention.  Offering social media discount coupons or events with free food encourages them to upload their own experiences on their social media. Through one loyal customer, you can get a huge wave of results due to the ripple effect in social media. That is why it is imperative to not only manage social media accounts but to promote customers to voluntarily talk about and share their experiences.

Another important thing here is consistency. Many restaurants initially are very excited in their social media marketing, but as they do not receive their expected responses, they become disappointed and eventually discontinue using their social media accounts. A social media account that is not properly managed can be lethal. Having a less active social marketing presence than other competitor restaurants is like telling the world, “Our food is not selling well, and we are not interested in doing better.” So not using your social media account may be worse than not having one at all.

Of course as a beginner, choosing the channel that best fits you among all the different types of online marketing will not be an easy decision. Also, it is natural to be disappointed if you created really good content but do not receive the expected reaction. It is important to work with an expert who has the knowledge and experience to help you set up the appropriate online marketing channel and read the ongoing trends. In addition to that, having a customized service that understands and fits the customer to provide them with a special experience will make a great difference in sales.

Although it is not easy with all the content that is now available, hopefully, you will be able to choose the right social marketing channel and utilize it consistently. You need to widen your reach so that not only your restaurant but your marketing will prevail in this industry of fierce competition.