I have been studying a number of restaurant brands operating in Lagos lately. A lot of them, small scale or upscale are still not leveraging social media. It is amazing that in 2017, many upscale restaurants are not active on social media.
Such brands are obviously missing out on opportunities to cost effectively boost brand awareness, engagement and sales via social media. If you run such a social media inactive restaurant, I suggest you reach out pronto.
However, for brands already utilizing social media strategies to market their restaurants; whether they are making the best use of the internet’s potential, remains the question.
That said, this article points out some unusual marketing strategies restaurants operating in Nigeria can gain from. They can also be applied effectively by restaurants anywhere. Strategies that can add value to your brand image and help boost sales long term.
Get Your Business On Local Directories + Paid Search Engines
People are searching daily on the internet for restaurants nearby. Your restaurant showing up on top of local searches makes a lot of business sense. If you have not already, do list your brand in every local online directory possibly used by your target audience. Consider running paid Google search ads so your brand shows up on top of Google search when people search for nearby restaurants.
Promote On Grocery Receipts + Shopping Carts
This might seem odd but it can be a great way to promote your restaurant. Consider partnering with local supermarket chains like Shoprite, Spar etc; to have your restaurant promoted on the back of grocery receipts and/ or shopping carts.
Partner with Like-minded Businesses Around You
By like-minded, I mean businesses nearby that compliment your business or have a similar audience. There are instances where partnering with the competition would be of great value to your brand. The business world is fast embracing collaborations today more than ever before. You know the saying ‘two heads are better than one’? It appeals here.
Look into collaborating with businesses that serve similar audiences. For example, a partnership with a cinema can be a great idea. Your customers can win cinema tickets when they eat at your restaurant at least twice a week for example. Or movie goers winning free meals at your restaurant when they visit the partnering cinema at least twice a week or a combination. There are so many ways both brands can spin a promotions partnership for a win-win.
Create A Friendly Work Space Environment
Yes, you read that right. Allow people to work from your restaurant as long as they patronize you. Forget the fear of cheats i.e the fear that people will use your premises to carry out illegal business dealings taking advantage of your hospitality.
You can easily put measures in place to ensure that you attract the right people to your restaurant. Brands should know their customers anyway. You should know people that come in daily. You should be able to talk to your customers from time to time. Simple conversations with your customers will allow for a better understanding of what they do.
There is an opportunity here to boost sales as there are so many young entrepreneurs today without offices that would be excited about eating out at your location daily just so they get access to your electricity and/or internet.
Turn Your Most Loyal Customers To Influencers
Create an influencer marketing program for your restaurant business to spread positive word. People that love your brand are the best influencers as they are already passionate about the brand. Such passion displayed will always win you new customers. Make them excited about posting your meals and encouraging their friends and followers to check out your restaurant. It’s amazing how cost effective this can be. They won’t mind getting compensated with something as simple as a monthly gift card, shoutouts on your social media pages or discounts on meals.
Why You Should Have A Website And Not Just Rely On Social Media
No one could have predicted just how revolutionary social media would be when MySpace started gaining followers in the early 2000s. Even in 2006, when Facebook and Twitter became widely available to the global population, there were still lingering doubts about its longevity and potential as a profit-making vehicle.
In retrospect, it makes sense: after the meteoric rise and crushing fall of the 90s dot com bubble, it was still very much open to interpretation as to whether this new wave of interactive media would be able to survive (let alone thrive) into the future.
We know differently today.
As of early 2019, there were 4.2 billion internet users, of which 3.397 billion were active on social media.
To put this even further into perspective, consider that, on average, every one of those users owns 5.54 social media accounts and spends 116 minutes a day scrolling their news-feeds or chatting with friends.
And those mind-boggling numbers are still growing. Three hundred twenty million new profiles were created between September 2017 and October 2018, which works out to 10 new social media users every second. This figure alone is almost double the average number of human births per second.
That’s right. Social media growth is outstripping the global human birth rate.
You Do Not Own Social Media
We get it. Starting a Facebook page for your small business when you don’t have much working capital seems like a much smarter option than stumping up for a website. Not only is it free, it can also put you in touch with pretty much everybody you’d like to sell to. If you’re a local-oriented biz you can make a point of highlighting your location or some other specific selling point. Continue reading…
Is Your Business Model Viable? An 8-Point Test
You have a great business idea, and even got started on a business plan. But now you wonder: is my upstart business model really viable? Here is an eight-point test to tell you if you should forge ahead with your business idea.
Before you worry about upstart financing, marketing or business location, you should begin with an idea—not just any idea, but one that’s unique. What makes your business stand out from the rest?
Uniqueness doesn’t necessarily mean you have to invent something (though that’s never bad—just look at Snuggie’s success), it just means that you have to set yourself apart from the competition. If you’re starting a catering company, say, what will make your catering service different from the rest? These are tough questions, but important ones. The most successful businesses have a strong, unique concept, and a clear identity. Take the time to define yours.
2. Upstart Funds
What will your start-up cost be? Every business has some expenses at the start, whether you’re paying for equipment, rent or just basic marketing materials. Make a realistic estimation; you’ll need these figures to obtain a loan or simply to budget if you’re paying these expenses out of pocket.
Who’s your customer? Knowing who will be buying your product or service is vital to your business success—how else will you find your customers if you don’t know who they are? Are you catering to busy professionals, stay-at-home moms, college students, retirees? Define your customer, even if you have to be broad at first. If you’ll be renting a space, make sure the local demographic fits this profile; the real estate agent will be able to provide you with that data. Read more
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