So they say talk is cheap – and with the advent of social media it is easier than ever to generate talk. (And cheaper too!)
For restaurants, word of mouth is a powerful marketing strategy, as the most trusted and best advice often comes from the friends your respect the most. With the widespread use of social media as exemplified by Facebook, twitter, Foursquare and whatever the next generation of social media will be, restaurants can take advantage of these new forms of interaction to communicate with guests. And the best part is their loyal fans that post, blog and endorse them –can also really help the restaurants build business. Of course, the flip side of this –is negative reviews and commentary can also show up and do damage to restaurants –but we won’t go to the dark side for this piece.
Foursquare, one of the hottest social media vehicles right now, invites players to broadcast their chosen venues to all of their friends – acting as advocates and demonstrating their support of a given locale. At the same time, restaurants can incentivize Foursquare players to visit frequently by offering specials or deals for the “mayor” (most frequent visitor). Chefs can tweet on twitter that they just brought in a limited amount of a special ingredient and thus promote an exciting daily special — come in tonight – we only have six orders of fresh uni from Santa Barbara, still in the shell – and if it works I guarantee the uni will be gone in a flash.
Restaurants with fan pages can introduce new promotions and publicize events via Facebook, instantly, conveniently and effectively. And perhaps even better, their guests can almost instantly spread the word to all of their friends. Social media offers the powerful potential of viral marketing, and brings restaurants to anyone who participates.
So if you have a favorite restaurant –become a facebook fan, follow the chef on twitter and become the mayor on Foursquare. Ultimately, you will reap the benefits of being such a loyalist –and with social media so will all your friends – all 1000 of them that is.