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A Little Digital Advertising Goes a Long Way: One Restaurant’s 30-Day, 4,381% ROI Success Story

Digital is in!

For some industries, this can be bad news, as traditional media can take a backseat to modern technology. Luckily for the restaurant industry, people will always be hungry, and they will always be looking for new dining experiences to satisfy both their hunger for food and taste for adventure. Yet, with Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat overrun by pictures of delicious meals all around the world, it can be hard for a local restaurant owner to find ways to stand out in the digital crowd.

That’s where digital advertising technology and tactics comes in. This is the story of how one restaurant turned hungry internet surfers into happy new customers with the power of digital advertising, and the team who skyrocketed their ROI to 4,381%.

Read the full case study here: Honing Steel Digital Agency’s Cafe Mexicana Digital Advertising Case Study

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Matthew Kennedy Appears on Abdul At Large, WIBC 93.1FM

Recently, Matthew Kennedy, President of Honing Steel Hospitality, appeared on the Abdul At Large program on WIBC 93.1FM radio, along Dave Meeker of Bringing Tech 2 You and Mike Murphy of Hirons Communications. On the program, we discussed the pitfalls businesses should avoid when it comes to social media with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz of Indy Politics.

Listen to our conversation on SoundCloud, courtesy of our friends at Indy Politics:

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How to Get More Positive Online Reviews for Your Restaurant

Sites like Yelp, Google Reviews and Zomato are dominating the digital landscape and telling your potential customers where to go. Make sure your raving fans are sharing their love for your restaurant online.

Capture Contact Info

Before you learn how to capture a positive review, you’ll need a strategy to avoid negative reviews:

  • Place a survey card on each table. Don’t pass the card out with the check; put the survey card in a card holder where it is visible and easy to see. Ask your server team to refer to the survey card and encourage patrons to fill it out.
  • Keep the survey brief (no more than five questions) with check-the-box options to make it easy and convenient. Give them a contact info section where they can enter a drawing for a prize, such as a gift card for a free appetizer, free dessert, etc.

Once you’ve captured the contact information of your raving fans, create a follow-up email campaign that asks them to review your restaurant on other sites. Provide links to the sites in the email to make it easy for them and offer rewards for bringing in a copy of their online review the next time they dine.

Not a fan of the card method? No problem. Retailers have been using online surveys and contests in exchange for contact information with great success. For example, while large companies like Home Depot have their own survey sites, you can use survey tools like SurveyMonkey, or an experienced digital hospitality consultant can assist you with a custom survey feature on your website.

Reviews Page

While many people use third-party sites to read reviews, if your restaurant has a landing page dedicated to reviews that appear in the search results, it will get traffic.

Looking for a creative tip? Personalize the page with patron photos and images. Invite your mom to star in her personal photo shoot and review! Be sure to use the caption “Sincerely, Mom,” or use the parent of a chef, hostess or lead server.

Respond to Social Media

If you already have a reputation management strategy in place to deal with negative reviews, it will be easy to implement a policy toward the positive reviews. Whenever someone gives your restaurant a five-star rating, make a comment and ask them to review your restaurant on another site as well. Be sure to thank them, include a link to your restaurant page on the review site, and offer to give them a photo shoot for your reviews page the next time they visit.

Getting positive online reviews for your restaurant isn’t difficult; it just takes a little effort backed strategy and creativity.

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Why Social Media Is More Important Than Ever: Open the Floodgates to Your Marketing Strategy

As people are increasingly spending more time with their eyes glued to screens, it’s vital to have a social media strategy in place. With so many different platforms out there, it’s imperative to know how to use them all and be able to cater to each one’s nuances.

Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t underestimate the use of social media for your business marketing strategy.

1. Reach a Greater Audience Organically

In the United States alone, over half of all small businesses increased their social media marketing budgets this year. People all around the world are now more glued to their personal screens than ever before, with Facebook statistics today showing there are more than 1.2 billion users.

2. Create a Loyal Community

People are often more willing to buy from a brand that they feel a connection with. Nowadays, this means a digital connection — when they are subscribed to your social media channels, you can personally interact with them and meet their needs.

3. Advertise for Free

Besides the many free platforms out there, you can get your most loyal customers to advertise for you, at no cost at all. When they are genuinely interested or convinced that your product is the best, they are likely to share it among their own social network. And your reputation grows. And so your marketing efforts can be more targeted and efficient while costing you much less in the long run.

Proper Planning and Investment

However, in order for your social media marketing plan to be effective, you must be willing to put in the time, research and initial investment. Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time in the beginning learning how various platforms work, updating your tools and apps, and getting to know the world of digital marketing.

Then later, once your business is up and running, you will have an easier time managing your digital networks and seeing results. Today, more than ever, social media is more important and essential for businesses. But the key is planning a strategy that works for you and your market.

Need help with formulating your next social media strategy? For more advice, tips and digital consultation, call us today.