It seems like social media makes the world go ‘round these days, and if you are a retailer or restaurant owner you may understand this more than most! Getting great reviews online is so important in attracting new customers (and, sometimes even keeping your regulars as perceptions can change over time).
So, how do you improve your reviews as a restaurant owner… and, what’s a sure fire way to ensure you patrons get clicking on those stars? It’s actually a lot like any relationship. It’s about devoting your time and effort, and it also goes both ways.
Creating ‘that spark’.
Get creative with initiatives that enchant, whether it’s running a campaign that utilises your hospitality supplies (for example, campaigns/competitions displayed your coffee cups or a nifty discount or loyalty reward system printed on your takeaway containers). Point is, make sure you always inject that little bit of fun and spontaneity into your approach. Also, pay attention to seasons, events and holidays to keep things super fresh (for example you might have a Christmas in July event or, a Summertime Sundowner). Match your social media campaigns with current trends and timing to remain relevant.
Upload videos to Facebook (and other relevant) channels to showcase the human side to your business. People engage more when they feel that they can personally connect with your brand. If you can get customer pictures, all the better (just make sure you get their permission first). You might consider adding personally asking them for a review after you tag them in the pics, they will feel super special!
Instigating those ‘feel good’ vibes.
You really have to make a spellbinding impression. Or, offer a great incentive to push people online to review your business. After all, even if they’ve thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful meal and had the most fantastic time… it’s very easy for them to go on about their day (or night) with barely a thought about giving your biz the kudos it deserves. That’s why you have to go the extra mile in encouraging them to review your business (always in a positive fashion, of course).
And since you run a restaurant, you might just want to consider rewarding people with (you guessed it) food, wine… or, even better…both! This will invoke a lighthearted, warm and very welcome response in your patrons, ie. making them feel good about reviewing your restaurant! Make sure that the experience is never a chore. Perhaps you can give back in the process… consider donating to and/or supporting a charity as a bonus for having your customer take that time out in completing their review.
Nurturing that ‘loving feeling’.
So… you are starting to get those sweet reviews rolling in? Well, make sure you don’t stop there! Keeping up momentum is the name of the game in social media marketing…with consistency being key! Make sure you nurture your reviews by responding with sincere appreciation. Always you honour your promises (or, get ready for some strong backlash)! Work on more than one social media channel and always include your website and Google reviews in your scheduling. These function as essential ranking signals for local SEO.
Once again, it’s all about acquiring those reviews and keeping them nice and fluffy and sweet! Make it super easy for anyone to review your restaurant. Keep in mind that older audiences and some users may not already have a Google account, or may struggle with using technology… so, be as adaptable and patient as possible. Remember, don’t get too pushy! Your reviews will sound so much better when they are nice and natural. The old adage ‘you get more flies with honey’ certainly rings true!
A rewarding (reviewer) relationship.
Getting reviews on your business is a bit like any romantic relationship. You have to create that initial interest, work on loyalty and reciprocate in turn. That way, you can get those tasty testimonials on tap!