While advertising can provide great results, it can often be quite costly, so getting your customers to do your advertising for you provides a great alternative for budget conscious owners or those looking for a more authentic approach.
If you think of your outlet as a place where communities gather, then you can think of social media as the same thing, just for online communities.
Social media allows you to create an online presence for sharing news, menus, offers, images and much more. It also allows you to identify and target those who may become potential customers and reach out to them in a personable and tailored way.
A social media presence not only allows you to reach out to potential customers, it also allows them to reach out to you. Often the first touchpoint for the modern consumer, an online presence is absolutely essential and gives potential customers an immediate taste of who you are and what you can offer. Make sure you can be easily found on social media when customers want to ‘tag’ where they are and who they’re with and be sure to include all the key information guests need to find, contact and visit your outlet.
Think of your online presence like you would think of your shop front. It’s the first interaction potential customers will have with your business, so you want it to look slick, be impactful and show off your business in a good light right away.
Play to your strengths and be authentic
Last but by no means least is the need to play to your strengths. For independent operators your biggest asset is your personal approach and the little quirks that separate you from everyone else. It’s important to make sure that marketing activity remains true to this if you want to capitalise on your biggest asset…you!
Make use of the fact that you can be agile, personal and highly localised to stand out from the crowd. Build a reputation for looking after your customers, new and old, so that every customer knows they matter to you. You can do this by getting involved in topical conversations effecting your community, taking a stand on issues your local area is facing and responding personally to customer requests wherever possible. This level of personal service shows your commitment to the community and cements your business in the hearts and mind of locals.
ou’ll understand better than anyone the power of a personal approach, so wherever possible, tailor your marketing to match specific guest needs and showcase the fact that no one knows your customers like you do!
When planning any form of marketing activity, it’s best to limit your efforts on one or two key tactics and focus on doing them well. Don’t forget to check in with your customers for regular feedback and be sure to implement requests which crop up frequently so visitors know you’re listening.
Keep these tips in mind when implementing your marketing plan and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a firm favourite with the locals; something which any savvy business owner will know is worth its weight in gold!