I had lunch at a newly opened restaurant today. I had heard the restaurant was opening soon but actually discovered it was today because the restaurant posted it on their facebook page. Good idea! It worked. The word was spread using online marketing.
I wondered what other types of online marketing they might be using. So I went to google and typed in their name. Sure enough, up came several search results for them. However, most of them were references to their website and to the local chamber of commerce website. I did not see any references to other online sites. So they had a website, a facebook page, and some news references.
Being in the online marketing business I know that there are many online review sites that work well with restaurants such as urbanspoon.com, yelp.com, groupon.com, foursquare.com, etc… There are also the big directory sites that allow reviews of businesses such as Google Places, Yahoo Local Business, Bing Local Business. And of course there are the yellow page directories and social networking sites like facebook, twitter, linked-in.
My advice to this restaurant would be to place and/or update your free listing on as many of these sites as possible and monitor your reviews. You might think it would be a lot of work to monitor reviews but you can set this up so that it is quick, easy, and automatic.
The other thing I noticed at the restaurant I visited today was that there was no offline marketing material to draw people to them online. I thought it would have been great if they would have had a flyer on every table with a QR code to quickly get their contact information or website link, or a text message number and keyword that I could use to keep me updated with this restaurant in the future. This would surely have brought me back to them when they offered deals such as buy one meal get another at half price or any kind of deal or discount.
Many businesses out there are just not using online marketing along with offline marketing. They put up a website and a facebook page and they might even keep it up to date. But if they don’t think of the offline world along with it they are missing out! That’s really the answer. Tie your online marketing to your offline marketing and engage your customers in many ways.