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Social media tips and strategies

Restaurant Business partnered with Pepsico to talk with bloggers, social media experts and operators at the BlogWorld conference about how to better capture all this new world of marketing has to offer. We asked, they responded. Click their names for the full interview video!

Ramon DeLeon
Operating partner at six Domino’s Pizzas

I love video thank-you’s. I was visiting some Domino’s Pizzas in the UK. I’m sitting there in my hotel room and a customer from Chicigo tweets that she purchased a pizza from [one of my units]. I took out my video camera and sent her this very quick video thank you, “Theresa, I love you from the UK, I hope you love your pizza.” She loved it, she posted it on Facebook, retweets it, and what all that does is it just enhances the experience of buying our pizza. (video)

Kari Haskell
Owner, Retro Bakery, Las Vegas

If you meet other [businesses] through Facebook or Twitter, you can “friend” them or “like” them. For example, the Slider truck in Las Vegas; now his followers know my followers. People can see on our page who Retro likes and vice versa. It just grows your following.

Justin Levy
Partner/GM of Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse

We said, “Let’s build a blog, let’s put Caminito out there on the map.” We thought about caminitosteak.com or caminitoblog.com, but we decided against that. We decided to launch a different brand and we called it Prime Cuts, primecutsblog.com, primecutstv. We didn’t want people to think it was just a regular restaurant blog where people are talking about the specials for tonight. That’s ok, but it’s not going to allow you to connect with people in the same human way we wanted to connect. The reason people want to come is because they could learn recipes or they could learn kitchen techniques, or how to grill better [which are featured in videos on the blog]. We really wanted to build that up because it was a separate revenue stream now. We could sell the restaurant or build more and we could separate Prime Cuts and sell that.

Matthew Cerrone

From an individual point of view I believe in the content, giving the reader something. Not just pushing, pushing, pushing stuff all the time. Listen to them and what they want. You want to create this kind of addiction in the reader
to always want to come back and get more. I think that works perfectly
for restaurants with menu changes, giveaways, discounts, that’s all giving something to the customer. That reward is important. I’m a big craft beer guy. There’s bars in New York that will tweet whenever they change a tap. I feel the need to check Twitter to make sure I don’t miss out on something.

Lee Oden

One of the biggest mistakes [companies make] is looking at social media like it’s direct marketing. So they’ll create a Facebook page, create a Twitter account, throw an intern at it for a couple of weeks and then complain that the channel doesn’t work because they didn’t generate any sales. What a lot of companies are doing successfully is fostering relationships. Those that look at social media purely to drive traffic aren’t doing so well.

Jennifer Perillo

Engage your customer. It’s called “social” for a reason. They want an interaction. There’s a local restaurant in Brooklyn. Someone else and myself were going back and forth about it. Neither of us had a good experience there. The person who owns the restaurant actually chimed in, because he follows both of us, and apologized and said he really hoped we’d come back and try the restaurant again. That stuck in my head.

Adam Wallace
Director of digital marketing for the Roger Smith hotel in NYC

Any sort of business [with a physical presence]—a hotel, store, restaurant—there’s that opportunity with the people you talk to online to meet them in person. We really try with guests who check in on Foursquare to meet them online and say hello to them in person.

Nathan Hangen

When you network with someone it’s a long-term strategy, you can’t expect to get the sale overnight, you can’t expect to instantly build a relationship. It works the same way [with social media]. First you’ve got to establish trust and then over time build a relationship.

Gaby Dalkin
Personal chef and food blogger

Show customers a sneak peek behind the scenes. What dishes are you working on in the kitchen, what dishes are you improving on. A snapshot of what’s happening in the restaurant on a busy Friday night. Intrigue people to come in and participate.

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