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Twitter for Restaurants: A Guide to Getting Started

Ordr.in is in the business of simplifying digital life for as many restaurants as possible. With that goal in mind, we’re launching a new series of social media guides for restaurants: How-to guides for restaurants to understand how to make social media work for them to build their brand, handle customer service with care, and attract new customers.

Our first guide is Twitter for Restaurants — an overview of how a restaurant can get up and running on Twitter. The rewards for the restaurant that does Twitter right can be so worthwhile in the long run, so take a look at these Tweeting best practices and make sure your restaurant is maximizing its impact on Twitter.

Our Twitter guide for restaurants is short and concise — easy to print out and tack onto your wall. We hope restaurants everywhere trying to understand the art of the tweet will find our guide to Twitter a useful resources. So share and share alike!

image credit: Twitter ad for @pancheros at their ames location. by Brood_wich, on Flickr

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Restaurants Pick Up the Social Media Gauntlet — But There’s Much More on the Way

It’s becoming increasingly clear that restaurants need to push their marketing further out from their restaurant to capture and retain customers. According to a nifty infographic from the National Restaurant Association, 28% of customers use social media to choose a restaurant; 27% use consumer-driven review sites.

Frankly these numbers seem low, and are low I am sure when you look at younger demographics- the customers who could be with you for the long haul. But even these suspiciously low numbers paint a powerful picture.

This means the decision-making process is happening long before customers walk into your restaurant for dinner.  They did it before they left their office or while surfing their phone. They did it while chatting or texting with their dinner companions while checking restaurant listings and reviews.

Restaurants are not blind to what this means — 9 in 10 restaurant operators say social media will become more important and 95% expect to be on Facebook within two years (if they are not already).

But the percent of diners who are driven by social media and consumer reviews is not the most important data point for restaurant operators. There’s a new digital landscape for restaurants to take advantage of emerging, just as they begin to master social media.

Any guesses? We’ll be posting part two with the answer later today. 

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Have a Phone Number but no Phone?

At the Restaurant Marketing and Delivery Association annual meeting I gave a talk on using social media as a customer engagement tool, especially for service. I asked for a show of hands, how many businesses used twitter for customer service? How many monitored it steadily?

Out of the 100 attendees, about 4 raised their hands. 4? That is worse than having a phone number but no phone.

When you have a phone number and no phone, people- customers- can call all day and no one will answer. You have no idea if they are happy or angry, want to buy, or have an idea. But a phone is one to one communication. Only the caller knows if the call isn’t answered.

Twitter is one to many.  Every person who follows a user gets the same message- they see the tweet and they see the gaping void that follows. 140 characters is plenty of space to get across:

  • Hey @business you shd call Bob’s Deli about joining your restaurant network. They are interested. Ask 4 Bob (108 characters)
  • So happy with @business! Dinner was great and I didn’t have to cook or drive.  #happycustomer (78 characters)
  • Where is my FOOD!? Hungry and tired here. This is getting ridiculous.  Tick tock! #lowbloodsugar #nexttimemakeshaghetti (119 characters)

If you don’t monitor your twitter account you will never know what your customers are saying to and about you. But hundreds or thousands will. When someone calls you answer. When they tweet you should do the same.