Trying to market a restaurant using Social media does not have to cost you money, but it does cost time. Don’t waste your time deciding which social networking tools are best to promote your restaurant business. Each tool has a unique personality, and each provides you with access to different benefits. There are many reasons why restaurateurs should consider when they market a restaurant with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional place — think of it as an ongoing trade show where you can market a restaurant.
LinkedIn and the Benefits for Your Restaurant
The benefits of LinkedIn are:
- Market research
- Attraction of guests
- Sourcing talent
- Displaying yourself as a professional enterprise
- Engaging a high class of clientele with your offer
More than 175 million professionals (August 2012) around the world are signed up with LinkedIn. Many of these professionals are local to you, and connecting with them is to your advantage. Eighty-five percent of the world’s marketing professionals are signed up there, a sure sign that if you are looking to market a restaurant professionally, this a site to have a presence on, and spend time with.
Who Should You Be Connecting with on LinkedIn?
You can form connections and correspondence with everyone from restaurant critics to talented prospective employees (chefs for example). Perhaps connecting with entertainers, forming new supplier relationships, and soliciting (in an indirect way) for corporate executives to hold out-of-house meetings with you would also be a beneficial use of LinkedIn.
7 Tips for How to Market a Restaurant with LinkedIn
1. Link, link, link
Utilize all your social media connections to market a restaurant by linking your blogs, your Twitter feeds and Facebook updates to the site. This keeps your contacts updated about your restaurant (you can use a filter to avoid spamming).
2. Answer questions
Answer questions in your niche using “LinkedIn Q&A.” This is where professionals come for answers. Market a restaurant by playing your role right here and you establish yourself as a trusted industry professional.
3. Highlight your products
Pay particular attention to the “products” section of your profile to highlight everything from menu differentiations to special events.
Use the platform as a place to advertise any open positions free of charge. With LinkedIn you can attract the right people for your business.
5. Promote your offer
Use LinkedIn Ads market a restaurant by promoting certain offers. These work in much the same way as Google Ads in driving traffic to your booking page. Results vary dramatically, however, in cost per click and cost per sale. Two case studies of the use of Linkedin Ads, by Andrea Vahl and Anville Media Corp., showed a 0% and a 25% conversion rate respectively.
6. Join and discuss
Increase your company’s reach by joining groups, and go beyond restaurant based groups. Create discussions in these groups that give value to the readers, and entice them towards your business. Encourage employees to have their own LinkedIn profiles, they can assist with market a restaurant by listing a restaurant as their place of employment (this will dramatically boost the number of visitors who land on your restaurant’s page).
7. Measure the effects
One of the best aspects of using social media to market a restaurant is analytics. These allow you to measure the effect of your efforts, and LinkedIn’s analytics are comprehensive and user friendly.