I am a HUGE fan of Twitter. It is quick, easy, and fun to use. Most importantly, Twitter is a powerful way to make connections. I have made full blown business deals by simply starting off with a 140 character message. Twitter allows you to reach clients you never may have reached before.
I usually explain Twitter’s function as sending a text message (140 characters) to thousands of your closest friends all at once. Twitter acts as a sort of forum where people can share thoughts, ideas, and self promote.
Why Your Restaurant Should Be On Twitter?
1. It’s Free: Twitter costs nothing but your time. We never had free advertising at the tip of our fingers. Twitter is on your laptop, on your tablet, and on your smartphone. There are simply no excuses.
2. Control the Conversation: People are talking about your restaurant on Twitter whether you like it or not. For better or worse you should be a part of the conversation. If the conversation is positive, you are losing out on a chance to connect with clients and convert them to repeat customers. If the conversation is negative, you are letting it go unchecked. This means that it can quickly spread like wildfire AND that you are missing out on useful feedback to make your restaurant better.
3. Your Fans Want You: In this time of high technology, people yearn for connections. This is especially so with your business. Your clientele wants to be in the know. When their friends ask where to go for the best burger in town, they want to be experts. You think you have nothing to tell them? Here are a few examples of what they may be interested in:
Daily deals (of course)
Your team (chef, sommelier, the ultra cute bartenders) 1 egg (just making sure you are still paying attention), pictures of your evening specials
The latest bounty you picked up at the farmers market
Anything relevant that will get possible clients to pay attention to you
4. Customer Service: Twitter is a terrific tool for customer service. As mentioned above, the conversation is going on with or without you. It is incredibly important to be a part of the conversation. This will allow you to diffuse negative situations AND make your business better for future clients.
5. Customer Retention: How great would it be to send a personalized note to each client that walks in your door? You can do this with Twitter. You no longer need to ask your clients to fill out a comment card and add their email. They are public, available, and waiting for you to reach out to them. At the end of the night, take 15 minutes to see who has @mentioned you. It is most likely people who came into (or are interested in) the restaurant. Lots of times they share pictures of the food they ate and what they thought of it. First, retweet their message, and then reply with a thank you.
6. Magnify Your Presence: 82% of people on twitter have 346 followers. This means that when one of them comes to your restaurant, their message can be delivered to those 346 people. Pretty powerful stuff.
7. Your Competition Is On Twitter: Just because you are not on twitter, it does not mean your competition isn’t. Are you willing to sit on the sidelines? If so, don’t be upset when Tweeps pick the guy next door over you.
8. Your Customers Are On Twitter: There are 140 million active users on Twitter. This is a massive opportunity. I was recently advising a restaurant to get on twitter. They told me “my clients don’t use twitter…they are blue haired”. I saw “opportunity”. This restaurant was missing out on a chance to expand their client base simply because they were thinking of the audience they had, not the clientele they could grow.
Ultimately, Twitter is a technology that allows for you to add a personal touch to your client’s experience. If you are not on it, your competition is and you are quickly losing steam. What are you waiting for, get on it and tweet!