Today we are going to cover two social avenues that restaurants can use to build sales and awareness: Google + and Yelp.
Now, out of all the platforms that we have covered, these two are towards the bottom of the list when it comes to importance. The reason we are taking this stance is due to both channel’s user-base and overall prevalence in the social marketing world. This is not to say that businesses cannot use these tools and increase sales. They can work. But the ROI would be significantly smaller through these channels than through Facebook, Instagram or building a website. We still wanted to cover these channels because they are important and when used with all the other social media forms, can bring a marketing strategy full-circle.
Added search results
One of the most important reasons for signing up your business on Google+ are for added search results. When it comes to search, Google shows a little favor to companies who have take the time to use and engage with Google+. You will not be at the top of the results just because you made an account, however, you may rank higher on more keywords than before. So if organic search and traffic are important to you, create an account.
Customers that engage with your Google+ account can be segmented into lists for future marketing. By looking the profiles of your followers, it can help you build a buyer persona(s). Thus making your marketing more effective with a measurable ROI.
Referrals drive social media success. Google+ is about referrals just as the real world is about referrals. The goal of your restaurant on Google+ is to focus on what will make people want to share the story of your restaurant with their other connections. You want people to discover you and Google+ gives your current customers a chance to share your story. Give your current customers content they want to share. You’ll see your referrals increase because of a platform like Google+.
Take the good with the bad
Love it or hate it, just about every small business owner now has a business page on Yelp. With 142 million unique users per month, Yelp is one of the hottest marketing spaces online, competing with the likes of Google and Facebook. According to a Nielsen study, Yelp isn’t too bad at driving sales either – 4 out of 5 Yelp users stated that they visit Yelp when prepared to spend money and 35% of Yelp users will visit a searched business within 24 hours of searching.
Sounds wonderful, right? Well, the credibility of the site has come under fire over the past few years with business owners fighting against users and filing lawsuits battling negative reviews and false accusations. Users also try to use Yelp as a weapon against restauranteurs by threatening to write negative reviews against their business.
So it worth the risk or headache?
That’s up to you.
Let’s say you claim your page on Yelp, is worth spending marketing dollars on this channel? For one, you should know that advertising on Yelp will cost $350 minimum to have your business sponsored on search listings. This means it is 1,000x more expensive than your average online advertising. According to MarketWatch, a recent Pacific Crest report deemed that ads were not only expensive, but also overpriced: “On average, independent restaurant operators spend roughly $7,200 a year on local advertising, compared with $4,600 in revenue on Yelp.”
Whether or not you decide to go with advertising, keep a sharp eye on your store rating. According to this Harvard Business School case study, every star in a review leads to a 5-9% difference in revenue. That’s a lot of money lost on one little star.
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