Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

Social Media Project Highlight: Mama Margie’s Mexican Cafe

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To help popular fast-casual Mexican food restaurant, Mama Margie’s, grow and engage their social following, Robot Creative developed and implemented a social strategy that encourages sharing, two-way conversations and fan-created content.

  • Mama’s Favorites Campaign — With this ongoing campaign, photos posted by fans on Instagram are selected and shared on the Mama Margie’s official Facebook page. By cross-promoting the official Instagram account and Facebook page, the campaign has dramatically increased engagement in both channels while also providing a wealth of fan-generated content.
  • Facebook-specific flash deals reward shares and comments with extreme offers available only for a very limited-time. On April Fools’ Day, a Facebook post claiming that the restaurant was considering dropping a popular menu item (bean and cheese tacos) exploded with 371 comments and 60 shares. A follow up post explained the joke and offered bean and cheese tacos at $0.50 each, nearly half off the regular price, for that day only. The follow up post also received 57 comments and 166 shares.
  • Regular monitoring and response engages followers in conversations. Tweets from official Mama Margie’s Twitter account strive for a “sassy mama” voice, increasing the “share-ability” of the communication with a little humor.
  • In-store promotion drives social media campaigns further, with table tents that encourage users to share photos and experiences on social media.
  • Paid Facebook advertising also plays a role in the overall approach, helping to grow followers and promote posts to people not already connected to Mama Margie’s.

As a result of these tactics over the first six months of implementation, Mama Margie’s Twitter following grew 99% and Instagram following grew 332%. In addition, Facebook content reached over 1.5 million people, Mama Margie’s was mentioned directly in over 250 tweets and Instagram hashtag engagement increased by 41%.

Changes to Facebook Ratings and Reviews Are Critical to All Businesses, Especially Restaurants

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Recent changes to Facebook timelines affected all business pages. On the desktop version, the right-hand sidebar and buttons across the top of the page have been removed. Facebook also added new features that have the power to make a profound impact on businesses.

Ratings Are Now Prominent
One change that could make or break some businesses, especially restaurants, is the new location of the business rating. A large star-rating system is now located immediately under the business logo on the desktop version, and permanently ordered first in the list of the lefthand sidebar items. In fact, it’s probably the first thing most people notice. A hover over the star-ratings on the desktop version shows an instant breakdown of how many reviews have contributed to each number of stars, and the number of likes and visits lie immediately below.

Reviews Can Not Be Ignored
A permanent reviews section now lives in the left-hand column on the desktop version as well. While that module can be moved down the page by moving other sections up (such as photos or apps), it can not be removed. One click on ratings links to a full page of reviews.

Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare Get Bumped
The reviews page has an area where restaurants can tie in links to Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare. Most restaurants had those review sites pulled in to the previous layouts prominently through the app tabs across the top of the page. One click on the tab would open a full page of reviews. By including those links smaller off to the right on the Facebook reviews page, they are essentially pushed aside, with Facebook’s reviews taking center stage. With the prominence of these reviews on the Facebook page, it is unlikely that many users will ever venture off to the other sites.

Mobile – Ratings Could Make or Break
On the mobile app, the map, phone hours and menu have moved to the most prominent position just below the header, but the ratings come next, followed by the likes, check-ins and reviews. You can’t change this order, and those ratings and reviews become unavoidable.

 

All if this is good news for some businesses, but potentially damaging for others, especially restaurants. Maintenance of Facebook reviews for many restaurants has been ad hoc, especially compared with the effort dedicated to Yelp and TripAdvisor. With the new prominence of these reviews, it will need to become a core part of the social media program.

A Menu Refresh is Just What Mama Ordered

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In conjunction with a full interior redesign, Mama Margie’s reached out to Robot Creative to design their new digital menu boards. The new menu design creates a cohesive brand for this restaurant chain by integrating custom food photography, an expanded color palette and new branding elements with the refreshed interior design.

The customers’ ordering experience and Mama Margie’s sales goals were distinct areas of focus for this redesign. Starting with menu design psychology and consumer behavior research, Robot Creative made recommendations on the structural layout of menu including categorization, item placement and panel arrangements to maximize profitability.

For a restaurant that is open 24/7, it was important to make the most of the digital format. Flexible, rotating spaces were incorporated to run limited time offers, to highlight featured items and to target certain menu items during specific times of day. The new menu prominently features brand-essential menu items through strategic placement and photography.

What’s the Deal with Daily Deals?

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It’s the latest craze in social media-based marketing. Through “daily deal” sites like Groupon and Living Social, businesses low-ball their prices by offering limited time promotions of 50% off or more.

You’re probably wondering how your business could possibly make money on these deals – especially when the site usually takes a cut of up to 50% off the already low sale price. The truth is that you likely wouldn’t make money – at least not on the promotion itself. But you can still get a lot out of these promotions with the proper planning and follow up.

Consider the Goal
If your goal is a quick revenue boost, daily deals can provide it, but it will be at the expense of a profit. A better goal is to boost your customer list for future marketing. It’s the age-old concept of loss-leader pricing. A business offers a product or service at an insanely low price with a single purpose – to get customers. Revenue from sales of the deal itself may not even cover the cost of goods sold, but every person who purchases the deal becomes a new customer to market to in the future. Everyone knows that it’s less expensive to market to existing customers than to prospect for new ones.

Another valid goal is education. Thousands of people may be subscribing to your local Groupon or Living Social site and see daily deals each day. If you offer unique products or services that many people may not have heard about, daily deals can be a great way to get the word out to a large group of potential customers.

Consider the Promotion
When you are planning your promotion, of course you have to think about what is going to entice your target audience to purchase your product or service now. A potentially less obvious consideration is: what offer might lead to increased average ticket sales through commonly bundled items? If you sell tennis shoes, for example, you could increase the average sale by getting customers to purchase socks or other work-out accessories at full price. Think about what you should offer for a discount that will provide room for upselling at the point of transaction or for ongoing customer retention opportunities.

Have a Follow-Up Plan
The key to getting the most out of your promotion is to have a plan – to collect customer information when offers are redeemed and to reach out to your new customers later. Before you send out your promotion, put processes or strategies in place to ask for customer email and mailing addresses. Then, plan out your promotions for the rest of the year to directly market to your newly expanded list.

Think about When to Send
With the growing popularity of daily deals, businesses are lined up to participate, so know that it can take several weeks to get rolling. Other than that, you should consider when to send out your promotion so that it is most beneficial for your business. Want a revenue boost during a tough season or want to get rid of some of that extra inventory at the end of the year? Make sure you consider whether you have the staff and inventory to handle a big boost in demand!

Could daily deals help your business boom? Plan it right and follow through, and you just might see what the hype is all about.