A recent press release from Restaurant Sciences highlights findings from an internet marketing study that shows independent restaurants, nightclubs and bars are outperforming chain restaurants in every viable Twitter statistic. Consumers are interacting with independent restaurants and nightclubs via Twitter 10 times more actively than they are with chains. Among other findings:
• On average, independent restaurants have a 2 to 1 advantage in Twitter presence over chains
• Independent restaurants engage their customers by out-tweeting chains 33 to 1
• Customers are 2.5 times more likely to follow an independent restaurant than a chain on Twitter
While chains have a corporate structure and their marketing is usually executed from one location under the umbrella of their brand, independent restaurants are much more free to engage their customers on a local, and often more personal, level.
Twitter can be an easy way to connect with customers. With Twitter’s mobile application, you can be on-the-ground within your restaurant and still tweet to your customers via your smartphone. One of our mobile site clients, Jen Ziskin, the owner of LaMorra, an Italian restaurant in Brookline, has become savvy about using social media outlets, for example, interacting with customers personally on Twitter and Facebook. “On a slower night, I might post something and say ‘Drop by the bar and say hi,’ ’’ Ziskin said in a recent Boston Globe article. “People will come up to me and say, ‘We saw you were working tonight.’ ’’
Similarly, in a recent article in Restaurant Management, Ryan Pernice, owner and operator of Table & Main in Roswell, Georgia, is quoted as saying, “Twitter is an easy, no-cost way to maintain a positive daily presence in our guests’ lives,” he explains. “Whether I send out a picture of our daily special or mention a couple facts about a new Bourbon, it’s an unfiltered, instantaneous message directly from me to my guest.”
Sending a tweet about a photo or daily special is a great way to stay in touch. Other restaurants have had spur of the moment contests to draw customers in if reservations are down for the night.
Tweet to take advantage of the more personal relationship that you as an owner, manager or marketing director of an independent restaurant can cultivate with your customer. Remember it is free too, so what do you have to lose?
Please share your Twitter experiences by posting your comments at the end of this blog.