(Blogger’s Note: This is the second in a three part series on social media marketing and advertising.)
Once upon a time, restaurant owners would saunter through their dining rooms nightly, panning the room perfecting and fine tuning dinner service.
Greeting customers, sending that secret signal to a waitress or bartender to send a round of drinks over to a certain table was part of their repertoire. The possibility of being recognized by the owner could render a complimentary appetizer, dessert or even, possibly a bottle of wine.
At the end of the evening, owners would quietly retreat to their offices, fatigued from orchestrating an evening as Maestro of the Bistro. After looking at the night’s receipts, many would disregard the losses and hope that manager and floor supervisors had good news to report from pleased customers that may certainly return in the weeks ahead.
And, owners would pray that word of mouth would play it’s part in increasing business. And, if mistakes happened, owners hoped customers could be compensated with a gift certificate.
Nights of endangered species? Possibly, thanks to the rapid growth of cyberspace social media.
Balthazar, the still-sizzling since its 1997 inception, Spring St. Bistro, is one of restaurateur Keith McNally’s premier
But, in another Twitter search, McNally’s recent culinary confrontation with New York Magazine food critic, Adam Platt, who wrote a less than complimentary review, reached dynamic proportion with numerous Tweets telling the Twitter world that McNally called Platt, fat.
The days of culinary privacy are over. And, thanks to Twitter, Facebook,
Eatertainment, once strictly describing only restaurant theme and ambiance now highlights owners and managers comments, missteps or struggles, as the cyber community has become casting directors while boosting an owners popularity and notoriety. Or destroying his image and reputation.
How does all of this translate into a marketing and advertising advantage is the real question. Keeping your name in front of the public may be or may not be an asset in today’s world. But, email marketing definitely works.
Last weekend business was looking a bit slow for Randy Burks, executive chef and co-owner of Randy’s Steakhouse. He created a quick email blast, advertising a half-priced Filet special and suddenly, within minutes of hitting the “send” button, reservations began surging.
Catherine Bergen, who opened C Casa in
But what is the perfect medium to use to send out the message? In the days of old, when print media was king, it was easy to choose where to spend advertising dollars. The best deal in town, with the most circulation, that didn’t spend a lot of time in neighbor’s driveways or door stoop was the vehicle to go with. But just like the dining room saunter, those days are also over.
The other dilemma with social media is it’s free. And since it costs nothing, other than time, its an attractive way to keep your name, or menu, and your vital statistics in front of a community. But for many, the old principal of looking at the demographics your advertising vehicle is reaching, social media is flooded with comments, offers and gimmicks from all direction.
And it takes less time to populate a new trending media vehicle than it does to conceptualize, build and open a new restaurant, we tend to lose focus and switch to the newest kid in town as often as we change wait staff.
This week youtube.com celebrated its fifth anniversary. In five short years it plays host to more video clips than anyone could possible view in two centuries if they did nothing but just watched Youtube.com every minute of those 73,000 days.
Yes, the numbers are staggering. The possibilities are confusing. And, nobody really has the answer on where to go with your message or how to develop it. But there needs to be a formula on how to spend our time advertising and promoting on the Internet. Time is money. The last thing you want to do is waste it.
Tomorrow: A ten tip plan on Internet advertising and marketing.