Everyone loves “The Facebook” and “Twitters” and Kapow Noodle Bar is no exception. We have a pretty savvy customer base so all of these “social media” platforms are great tools to engage them. Actually, engaging sounds so confrontational… we use these tools to TALK to our customers. We’ve seen so many restaurant use social media to try and cram specials down their fans throats. It’s like having a conversation with someone that never let’s you get a word in. And while they’re talking, they’re handing you a flyer to tell you how great they are. We’d chalk this up as a marketing fail. Social Media is simple when you approach it with a much simpler strategy- Don’t make it a strategy! Just use them as an extension of your restaurant. Use them to have real conversations with your guests.
Let your guests do most of the talking. Ask them what they’re doing for the holidays or what their favorite sports team is. There’s no real silver bullet in social media; you have to see what works best for your customer base. We love to use Facebook and Website as our core platforms and have even shifted over 75% of our marketing and advertising to digital channels, like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Yelp, Foursquare and some smart SEO work. In addition to Facebook, we utilize other online partners and resources to integrate into these platforms. A good example of this is an online menu management tool that allows us to edit our menu in one central place and it automatically updates it on all other platforms, including our website, Facebook page and Yelp! This saves us a ton of time logging into every platform to manually update each one. Plus it allows us to change our menu “on the fly”.
Instagram is another great tool, and it’s fun too. Instagram is a fast and fun way to share pics of your restaurant, food and drinks with your customers. Simply take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post it to Instagram — it’s that easy. You can even automatically share to Facebook, Twitter and more. And you don;t need to be a professional photographer. We even take it a step further and ask our guests that use Instagram to do the work for us! They takes pics of our food and share it with their friends. How awesome is it to have your own marketing team sitting at every table! We recently ran a cool contest to see which guest could take the best pic and get the most likes!
It’s fairly easy to be a social media rockstar for your restaurant. Just start small using only one or two platforms that you are comfortable with and expand from there. Don’t over-complicate it and don’t let it stress you out. A good website and Facebook page are a great start. As you get more comfortable, expand your horizon and add on new tools. KAPOW!
Usually, the “Big Brands” make the most noise in the social media landscape. There is even an independent firm that monitors all social media platforms to create a National Restaurant Social Media Index, or RSMI. Each quarter they publish their Top 25 and Top 250 brands that who are rocking their overall social and digital performance. They track this through three primary areas: Influence, Sentiment and Engagement. Each category is cross-referenced to a weighted scale and advanced Social Insights Algorithm that provides a level playing field for all brands participating, big or small. With a little hard work, Kapow Noodle Bar came in at #125!!! That’s a HUGE feat for a single restaurant. We owe that to our amazing guests and fans for chatting with us, sharing our pics and even submitting their own. We beat out some pretty BIG powerhouse brands like T.G.I.Friday’s, iHOP, Season’s 52, Benihana (and 125 more!) We don’t mention those brands in a negative connotation, but merely as a (bragging) point of reference for how we placed on the list. And as it relates to this post, it shows you that a little Asian restaurant in Boca Raton Florida can play with the big boys, which means you can too!
Go get social!!!
Here are the links to all of the places we “hang out”, come say hello!