Interact With Your Restaurant’s Customers Online

88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments.1 Like it or not, social media and review services are here to stay and customers love them!

Your customers are online and want to see you on social platforms! They are increasingly expecting you to engage them with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and to continuously monitor all the review sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor. Expect customers to take complaints to the internet first and to expect you to resolve the issue there in front of the world. Hiding from it won’t do you any good. Google and review services have the ability to build pages for you without your consent and knowledge, so it is incredibly important to claim your business and manage your presence on these sites.

Five Best Practices for Social Media & Review Sites

  1. Entertain your followers.
    Resist the temptation to just keep posting hours, daily specials, and photos of pizza on social media. Entertain them with videos of your staff doing silly things or showing how pizza dough is being made. Use this platform to get your customers excited about what you do. Check out Grande’s digital content to add to your social media content calendar if you use exclusively Grande cheese on your pizzas!
  1. Allow your followers to socialize.
    We all hope that feedback about our pizzerias will be positive. Multiple positive comments encourage other people to try your product. But you will get negative feedback as well. Try not to look at it as negative feedback, but as an opportunity to do better. People are telling you what they don’t like about your business and are giving you the opportunity to improve, change, and correct. Don’t stifle negative comments, complaints, or just flat-out stupid remarks; encourage it instead.
  1. Engage your followers.
    89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews, and 45% say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.2 Your fan base wants to know that you are hearing them. Take the time to respond to questions, messages, compliments and complaints. Organize your marketing schedule to allow you to work through all your social media outlets and review sites and take the time to respond to your feedback.
  1. Don’t take it personally.
    Sooner or later, you are going to get some very irritating comments, some inappropriate or personal attacks, or a customer ranting about how bad you are. Keep your response professional. You may never get to save that customer with the unreasonable complaint, but you can give a very positive impression to the next person reading. A negative response on your part will always make you look bad. Keep it professional, don’t take it personally, and move on.
  1. Pay to play.
    On Facebook, you can often pay to get your posts in front of more followers. A few dollars goes a long way. If negative reviews keep coming to the top on Yelp!, consider joining and paying the fee to push them down a little further.

Learn more about owning your online reputation by reading Grande’s Playbook: Sharing Your Story Through Social Media.

Positive Reviews Attract New Customers

1Sprout Social, The Complete Guide to Social Media for Restaurants & Bars. April 2018.

2BrightLocal, 35 Online Review Statistics You Need in 2019. August 2019.

Date: May 11, 2020