Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Get Your 2010 Digital Strategy Going Now

« Promoting Your Business By Showing Appreciation for Another Business | Main | Lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing »

December 17, 2009

Take a Tip from Restaurants on Email Marketing & Social Media

If you've got a business that requires getting the word out to customers on a daily or weekly basis, using email marketing with social media can lead to a winning combination. One industry that can thrive on this type of combination is the hospitality industry and specifically restaurants. Because of the "up-to-the-minute" nature of these three marketing vehicles, it's perfect for this perpetually changing business. Let's take a look at some great examples.

Email MarketingPicture 13

You are probably using email marketing to announce chef specials, menu changes, special events and parties and send emails weekly or monthly. Too many restaurants don't keep up with their customers during the year, then start jamming emails out to them in the holiday season for large parties and events. Remember, events happen all year long so you'll need to stay in front of them at all times. Email is also a great way to build your social media lists. To build your Twitter list make sure you tell your email marketing recipients in your emails to follow you on Twitter. Include a link to let them know they'll be able to get your daily specials, then watch your Twitter list grow! You also might want to include a message in your bill holder to sign up for your email list AND follow you on Twitter.

TwitterPicture 11

I bet if you run or work in a restaurant and run daily specials, one of your top telephone requests is "What type of soup do you have today?", or "What are your specials?". This can be maddening especially if you're busy. Twitter to the rescue! This is a perfect application for 140 characters.  One important note: keep your Tweets to 10-20 characters less than the 140 characters allowed on Twitter. This will allow for others to ReTweet your post. Then your message will get in front of new people who might also end up following you.

FacebookPicture 8

If you have daily specials that won't fit into Twitter's character limitations, you can include a link to your specials or post them on your wall on Facebook. You can also use the "events" feature to post special pairings and tasting events. And have the chef post that she just went to the farmer's market and is preparing something special for the evening with a picture of the dish.

You don't need to have a restaurant to put these great ideas to work for your business, especially if you've got things that change a lot on a day-to-day basis. This is a great way to combine all of these great things to get more business coming in your door.

Email thisTwit This!Share on FacebookSave to del.icio.us (1 save)Digg This!Submit to RedditAdd to Mixx!Technorati Links



Dawn McGee

Very true Sara - people do need short, concise pieces of information that is relevant to them. However, I don't necessarily agree that email marketing is old fashioned. Maybe for companies that have always been on the bleeding edge of technology and marketing, but not so for many of my customers that are just starting to be comfortable with marketing themselves through social media. I've got some examples of how I blend the old and new on my website - www.FreeToBeConsulting.com (forgive the shameless self-promotion :) )

Posted by: Dawn McGee | December 28, 2009 at 12:45 PM


How does social media help with sales and conversions. I have been tweeting and posting on FB for over a year and still yet to get a sale from it. Any suggestions?

Posted by: norma | December 28, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Jay Summers

Everyone is in a hurry to try and leverage social media to meet business needs. But sometimes the simplest approach is also the most effective option. Many people would still instinctivley check the company website for updates, so why not also have a section on the restaurant's website for "today's specials"? Only a minority of patrons are realistically going to follow a restaurant on twitter or check their Facebook page for updates. A company website is still the most practical passive method to provide information for searchers, and email is still highly effective for reaching people with proactive communications. Social media has a ton of potential, but for business purposes the ROI is still highly questionable compared to more established (albeit less sexy) traditional methods. If you’re a small business owner with limited time and resources it makes sense to stick with what works first and foremost, and then pursue more experimental initiatives when/if feasible.

Posted by: Jay Summers | December 28, 2009 at 11:37 AM

steve bell

Great info for any business, however most restaurants do not collect their clients information and THAT is by far the worst mistake.

I suggest all restaurant owners take their business to new levels by utilizing this and making new customers loyal customers!

Posted by: steve bell | December 28, 2009 at 11:04 AM


Are there any email templates in VR that allow us to integrate social media links on the sidebar or at the bottom?

Posted by: ISF | December 28, 2009 at 09:11 AM

Sara Martin

I would like to agree by saying that no industry can flourish unless it provides customers with their updated services. Indeed social media tools can play a significant role to thrive an industry. People keep looking for news and informative content online. What you need is just aware them about “what’s new you have”. Somehow email marketing is old fashioned now. People don’t have sufficient time to read an email nowadays they like to spend few moments to get acquainted with latest trends through tweets and other social ways.

Posted by: Sara Martin | December 17, 2009 at 08:45 AM

Friday, December 18, 2009

Google In Discussions To Acquire Yelp For A Half Billion Dollars Or More

Google and Yelp are in advanced acquisition negotiations, we’ve confirmed from multiple sources. And while the deal isn’t done, we’ve heard that it’s very likely to close. The price is supposedly at least $500 million.

Yelp was founded in 2004 as a way to let users leave reviews on local businesses. Comscore puts worldwide traffic at nearly 9 million monthly unique visitors, and it has been growing fast – the company says it’s real numbers are more like 25 million monthly uniques.

Yelp has whispered that 2009 revenues will be around $30 million and are expecting $50 million or so in 2010.

Yelp last raised venture capital in early 2008 from DAG at a $200 million pre-money valuation, we’ve heard. They’ve raised a total of $31 million over four venture rounds.

On the odds of the deal happening – one source says its 80% likely. Not signed, sealed and delivered, but past the term sheet stage.

Google is building out their own directory of local businesses with its Place Pages, which can be accessed via Google Maps and local search. They are encouraging local businesses to put Google-branded stickers in store windows and recently added their own ratings summaries to business profiles. Yelp, of course, already has all of this data, along with a growing and active audience of consumers who are used to finding (and rating) businesses on Yelp.

For their part, Google is clearly on a shopping spree. They recently acquired AdMob for $750 million, and were in the running on the LaLa acquisition. Expect lots of deals to be announced by them over the next three months.

Google image

Website: google.com
Location:Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: September 7, 1998
IPO: August 19, 2004

Google primarily provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of tools and platforms including its more popular… Learn More

Yelp image

Website: yelp.com
Location:San Francisco, California, United States
Founded: July 1, 2004
Funding: $31M

Another company founded in 2004 by two former PayPal employees, Yelp is a local reviews website covering almost 40 states. Users write and read reviews about anything from their favorite hole in the wall… Learn More

Information provided by CrunchBase

Wow, this appears to be a formidable combination on the local front.

Posted via web from Randy's Stuff