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Thrive Point-of-SaleTue, Nov 14, 2017 @ 04:08 PM4 min read

How to Use Social Media to Drive Restaurant Online Orders


Thanks to the internet, it's not enough to drive sales the old fashioned way. The key to a successful pizzeria marketing strategy is to leverage the World Wide Web and drive customers to your online storefront when it's time to order dinner. A great website and online ordering platform are the first step, but how do you point hungry potential customers in the right direction? Marketers have coined the term "social selling", or the act of engaging with customers and prospects on social media and providing value through answered questions and relevant content. 

Engagement is great, but it's one thing to get a few likes on your funny tweets, and it's another to move the needle from "liking" to "purchasing". Here's some guidelines to help drive a social minded strategy so your customers can find you online:

Mobile First

Most of your customers, particularly Millennials, keep their smartphones handy 24/7 and rely on it almost exclusively to do everything. Once you have made sure that your website looks great on mobile devices, consider moving your online ordering to a custom branded app. An app provides a more robust experience and gives an extra boost to your customer loyalty efforts. Make sure that your social profiles link directly to your online ordering site or even a direct link to download your app. 

As you're creating and sharing content, be mindful of how images appear on mobile timelines and make links easy to tap and navigate. 

The Right Content

Whether your social media profiles have been around for awhile or you're just getting started, it's important to send the right message to the right person at the right time. That means being "share worthy" is valuable and resonates with your customers. The more engaging and interactive, the better. It doesn't hurt to be educational and entertaining, either. 

Don't just share a link to your online ordering site, share crave-worthy images of your menu, exclusive promo codes just for your followers, or even opportunities to subscribe to your loyalty marketing program and earn rewards every time they order online. 

Dare to be Different

Every year, thousands of pizzerias open. Unfortunately about the same amount also close their doors. It's important to establish your brand identity and create content that is uniquely yours. Making your own videos, photos and blog articles goes a lot further than piggybacking on stock photography and the same content that everyone else is sharing. 

Your online ordering should feature custom, mouth watering images of everything on your menu...and so should your social profiles! Maybe you use fresh produce from local growers or the freshest mozzarella made in house that's featured on Thursday's pie of the day...let your followers know what makes you special (and make them want to order it!).

Customize Each Channel

You don't have to be on every social platform. Instead, focus on the ones that deliver you the most value. An important note here: adapt your message to fit each channel. There are some social tools that let you publish one message across platform, and while that can save you time, a tweet with a shortened Facebook link and cutoff text looks spammy and isn't engaging at all. The main goal: don't sell to users, engage with them!

  • Facebook: This is where the majority of your customers are. It has the largest number of users and it's an ideal place for a pizzeria to build its brand community. Recently, Facebook even announced that they're testing a feature that would allow users to order food for delivery without even leaving the app. Engage and interact with your customers, and encourage them to interact with one another. Be sure to link to your online ordering website throughout your posts as well as on your profile listing and consider running ads with special deals and promotions. 
  • Instagram: This is where you have the opportunity to create crave for your food. It's the best channel to sell an experience and a craving. It's visual, so it's the perfect place to share photos and videos of your pizza coming out of the oven or your daily lunch specials. You can interact with your customers by asking for their feedback and running contests. Make sure your bio is updated with your contact information and a link to your online ordering website. Turn on your location services so local diners can find you for an added follower boost. 
  • Twitter: Speaking of engagement, Twitter is the ideal platform to have conversations with customers and followers. With a large and active user base, you can leverage trending topics and join the conversation around topics relevant to your restaurant. Make sure your profile is complete with a link to your website and your location. Consider running a contest with a tasty offer so your followers get a taste of exclusivity. This is also a great channel to remind your followers to sign up for your loyalty rewards!

Social is a Two Way Conversation

Listening is as important as sharing on all of these platforms. You can use social media monitoring tools like HootSuite to monitor mentions of your business or keywords that are relevant to your restaurant's conversations. Share helpful links, product recommendations, and provide web links so users can find exactly what they're looking for. Social listening is a prime opportunity to direct traffic to your online ordering storefront. 

Next to your website, your social media profiles are your most powerful marketing tool to drive traffic.Together they can give your online ordering a mega boost and put your brand top of mind when customers are hungry. 

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