Restaurant marketing is a complex and rich subject matter yet, you’d be surprised to discover a large number of virtual strangers who will sincerely swear they know everything there is to know about your business. They pass their opinions on to family members, friends, people they haven’t met in real life and even to second and third layers of users listed among their groups of social media contacts.
If you have never heard the term “influencers”, we’ll use it from now on to refer to highly trusted online personalities who lead trends, publish highly popular blogs and have massive impact on social networks; their opinion is always taken into consideration, they convincingly affect the actions of devoted fans and followers while the credibility and respect they have earned significantly enhances the depth of the experiences of users all over the Internet.
Restaurants aren’t exempt of the effect of such individuals since gastronomic influencers dominate social networks by disseminating expert commentary about the culinary arts and are surprisingly capable of taking the promotion of businesses to a whole new level.
Also known as “Foodie Influencers” or “Gastro-Bloggers”, these influencers have a large amount of users at their disposal, that is, people who hang on to their every word since their opinion is considered relevant and reliable. Wise restaurant owners who include influencers as part of their marketing strategies will have the upper hand on competitors who haven’t yet realized the importance of a factor that, could quickly lead them to reach spectacular growth and profit beyond their most ambitious expectations.
Tips to include gastronomic influencers in your restaurant marketing strategy
It is important to point out that even though the opinion of gastronomic influencers is not as conclusive as most may think, the repercussion it actually has on users who follow them (as well-known and recognized gastro-bloggers) certainly is.
Knowing the impact caused by these bloggers among their follower base weighs in the amount of favorable words that can be shared about your restaurant, this represents a game-changing advantage that could facilitate bringing a large number of new customers to your brand.
You must tread lightly when letting just any gastronomic influencer shine light on the virtues of your enterprise on social networks. Remain objective, choosing the right one has a lot to do with recognizing those who closely adapt to the specialties of your business. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pick an influencer who is an erudite on Chinese food and ask that person to review the merits and flaws of an Italian restaurant. If that’s the case, you must formulate a more reasonable strategy.
On the other hand, you must take into account your positioning on the web since letting influencers make your business better known will most definitely attract an increased number of visitors to your web and social networks. This amount of traffic will be appreciated by Google which in turn, will elevate the ranking of your web and other Internet domains through the inner works of most popular search engines.
What must be taken into account when choosing a food influencer?
There is an important point you need to be aware of when the time to get involved with influencers comes, it isn’t all about doing business, you must also work to establish and sustain a relaxed and sincere connection that seeks mutual benefits and may end up facilitating the prosperity of your restaurant beyond anything you could possibly imagine; you’ll only need a bit of perseverance and use common sense when pitching your proposal.
Get to know them over the Internet
How could influencers help you if you haven’t yet had the chance to meet them? The first step is to take a look at the content they have previously published online, you must do research on their history and analyze the collaborations they have already made.
What impact have they caused on social networks? Whether that impact is most closely related to followers, comments, retweets, subscriptions, reviews and the means of dissemination they utilize to process information, you must figure out if the reactions generated by their input will translate to favorable results that will help you achieve the best results in the successful promotion of your business.
Don’t put pressure on your relationship
Dealing with gastronomic influencers involves making an effort to sustain smooth connections that may facilitate productive collaborations. You are not just trying to focus on profit and fulfilling your business goals. Treat influencers as you would treat a friend, keep your relationship light, natural and casual which in turn will bring a positive spin on your future endeavors. Discuss your plans with them over breakfast, present your products with tact and subtlety, don’t contact an influencer and plainly demand that you want them to help you promote your restaurant.
Stand out and act naturally
Influencers who are ready to give their opinion about your restaurant will not limit themselves to checking out photos of your best dishes, they will actually visit your restaurant and get to know your service first hand, as a real customer would. It is pointless to go out of your way to impress them and make too much of an effort to forcefully push for a positive review. Do not act nervously! No one wants to be treated in that manner, the intention of influencers is to discover how your business operates and what’s good about it. Excessively special treatment could subtract points as opposed to helping them shape a fair opinion about the value of your brand.
Last tips to deal with social media influencers
What counts when being visited by a gastronomic influencer is the merit of the food being served and the experience offered by your business. Influencers will usually feel motivated to take a great picture they’ll later on show to their followers along with a detailed review of what they encountered.
Provide them with the same quality of service you would present regular customers with, let them know what sets you apart from your competition, which menu items are outstanding, the strengths of your customer service, let them enjoy and assimilate the surroundings and ambiance of your restaurant.
Allow their expertise to take care of the rest, they’ll follow up by providing their fans and subscribers with honest reviews based on mere facts and what was both positive and negative about the culinary experience you granted them with.