How Restaurants Can Use Local Digital Marketing To Their Advantage
Type the word “restaurants” into any search engine, and we guarantee one of the top suggested results will be “restaurants near me.” If that doesn’t indicate the importance of restaurant local digital marketing, then nothing will.
Local search results matter. One study suggests up to 70% of consumers who perform a local search for a business end up connecting with the business found in their search (Vocus).
It seems pretty clear that local marketing is essential for restaurants that want to be more visible to hungry diners searching for a place to eat. What may not be as obvious to restaurant owners is exactly how to use local marketing to their advantage.
Understand the Importance of Restaurant Local Digital Marketing
We put together a few easy-to-follow tips for restaurant operators seeking local digital marketing success:
1- Claim your restaurant on all the popular review sites
In general, the top three search engine results for your restaurant include reviews from Yelp, Tripadvisor, OpenTable and/or Zomato (formerly known as Urbanspoon). If you haven’t already claimed your business on these sites, do so immediately. Make sure your business category is correct if the site uses categories to classify their business listings.
Claiming your listing allows you to represent your restaurant in a positive light. Also, you ensure the information customers find online about your restaurant is accurate. Local search engine rankings depend on the quality and quantity of your online reviews, so embrace your restaurant presence on these sites.
2- Claim your restaurant on Google My Business
Yes, the idea is pretty much the same as claiming your business on the other review sites. However, make sure you don’t skip this step on Google My Business because it’s likely the #1 place customers view your contact information!
The information you provide to Google shows up in search results on Google Search and Google Maps. Make sure your business details stay updated. If you don’t claim your business, then potential customers will get whatever information Google finds online from other sources, whether it’s accurate or not.
3- Complete your Facebook business page and update it often
Facebook has more than a billion daily active users. If your business doesn’t have a page or your profile is incomplete, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to help customers find you. When a Facebook user checks into your restaurant, their entire network of friends sees the name and location of your business.
Make sure your Facebook business page is complete with hours, phone number and location information. Remember, all these details help search engines provide accurate information about your restaurant. From your business page, you can engage with your guests when they check in, like, comment and review your restaurant on Facebook.
4- Use local hashtags on Instagram and Twitter
Instagram and Twitter are two more social media networks that help you promote your restaurant locally. Hashtags are an important marketing tool for both Twitter and Instagram. Customers searching for a particular hashtag can find everything posted with that hashtag with a single search.
To effectively use hashtags for restaurant local digital marketing on Instagram, be sure to hashtag your neighborhood or city in your posts. Examples include #Coronado, #MissionHills and #LittleItaly. Anyone who searches for #MissionHills on Instagram will find all the photos posted with the hashtag #MissionHills. If you run a restaurant in Mission Hills, you definitely want to be among those results!
Hashtags work the same way on Twitter, but the main difference is Twitter is text-based. For example, you might share a short tweet about an upcoming prix fixe menu and tag it with #MissionHills. Your tweet will show up in a Twitter search for #MissionHills, and other people and businesses in the neighborhood might even retweet the information because it relates directly to where they live and work.
5- Find local brand partners and collaborate your digital marketing efforts
Teamwork makes the dream work! Partnering up with another local business or non-profit is a great way to locally promote your restaurant.
Does your restaurant buy local produce or sell local craft beers? Start networking with your suppliers and mention each other on social media for additional exposure. Restaurant associations, tourism boards and chambers of commerce are also great organizations to connect with online. Your business is their business! Finally, don’t forget to join in on the buzz as local events and neighborhood festivals take place.
The restaurant local digital marketing tips we’ve mentioned above are free for your restaurant. There’s no good reason not to take advantage of these simple ways to improve your local visibility.