Using Mobile Devices to Empower Your Restaurant’s Marketing Effort

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Mobile devices are now extremely influential and as such every restaurant owner should consider how they can use the devices to increase business and build up a restaurant’s brand. Targeting mobile devices allows you to get in touch with millions of people. The majority of adults in developed countries, such as the United States, now own smartphones and their adoption rates are increasing each day.

Learning how to market to these devices will help ensure that you have a holistic and effective marketing campaign. As such, we are going to teach you about the three most basic factors to consider when launching your restaurant’s mobile marketing efforts.

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Tapping into Social Media
Millions of people have accounts of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social media sites. This gives restaurant owners a way to get in touch with customers and build relationships on a daily basis. Social media websites offer a great way to share information about promotions, important updates, and other pieces of high value information.

Here are some great ways to stay in touch with customers on social media websites:

  • Announce a daily special or other short time promotion.
  • Offer coupons or free menu items to the first XX Facebook followers who share your status or perform some other type of Facebook action.
  • Give the first XX people who tweet about your restaurant a free meal or hefty discount.
  • Give everyone who checks in on Foursquare at your restaurant a free dessert or other item.
  • Promote special events, such as an upcoming poetry reading contest.

Create an Online Ordering System
Online ordering is all the rage. From pizza chains, like Dominos, to fancy bistros, many restaurants are creating online ordering systems. Even if you don’t want customers to order food online you can create online reservation systems so people don’t have to wait in line!

With restaurants averaging between USD 2,000 to 10,000 per month off of online ordering systems it is easy to see that the technology is effective. And now with mobile phones in everyone’s pocket, many people have access to the Internet while on the go. This will make online ordering even more widely used.

Online ordering systems are actually quite easy to set up. Numerous companies, such as Merosys and Compel Cart, offer simplified systems that will help you quickly and easily set up an online store. You can also find free-lance programmers to help build your own customized ordering system.

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Make An App For That
The so-called “App” is a specialized program built purposely for a smartphone OS or a similar interface. Apps are built with highly specialized functions, such as ordering food from a specific restaurant. These programs make mobile computing very easy and convenient. These programs are also projected to be one of the strongest areas of growth in coming years.

Restaurants are catching onto these trends. The National Restaurant Association found that one quarter of all chefs believe that smartphone applications will be the hottest trend in the years to come. An example of such an app is Urban Spoon, a restaurant review application that contains reservation systems, menus, and links to the restaurant’s website. Another app, Foodspotting, allows customers to upload photos of their food to give others an idea of what type of food the restaurant serves and how good of quality it is.

The trick is getting a customer to use these apps. Many apps are available and many restaurants are looking for attention. It is easy to get lost among the shuffle but there are some tips you can follow to increase adoption rates. Let’s go over a few:

  • Offer discounts for people to upload a positive review on Urban Spoon
  • Give people who check into Foursquare a free dessert or soft drink
  • Offer a discount for people who upload photos to Foodspotting
  • Give a coupon for anyone who tweets about your restaurant

The list is endless, so perhaps what you should do is sit down with your own smartphone and go through all of the apps that could help your business out. By building up your relationship with your app-inclined customers you can ensure that they will help spread the message about your restaurant.

With markets becoming so competitive, having a smart mobile device restaurant marketing strategy is becoming essential. If you are looking to build your brand and draw in customers then mobile marketing is one of the best options available. We have shown you some tips and pointers, but you should continue exploring and thinking about which options will work best for your restaurant.

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