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7 Quick Ways to Build Buzz and Customer Traffic -

publication date: Aug 7, 2012
 | 
author/source: Ken Bergin
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 Customers often ask 'what's new?'...so what do you say? You could tell them about the specials, but when they get really interested is when you can talk about an event, a staff member, new photos, an award, renovation plans or the latest gossip. Actually, you have something new happening almost every day, but most businesses (even big ones with marketing departments) aren't very good at sharing it.


Customers often ask 'what's new?'...so what do you say?
You could tell them about the specials, but when they get really interested is when you can talk about an event, a staff member, new photos, an award, renovation plans or the latest gossip. Actually, you have something new happening almost every day, but most businesses (even big ones with marketing departments) aren't very good at sharing it.

If you want to cut back on "spend-money marketing", the alternative is to put more TIME into spreading the word - online, or by hitting the streets or the phone.

Food & Beverage - 7 Quick Ways to Build Buzz and Customer Traffic -

By Ken Burgin

Profitable Hospitality



Here are 7 zero-cost ways to do it online. Spend a couple of hours, and maybe face your fear of computers. Or do nothing, spend nothing and nothing will change…

1. Write a news diary about what's happening. Here's a great example from our friends at The Local Taphouse - friendly, informative and not just talking about themselves. They've used Google's free Blogger service (see bottom of the page) - link to it from your website or send the link in emails. Stop agonising over 'which is the right blog platform' and get your fingers on the keyboard!

2. Take more photos and share them. Customers, staff, food and fun. Again, the Local Taphouse is constantly adding to their online album so customers will come back for more: take a look. Online photo galleries are one of the most popular part of any website - start one for free using Flickr.

3. Use LinkedIn to reach local professional and business customers. LinkedIn is not about 'flogging' your business, but connecting with like-minded professionals - most of whom eat and drink out. If you're in a business location, this can be an excellent way to build contacts and list events. It can even be used for recruitment. See How to Use LinkedIn to Promote a Cafe, Restaurant or Bar.

4. Improve your Facebook Page. With more than 900 million members worldwide, there are thousands within your local area. The recent Timeline changes put much more emphasis on photos, so keep adding happy pics of events and customers - it is called Facebook for a reason! Choose a bold banner photo for the top, like we've used for Profitable Hospitality.

5. Talk to your followers with Twitter. The speed and brevity make it ideal for busy operators - there's no room for fluff. Check how Earl Canteen and Lucios Italian keep in close touch with customers, with information and personality. And yes, your followers probably DO want to hear about what's for lunch!

6. Automate your Emails to Include Welcome Messages. It's rare for new subscribers to receive even a confirmation that they've joined your list - what a waste! If they choose to join, make sure they receive a friendly Welcome email with links to your menu, events and shop pages. Plus set up two 'auto-responders' that will go out after 10 and 20 days, highlighting a couple of your best features. Not selling, informing. They chose to be on your list - don't neglect them. [I've worked with quite a few members to show them how to do this - email for more information.

7. Create a Map of local places of interest. Promoting your local area can be almost as important as promoting your business. Google maps allows you to create a map with your choice of locations, walks and sighseeing - using their MyMaps service. Naturally, your own business will feature prominently in the middle. Here's an example. Link to the map from your website or in emails you send to people. Creating a map is easy, and you don't need to be 'techy' - here's how to do it.

If business flat, you have 3 choices:
 #1 spend more money on promotion,

#2 spend more time connecting with people, or

#3 shut the door and turn off the lights. Choice #2 seems like a safe bet - create new ways of linking up with fans and customers, then keep feeding them the good stuff. Time to get busy!


  Profitable Hospitality offers management and cost-control systems (Manuals & CD-ROMs) for restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars and clubs. The systems are based on the extensive consulting and operating experience of CEO Ken Burgin, and enable busy owners and managers to set up complete operating and cost-control systems in minutes, not months. Profitable Hospitality also runs regular management training workshops in the areas of kitchen profit & efficiency, restaurant marketing and functions management. A free monthly e-newsletter keeps you up to date on the latest industry management issues. www.profitablehospitality.com.


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