Jaime Oikle is the Owner & Founder of RunningRestaurants.com, and authored a great article on how restaurants need digital marketing managers in this age of low margin and high competition. These tips are not just applicable to restaurants; they have universal application.
Below is a summary of some of the points he made in his article, which can be seen in its entirety by clicking HERE.
What should your digital marketing manager do?
There are four main areas to consider:
1) Email Newsletter
Publish an e-newsletter to your customers once a week. Restaurants have enough going on at their location(s) that weekly is the right frequency.
2) Update your website(s)
Update the site weekly (or more frequently) with event information, menu changes, new photos/videos, etc. You lose credibility with customers when your website is not updated correctly.
3) Social Media
These are the big three of social media: Facebook, YouTube & Twitter.
There are also the social review sites such as Citysearch, Yelp & Urbanspoon. There are restaurant guide sites from local newspapers and magazines.
With a dedicated e-marketing manager you can select a handful of websites to keep tabs on by creating a virtual dashboard with direct links to all appropriate sites. See charts below for Jaime’s recommend prioritization of targets.
4) Mobile Marketing
Mobile is getting bigger by the day. Start collecting mobile numbers for text messaging and mobile app promotions. Investigate mobile apps such as mobile ordering, a customized mobile optimized website, and possible customer service options such as mobile service surveys. The other big factor to consider with mobile is “location based services” and that would include (relatively) new services like Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, and others.
Jaime also gives some great advice on consistency in these efforts:
If you’re going to commit to e-marketing efforts, then you need to truly commit to them. You can’t start and participate infrequently and think that it is going to work. The immediacy of social media & mobile in particular call for a fresh and updated presence that is never really more than 3 to 5 days dated. Any more than that and your relevance equation drops quite dramatically.