Restaurant marketing

The lucky 13: Twitter features to maximize restaurant marketing

Twitter has effectively been our microblogging friend for a decade, which has changed the face of marketing as this great promotional tool allows brands to push strategic initiatives in concise 140-character chunks. Here are 13 tips for maximizing the many features of this little blue bird.

Twitter has effectively been our microblogging friend for a decade, which has changed the face of marketing as this great promotional tool allows brands to push strategic initiatives in concise 140-character chunks. Yet, in the online age, it remains true that many are still somewhat in the dark about all the features and benefits this social media site has to offer brands. To that end, here are 13 tips for maximizing the many features of this little blue bird.

1. Profile Basics:

Your profile picture and your brand’s “bio” are the most relevant information on your profile, as they both describe your brand and stay true to every tweet you send. Be sure to include the appropriate business details, such as hours of operation, menu items, and your custom logo.

2. “Lists” and how to use them:

Lists are all about the many people, vendors, and organizations your brand engages. For example, a restaurant can interact with bloggers to generate buzz around promotional activities or vendors to stay up to date with the latest products and services for top-notch restaurant performance. And there’s plenty of room for lots of topics since brands can now build up to 1,000 listings and each listing can include up to 5,000 accounts.

3. Next: an exercise in “selectivity”

Stay selective in the people and brands you follow, lest you end up clogging your own account with too many, often unbranded tweets that end up watering down your own message. Find Twitter accounts that matter to your brand and turn off the “auto-follow” feature. For insightful insights into the accounts you’re best suited to follow, use tools like Audiense, Twitter Analytics, and FollowerWonk.

4. That’s it! Instant story creation via ‘Moments’

Twitter’s recently launched storytelling feature, Moments, can be an effective way to maximize engagement on your account. This content curation tool lets you gather and share a collection of tweets about a specific topic, like an event or brand-related trend.

5. Establish a direct connection to direct messaging

Brands often disable direct messaging by default, which can be a mistake. Instead, dig into those privacy settings and make sure that particular feature is turned on. This allows your brand to receive often critical private messages that your followers wouldn’t otherwise post in a more public place.

6. Twitter ads are targeted ads

Restaurants that cater to specific groups of people can benefit from Twitter advertising because it allows for specific personalization and delivery of ads to the people who matter most to your business. Consider targeting followers of similar accounts via Twitter ads to capture the exact customer base you’re looking for. Ads also give you the ability to search based on relevant hashtags and help you target previous customers, using your existing customer database.

7. Use the trend subject to stay “of the moment”

Some of the highest traffic online revolves around trending topics on Twitter, so leveraging those can bring big benefits. While many hot topics are hot, others can be planned far in advance if they are scheduled in advance and generate high interest. These topics also give brands the opportunity to reach out to new sectors of potential customers.

8. Coupon-based marketing is an effective sales platform

Twitter is well-equipped to increase online and in-store restaurant sales through coupon-based marketing that offers many benefits, such as exclusivity with Twitter followers, which brands can then reward and simultaneously gain the brand’s overall performance with that particular group. Coupon-based marketing also increases brand visibility and loyalty, so adding features that allow subscribers to like and retweet your offers only multiplies your audience.

9. A time-sensitive customer service tool
Conversations with customer service via Twitter have increased 2.5 times in the past two years alone. The immediacy offered by the location for brand response and problem resolution goes a long way towards showing that your restaurant brand cares and strives to retain customers.

10. The commitment formula
Twitter engagements operate under the 80/20 rule. That is, about 80% of your conversations should be interactions with subscribers, while only 20% should revolve specifically around brand programs and goals. This means savvy brands send personalized messages to customers, while regularly reviewing customer opinions and reviews and keeping track of who’s saying what.

11. A Great Path to Better “Influencer Marketing”
The wiser brands on Twitter are constantly monitoring key influencers to follow as well as the types of content they share in order to hack certain follows, likes and retweets. Klout is an indispensable tool that helps brands identify the most influential Twitter users. Likewise, be sure to recognize influencers who share your content, as just one share from an influencer can put you on the map.

12. You should be in the pictures
Research indicates that tweets with photos or videos have a wider reach than plain content. In fact, the retweet percentage for tweets with images increases by 150%, while the number of clicks increases by 18%. And remember that these images don’t necessarily need to be professionally produced, as often a simple photo taken on a smartphone can be extremely effective when the subject matter is the right content.

13.Twitter Analytics is an invaluable tool
Examining your target audience’s tweets can provide accurate insight into the set of opportunities you should consider tapping into. Twitter analytics can easily measure the visibility of your tweets and how they engage your customers. These analytics results are a great way to learn the types of content your customers prefer.

image source: iStock