March 13, 2013

7 Social Media Tactics Every Mexican Restaurant Can Use

By Ed Avis

Social media is essential for success in the restaurant business, and many Mexican restaurants are doing things right. Here are seven tactics you can apply to your restaurant:


1) Focus on doing one or two social media platforms well, instead of doing many poorly. Add more once you get comfortable. You’ll soon learn that many social media platforms can be tied together, so a post on Facebook can be automatically tweeted, for example. Check out the Twitter account of Lalo’s Restaurant, a chain of Mexican restaurants in the Chicago area: https://twitter.com/lalosrestaurant Notice that Lalo’s tweets regularly, at least a few times a week. And they retweet tweets from other people talking about Lalo’s. It’s obvious that Lalo’s has focused its efforts well.


2) Get your staff involved. You might have some very creative people on your staff, so let your bartenders, wait staff, cooks, and other staff members have input. Many restaurants, especially larger ones, have a marketing person run the social media, but even in those cases, letting the staff make suggestions – such as for tweets or Facebook promotions – will make your social media more interesting to customers.


3) Get personal in your posts. Tell your customers about employee promotions, new dishes you’re working on, fun birthday parties held at your restaurant, etc. See how Amigos Mexican Restaurant in Australia sprinkles “insider” news into their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/amigosmexicanrestaurantwollongong


4) Promotions work. One of the best uses for social media is to rapidly spread news about special offers. And you can quickly and easily measure how well the offer worked by asking customers to print out a coupon, load it into their smartphone, or otherwise mention the offer. See how Salita’s Mexican Restaurant in Durant, Oklahoma promotes its daily specials on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/salitasdurant?ref=ts&fref=ts. You might also consider using Yelp Deals or Groupon offers. See how Taqueria Morelos in Chicago uses Yelp deals: http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-morelos-chicago


5) Pay close attention. It’s important to see what people are saying about you online and respond when appropriate. For example, a bad review on Yelp can really hurt business, but you can limit the damage if you quickly react. On your Yelp page, you’ll see that there is a place where you can “Add Owner Comment” about a review if you want to respond to a bad review publicly – such as by saying, “We have changed the menu to fix this problem.” You can also respond privately to the reviewer to thank them, explain a problem, or invite them back in.


6) The old standby, Facebook, is essential. Check out the page for Taco Loco in Bridgeport, Connecticut: http://www.facebook.com/tacolococt?ref=hl Three things make this page effective. First, notice the special offers promoted throughout the page. Next, notice all the happy photos of patrons enjoying themselves. Posting these photos shows customers that the restaurant pays attention to its customers, and the photos themselves show prospective customers that people have fun there. Finally, notice that Taco Loco takes full advantage of the top of the page, where they include basic details, a reservations button, a photo gallery, and more.


7) A photo is worth a thousand posts. See how effective the photos of the outdoor patio and delicious food are on the Facebook page of Acenar Mexican Restaurant in San Antonio: http://www.facebook.com/acenarriverwalk Who could resist?


Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your restaurant. Do you have ideas or tips that you would like to share with other Mexican restaurants? Please add comments below!


Ed Avis is the publisher of el Restaurante Mexicano. He has previously written about social media for coffee shops, blueprint shops, and other businesses. Reach him at edavis@restmex.com

March 13, 2013

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