Exploring Twitter for Restaurants – Idea No. 1

 In 4. Jenny Brooks, Marketing, Public Relations

by Jenny Brooks

In a post on April 23, I provided five ideas for restaurants to use Twitter. I promised to explore each of these a little deeper, so I’m going to expand on each of these over the course of the next week. As a bonus, I’ll add a few more ideas to the final post, so keep coming back.

The five ideas were:

1. List the daily specials for all the day parts you serve.
2. Tweet about any daily offers, such as a discounts, promotions, events.
3. Create special Twitter promotions and tweet about them.
4. Host a Tweetup in your restaurant – a social gathering formed through posts/invitations on Twitter.
5. Tweet from your restaurant throughout the day, keeping people up to speed on what happens in your restaurant throughout the day.

Twitter for Restaurants, Idea No. 1:
I’ve seen restaurants using a lot of different things on Twitter, and I don’t think all of them are effective.

But how else can you entice your customers other than to tell them what you’re serving? But the key is to not only tell them what you’re serving, but do so in a way that makes their mouths water. Think of Twitter as the digital version of your specials board in the restaurant, an extension of your menu. It’s a sales tool.

Provide details such as “hot out of the oven,” “sweet-tooth satisfying,” “fresh-caught,” “refreshing” for summer menu items, “comforting” for winter items, words that really make those items more appealing. Think about what really makes this food good. Why did you choose to make it and put it on the menu?

For example, I’ve seen tweets that say something as simple as, “today’s specials broccoli cheddar soup, spaghetti and meatballs and club sandwich.” But there’s no explanation as to why these items might be worth dropping everything and coming into the restaurant. There’s not even prices on most of the tweets I read, which would sure help me make the decision for a lunch choice or take-out for dinner.

If you’ve enticed your customers to follow you on Twitter, they’re a ready and willing audience. Know what interests your customers and FEED them. If it’s price coupled with decent food, then couple those together in your tweets. If it’s out-of-this-world flavor combinations, then tweet them.

Tempt them with your best offerings to get them out of the office or to stop by on that drive home.

You only have 140 characters – 120 if you want your menu items to be retweeted. Use them to your advantage.

And don’t feel like you have to tweet every item in one post. Use the full character count for each item, if each is deserving of its own tweet.

I follow a lot of restaurants on Twitter, and I don’t see a lot of them sending this kind of information. Every tweet doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you’re going to spend your energy on the networking site, maximize it.

Read on for Idea No. 2.

Jenny Brooks is a public relations professional providing expert and strategic tactics for businesses trying to increase awareness about themselves and their products. She is also the editor of SMART Systems Insider, a monthly newsletter from Restaurant Expert David Scott Peters. Questions about PR and how she can help your restaurant? Email her.

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