Using the power of social media to your takeaways advantage
By Darren Hiles
All the cool kids are talking/tweeting/facebooking about it. All your customers are stumbling, pinning and redditing. Can this social networking stuff really work for your takeaway?
Well simply the answer is yes but it will take work! Major companies around the world from Amazon to Us are using social media to work in their favour and are attracting a new audience at an amazing rate.
While a large number of companies are using social media (79% according to a Havard Survery) not all of them are sure of what they are doing and why they are doing it. I hope to give you a little more incite into how using social media can increase your takeaways online prescence and start to build real relationships with your regular customers.
If a company shouts at you and tells you they're great you're not that likely to belive them out right unless you have a prior relationship with that company. If a friend tells you the same you'd probably take their word for it. This is the power of social advertising!
If one of your regulars tweets, facebooks or any of the various methods of "sharing" on the internet today that they think you serve the best food in the city then chances are you will pick up a few more interested parties at least willing to give you a shot.
Doing it this way most of the hard work has been done for you. You can put menus through doors, you can advertise everywhere you wish but one friend recommendation will get you more interest garunteed.
Then the viral effect takes over, if those new customers tell their friends, who tell their friends, who tell....
Never before has the ability to share something great with your friends been so easy and widespread. One click of a button and your customer has informed all of the friends on their list, all of their followers, all of their groups, thats possibly thousands of people with just one click! those thousands tell thousands more, who tell thousands more.....
I hope you get the picture.
Damage limitation or the dark side of social advertising
Say the client you just served doesn't enjoy their meal? Say their delivery was unexpectedly late.
With Twitter and Facebook at their fingertips its also too easy for them to share their bad experience with your takeaway with equally as many people as the good experience! How quickly could one tweet "Delivery driver late, food cold, dont go here #yourtakeawaynamehere" devastate any good marketting you have done? Especially if that tweet is by someone with thousands of followers!
But don't panic! A great example of using social media as a customer service tool is GoNorthEast a local bus company to me. They regularly post updates on bus service statuses, road closures, they deal with questions and complaints from customers and they do it all well!
Instead of people ranting about the late buses, or a delay on their journey they address their concerns to the comnpany representatives, this ensures that all complaints appear to be being handled and generally people walk away from the conversations content that they have had their complaint listened to at the very least if not actually addressed. That makes not only one satisfied customer but it also demonstrates to all others who appear on the page that this company is dedicated to its customers.
Should you monitor twitter for all bad comments, add everyone as a friend on Facebook just incase they say something bad?
Of course not!
But if you have a prescence then it shows you're ready to listen. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want an irate customer complaining to you, or do you want them complaining to a thousand of their followers?
Ending so soon?
These are just two reasons why social media can be a great thing for your takeaways reputation and profits. There will be many more on the subject as time goes on so keep coming back to find out more. Also you could follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook or add us to a circle on Google+.
Also remember that you can share all news articles, menu printing products, design products and discount codes for printed menus with your friend or fellow takeaway owners using the links on the page in question!