For most the internet is still a very confusing place, We are talking about a global network/marketplace/advertising engine/porn haven and even the leader in education these days.
In this confusing place people look for comfortable places to spend time. Sites like Facebook and Google have jumped out as “spaces of comfort” for a clear majority.
Here are the numbers;
These “places” aim to simplify and create an easy and comfortable way to access the internet. The reasons for success are many, and well documented.
88% of the daily web traffic can’t be wrong, people are comfortable with these sites and using them as a daily utility.
Ask yourself? Is you restaurant or business ONLINE ready? When was the last time your “Googled” your business name to see what popped up? Have you ever wanted to use these tools for more than the basics?
DID YOU KNOW?
The word “Restaurant” is searched 5 million/per month into Google in Canada alone.
The word “Restaurant(s) Calgary” is searched 245,000/per month in Calgary, AB
Here is where you start, and more importantly why you start;
Google Places & Facebook Places are an easy and quick way to create your own website “within” the Google and Facebook spaces. Setup takes 5 minutes or less for each and the ROI starts the second you are complete.
Simple rule; You want to UNIFY the messages and details between your website and these “Places” (*hint – copy & paste Mission, Hours etc;)
This “place” is sort of an extension of your “Map” location. It always shows up first when someone searches your name in Google (SEO). This place has your business hours, details, food type, etc. *Anyone can set this up for you, even without your knowledge.
In my experience within the Canadian Market 65% + of restaurants have gross inconsistencies with information between Google and the business’ website. Who wants to confuse patrons before they come into the venue?
“Why” features to use;
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION – Simply put, how likely you are to pop up on the first page in an online search for your cuisine, details and business.
A simple litmus test is this; Type your cuisine and city into Google (ex: French food in Calgary, AB), Where do you show up? First page? Third?, most (85%) of people DO NOT look beyond the first page. **Hint & Reality Check** Getting on the first page has little to do with how “good” your product actually is.
- OFFERS – this is a great place to offer a coupon or two, a user can even bring it up on there mobile phone for use in your business.
- REVIEWS – Google will unify your peer reviews here and give you cumulative ratings from sites like OPENTABLE, YELP, CHOMP, and URBANSPOON.
- YouTube – Ever want to USE, rather than ban, those pesky mobile phones in a simple way? Have a manager post a daily “vignette” of the Lunch feature, post to YouTube (a Google product), it will link here, then is ready for easy “social postings”.
My hope is by the nature of you reading this BLOG, you get the uses for a social network and a tool like Facebook. If I were to summarize it for you it would be simple; People are highly engaged on Facebook, they transparently details likes and in some cases “by the minute” details and actions. When trying to “convert” online clients into “asses in the seats” & $$. ** ENGAGEMENT is your #1 GOAL!**
“Why” features to use;
- Become Useful & Listen – Ever want to detail the difference between a Floridian and Canadian Lobster to patrons? Delve into the details of French Cuisine? Discuss a food trend? Ask for an opinion on hours? Your wall and those who “like” your business are a GREAT sample group to test and discuss your business, get them involved. Then, once you engage them, you can act or react to what you hear.
- Check-In – Social “check-ins” and “geo-location” postings are on the rise and this feature can offer your clients a sense of “belonging” (believe it), and you a chance to get them an offer or two for showing the love while in the building.
- Amplify your message – When you engage people on FB, and they genuinely “Like” your business they add an average network of 200 people to your “social network”. Rather than chasing a number of “Like(s)” consider looking for “Useful Likes”, search out the foodies, the critics and the suppliers and AMPLIFY your message to a “Useful Network” rather than just a “Large Network”.
I could likely go on for a day or two but to simplify; for you the small business owner, you become “online present” and add some clarity for your patrons in a confusing place. You get the opportunity for ads, promotions, and adding details to your business in the ever growing ONLINE forum. 88% of the web traffic, 5 million times over, is more than enough to commit time each month to your “ONLINE PRESENCE”.
Here are my “places”, have a look.
Get to doing,