If you have a restaurant, you can use social proof in the form of customer reviews and testimonials to get people to buy from you.
When people hear others praise your business, they are more likely to try it out. Social proof can be the cornerstone of your digital marketing plan to make your restaurant stand out online.
You can also use social proof to improve your reputation, expand your audience, and increase sales. In other words, social proof is critical to the success of your restaurant business.
Here’s how to build social proof for your restaurant.
How to Build Social Proof for Restaurants
1. Gather ratings and reviews
People prefer to visit places that others believe are great. That is where ratings and reviews play a role in increasing your reputation with customers.
Great reviews and ratings on sites like Google and Yelp can help your restaurant build a reputation and encourage customers to interact with the business.
Your restaurant will stand out more online if it receives more positive ratings and reviews. Establish a range of ways for people to discuss their experiences with you.
You can send them follow-up emails, tag them on social media, or use your website. For example, you might employ a popup on your website that invites people to submit a review.
Also, post positive feedback on your social media platforms to influence your customers to leave a review. Promote the review in your ads and on your website.
Reply to positive and negative feedback to demonstrate that you care about your customers. If you do it right, you may even get to change that negative review and gain a loyal follower.
Don’t try and hide any negative feedback. Respond professionally and show that you’re doing something about it, and you’ll be fine.
2. Use FOMO marketing tactics
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a marketing term based on humans’ natural aversion to being left out. The purpose of this psychological marketing trigger is to induce guests to make rash decisions to prevent them from “missing out” on things that they might not be able to get later.
You’ll boost sales and conversions if you put your audience in a scenario where they have to move quickly to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
How is FOMO related to social proof? You can use the tactic in launching limited-time offers and events that will get people to talk positively about your restaurant. Who doesn’t want a free item, after all? This will boost your brand’s image.
Social media contests that harp on exclusivity is another excellent example of using FOMO to build social proof. You can ask your contestants to detail their experience in posts and use hashtags when doing so to get the non-contestants to talk about your brand, too.
3. Use omnichannel communication
Omnichannel communication involves combining a variety of channels or ways of interacting with consumers so that the customer experience is uniform regardless of which channel they use.
An omnichannel marketing approach allows businesses to meet their consumers where they are with the correct message at the right time.
Omnichannel communication enables social media channels, company websites, eCommerce sites, and high-street retailers to access the same client data and provide tailored services.
All channels may interact and relate to one another, allowing the user to switch between them seamlessly.
You can add social proof to a web experience and provide customized social influence notifications using omnichannel communication.
You can display notifications depending on how many times your visitors interact with your menu or add a specific item to their shopping cart along their customer journey.
Depending on product availability levels, you may use social-proof messaging to generate fear of missing out on popular menu items among your site visitors.
You may use live chat, email, and social media to make communication engaging and in real-time. You can send customized emails, for example, to customers asking for social proof based on their behaviors.
4. Explore influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is social media marketing that relies on product recommendations and mentions from influencers. Influencers are people who have a large social following and are considered experts in their industry.
Influencers and marketing are intimately connected. Influencer marketing has become the ideal tool for affecting customers’ dining choices.
You should collaborate with influencers relevant to your niche, who have a high engagement rate, are authentic, and provide high-quality content.
You can find influencers using sites like GRIN and Mavrck or manually search social media for people who would be a good fit for your brand. Additionally, you may also keep track of hashtags to see which ones are most relevant to your location and food offers.
Once you identify potential influencers, you can DM them with your partnership proposal or send them an email.
Some influencers have their email addresses in their bios. In other cases, you’ll have to use tools for email lookup to find those email addresses.
Depending on whom you choose to work with, you may need to compensate them. That may entail hosting a food influencer for lunch at your restaurant in exchange for creating a post. Additionally, you may need to create a budget for monetary compensation.
There are several ways to collaborate with influencers. You could release a new menu item and invite influencers to try it before anyone else does.
During an event, you can also use the takeover technique. A social media takeover occurs when an influencer takes over your account(s) as a live content creator.
5. Get featured in popular publications
Your reputation and social proof explode when you’re featured in a well-known blog, magazine, or media source. Consider the following ideas to get your restaurant featured in a journal or magazine:
- Build an exclusive story related to your restaurant
- Collaborate with a charitable organization
- Create events around significant holidays to get the media to cover you
In other words, think outside the box and create a newsworthy event.
Download our Food Holiday Calendar to get unique ideas for holiday promotions in 2022.
You can also contribute articles to these publications to get featured. Although contributors are not allowed to promote their companies publicly, they are permitted to include a bio of themselves or their restaurants.
If you don’t give them that bio, they might check your website to get additional details about you. So, when writing the about us page on your site, make sure you always include your unique selling point.
6. Boost your customer service
Your customer service team is frequently the face of your business. Your team boosts social proof since happy consumers are more likely to inform their friends and family about their positive experiences with them.
Customers will also return to your business when you provide excellent customer service.
Your customer service team must focus on carefully listening to and attending to the needs and desires of your customers.
For that reason, you must ensure that your clients have several options to provide feedback. You should also work to improve your team’s customer service engagement skills.
It’s also critical to increase your customer service team’s response rate to social media reviews and feedback left on your Google My Business profile.
Your customer service team must have the necessary skills for handling the needs of your consumers, such as empathy, patience, and consistency.
Another way to boost customer service is constantly innovating and providing unique features and services such as online ordering, contactless dine-in ordering, online payments, no-contact delivery and pickup, etc.
Social proof is an essential element of any word-of-mouth strategy for expanding your restaurant.
Before making a purchasing choice, people search for ratings and reviews, recommendations, and examples of how others have experienced your service.
Social proof promotes trust and strong consumer connections, so you should take advantage of it. Gather ratings and reviews, employ FOMO marketing methods, and use omnichannel communication.
Moreover, consider influencer marketing, get featured in popular publications, and improve your customer service.
Follow the strategies we’ve outlined to get the best results.
Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online Email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.