One of the greatest challenges as a restaurant owner is learning how to create prolonged customer engagement across channels that assists in maintaining consistent customer traffic despite fluctuations in weather. Customer engagement is a pivotal factor in determining a restaurant’s level of success: According to a recent study by Deloitte, customers value being engaged by a restaurant more than any other experiential metric. In fact, 34 percent of customers reported that engagement — which is defined in this study as when the restaurant interacts with the customer in a “friendly, authentic, and hospitable way” as the most important factor in determining whether or not they are satisfied with their visit to a dining establishment.

The change in seasons presents an opportunity for you to engage customers through implementing changes in your menu and services which will lead to renewed customer interest across channels, enabling your company to maintain margins even during the most challenging winter months.

Prioritize omnichannel delivery

In order to build your business during cold season, you will need to take into account how consumer behavior differs as the temperature drops. Customers order higher amounts of food delivery in cases of extreme weather and food delivery platforms such as Grubhub see an increase in growth during cold weather months. Home delivery is a growing segment for restaurants, leading CNBC to predict a 79 percent increase in home food delivery by 2020. As a result, you must be prepared to cater to seasonal consumer demand for home delivery with a seamless omnichannel presence across channels.

By streamlining your business’s mobile functions and focusing your marketing efforts on promoting your local affiliations on social media, you’ll be prepared to cater to the growing demand for home delivery.

Opportunity for mobile expansion

A recent study by the National Restaurant Association found that 46 percent of smartphone users use their phones to order food at least once a month. Increasing customer demand for smartphone-optimized food delivery has led to rapid growth of custom delivery service platforms such as Grubhub. Even more notably, 60 percent of Grubhub’s over 3 billion dollars in annual local revenue is generated through orders on mobile devices.

Grubhub’s expansion highlights the growing opportunity for restaurateurs to reduce revenue loss through the outsourcing of restaurant functions such as food delivery to outside enterprises. Keep sales in-house by strengthening your company’s omnichannel functions to increase sales that might otherwise have been lost due to consumer buying patterns and restaurant delivery startups.

Promote affiliation with local growers

Consistent output on social media is essential to maintaining customer engagement during times when the temperature prohibits them from visiting your physical restaurant. Promote your connection with local growers and Farmers’ Markets in order to expand your restaurant’s visibility on social media. According to a 2016 survey by the National Restaurant Association, 57 percent of adults prefer restaurants that serve locally-sourced food. In light of this evidence, there is a substantial opportunity for restaurateurs to grow business during off-seasons by partnering with local growers and creating hashtag campaigns to drive restaurant traffic.

Collaborating with local companies also gives you that ability to market your business through #shoplocal social media campaigns. For example, restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts collaborated to create the Boston Local Food Festival. At the outdoor festival, members of the community can experience local food and support small businesses, as well as meeting local growers and fisherpeople from Boston’s wharf. Look into online marketing software platforms such as BuzzSumo and Sprout Social to assist in identifying the right hashtags to market your company’s local affiliations.

In addition to publicizing partnerships with local growers, participate in events such as American Express’s Small Business Saturday to promote your restaurant’s affiliation with your local community. Small Business Saturday facilitates omnichannel marketing for small businesses and restaurants by offering retailers customizable social media materials, website banners, and in-store signage to promote the annual shopping event held on November 25th.

Are you interested in learning more about how to create an omnichannel customer experience and increase engagement? Read how NectarOM increased TGI Fridays in-app conversions by 35% here

The prevalence of social media regarding millennials. Click to enlarge.

Using social media channels to improve marketing over multiple platforms

A massive shift in the marketing power is upon us.

For decades, baby boomers held the most purchasing power in the marketplace. But, as millennials are becoming the driving force in sales, marketers are forced to adjust their strategies to accommodate the younger generation. With the growing emphasis on millennials in the marketplace, understanding how to communicate with this generation through social and mobile channels is imperative for marketing success.

One key variance that sets millennials apart from other generations is social media usage. According to a Pew Research survey, 18 to 29-year-olds are the largest demographic of social media users. Because this group now makes up the largest purchasing power in America, incorporating marketing into social media can pay off big time for companies.

The key to an effective social media campaign lies in omnichannel. Each platform – from Facebook and email to brick-and-mortars – must provide a seamless experience for consumers. Platforms with inconsistencies will frustrate the user and decrease customer traffic.

We’ve taken a look at how today’s top marketers have created an omnichannel experience when marketing to millennials via social media.


Comments or direct messages increase the amount of communication between a company and the public. Companies like Papa John’s Pizza use this tool to quickly answer customer questions or address complaints. Oftentimes, the pizza entity was able to respond to public concerns in just ten minutes.

Over Facebook, Papa John's is able to respond to customer concerns in approximately 10 minutes.
Over Facebook, Papa John’s can respond to customer concerns in approximately 10 minutes.

Noting fast responses is key. A Forrester report found that 45% of shoppers will abandon online transactions if their concerns are not addressed quickly. In contrast, a customer-friendly, quick response can boost a company’s stance in customer service.

With Facebook’s convenience, it’s no wonder that 52% of companies think it is the most effective social channel for customer service. Millennials choose to communicate via Facebook instead of a website because of it often prompts a faster response from a company. Millennials aren’t lazy – they simply prefer convenience and fast service.

In the case that a Facebook comment cannot provide an adequate response to customer concerns, Papa John’s directs its consumers to their website. Their website provides forms for consumers who wish to discuss their experience in detail with the company. The seamless connection between their Facebook social media and company website help buyers communicate with the company effectively.


Instagram’s growing popularity among millennials and young people has attracted retail marketers to the picture-based social media platform.

Large companies have adapted their advertising towards becoming more seamlessly integrated with the Instagram experience. For example, the past year has seen a number of retailers implementing like-to-buy programs for their products.

Like-to-buy is one of the fastest ways a shopper can make a purchase. When an Instagram user sees a photo of a desired product for purchase, he or she can leave contact information via direct message or comment on the post. The retailer later invoices the Instagram user for their product, and the product is available for in-store pickup or home delivery.

Dallas boutique Movida implements their weekly "Thursday Therapy." Shoppers can easily order products before they are even sold in the store.
Movida, a Dallas boutique, implements their weekly “Thursday Therapy.” Shoppers can easily order products before they are sold in the store. Invoices are emailed and products are shipped directly to the buyer. Click image to enlarge.

Again, millennials are all about convenience. An omnichannel approach that lets shoppers purchase products with a few taps on their iPhone screen is just about as convenient as can be – especially with the option of in-store pickup or home delivery.


This fastest growing social media platform opens doors for memorable, creative marketing campaigns. Taco Bell has secured its status as a leader in marketing through its one-of-a-kind Snapchat campaigns.

Taco Bell uses this photography-focused channel to engage with its users. Between challenging users to doodle wars, to designing comical Valentine’s greeting cards, Taco Bell has solidified its reputation as a leader in engaging with consumers.


But Taco Bell focuses on more than an entertaining social media presence. The company’s Snaps often direct consumers to view more items on its app or in brick-and-mortars. Because customers are already engaged, they are more likely to visit Taco Bell’s other channels. Consumers develop stronger trust and loyalty with brands that engage with them, adding to a significant payoff for Taco Bell sales. For this fast-food restaurant, engagement is the glue to an omnichannel approach.

That being said…

Millennials show no signs of slowing their social media usage, so it’s up to marketers to stay relevant to the masses. Incorporating seamless social media campaigns into marketing strategies can ensure that brands are attractive and easily accessible to today’s consumers. Don’t be afraid to incorporate similar social media strategies into your own omnichannel campaign, or learn about more inspirational omnichannel marketing.

Yesterday we were thrilled to be included in the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur round-up for ways to advertise your business under $100, and we got so inspired by the great ideas that we thought we would share a few with you! The best tactics for advertising your new business are those that will get your company noticed without having to spend thousands of dollars. Starting a business is no easy task, but with the right marketing, you can get in front of your ideal clientele and make every expenditure worth your while. Our number one idea for marketing is quick, inexpensive social media contests. Here are a few examples that we have used on our sites:

  • Twitter Contest: Simply have your readers and/or members re-tweet a message or mention your @company on Twitter, counting each tweet as a contest entry. You can include any other criteria you want, but the point is to get your company’s name out there as much as possible. After a week or so, choose a winner at random and reward them with a gift card or small prize, remembering to mention and thank them on Twitter! We did this contest successfully on BuyerHive.
  • Pinterest Contest: Pinterest is a great social media marketing tool and a great way for information and/or products from your company to circulate. For zuuzs and zuuzStyle, we custom-made an image and had people re-pin it as wells as products from our Pinterest boards, simultaneously entering a contest and promoting our sites!
  • Exchanging Links: Another method for social media marketing is to exchange links with similar blogs/websites. You can both promote each other’s giveaways, contests, events, and products and develop some cross-over in each other’s audiences. This is a great (free) way to get the word out about your business, as well as form lucrative partnerships in the industry!

Want more great marketing tips? Follow us on Twitter!

Enhanced by Zemanta