Before the world of the internet and digitization, people primarily relied on word-of-mouth marketing for trying new restaurants and new types of food.
Even in today’s digital world, the power of a strong recommendation or review from close friends and family should not be underestimated. In recent research, nearly 80% of restaurant diners said they were likely to rely on word of mouth or recommendations from friends and family for trying out new places.
So what does it take to go “viral” through word of mouth? And how can you ensure that your customers recommend your food and services to their social circle? We discuss some critical aspects of word of mouth marketing in the following section:
The 3Es vs. the 3Ps
Tradition marketing revolves around pricing, product, and promotions. For businesses, this means selling a product that customers demand, at the price they expect, by attracting them through attractive marketing and offers.
While these concepts still form the critical tenants of marketing, there’s a solid need to consider other marketing concepts to develop a robust word-of-mouth marketing approach.
Engage with customers to let them know that their feedback and reviews matter to you. Either in person or through social media, they should feel that their input is welcomed and that their feedback will be actioned.
Having a solid social media presence is just one of the ways to interact with your customers personally, making them feel connected to your brand.
Equip your customers with engagement topics, so they can easily connect with your brand and have discussion topics to spread the word within their social circles.
More importantly, give them content and reasons to talk about your restaurant. This can include a unique ambiance and dining experience, a personalized and unique menu, or special events and offers which make them talk about your restaurant and suggest it to their friends and family as the next place they should try.
Empower your customers with social media tools and multiple avenues to voice their feedback, and spread the word about your restaurant.
You need to provide customers with multiple and easy-to-access ways for giving a review and talking about your restaurant with other potential customers.
In addition, having well-built social media pages and websites can include scan codes in your restaurant for connecting to your social media, as well as gentle reminders to provide reviews and feedback.
Running campaigns where customers interact with your social media handles is another way of gaining traction with both old and new customers.