You want to increase the natural progression of your customer base without the burden of throwing money into an investment that might not pay off - right? This might come as a surprise to some but there are ways to do this.
Organic growth for your business means online and offline growth without additional influences, such as advertising. This means money is not a requirement with organic growth, but some skills with marketing are. Organic growth usually stems from existing customers bringing in new ones.
Social Media Is Key
Social media provides you with the option to advertise your business at no cost, with a personal touch you won’t receive through conventional advertising. Facebook and Instagram allow you to communicate directly with customers and vice versa, where they can send through any queries.
Putting in the effort is an essential component here. This means constantly updating your social media accounts with fresh content which will entice customers and keep you in their newsfeed.
How many times has a friend’s new post on social media made you think of them, or an advertisement on TV made you purchase their product? This is what social media pages are doing but at no cost.
Likes and shares will further your online reach, making your posts appear on newsfeed or be tagged in other people’s posts. You can take full advantage of this by posting high resolution images of meals, listing specials, discounts or competitions.
Make those photos Instaworthy!
Hashtags are your friend. You need to know the right words and phrases to use as your hashtags for each post, this will get your images maximum exposure. Within your hashtags, you could start to create your own words, or phrases that Instagram users would see when they click on your image.
What this does is to create an awareness, a link, to your business and the wider social media community. It’s best to use a mixture of common and uncommon hashtags to prevent your post from getting lost in the vast mix of posts.
By now you should be getting the idea that social media truly is key when looking for organic growth in your restaurant. Look for content customers have posted about your restaurant and share it. User-generated content will attract more customers than branded content, as people will see it as genuinely good feedback.
Monitor your online presence to ensure your restaurant isn’t getting tagged in anything unrelated, spam/inappropriate comments, or dealing with negative comments.
Keep Your Website Up To Date
This is important as your website is a reflection of your restaurant. Ensure that your website is mobile friendly as it’s more often than not how customers are going to view your site. If the website has not been designed to work optimally on a mobile device, it’s likely to deter customers, prompting them to pick another eatery. Ensure that your menu is easy to read on a mobile device, it will make the world of difference to some potential customers.
Google Maps and GMB
It costs nothing to get your business listed on Google Maps and the process is simple. Using a Google account, start by finding the location of your restaurant on maps. The next step is click on the ‘send feedback’ link at the bottom of the page.
You’ll be presented with the option to ‘Add a missing place’, where you can then drag the map marker to the location of your restaurant. Once you’re happy with that, simply fill in all the details. The beauty of this is that your restaurant will come up whenever people are using their maps to search nearby locations.
Google My Business (GMB) is another feature Google offers free of charge. If you’re not already on it, GMB provides anyone that searches for your business with a full listing and customisable (by you!) profile that can include pictures, ratings, phone numbers and a brief overview of the restaurant.
Much like social media, there is also a message option for customers to get in touch. A great addition to GMB is that it provides analytics, such as the amount of clicks, calls and bookings.
Consider adding a blog to your website. It can provide a space where you share stories, recipes or upcoming events at the restaurant. A major benefit of having a blog is that it will help your online presence by making you more visible. Try something different by adding cooking videos that could also be previewed via social media.
Keep your staff happy and you’ll be rewarded. Remember that if you treat your staff well, they’ll reflect that in their service which means, happier customers.
A happy customer is a returning customer and a returning customer is going to be telling their friends about your restaurant. Keep your staff happy and motivated!