The importance of “hypersocializers”
If you’re not familiar with the term “hypersocializer” here is the basic gist of it-
Hypersocializers are the members of a generation raised with social media and technology that allows constant communication with others. The age range is basically from 1 to the mid twenties. Jeffrey Zaslow penned a good article that discusses the benefits and detriments of this generation.
You may be asking what this has to do with your restaurant…..
These folks are, or will be, your biggest customer base and it is important to understand how they interact and try to use it to your advantage.
We all understand that word of mouth is the best marketing your business can get. Twenty years ago this word of mouth traveled slowly, through conversation, either face to face or via the telephone. The message regarding your business went from from person to another or small group of people. Ten years ago that message may have been shared via email and sent to a little larger group of people, and maybe passed on to a few more. Today, if someone enjoys your restaurant experience they can(and will) post to facebook, twitter, yelp, etc. and shared the message with thousands of people in seconds.
The trick is learning to take advantage of this new generation’s willingness to share information. The bottom line is that these customers are constantly looking for something to share with their circle of friends. If you provide a great experience they will spread the word. These customers have the potential to become your voice on the street if you treat them right, they are literally communicating with friends hundreds or thousands of times every day. We can leverage this a few different ways if you begin to involve yourself in their community.
If you haven’t already, you need to begin understanding the different platforms that are out there where this information is shared. Here are a few of the bigger outlets-
Of course there are many, many more sites but these are some of the more important with respect to restaurant marketing. First, I suggest you spend a little time doing some research on the sites if you haven’t already. Click the links above and search around a little, read the about pages, search twitter for the name of your restaurant (use parentheses if there is more than one word) and check out your reviews if there are any. Next step is to create accounts on these sites and let your customers now you are out there.
In one of my restaurants we used a simple placemat to let our patrons know where we were and what we were doing on the web. Feel free to copy the idea and modify it as you see fit, but don’t forget to share!!! We had already offered wifi in our restaurant so when we added these placemats the interactions increased dramatically. Now folks could pull out their laptop or smartphone and interact with us from our own restaurant easily.
One of the most interesting and fastest growing categories are the “geo location” services. Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and others make up some of the fastest growing social media tools out there. These services lend themselves extremely well to restaurants and some offer intriguing ways to offer promotions to attract more business.
If you let these hypersocializers know that you are part of “their” community they will be more inclined to spread the word about your restaurant.
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