4 Signs To Invest In Restaurant Social Media

Social Media

It's 2014 people! Jump on the Social Bandwagon and let's get tweeting! 

You may have the hottest menu in town, and think that your 'regular' customers are just enough, but don't you want more? Social Media seems overrated and 'tweeting' or 'liking' just sounds plain silly. But these silly social interactions are proven to gain more business. 

Let's say Sally just had dinner with Jack at Tasty restaurant. They had the juiciest, most delicious burgers they have ever tasted, and guess what.. They want to brag about it. Without social media, they would never be able to express their new-found love for your Tasty Burger across social platforms, which would potentially reach thousands of consumers. Instead, Sally and Jack kept quiet, never revealing their hidden Tasty treasure. Social Media sounds not so silly now, doesn't it.

See if these 4 signs sound familiar to your restaurant.

The Fuss About Big Data & #IOT

We all hear big talk of big data in the marketing world as well as the future of IOT (aka Internet of Things). So what's all the fuss about? What exactly does these new discoveries do for me, in the restaurant industry? 

IOT can be imagined as a refrigerator. Imagine this refrigerator as a digital scanner that reads each item which resides in it. Now think about that same fridge making you aware of expired products or coupons for similar items in which you are running low on. WOW. This is IOT. Collecting and storing of data from consumers to discover a way to benefit the customer to their highest satisfaction. 



Now with the collection of this information comes big data. Which speaks for itself. Its BIG. Its USEFUL and its WORTH IT. Read more about big data here and how RSMIndex and DigitalCoCo can benefit your restaurant.

Digital Ad Success: The Trilogy



Digital Direct Response. Big Data. Mobile. 

Individually each of these elements are equally strong, but together they all can create one massive, effective marketing strategy that can increase ROI by huge margins. More than $8 billion is spent on direct response online ads, along with $17 billion on mobile advertising campaigns. With these big jumps in $$$$$$, your business can't afford to miss out. 

By using big data with the mobile user, we are able to target them to specific content/products/services in which are appealing to them (pages they have visited, pages they have liked, etc.) By utilizing these three valuable trends, marketers are able to see dramatic increases in their investments. Read more here

Digital Menu Boards Boost Sales & Satisfaction In Fast Casual Restaurants



You may have seen digital menu boards sprouting up in your favorite fast casual restaurants across the globe, and we can assure you that this technology isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is the digital menus more appealing visually to the consumer, but fast food operations report a 3-5% increase in sales after installing digital menu boards and store signage. Customers have agreed that the new menus have cut down on wait time due to better visibility of menu options. Read more here.

Square Launches 'Square Analytics' To Merchants For Real-Time Sales Updates



Want real-time updates on your restaurant sales down to the minute? Square Analytics is giving small businesses the ability to do just that. By using the Square Analytics application, we are able to track current top sales, customer visits, average amount spent per visit, average visits per customer and much more. Email options are also available for those merchants who think that checking an application every few hours is unnecessary. The ability to track this information at any time can give businesses the ability to change marketing and promotions due to sale activity, giving them the competitive advantage. Read more here.

The Soda Fountain Cold War: Pepsi Coming Back With A Vengeance



PepsiCo isn't going down without a fight. The PepsiCo brand has just deployed three soda fountains given the name 'Spire', mimicking CocaCola's Freestyle creation. Spire gives customers the ability to create over 1000 different soda creations, exceeding CocaCola's mere 100. Since the release of the Freestyle in 2009, PepsiCo has taken a hit from the restaurant industries in soda machine sales. CocaCola has dominated the fountain machine market, gaining 70% while PepsiCo controls 20% and Dr.Pepper/Snapple rolling in with the last 10%. How does this affect the restaurant biz you ask? Well, with the creation of this new technology both CocaCola and PepsiCo are able to track service history and push software fixes through overnight. This gives restaurants the ability to have less room for error and more room for customer satisfaction. But have customers kept their brand loyalty? With the shift in consumer trends to the more health conscious options, does the 1000 different soda brands really affect the consumers decision when all they really want is a mango juice with tapioca pearls? Read more about PepsiCo's Spire creation here.

Using Your Company Instagram #Hashtags To Your Advantage




Stemming from Twitter to Facebook and Instagram, hashtags have quickly expanded across all social media platforms connecting the digital world. Using your hashtags in your small business can expand your reach across these platforms, obtaining maximum marketing potential and brand recognition.

#But #do #you #know #how #to #use #hashtags #properly?

THINK LIKE A CONSUMER. Not only are we dreamers, creators, innovators and believers (No, I did not say Beilieber) but we consume products and services in our daily lives. If YOU were looking for products or services similar to what your company offers, how would YOU as a consumer search for it??

By using the popular symbol to promote your brand you can introduce your restaurant to a larger population of consumers. Thanks to hashtags, we are able to gain a wider reach in different markets as well as our current one. 

 Read more about using your #hashtags properly here.

Foursquare launches its redesigned mobile app focused on location-based recommendations

Image Credit: http://thenextweb.com/

Image Credit: http://thenextweb.com/

In one of its boldest moves to date, Foursquare is today launching a revamped and reimagined version of its original mobile app. After removing the check-in functionality for a new app called Swarm, Foursquare has refocused its core app on location-based recommendations.

One of the biggest changes is a new tagging system called “tastes.” From the initial on-boarding process, you’ll be able to choose specific food, drink and venue types that you’re interested in. Foursquare throws up a huge list of suggestions based on your prior check-ins, but you can search for new ones too. Read More..

Unmasking Big Data: The Gold Mine Of The Internet

Image Credit: http://lerablog.org/

Image Credit: http://lerablog.org/

From social media, medicine to space, Big Data has changed the pace at which the fields of science and business grow. Here’s a closer look at why Big Data is a big deal.

Big Data: the concept is expeditiously becoming a buzz-word around corporate houses and governments. So, what exactly is Big Data? Let’s say after watching a movie, you commented on Facebook or tweeted on Twitter. Your friend does the same, and so does your neighbor. Now imagine millions of people around the globe reviewing, commenting, tweeting, blogging, clicking pictures, all about the same movie over the Internet, makes it a data worth billions of bytes. This data spread across the Internet, unstructured, is called Big Data.

In recent years, the Internet boom has given birth to new terms and abbreviations in data management, like never before. Technology Magazine Baseline states that “90 percent of world’s data has been created in the last 2 years.” The Internet is at the dawn of approaching data equivalence of Yottabytes (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes!), and it would be no surprise when the Internet dictionary gets yet another word after that. For small businesses it might be a steep ladder to analyze such humongous data for their benefits, yet according to McKinsey – a business using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. Read More..

Big Data Mining Helps Identify Contaminated Food Sources

Image Credit: davisclipper.com

Image Credit: davisclipper.com

Editor - Data mining today, especially with DigitalCoCo's Social Insights tools using RSMI Restaurant Social Media Index proprietary technologies, allows restaurant operators to ask almost any operational question. Could operators use social to pinpoint locations that struggle with above-average quantities of poor customer service? Yes, and DigitalCoCo could show that. A great example of data mining follows:

Identifying the source of foodborne disease outbreaks is not always easy. Some outbreaks have quite long incubation times and getting consumers to remember exactly what they ate some weeks ago is almost impossible. However, IBM has developed a tool that may help.

Using novel algorithms, visualisation and statistical techniques, the tool can use information on the date and location of billions of supermarket food items sold each week to quickly identify with high probability a set of potentially ‘guilty’ products within as few as 10 outbreak case reports. Read More..

Forrester: Digital Change Means Embracing Contextual Marketing

Image Credit: http://www.cmo.com.au/

Image Credit: http://www.cmo.com.au/

Analyst firm's Shar VanBoskirk says a marketing strategy based around value-driven interactions is vital in meeting customer expectations

Marketers should be leading digital disruption in their organisations but need to embrace contextual marketing if they’re going to be successful at it, Forrester’s head of marketing profession research claims.

According to the analyst firm’s vice-president and principal, Shar VanBoskirk, modern marketing strategy is about switching from traditional marketing goals, such as building brand awareness, managing media and demand generation, to building value-driven customer relationships. The only way to do this is by taking ownership of customers across the buying lifecycle and putting individuals at the centre of your strategy using context, she said. Read More..

"House Of Cards": The Triumph of Creativity Over Big Data

Image Credit: Netflix

Image Credit: Netflix

Two years ago, for the first time ever, Americans watched more movies legally via streaming than on DVDs. The shift signified more than a simple change in formats; it also made a huge difference in how much information the providers of online programming can gather about our viewing habits. Netflix is in the vanguard of this revolution, a pioneer overlapping the intersection where Big Data and entertainment media meet.

Netflix has always been very explicit about its plans to exploit its Big Data know-hows to influence its programming choices. “House of Cards” is one of the first major test cases of this Big Data-driven creative strategy. When the program, a remake of a BBC miniseries, was up for purchase in 2011 with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey attached, Netflix executives simply looked at their massive stash of data. And data clearly showed that subscribers who watched the original series were also likely to watch movies directed by David Fincher and enjoy ones that starred Kevin Spacey. Considering the material and the players involved, Netflix was sure that an audience was out there. Therefore a remake of the BBC drama with Spacey and Fincher attached was a no-brainer, to the point that the company committed $100 million for two 13-episode seasons as well as total creative control of the production to David Fincher. Read More..

Is your Twitter Sentiment Analysis Telling You The True Story?

Image Credit: http://spotfire.tibco.com/

Image Credit: http://spotfire.tibco.com/

With 15 million people now actively using Twitter in the UK, representing around a quarter of the population, this offers huge potential for marketers to glean customer insight like never before. By mining text in the micro-blogging stream, subjective information can be captured and analysed, and if done right, it can provide valuable information that can be used in business planning to improve customer service, develop propositions and ultimately increase sales.

Sounds easy doesn't it? However, it can be all too easy to draw the wrong conclusions. Here are ten top tips to help marketers understand how good Twitter sentiment analysis works and how to make the most of the data. Read More..

Turning Your Video Audience into Share Freaks

It’s 2014 and if you have read any industry updates about this year, you will know that it is the year of the Video. Industry experts and digital marketing experts alike have all expressed their predictions that 2014 will be solely focused on video marketing. I could bring in stats like how 52% of marketing professional worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, 93% of marketers will be suing video for online marketing, sales and communication, or the fact the they predict that 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video but that’s not really the point of this article.

Now let me clarify.

Like any new product that is becoming a trend, there will always be marketers or clients jumping on the bandwagon. As the popularity of video creation continues, imagine the amount of online video content that will increase as people will try to capitalize. Like all things, the good will always come with a heap load of bad. Google helps to filter low quality content and duplicate content, but how will they do it actively and accurately for videos other than the obvious social share metrics. Will this even be possible? (just an off-topic thought) Read More..

Will The Internet of Things (IoT) Enable Restaurant Brick/Morter to Predict Daily Sales?

Image Credit: Forbes.com

Image Credit: Forbes.com

Editor - as a restaurant management professional with over 20 years experience, I often ponder how emergent tech impacts today's restaurants, both indie and multi-unit. This Information Week Executive Insights article provides great background questions to consider on how the Internet of Things exploding across the business world and society will impact the restaurant industry. For a great simple article explaining the Internet of Things, click here. I'd love your thoughts in the comments.. Jeff

Internet of Things Done Wrong Stifles Innovation

Anticipate and embrace the changes the Internet of things will bring or it will do more harm than good.

The concept of the Internet of things (IoT) dates back to the early '80s when the first appliance, a Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University, was connected to the Internet to check its inventory to determine how many drinks were available. But IoT wouldn't become practical until IPv6's huge increase in IP address space allowed us to assign an IP address to every "thing."

The emerging IoT market we see now is all about a new way of connecting people with products and how products will connect with each other. Before long there will be more "things" on the Internet than people, according to Gartner, with over 26 billion connected devices by 2020. Investors are taking note – pouring $1.1B in financing across 153 deals across the IoT ecosystem in 2013, a rise of 11% year-over-year.

While much opportunity and innovation will result from IoT, there's a dark side that should be addressed early on in the adoption cycle. Read More..

Big Data for Restaurants



I wrote a guest post for the team at Swipely on big data for restaurants.

I’m pretty happy with the angle on that one, and at the risk of sounding extremely self-adulating, I’m going to quote myself from it for just a sec.

And then I’m going to share with you, as Paul Harvey used to say, the REST of the story about why “data isn’t a four-letter word,” with three specific opinions about big data and the restaurant industry.

The quote:

The key, in the future, isn’t whether you should jump on board the Data Bandwagon. It’s how you’ll jump on board. Read More...

Big Acquisitions Show Restaurants, Retailers Are Latest To Crave Data Analytics, Mobile



There has been a wait for a table just about every night since Tico, the latest restaurant along 14th Street NW, opened its doors earlier this month. The high demand is a positive sign for an establishment vying for patrons in one of the city’s newly flourishing corridors.

It also means Operations Director Steve Uhr needs to keep diners cycling through the restaurant at a steady clip. For that, Uhr turns to OpenTable, an online reservation system, that allows him to optimize seating so that as many people as possible are served throughout the evening.

Hashtags: What Restaurants Need to Know

Hashtags might have begun life as easily referenced Twitter subjects, but they do more than merely function as the punchline of a Jimmy Fallon video. They have evolved into a unique communication platform that can serve as the connective tissue between social media channels—and demographics. They can instantly contextualize, categorize and connect your social media posts to your customer base as well as tap into a larger conversation.

Hashtags can create compelling conversation points that invite participation and focus dialog around your messaging. They can also serve the dual role of connecting your posts to a larger online community, while also inviting that same group in to see how your post relates to their interests. A good example might be a post about your restaurant’s patronage of a local farmers’ market with a geo-specific tag such as #NYCLocavore—relating to the subject and furthering the conversation. Read More

How To Handle A Negative Review

Customers love to share their dining experiences on social networks and review platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. The restaurateurs that provide outstanding service are often able to tout five-star ratings across these sites. But when you come across a reviewer who called your food plain and your customer service nonexistent, what do you do?

Don’t panic. Nearly every negative review provides an opportunity to make a positive impression on current and potential customers. When you respond to a negative review and address the upset customer on these review platforms, hundreds of other consumers can see how you conduct business. People understand that mistakes happen, so when they see a restaurant owner or manager trying to do the right thing, it builds trust in the brand.  Read More

The Old Adage Is True: It’s All About Location, Location, Location

Image Credit: http://m.clickz.com/

Image Credit: http://m.clickz.com/

When it comes to mobile, location is just as important as timing, but there's still a lot of work to be done until marketers have a firm grasp on location data.

We all know the importance of location - especially when it comes to mobile. However, as with many things in our industry, the full potential of location remains stunted amid a lack of transparency, understanding, and guidance. This year, we've worked on addressing these issues in order to help marketers make sense of the current state of location data. Below are some of the chief concerns we've heard and what we're doing to address them. Read More..