For restaurateurs eager to make a splash on social media, contests might just be the perfect solution.
Hosting a contest on a social networking site like Twitter can be mutually beneficial for the enterprise running the competition (in this case, your restaurant) and the people trying to secure the prize (your customers). For the latter, the payoff is obvious – the consumers who emerge triumphant get to enjoy their winnings.
Though the benefits may not be quite as obvious for the restaurant running the contest, they’re no less valuable – think increased consumer reach, a deeper level of audience engagement, a more personalized connection to your customer base, a chance to get feedback from your clientele and more.
Everyone enjoys a free meal
Offering a meal on the house or a free gift card will have a negligible impact on your company finances, but it could really make a significant difference in consumers’ lives – particularly those who only eat out on special occasions because they find it hard to justify the expense. Running this type of contest is extremely low-maintenance: Simply instruct consumers to retweet your message and tell them they need to be following your account in order to be eligible to win. With any luck, these users’ retweets will spread the word about the contest and encourage other people to enter, which means your number of followers will rise.
Working lunches don’t have to be lackluster
For many employees, the phrase “working lunch” conjures up the idea of bagged sandwiches and reheated leftovers – not exactly an appealing prospect. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Here’s a Twitter contest idea that’s the social media equivalent of having people drop their business cards in a jar by the register. If you offer free takeout to the winning entrant’s company, there’s no reason why members of staff can’t get their work done AND eat well in the process.
For celebrations, money shouldn’t be an object
Throwing a holiday party for staff or a birthday extravaganza for a family member is a great way for individuals to show the people around them that they care – but often, their grand plans are tempered, or even halted altogether, by the financial burden of catering. You can remove this obstacle by running a contest that features a free, fully catered event as the prize, held either at your restaurant or off-site, according to entrants’ preference. Ask people to follow and retweet you to enter.
People love to give their two cents
If your dessert selection needs some pizzazz or your specials require a little sprucing up, why not give your chefs a break and consult your customers instead? After all, they’re the people whose patronage keeps your restaurant running. Get customer input for your beer list or encourage your followers to suggest new additions to your menu – and, to add a personal twist, say you’ll name the winning dish after the customer who came up with it! After all, personalization is a trending topic lately.
Making Twitter happen
Whatever Twitter contest idea you choose to run with, make sure to adequately advertise it – and not just on Twitter. Include a short blurb about it in your email newsletter (be sure to include a link to your Twitter account), hang posters at your brick-and-mortar locations and instruct servers to give patrons the 411. If the contest is well-publicized and the prize is alluring, you’re bound to see great success.