It’s official: Restaurant owners say online marketing now matters more than traditional advertising. In a survey earlier this year by GE Capital, Franchise Finance (GEFF), more than half (56 percent) of restaurant operators agreed that social media influences restaurant traffic more than traditional advertising such as print ads, radio ads and outdoor ads. In addition, 45 percent say search engine rankings and reviews on websites such as Yelp! and UrbanSpoon matter more than traditional marketing and promotions.
With today’s restaurant-goers regularly turning to their smartphones to decide where to eat, it’s surprising that online marketing doesn’t matter even more. Spending is keeping pace: Almost one-third of restaurant operators surveyed spend over $10,000 a year on online advertising, social media management and search engine optimization. (That includes tools, services and manpower).
The survey focused primarily on operators with multiple stores, but the results still offer lessons for any restaurant operator to make the most of online marketing:
Want more assistance growing your business online? Join the Web.com Small Business Forum for free access to our library of ebooks, the latest industry news and support from other business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals. Join a Group to ask questions, share your opinions and grow your network! Visit Web.com to learn about our full range of affordable website design and online marketing services.
Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.