Marketing to Millennials with Social media

Day 1 of the 2015 NRA Show and we went to the Marketing to Millennials on Social Media session with Joshua Swanson. Joshua has done some awesome research into who Millennials are, what they are interested in and how they interact.  As a demographic group, they are quite different and those differences mean that different marketing strategies.  Lets have a look at the facts and figures and go over some of Joshua’s ideas.

Who are Millennials?

They are born between 1980 and 2000 and the largest demographic. 92 million of them.  42% of them visit an upscale Restaurant once a month, text messaging 44%, social media 38%, and instant Messaging 38%, with blogging coming in at 16%.

Give your host staff access to an instant messaging app at the front desk for reservations – an app like Whatsapp.  Millennials can contact the restaurant for wait times.

Millennials make up 36% of US workforce.  69% think that office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis, 41% have made a purchase using their smartphone, and 77% participate in loyalty reward programs.

How can you make your Restaurant the office for Millennials?  Power strips, fast internet.

At Lettuce Entertain You, a Chicago group of Restaurants,  loyalty program diners spend 33% more than regular diners.

After 5 seconds of loading a website, abandonment rates are 25% so fast loading websites are critical.

What do they do for fun? – Play video games – Once a month you could have a  video game night.

The are marrying later, meaning that they are single longer and single people go out more often.  Can you make your restaurant a date destination, can you make it a singles meeting destination.

Millenials and Reviews

MIllenials have been bought up to believe that there opinion counts, so reviews are very important.   They care about their peers opinions.

How do you deal with all of the reviews on Yelp?  Address the review and write the response for the future customer.  Answer every review.  Get people to write reviews on Google+, it helps your SEO and it helps you come up on Map searchs.

What is important to Millennials?

Many are interested in starting a business (without any understanding of how hard it is), they are the most connected and tech savvy generation.  One idea is to create a meet up group for tech people and millennials wanting to start a business.  Create opportunities for them to engage with singles, millennials and business entreprenuers.  Tech happy hours, emphasise the technology in your Restaurant.  Any idea to bring the tech crowd together.  Create a menu with technology items and names.  These can really resonate with Millenials.

83% look down on smokers.  

They are very healthy.  Tell the healthy story about your food, use calorie labels, blog about where the healthy food is coming from.  They really want to know the story behind where your food has come from.  Is it Organic?  Have you been out to the farm?

Millenials want to try new things.  They love spices.

Prefer to eat 4 small meals a day at unusual times.  They go out to restaurants for lunch, 55% prefer communal tables where they are sitting with different groups and 68% will search online for information and recommendations before choosing a restaurant.  They prefer fresh, less processed foods.  80% want to know more about where the food is grown.

What about your most tweetable thing in your restaurant?

Is there a menu item, person, act, or object that will drive people to tweet about your Restaurant?

Putting it all together

Using all of the information, you can craft a marketing campaign around millennials.

Creating a story about the product, the menu items, the staff, the location and the beverages all make great content and much better ways to engage with Millennials.

TWEET:  These 5 items were bought today by the Chef, guess what he is making tonight?

Help them to take a great photo of your food.  This is great Word of Mouth.  Can you get them better lighting?

Ask them to share their story about your food on your social media.  Get them to create the content for you.

Rules for Social Media Marketing for Millenials

1. Be authentic:  They distrust big brands and want to

2. Tell, never sell:  They don’t want to be sold to.

3. Give, give, and then give again:  Give away recipes, techniques, behind the scenes information and even the day to day running of the restaurant.

4. Don’t worry, they’ll never cook like you:  The recipe is just one part, they may try and realise how hard it is and come back to your restaurant.

5. Social media is a humanizing medium, so act like a human:  That is what they want to engage with.

6. What you may think is mundane, we think is the story behind your brilliance:  everything that goes on in a restaurant is amazing to outsiders, food coming in, out at the market, cutting up food, prep and plating.  These are all really interesting to outsiders.

By remembering these things, that demographics, the way they interact and the way they want to live and eat, it is easy to come up with a marketing plan for your Restaurant that will resonate with millennials and drive them to become new customers and become repeat customers.

Joshua Swinson presenting on marketing to Millennials at the 2015 NRA Show.

Joshua Swinson presenting on marketing to Millennials at the 2015 NRA Show.


Is Poor SEO Killing Your Restaurant?

Too many times we see customers with websites that are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every month through poor design, poor messaging and poor SEO. If your website could be improved to bring in 200 extra visits per month and just 10% of those made a booking, and each booking was for 2.5 seats on average at $50 a seat, you would have an extra $2,500 in revenue a month. A 30% food cost, that is $1,750 in profit extra a month. This ignores those customers coming back as regulars – which is more profit.

Remember, if these customers aren’t finding your Restaurant, they are finding your competitors.

Get one of our obligation free 7 point website SEO audits to see what you can get your web developer to fix to increase your revenue today.