Whitepaper: Word of Mouth Marketing For Restaurants- Boosting Sales via Brand Advocates

Download: Word of Mouth Marketing for Restaurants How to Harness the Power of Word of Mouth and Brand Advocates to Boost Sales and Ratings

Word of Mouth marketing has been called the most powerful form of restaurant marketing. Forward-thinking restaurant marketers are boosting positive Word of Mouth by finding and activating their enthusiastic customers (AKA "Brand Advocates.") Take Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill: In only a few months, Rubio's has identified 52,000+ Advocates and energized them to share 60,000 offers to their social networks, plus rate and review their local Rubio's on Yelp. Download the whitepaper to learn how you can find and activate your Brand Advocates to recommend your restaurant, driving sales and boost ratings.

Download this white paper and learn:

  • How to increase customer visits and drive sales
  • How to boost online ratings and reviews on Yelp
  • Ways to combat negative Word of Mouth
  • Real world case study featuring Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill

This Week in Social: Foursquare's Revamped Site Could Rival Yelp, YouTube Tests Redesign

Foursquare’s Revamped Website Could Challenge Yelp - Mashable Foursquare announced recently it roll out a redesigned website that could challenge local review sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat. The company’s website has historically followed the functions and layout of its checkin-service mobile apps, but now will feature its own discovery features.

YouTube Tests Redesign Highlighting Google+ Videos, Subscriptions, and More - The Next Web

Besides the generally updated look, one of the more important changes here is the focus this redesign will put on shared content from Google+. This move should take Google one step closer towards extending the social platform more heavily into each of its products.

Like Twitter, Google+ Now Has Trending Topics - Techcrunch

Google quietly added a trending topics section to Google+ recently which now shows up when you perform a search on the social network. The new “Trends” section appears on the right-hand side of the page, and currently lists the top 10 items under heavy discussion like “Natalie Wood” and “Breaking Dawn,” for example.

Study Shows That Early Adopters of Social Media Have Captured Real Economic Value - Michael Brito's Blog

Business consulting firm, Bain & Company, released a report in September and concluded that early adopters of social media (Dell, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, JetBlue and American Express) have captured real economic value from their budget investments. The report also give some concrete advice for companies that are unsure about their investments and the value that social media can bring.

Zuckerberg: Facebook ‘Made a Bunch of Mistakes’ on Privacy - Mashable

Facebook has agreed to a settlement with the FTC over charges that the social network had deceived its users about privacy. The FTC had accused Facebook in an eight-count complaint of not living up to its own promises. Among them: sharing users’ personal information with third parties without their knowledge or consent, changing privacy practices without informing users, and claiming to have a program to verify the security of apps when it didn’t.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

An Attribution Model for Word of Mouth

Attribution models are used by search marketers to give equal credit to all ads the user clicks on in the purchase path, not just the final ad. Word of Mouth (WOM) also needs an attribution model.

The example below shows how WOM plays a highly influential role in a consumer’s restaurant dining choice: (Note that I’ve simplified the purchase decision process to illustrate the point about the value of WOM.)

  • Awareness: Customer learns about restaurant via WOM recommendation from friend.
  • Consideration: Customer reads positive reviews about restaurant on Yelp. Again, WOM plays a key role.
  • Purchase: Customer goes to OpenTable and makes restaurant reservation.
  • Advocacy: Customer recommends restaurant to his friends, which leads to additional purchases.

In the example above, OpenTable would get credit for the purchase because it was the final click in the purchase path. However, WOM deserves credit for heavily influencing the purchase decision. In fact, without the initial WOM recommendation and the positive reviews of the restaurant on Yelp, the consumer probably would never have chosen the restaurant. This means that WOM should actually get more credit than the click or last action immediately before the purchase.

Since WOM plays a highly influential role in the two steps leading up to the purchase, the restaurant should give credit to WOM for at least two-thirds of the value that it currently gives to OpenTable. If the restaurant is paying $2 to OpenTable for each reservation, WOM deserves $1.32 of the credit for this reservation. (OpenTable charges a pay-for-performance fee of $1 per seated diner booked on OpenTable.)

By the way, this doesn’t take into consideration the value of the fourth stage in the decision process - advocacy - where the customer recommends the restaurant to his or her friends.

To sum up, then, here’s a simple way to assign value to WOM:

  1. Model the customer decision process.
  2. Analyze what role WOM plays at each step in the customer’s purchase decision process.
  3. Assign value to the role of WOM based on what you currently pay for the last click or action before the purchase occurs.

This attribution model isn’t perfect (very few are.) But at least it can help you analyze the value of WOM in the purchase decision process.

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance

This Week in Social: What Google's Purchase of Zagat Means, Top Quotes from Dreamforce

What the Google Purchase of Zagat Means - Chicago Tribune Word that Google has acquired Zagat, the prestigious restaurant-rating organization, no doubt sent a current of excitement through the entire dining community, ending with an unpleasant jolt to Yelp headquarters. Use Google to search for any restaurant, and what pops up? The restaurant's home page, of course, usually followed by Yelp's collection of community reviews of the place. Sometimes, Yelp reviews pop up ahead of the restaurant's own page. Expect that to change now that Zagat's online ratings, previously available only to subscribers, become available to all and sundry under the powerful Google umbrella.

When Bloggers Don’t Follow the Script, to ConAgra’s Chagrin - NY Times

In August, food bloggers and mom bloggers in New York were invited to dine at an underground restaurant in a West Village brownstone run, apparently, by George Duran, the chef who hosts the “Ultimate Cake Off” on TLC. The surprise: rather than being prepared by the chef, the lasagna they were served was Three Meat and Four Cheese Lasagna by Marie Callender’s, a frozen line from ConAgra Foods. But it was the marketers, not the diners, who were in for the biggest surprise.

Top 10 Quotes from Dreamforce 2011 - ZuberRants

Memorable quotes from keynotes and sessions at Salesforces's Dreamforce 2011 in San Francisco from industry leaders and analysts.

Marketers View Social Media as Most Important For Upcoming Shopping Season - SocialTimes

More brands are electing the use of social media for an increase in name recognition this holiday season. In keeping with the Bizo survey, brands are aiming their marketing efforts toward social shopping into the fall season; and then without stopping, they are going all the way to the holiday season.

Facebook Begins Testing Friend Filters in Newsfeed - Mashable

Facebook has begun testing a slew of changes to the News Feed, including friend list filters and Smart Lists that automatically categorize your friends. The changes seem to be aimed at making the content within the News Feed more relevant. These changes, as far as we can ascertain from screenshots sent to us, show that Facebook is dividing the News Feed into lists, much like Google+ has done with Circles. “Feed filters make it easy to see a selected set of friend’s updates in one place and share exclusive with them,” Facebook’s guide to the new feature states.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

This Week in Social: The End of the Daily Deals Era? Who Was Behind @Irene?

Are We Approaching the End of the Daily Deals Era? - Mashable The golden age of daily deals, led by the unprecedented growth of Groupon, seems to be coming to its end. Last week, Facebook killed off Deals, its Groupon competitor, after just four months. Facebook, with its 750 million users, couldn’t find a way to make daily deals work. And its not alone: BusinessWeek reports that Yelp is cutting down on its year-old daily deals product. Half of the sales staff will be cut and the company will refocus on its core business of local reviews.

Facebook Set to Launch Music Service on Sept 22 – SocialTimes

Facebook Music looks to be coming — and coming very soon. Facebook Music will be going head to head with Music Beta by Google (currently the focus of some new corporate attention) alongside already established offerings from Apple and Amazon. As we’ve seen through the public’s waning interest in Music Beta by Google (itself suffering from the same problem that Facebook Music may ultimately face — alienating an excited public by creating apathy during the wait for long-expected services) it can be difficult to determine how, exactly, a new music service, even one created by an internet giant, will catch on.

Survey Finds Promise in Consumers’ Attitudes toward Promoted Tweets - eMarketer

Consumers are generally upbeat about Twitter's Promoted Tweet service, which lets brands pay to insert messages into users' Twitter streams, according to a Lab42 survey. About 11% of users said they found the tweets "annoying," but about a quarter said they had received tweets relevant to their interests. About a fifth of Twitter users said they had received discounts, and a similar number said they had discovered brands through the program; 14% said they had retweeted a promoted message.

Who Was Behind @Irene? An Agency of Course. – Adage

Twitter user @Irene -- that's Irene Tien, a product strategist at Huge -- took the social network by storm last week when she started using the account for first-person tweets purporting to be from Hurricane Irene. The ad-hoc parody was the brainchild of Huge's marketing division, and was carefully gauged to entertain and educate without being insensitive to those affected by the disaster, Tien writes. "If we had tried to be promotional or take advantage of the opportunity for our own ends it would have failed," Tien writes.

The End of Social Media 1.0 – Brian Solis

From "Social Network Fatigue" to "Deals Fatigue" to "Follow Fatigue," businesses are facing a crossroads at the intersection of social and media. Following the path of media continues a long tradition of what Tom Foremski refers to as “Social Media as Corporate Media.” Following the path of social is a journey towards relevance.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

How Much are Negative Reviews Costing Your Business?





Harshly critical comments like these on TripAdvisor, Amazon, Yelp and other shopping or review sites are killing your sales and ruining your brand’s cherished reputation.

Depending on the size of your company, negative reviews like this may be costing your business hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Here’s why:

1.       Online reviews influence what people buy. 83% of online consumers say reviews influence their purchase decisions, according to Opinion Research. In the hotel industry, travelers are 3X more likely to book a room at a hotel with 5 stars vs. a hotel with 3 stars, Morpace has found.

2.       Negative online reviews are a “silent killer.” Prospects don’t call you and say, “Hey, I just decided to eat at a different restaurant because I heard your service sucks.” They just go to a different restaurant.

How to Estimate Impact of Negative Reviews

Here’s a simple formula of how much business is lost by negative Word of Mouth in the form of negative reviews, using a restaurant as an example:

Brand Under Attack? Fight Back!

Identify and energize your Advocates, those highly-satisfied customers who act as champions for your brand and products. Invite them to rate and review your products and services. Make it easy for them to share and publish reviews on shopping and review sites and elsewhere.

Here are a few real-world case studies:

-Rob Fuggetta, Founder/CEO, Zuberance

One Negative Review Leads to a Lawsuit

One man, posting anonymously under the username “JT”, shared his thoughts of his rented apartment’s property management company on Yelp.  The result: the company is suing JT for defamation.  Needless to say, this raises numerous questions about what we can and cannot, or should and should not be writing online.  Do your online reviews and recommendations fall under your First Amendment rights to freedom of speech?  JT maintains that what he wrote was “not pretty, but it was true.”  The property management company claims his opinion is welcome but they merely wanted to clear up inaccuracies. For business, making the hasty decision to file a lawsuit over a detracting comment, post, or review may be the worst idea…ever.  It just continues a stream of bad press.  Instead, see this detractor as a huge opportunity to flex your customer service skills.  Acknowledge, respond in a timely manner, and try to solve the problem to the benefit of both parties.

I recently had a somewhat similar situation happen on the Facebook page of my family’s business, a small dairy company in New Jersey. One of our customers had a displeasing trip to one of our stores where an employee treated him rudely.  He was so miffed that he felt the need to write a lengthy and disapproving post on our wall.  I wrote him back privately and told him that we were extremely surprised and saddened to hear about his experience, guaranteed we would speak to the employees working on the offending night, and offered him coupons to come back to the store.  He wrote me back and said he “appreciated my response” and was “glad to feel welcomed again”.  Did I need to incentivize him?  Probably not.  But, what’s important is that instead of deleting the post from Facebook and ignoring it – I took 5 minutes to address his concern and make sure we didn’t lose a customer.  Any company should (and can) use social media to its fullest advantage – creating ample amounts of Advocates willing to recommend you.  Oh, and JT’s lawsuit has since been withdrawn.  Seems the property management company found a better way to handle the situation.

-Lucy Arnold, Marketing Intern, Zuberance