Its true that 99% of the F&B bosses do not know social community marketing, with these 2 tips you’ll be the one in 1% who succeeds

The majority of restaurant owners these days are actively looking for ways to bring more online traffic to their stores. We totally agree creating a WhatsApp group consisting of the restaurant staff and customers may be a neat trick to grow the business. However, if you’re not careful the group probably won’t last more than 3 months before turning into a generic group that sends only boring advertisements. That’s definitely going to annoy your customers and make them leave.
As difficult as community marketing can be, we have 2 easy tips for you, to help boost your WhatsApp community engagement and continue growing your business. Let’s jump right into it!

1. Prepare promotions that direct customers to WhatsApp groups

Before promoting your WhatsApp community group to everyone, start with a small batch of seed users. Your friends, family, employees, and a few loyal customers are some examples. Once the community has been established, you as the owner could help guide other members to initiate conversations and put some soul into the group.
Once you have the number and conversation in the community group stirred up, you can start pulling in more customers. This is how you can do that:
Put up promotions in your restaurants that direct customers to the WhatsApp community group.
Ask your employees to collect customer contact information to be added to the group. Their friends and family are a bonus if they’re willing!
Draining traffic from other public groups on social media platforms by sharing content related to your restaurants.
Posting content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even LinkedIn!
Encourage customers to invite their friends and family into the group.
Have referral rewards for your customers. One example would be, “Invite 10 people for a 10 Ringgit Rebate!”
Host giveaways in the group.
Apart from all those tips, you can also gradually start introducing your group to more customers by putting up QR codes into takeaway packages and on their social media posting. Scanning those QR codes would straight lead your customers into your WhatsApp community group. Don’t forget to add a description of what’s exciting about being a part of your community.

2. Interact and keep up with members of the community group

If your community group has been quiet for some time, we recommend you wake it up! At this point, it’s extremely easy for your group to fall to the ground and die off. With a little special attention, you could easily turn it around and increase the member engagement rate.
Let us show you how you can create engagement to liven up your group.
Members’ Day Promotions
Pick a day or date, and make it your members’ day. You could have it weekly or monthly. During the specific day, give out promotions, discount coupons, and exciting rebates to piqué customers’ interest in starting a conversation in the group.
Bulk deals
You could also start catering to a group of 2-5 or more customers per order. One example of your targeted customer would be office staff. This way your business would achieve a higher probability of gaining new customers and an increase in conversion rate among members.
Flash sales
Other than that, hosting 1 or 2 flash sales activities every week is also a good way to start up conversations and increase your sales at the same time!
Pre-sales during festive seasons
You could allow pre-sale orders for certain festive seasons such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, etc. By doing so, not only you could sell a high volume but also have a chance of higher exposure to potential future customers.
Not to mention, even your customers could enjoy their celebrations without worrying about needing to cook. That’s a win-win if you’d ask us!
Here are some other helpful tips to run your restaurant’s community well:
01. Quantity over quality! Retaining loyal customers takes priority above attracting new ones in order to be successful in community management.
02. Have an “inner circle” community group. Look out for your loyal customers by making a smaller, separate group for them only. That would be your most valuable resource.
03. Keep advertising at a minimum. Try not to bombard your community group with too many advertisements. Have a few conversations in between, because no one likes to be in a group that only sends advertisements.
WhatsApp community marketing may not be a way to instantly see results, but with some determination and consistency, you will see how much community marketing can help you and your restaurant with boosting your sales.
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