Twitter Marketing for Restaurants

Twitter is one of today’s fastest rising social networking and micro blogging sites. If you want to market your business, in this case, your restaurant or any kind of eatery, you can use Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy. Although traditional advertising wouldn’t be effective with the use of Twitter, the right strategy can make Twitter a convenient and effective marketing tool.

Here’s how:

Food is one of our basic necessities and what comes with it is the perpetual need to eat, and to find food that will satisfy our appetites. Several kinds of companies use Twitter as a marketing tool: events planners, mechanics, web designers and many other services that we only need occasionally, unlike any food-related businesses.

A tweet about a fresh and delicious new plate added to your menu will most likely make someone hurry to your restaurant to try it.

The Twitter Advanced Search will help you find people with food interests that your restaurant can offer, especially locally. The key is to follow these people and through this, people will eventually come across your page and follow you. Using Twitter as a marketing tool for your eatery requires a tremendous investment in time and effort, even money for promos and contests, but you will reap amazing benefits businesswise once you penetrate the Twitter community, especially in your area.

One tip that will help you achieve this is to host a live Twitter meeting called a tweetup locally with perhaps a free dessert for the first 20 customers to come in or special discounts. People who usually attend tweetups are active and influential Twitter users and it will help your business one way or another if they tweet about your promo.

If you are wondering what to tweet about other than your daily lunch menu, there are several other things you can share that will help generate interest to your restaurant. If you own a pizza parlor, you could tweet about pizza history and trivia, or if you are running French restaurant, you could post simple French home recipes or link videos about French cooking. Interesting tweets also include things like a local celebrity that tried your restaurant or a review of your restaurant in the local newspaper.

Also, make sure to listen and to reply to your follower’s comments and suggestions. Positive comments can be used as testimonials to your official website, just don’t forget to ask permission from the commenter. Badmouthing competition, tweeting too much, and not replying to followers are some things to be avoided, among other things. Remember, it is very easy to unfollow someone on Twitter.

Twitter also helps create traffic to your official website. Make sure that your website is user-friendly and updated especially in terms of contact information and menu. Twitter  can do wonders for your food-related business once used the right way.

Screen Capture Tools for Social Media Marketing

Writing or presenting something on your blog might be easy to do, but getting your readers to know exactly what you’re talking about may be a little more difficult.  This is why Screen Capturing is a very important tool for bloggers.  Especially for Question and Answer posts, and even tutorial and help type posts work really well with screen captures.

Here are some resources and tools you should also consider:

For Desktop, we have:

  1. Print Screen – this button is already found on your keyboard and automatically captures the screen, and even allow you to paste it into MS Paint for editing.
  2. Windows Vista Snipping Tool – a Window Vista utility that captures screen shots easier, but is only available for Vista Home Premium, Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate Editions.
  3. Jing Project – a free software by Techsmith that’s available for Windows and Mac, that has the capability to instantly capture images and videos, as well as perform sketches on the picture and shared online.
  4. Snag-It – a very useful and perhaps one of the top screen capture software from Techsmith, that captures anything that you see on the screen.
  5. Snag-It WLW plug-in – a plug-in that allow you to capture screen shots using Snag-It, for those that uses the Windows Live Writer software as you blog.
  6. FastStone Capture – a featured screen capture tool that easily captures anything on the screen including menus, windows, objects, full screen, and even scrolling window/web pages.
  7. Evernote – a screen capture management tool that captures information anywhere on the web, that uses any device or platform that you find most convenient.

For Web Tools, the following are available:

  1. Browsershot – a free web service which is a must for web developers the looks of your website in different browsers or versions.
  2. Clip2Net – capable of capturing, sketching, and instantly shares screen captures online.
  3. Websnapr – allows you to create a thumbnail screenshot of any websites, just by simply entering the URL and hit “capture”.

For Firefox Plug-Ins, the available tools are:

  1. Snag-It for Firefox – a small custom Firefox toolbar which is an extension from  Snag-It’s Firefox browser that allows users to screen capture the entire scrolling window, region, Web page, and even texts which can be edited.
  2. ScreenGrab – allows you to save the whole webpage, a frame in JPEG or PNG format or even a particular selection.
  3. FireShot – a more advanced screenshot tool that provides a set of editing tools that can instantly modify web captures insert text and graphic annotations.  A Pro version with more functionality is also available in the amount of about $35.
  4. Page Saver – a free screenshot extension that is almost like ScreenGrab, but does not require Java. A commercial version is also available.
  5. Iimmgg Tools – a simple to use drop-down icon in the toolbar that enables you to capture screen shots of a selected region or the whole scrollable page, or even just the visible area.
  6. Kwout – a Firefox add-on that easily captures and online images or save web pages.  Also provides you the screenshot codes that can be immediately embedded in the website.

More sophisticated and advanced screen capture tools are available, but for Bloggers, these simple tools may be the best way to go.  Although these tools and its’ uses are legal, taking a screenshot of someone else’s website might not be.  So make sure you obey any licences and use only what is needed to make your point.  Also, remember to respect webmasters whose websites you are taking screenshots of.

Making Social Media Link Building Work


Link building through social media is getting more popular these days but it is not as easy as you may think. It entails a lot of work and requires a great deal of time. It has no short cuts and only the right person can make it work. The basic idea of link building via social media is social media participation. Link building is a method for you to actively promote your product and services from your website so people in your network can also link back to you. This is one of the most effective methods being used by SEO today and really helps your website land on the first page of search results.

This is not the hands off method that everyone thinks it is. You have to really get involved with your own community who has same the passion and interests you have. It is not just creating profiles in social media site like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. But you also have to constantly update the content of your profiles by returning any comments to your network or take care of requests from your friends. Participating in community discussions is good way of making the contents of you profiles as fresh as possible.

But the most important thing that you must remember when building links through your social media profiles is to make sure that you are linking to articles that make sense to your friends, visitors, readers and network members. Creating links that are irrelevant can cause deactivation of your profile and rebuilding your online reputation can be very difficult or nearly impossible to achieve. It really takes a great deal of work working from the bottom and up again. You can fail in this method of social media link building if you fail to build relationships within your network and to succeed in building relationships you need to constantly reply and take care of your network’s requests. Failing in this step is failing all the way.

A remarkable aspect of social media is that links derived from it are very objective in nature therefore it is of high importance. The more social media content that is linked to your website means that your website achieves a more unique identity and this could be very effective in boosting your website’s ranking in search results. But you have to make sure that your website has got what it takes to keep the interest of your social media networks. With this said, impressed social media members will always provide links to valuable information they see on your website.

Some of the sure fire techniques that will make social media link building very effective and extremely beneficial for you are: updating your social media properties, avoiding spam, responding to your community, promoting your products and services indirectly through tips and techniques pertaining to your products and services and providing valuable information selflessly and without expecting too much. The trick here is to enjoy your network of people and in time, you will see yourself building relationships and your community willingly promoting your posts or tweets to everyone.

Effective Keywords: How to find them.

Your website can only get the best optimization with the right use of effective keywords. Search engine optimization relies on keywords as one crucial ingredient. The right keywords are therefore a requirement… a must for any website owner who wants to succeed in his or her SEO campaigns. But finding the right keywords or keyword phrases can be a very daunting task because a lot of the best keywords are being used by a product, service or business are already being used by many search engine optimization experts and professionals. You can either compete with them for rankings in search results but that would be very difficult. It is strongly suggested that you research your own set of keywords or keyword phrases that are as effective as popular keywords other optimizers are using.

As suggested above, your main task now is to find the most effective keywords or keyword phrases that you will use for your website. There a few strategies that you must consider to find the right keywords to help your site achieve top rankings in search results. First and foremost you need to find out that are the common words being used by people when they are searching for something on the net. These common words are like the “layman’s” terms. These are simple yet effective keywords. We each have our way of describing a thing or service like for example buying “email marketing service” or “email campaign providers.”

It is therefore important how your specific target market prefers to call your product or service. You can find this out by communicating with them through online chat, forums, blogs and social media networking sites. You may also find out how often people use keywords about your product or service by simply conversing with people that you meet every day and taking note of how they call your product or service. Take note of the terms that are often used by your own niche. It is best if you make a list of it and then start the words that top the list first. These words that top your list are the words being used more. Check also spelling variations and keyword phrases construction like for example for singular vs. plural variations and synonyms.

Once you have decided to use a specific set of keywords for optimizing your website, you have to research them to see if they are actually effective.  You want to know what each word’s KEI or Keyword effectiveness index is. Then you must monitor them within a specific period of time, and see if it does pull up your website on top of searches. This involves a little experimenting that you won’t be able to perfect in just a short period of time. It requires constant monitoring of the results. If you find that the keywords you used are weak, then it is time to other keywords and keyword phrases on your list, going through the same kind of process, from implementing to seeing the results.

This process will actually require from you a great deal of your time, but all your efforts won’t be in vain if you see more traffic pour in. You may opt to have someone do the research for you, you can hire an expert or hire a social media virtual assistant.  Whatever you choose to do, make sure you research your keywords before you start blogging and writing content for your website.

Using Blogs to Drive Away People from Your Business


Reading the title of this article will surely make you curious… especially if you are a professional practitioner or business owner. You may ask the question: Why would I want to drive people away from my business?  You should find the answer within yourself if you contemplate hard enough.   Saying “No way!” is normal.

There is an old saying that prevention is better than the cure.   Doctors constantly say this to their patients.   A dentist tells their patients to brush their teeth and floss twice every day, for it prevents oral problems like cavities.  Doctors also advise their patients to stay healthy and fit. Based on the examples above, dentist and doctors use these practices to establish rapport and trust with their patients

As a business owner, how can you apply this to your business? How can you keep customers coming back to you “even if” you drive them away? It’s quite simple really. Write a blog, not just any blog about your business, but useful information that people can use.

If you own a restaurant, write a blog that informs people how to prepare delicious meals every day in the comforts of their home. This is driving your customers away, right?  Wrong.  There may be people who have the time and will take your tips and advice about creating a special meal, but for most people, they will realize that you are an expert in fine cuisine and they will patron your restaurant.

Another example is if you own an auto shop, you can blog about how to maintain your car and how to do diagnose problems to help car owners save money. This is pushing car owners away from your business.  Car owners will realize that you want them to save money and you are an expert.  This will lead to customers flocking to your establishment.

YouTube Marketing Opportunities, Part II

Even in remote areas around the globe, YouTube has penetrated thousands of people’s  personal computers.  Having said that, as of this very moment, thousands of YouTube users have just uploaded a new video.   YouTube has  announced that it is now serving 1 billion views a day. This is how powerful YouTube has become.

To attract attention to your business YouTube channel, you need to plan carefully, as it has now become a cut throat competition and I bet you do not want to be left out.  Previously we have pointed out some tips to help such as; being creative or use something funny to attract people’s interest in your video, keep your video short, usually less than 10 minutes, invest in good audio equipment, join the YouTube network by commenting and joining more groups. To further enhance your account here are some more tips that can get you ahead of the game.

1.    There are three types of video that may work for your business in YouTube.  (1) Informational videos; wow your audience with something they have never seen before but is essential in making your product. Act as a guide on your company’s plant site for example. (2) Educational Videos; most people who access the YouTube site checks it for instructional videos. These include the likes of arts and crafts or building stuff or cooking and do it yourself videos. (3) Entertainment Videos; Find a way to use your product and at the same time entertainment your audience. Let’s say test the durability of a mattress etc., amaze your audience with what your products can do.

2.    Maximize YouTube for search engine optimization. By using proper keywords on your YouTube post, your uploaded video will go on top of the search lists. Choose words that best fit the product or service that your business caters. Draw the right audience to your site. It does not need to be the most popular video on YouTube, which receives thousands of hits a day. What is important is that you are getting your target market to view your channel and hence the possibility of earning their trust and buying your product or acquiring your service.

3.    When you upload a video on YouTube it asks you to create a profile channel. Put as much information about your company in this profile and make it good so you can get regular subscribers. These subscribers can send you emails for questions and more product knowledge. From there you can send them responses and discounts, and information on upcoming products

4.    Answer customer-specific questions using videos. Imagine how surprised a customer will be when you point them to a video with the answer!

5.    Use advertising and marketing techniques like: posting testimonials on your site that attest to the quality of your product.  Add captions to your video, remember that not all people can hear or watch your videos.  Run a contest: Use YouTube to engage your audience and solicit their participation in a fun way.

The more you use YouTube, the more traffic  you will direct to your site, and the more potential sales you will have.  Have fun!



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YouTube and its Endless Marketing Opportunities

So what do 20 million viewers say about YouTube?

Only one thing is for sure, that YouTube is the best avenue to get noticed. Do not be misled by the idea that by simply uploading a video to youTube, that you are marketing. It is not enough to just do that. It entails a certain “gimmick” to get attention, a good knowledge of marketing skills plus a good sense of YouTube tools. If you use this website properly you might get the attention you are aiming for. Here are some tips to get the network’s traffic to your site. Follow them and watch as millions of users hit your sites.

1. Be Creative

What is the first thing that comes into mind when you hear the word YouTube? Well for millions of viewers they think of funny and silly videos that get people laughing every time they watch. In which we can conclude that unusual stuff gets attention on this site.
You don’t have to humiliate yourself or your company to get people’s attention, that’s not good business ethic; but you can use something funny to attract their interest. It does not have to be a full blown advertisement or commercial that is too costly. For small and medium business owners a personal camcorder should do the trick.
Charles Smith, a pottery artist from Mobile, Ala., thinks about the tens of thousands of people worldwide who have clicked on his videos to watch him create works of art on his pottery wheel only to break them up at the end.

2. Keep it Short

The reason why YouTube only allows a 10 minute video upload is because it believes that the attention span of an average person will not exceed that. If your video is more than 10 minutes, half of the population will not be interested anymore, unless you can hook them on the first few minutes.

3. Talk out Loud

If you are using the microphone on your personal camcorder then you might have a problem. Most videos found on YouTube do not use an external microphone hence resulting in bad audio quality. Invest a little on clip-on microphone or wireless microphone and transmitter. These would greatly increase the potentials of your YouTube page. This is a classic example of public speaking, the clearer your messages are, the more it will be heard and the more you increase your target viewers and ultimately your target customers.

4. Comment and be Heard

Like other social networking sites, You Tube is a community where you can leave posts and comments to other people’s download. By leaving comment on popular videos you will get attention on your own pages as well. You may want to put a custom sign salutation on your posts that includes your webpage. Make sure that you put honest comments and reviews on these videos and not use it just to promote your product or service. Your comments’ sincerity will greatly reflect on your business’ ethics.

5. Join Groups

Being a part of existing topic-oriented groups on You Tube would widen your audience network. If there is no existing one yet on your area or niche then create a new one and create your own network. Joining these groups will be a good way of getting customer feedbacks regarding your product.

More YouTube Tips next week…

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