THE BLOG

Social Media Marketing: 5 Restaurants That Get It

03/14/2011 09:24 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You're an expert chef with a beautiful restaurant, friendly staff and great food. In the past, you've successfully managed your customer flow through traditional advertising in local newspapers and you sponsor the local little league. Business is great, but a similar restaurant just opened up a few blocks away, and it's generating lots of buzz. The restaurant is using social media to its advantage, growing its customer base at an accelerated pace, and you're starting to lose market share. What's going on?

The Internet is the great equalizer, giving unlimited ad space and airtime to businesses no matter how big or small. Today, 70 percent of local businesses are marketing through Facebook -- more than anywhere else on the Internet.

It's one thing to have a social media presence, but it's another to manage it correctly. These sites are living, breathing entities. If you pay them attention and perform proper maintenance, then they will remain healthy and grow at a steady pace. With this in mind, social media-savvy restaurant owners are acquiring and retaining new customers at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

So what have been some successful social media marketing strategies? Here's a list of restaurants that are leveraging social media sites to make a name for themselves in the digital space. If you're creative -- and attentive -- you too can differentiate your restaurant from the place down the road.

5 restaurants using social media