ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND (April 29, 2010) – Restaurants across the country, along with many other types of businesses, are learning that social media is a quick route to building a customer base. California Tortilla, a quick-casual Mexican restaurant chain, is one of those companies taking advantage of what such new media has to offer. As a result, they enjoy the benefit of learning more about their customers, while also getting the word out about their food.
“Social media works great for restaurants because it can create an immediate call to action,” explains Stacey Kane, Director of Marketing for California Tortilla. “We have long known in marketing that word-of-mouth advertising is the best there is. Social media is an easy-to-use catalyst for accomplishing exactly that!”
Social media, which is essentially the act of spreading information by means of social interaction, include the use of such popular sites as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even blogs and wikis. Restaurants are successfully reaching and staying in touch with their customer base, particularly by using Facebook and Twitter.
For example, California Tortilla uses Facebook to converse with their customer base. They have learned a lot about them and have even allowed one of their fans to name a new menu item, “The No-Meato Burrito,” which is a vegan burrito. They are also using an application on the site that allows site users to send virtual food to their Facebook friends, thereby continuing to spread their company name and product around via word of mouth.
For those who would like their business to take advantage of social media tools, consider these tips:
· First, find out what is already being said about your company. You can do this by signing up for Google alerts, reading message boards and checking out reviews.
· Decide who within your organization is going to be responsible for Social Media. This needs to be someone who can speak in your brand’s voice. An intern who will be there for only a few months is probably not a wise choice.
· Make sure that any offer you put out there is easy for the customers and staff to execute.
· Integrate your campaigns – use brick-and-mortar signage to encourage people in-store to become your online fans and followers.
· Stay in the know about trends in the industry by signing up for “SmartBrief for Social Media” – it’s free (http://www.smartbrief.com/socialmedia/).
· Try to be timely about addressing any concerns that come back to you. Customers want to know that you are listening to them, and that you care about their experience in your establishment.
“Social media can really put smaller chains on a par with larger ones,” adds Kane. “With these tools, you don’t need million-dollar advertising budgets. For a small investment of your time, you can reach customers, interact with them and help build your brand.”
About California Tortilla
California Tortilla is a quick-casual Mexican food restaurant chain that has grown to include 37 locations. Based on the idea of combining high-quality, fresh ingredients with affordable prices, they have been dishing up tasty food since 1995. Their offerings include salsa made from 100 percent Roma tomatoes in small batches throughout the day, handmade guacamole made from whole ripe avocadoes, and a “Wall of Flame” containing more than 75 hot sauces. To learn more about California Tortilla, visit the Web site at http://californiatortilla.com.