A decade ago, Social Media was nothing more than a trend. Like most people, even I created an account out of sheer curiosity. Little did I know that a few years later this account will help me in growing my business.
It all started in 2005 when I opened a small restaurant in my native town. It was always my dream to own a restaurant and when I saw the right place for it, I just pounced on the opportunity. Located amongst the hills, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the place was just like I had dreamt of. What I had failed to understand at that time was that it is the location that will hinder the growth prospects in the future. Even after four long years, my restaurant didn’t have as much business as I had imagined. Things weren’t looking all that good and I would have shut the place down if it wasn’t for a friendly advice I received from one my customers. He asked me if I had a Facebook page and when I said that I didn’t, he simply said, “My friend, you own such a lovely restaurant and you are doing a great job. The food is nice and so is the service. Why don’t you promote it enough? Open a Facebook page and start promoting it on Social Media. This era is all about Social Media”. These few words kept ringing in my head for the entire day and finally I decided to open a page. After all, what is the worst that could have happened?
Within a few weeks, the popularity of my restaurant grew more than I had expected. I could see the customers posting extremely good and honest reviews on the page. Seeing the popularity on Facebook, I opened an account in Twitter and Instagram too. I started posting updates on a daily basis along with pictures and this made my restaurant famous. The business started growing gradually and I think a majority of the credit goes to Social Media. To give you a perspective on how Social Media helped me, I have made a list of all the factors that I think made a huge impact on my business:
- Social Media helped me with real time engagement with my customers.
- It helped me in understanding the customer’s perspective and views. For example I was able to know which dish was best or which dish was popular.
- Social Media made my popularity grow and this meant more and more people came to know about my restaurant.
- It helped me build relationships with my customers. I started getting suggestions, criticism and advice. This helped me in improving the service and subsequently my list of loyal customers kept increasing.
Not to forget, all the above didn’t cost me a dime. What more could you ask for? People who came to my restaurant clicked pictures and uploaded them on Instagram which meant my restaurant also became a vital part of their memory. Business was never meant to be easy, but with Social Media in the picture, it is definitely getting a lot easier.