Last week, as Mark Zuckerberg’s past declaration that trusted referrals are the “Holy Grail” for the advertising industry, came to light again in a lawsuit regarding users rights, I found restaurant operators still in a conundrum trying to figure out the best ways to make Facebook and social media work for them. That’s because recommendations from friends, family and co-workers influence over 70% of customers walking into restaurants. While leaders of YouTube contend that consumers no longer watch broadcast television, and satellite television companies offer services to skip commercials, as an entrepreneur, I whole heartedly agree that all kinds of business owners zealously search for ways to engage customers online to make the best use of that trusted referral.
However, some online companies developed to encourage reviews, such as Yelp, have backfired, becoming the bane of restaurants which have experienced unjust attacks that actually hurt their reputations. A one-size fits all social media remedy that can suit all businesses does not exist. I believe more effort is needed to develop industry-specific solutions.
I founded Punchh on the belief that there should be a social media solution for the most social of all industries—dining out. And, as Zuckerberg proclaims his reverence for the trusted referral as the Holy Grail, I contend that smart use of social media can drive the restaurant business like never before.
Most restaurant owners already agree that word of mouth is the most effective marketing tactic for bringing customers to restaurants. Punchh enables restaurants to reward, track, and manage these referrals, using Facebook and customer phones.
Our customers comprise the QSR, Fast Casual, and Casual Dining Categories and all are seeing measurable results through referrals.
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