Media: “Marketing Voices – Building Stronger Brands with Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis” (May 2006)

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excerpt:
"Jennifer Jones of Marketing Voices interviews Phil Gomes, Vice President for Edelman’s Me2revolution group, the largest independent public relations agency in the world. Jennifer talks with Phil about the intersection of corporate communications and social media. They discuss what social media is best today and how blogs, and podcasts can build stronger brands."

source: "Marketing Voices – Building Stronger Brands with Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis" by Jennifer Jones (Marketing Voices, May 8, 2006)

Your restaurant is a brand. When customers see the name on a menu, a sign, or an ad, you are trying to build a stronger brand. Your restaurant "brand" is also you and your staff, and creating a connection between your restaurant brand and customers in social media (aka Web 2.0) can be a delicate matter.

For information on this developing trend of social media marketing and public relations, Advertising Age has released a 2006 Interactive Marketing & Media Fact Pack (pdf format).

excerpt:
"Marketers are "definately spending on:

  • adding RSS feeds (40%)
  • in-house blogs (35%)
  • ads on third party blogs/blog networks (30%)
  • video ads (27%)
  • ads in RSS feeds (21%)
  • mobile/wireless (20%)
  • in-house podcasts (18%)
  • sponsoring podcasts (14%)
  • product placements in video games (10%)"

source: "Interactive Marketing & Media Fact Pack 2006" (Advertising Age, April 17,2006) (via FKCBlog)

Article: “Why Small Businesses Should Care About Web 2.0 Marketing: A Discussion with the Creator of Duct Tape Marketing” (May 2006)

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excerpt:
"What we discovered are five emerging trends that every small business should be aware of. We still think that small businesses should be cautious and look to use new media or Web 2.0 in highly personalized ways, using sound marketing principles.

…Customers value who they do business with sometimes as much as what they buy. Blogging provides you with a more personal environment, where you can both promote your product and present a more personal view of your business.

Horsefeathers, a restaurant in North Conway, NH, publishes a blog about food, wine, local events, and restaurant news as a way to keep customers connected and loyal."

source: "Why Small Businesses Should Care About Web 2.0 Marketing: A Discussion with the Creator of Duct Tape Marketing" by Eric Kintz (MarketingProfs.com, May 9,2006)

For restaurant owners wondering what are the latest free web marketing tools, this article will give you a good overview from which to start. These tools open up many possibilities for restaurant owners to connect with the public.

Article: “Trend enables users to save, store online material” (Apr.2006)

 

excerpt:
"Part of the problem with the Web is organizing information so you can actually find stuff. Tagging is a set of tools that people use to help other people find stuff," said Internet analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group. "So communities form around this. If it's done well, it's useful and allows people to help each other. If it's done badly, it is just another complexity on the Web."

"It's a solution for the personal information management problem," said Michael Grubb, chief technology officer of Furl.net, a tagging site operated by LookSmart of San Francisco. "How to get back to where you were or save a page or do a search of what you've saved."

Furl.net also allows users to save entire Web pages rather than just bookmark and share. People use it to do research for work or dissertations, remember good restaurants, and collect information on colleges or graduate schools they are considering, Grubb said"

source: "Trend enables users to save, store online material" by Barbara Grady (InsideBayArea.com, Apr.17,2006)

Being able to quickly store web pages somewhere that you can look at later or share is very important with the quality. quantity, and potentially shortlived information on the internet.

For example, you find a great article on restaurant marketing, bookmark it.  When you go back to reread it, the web page has been deleted. Let's say you printed the article out, but it is filed away somewhere in a pile of papers, where is it? You have two friends that should read the article also, but you don't want to type it all over again or send it by regular mail.

These new services provide four big advantages:
1. Copies of the web page are stored in your personal web account
2. It allows you to add notes and tags that can help you and others find it faster in the future.
3. You can search through your personal web account like searching through google.
4. You can share your web account with others to see the copies.

Any piece of information you come across on the web: a recipe, training manual, restaurant review, can be copied,  archived, and tagged. You never have to worry about remembering the link, finding the bookmark, or the page being deleted. Right now these services are free, here are some of the ones available:

Furl
Spurl
Simpy 

We have chosen Simpy for use with TechWaiterBell, and any article that is referenced on this blog (or WaiterBell related blogs) can be found again in the WaiterBelll Simpy account: http://simpy.com/user/waiterbell. So if you ever read anything here, and go to the source link and it is no longer there, then check our Simpy account.

Article: “The race to MySpace” (Apr.2006)

excerpt:
"She's able to keep in close contact with loyal customers, who instantly spread the word to their friends. When the co-owner of the Dallas specialty shoe store, Passport Exhibit Gallery, wants to promote an event, she can immediately distribute information to hundreds of people.

"It's been a huge benefit," said Ms. Cardona, who co-owns the business with Brian Erickson. "Because we're a small business, we don't have a lot of money allocated for marketing."

As it has become one of the most popular Internet destinations for young people, MySpace has also attracted legions of small businesses – restaurants, bars, clothing stores, tattoo parlors – trying to reach an audience with tastes outside the mainstream. All of them use the site for free."

A MySpace user can stay in contact with friends by agreeing to receive bulletins from them. The user can also make "friends" with businesses that send out bulletins as well. When a bar has a Friday night party, for instance, it sends out an image of a promotional flier to all its friends, who can then spread it to their friends.

MySpace's no-frills, laissez-faire approach appears to have already produced a version of this local search idea, allowing users to find businesses they'll like through a Web version of word of mouth."

source: "The race to MySpace" by Crayton Harrison (Dallas Morning News, Apr.13,2006)

Restaurants are always looking for better ways to connect to customers, new and old. Myspace provides an easy way for customers to recommend you to their friends, as well as send you feedback. It is also a nice way to communicate and stay in touch with customers. As it states in the article:

Surprisingly, there are currently very few restaurants on Myspace, but one nice example is Mom's Soul Food in East Palo Alto, Ca (click here). You can see how restaurants develop a stronger connection to their community, friends, and customers. Myspace is currently a free service.

WaiterBell is now on MySpace (click here). The purpose of the WaiterBell MySpace page is to connect with the general public to create product awareness, accept product comments, and restaurant recommendations.