Helping a restaurant make sense of social
The Begging Bowl is one of the original modern Thai restaurants in London run by Jane Alty (‘London’s coolest female chefs’ Time Out). However due to it’s location in Peckham and a new crop of similar modern Thai restaurants appearing in London, it was time to re-examine The Begging Bowl’s place in the market and put together a marketing strategy to make sure they maintained their position as one of the leading places for modern Thai food in the UK.
As a small restaurant Begging Bowl was in a similar position to many restaurants where they didn’t have the budget to hire an agency but didn’t have the time to figure out how to do social in a way that made the most of their precious time, so I was hired to put a plan together for them to make it easier for them to do the social themselves and make sure they could tell their unique story.
In addition we reviewed their website to improve the user experience and see how they could perform better for SEO (Google search results).
The first things we look at when doing a strategy
We then use all the above information to relook at the Begging Bowl Brand and it’s place in the market to set out a position
We then break this down into a strategy or action plan for the team. They key thing here is to make sure that the steps are actionable and easy to carry out. Within this plan we give guidance on how the responsibilities can be shared between the team.
What constitutes success? We need to set benchmarks so you know that things are moving in the right direction and that you can track if your marketing is having an effect and when your efforts are being wasted.
We decide who the target customers are and make sure that we speak to them and their needs- are they families, mothers who are lunching mid week, weekend brunchers, foodies? They all need to be spoken to differently and we need to make sure no significant groups are being left out.
Different restaurants have different promotional needs – for some deals are a good way of attracting customers, for others it can devalue the brand. However there should always be some level of promotional activity even if just for fun – it can be competitions, giving something free to a limited number of people- these are great ways to a) get engagement on your social posts b) drive interest in the restaurant and c) if handled well they can seem like fun extensions of the restaurant’s personality rather than just boring or giving things away.
This is a key part – we break down a monthly posting schedule. Taking the elements of the story and message from above we break them down into the content itself (videos, pictures, stories etc) and the message and spread these out over the month. The aim is to make sure all the bases are covered:
In this case we recommended a mix of using a photographer, videographer and how the team can create content in between shoots and for Instagram stories etc
Like it or loathe it, influencer marketing is here to stay and it’s still a cost effective way to increase the reach of your audience. However, we like to try and go further into building long term relationships with the influencers most relevant to a restaurant rather than inviting a bunch of random people over for freebies every week (though this can have a value if done in a targeted way).
What this means is that we spend the time to look for really relevant influencers that are most likely to connect with the brand and champion it. We then give suggestions on ways to develop longer term relationships like doing menu development, special dishes and events.
Paid social ads on Facebook and Instagram can be very effective as a low cost way to reach a wider audience with their very detailed targeting abilities. We’re big fans of re-targetting with ads – this is normally a 2 step process
We find this to be the most effective way of driving action and getting the best results for the ad spend. We advised Begging Bowl on how they could go about doing this (their budget did not allow for us to manage this for them)
We set up reporting using tools such as Google Analytics and Sprout Social. This way it’s easy to see not only how the social accounts and content is doing every week (and thus keep refining the content to what really hits with customers) but also to see how much traffic it drives to the website. We know that most people can get overwhelmed with this and just want to see a simple and easy to understand dashboard so this is what we created
We then did a series of training sessions with the team. We showed them
Website & SEO
With our experience of designing websites and helping companies improve their ranking on Google we were also able to do a site audit of the Begging Bowl website and give suggestions to their designers on how to improve the user experience. The aim was to:
In addition we did an SEO analysis, looking at the keywords that competitors were ranking for in the search results and if there were opportunities for the Begging Bowl to compete on any of these search terms. We then created a list of keywords to use and the best ways to use them to try and improve the rankings for Google. In addition as part of our website audit we also made suggestions to the site structure that would improve how Google ranked the website.
Jane Alty – Founder/chef (Time Out ‘Coolest female chefs in London), The Begging Bowl