Why Restaurateurs Should Spy on their Competition's Social Media

Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, March 20, 2017

Some of the most successful entrepreneurs out there—whether the tools of their trade are hammers and nails or bar tables and appetizers—have stated that they prospered because they focused on only themselves. While this is one potential option for success, it's apparent that sometimes it's necessary to peek in on one's competition. This is especially the case for restaurants since there can be hundreds of competitors within a few miles. With that in mind, here are a few reasons every restaurateur should spy on their competitors' social accounts.

Get Ideas for Successful Promotions
Restaurateurs need to realize that, if they run a successful promotion that has significant reach on social media, their competitors will soon be running a similar strategy. It's just the way the business is, and if a culinary entrepreneur wants a packed house on Friday night, they should certainly start playing by the same rules.

It's not necessary to follow and peek at every area restaurants' social media sites, but if two eateries are targeting the same demographic, it doesn't hurt to pay attention. If a direct competitor does something that really works, restaurant owners should take the time to figure out how a similar idea could be utilized at their establishment.

See Where They're Dropping the Ball
Another great benefit of occasionally snooping on restaurant competitors' social media sites is that it becomes obvious where they're dropping the ball. Very few businesses have perfect marketing strategies, and this is especially the case for restaurateurs who view social media as an annoying necessity and simply handle it on their own.

When restaurateurs see where their competitors are lacking, it's possible to create a strategy or promotion that feeds off of it. If a competitor isn't sharing interesting posts with their patrons or appealing to their demographic, it becomes much simpler to target people based on the competition's failures.

To do this effectively, though, it's necessary to keep an eye on their page frequently.

Know What's Coming Next
In smaller markets, there often aren't any “big reveals” or top secret marketing ideas that we don't already know. If a restaurateur takes a seat at a bar table, pulls up their competitor's Facebook and sees an indication that something new is on the horizon, though, it gives them a chance to craft an appropriate response.

Maybe the eatery is throwing a party to celebrate a little-known holiday. Maybe they're unveiling a new menu. Whatever the case, knowing what the competitor is about to do provides an opportunity to quickly come up with a counter-promotion and focus on keeping the restaurant furniture full, even if people are temporarily caught up by the competition.

While there are business owners and marketers out there who claim that “spying” on the competition is immoral, that simply is not the case. Companies have always watched their competition. In fact, it's a bit negligent not to do so when trying to build success. Take the time to occasionally peek on competitors, and those bar tables might just stay packed.

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