making dough with Diane: Six Internet tools to boost your business

Diane Chiasson
February 23, 2010
By
With mobile shopping topping the lists of retail trends this year, it’s time to think about how your pizza operation is using the Internet to advantage in your marketing plan. Here are six important aspects of today’s Internet to put into your business toolbox.
With mobile shopping topping the lists of retail trends this year, it’s time to think about how your pizza operation is using the Internet to advantage in your marketing plan. Here are six important aspects of today’s Internet to put into your business toolbox.

1. Facebook fan page
Create a business fan page for your pizza operation. It doesn’t cost any money and is designed to be simple to do. Once you’ve created your fan page, you need to get customers to sign up. Make sure you create a link on your website so people can “become a fan” of your company. Send direct mail or e-mail invitations to your database customers. Offer an incentive to get people to become fans with coupons and discounts.

Once you have established your page and recruited some fans, use Facebook to entice. Post videos and photos of your delicious food, organize promotions and events via Facebook, and allow fans to comment on your food. You can also update your Facebook status with one-day-only deals and specials.

2. Twitter
Twitter is made for the mobile phone generation and the possibilities of using it for marketing your pizza operation are endless. The immediacy of Twitter allows you to deliver the latest information, deals and updates to a large group of people instantly. Twitter is also a great way to receive feedback from your customers and interactively answer your customers right away. This is a new generation of instant gratification and short attention spans, so there is a great need to reach your customers quickly.

3. YouTube
Become a celebrity with your own pizza operation. Shoot a video of yourself making pizza or any other interesting marketing stunt you can think of and upload it to YouTube. If your video is funny, outlandish or worth watching, you and your pizza could become a viral sensation.

4. Write a blog
Anyone and everyone can write a blog, but if you’re going to make the best use of this tool you should make sure your blog contains useful information that helps you build credibility and build your brand. The content must be relevant to your business and must be real. People read blogs to get a sense of the person behind the machine, so don’t fill your blog by trying to sell your pizza. Instead, write about personal issues like why you think it is so important to buy from local suppliers, if you do, or real stories of how your pizza operation was able to help someone out. Be sure to update your blog at least once a week so that interest in it does not die down.

5. Mobile phone apps
The number of smartphone users continues to grow at an exorbitant rate. More and more brand names are now setting up their own mobile phone applications for promotions, mobile payment, customer loyalty programs and building databases. You can easily set up an application for your pizza operation. One example might be to allow your customers to be able to order and pay for their pizza via their mobile phone as well as set up a time for pick-up. Users can then click a mapping application to figure out the quickest route to your establishment.

6. Improve your SEO
Improving your SEO means to help people find you better online. Re-evaluate your website to see if you are giving yourself the best opportunity to improve in your search rankings. Check your meta tags (words associated with your web pages that search engines use to index sites) to see if you are using the most ideal keywords, title and description of your pizza operation. Make sure you put as many keywords that are relevant to your business as you can in the first paragraph of your homepage. Try to create as many reciprocal links to your website as possible. Create as many links as you can, whether within your website, or to related websites. Links help to attract new users, raise awareness and improve your search ranking.

Keep these six Internet techniques in your web toolbox to improve your online marketing and ramp up your business.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.

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