Category : Digital Marketing

By thenimblebar

How To Max Out Your Online Reputation

Did you know that a small improvement in your online reputation can grow your revenue by at least 5%? Well, now you’ve got research from the Harvard Business Review to prove it. There’s a flip side, too. If you have a less-than-stellar reputation online, more popular companies will suck your customers away. If you’re under 4 stars on Yelp or Google, you’ve probably felt this vortex effect. 

So we’ve established that you should prioritize your online reputation. It truly affects your bottom line. But how do you max it out? How do you get 5 star reviews over and over and over again? Here’s a proven method, courtesy of the Nimble Bar Co.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Before we jump in, remember that a great online reputations take years to build and seconds to destroy. We’re gonna focus on the ‘build’ part of that. Our methods will speed up the process, but it’ll still take months before you see those Yelp stars begin to flow, Google+ likes increase, or positive Facebook mentions explode. The key here is perseverance and daily consistency.

6 daily proactive steps

Note the word ‘Proactive’ in the title of this section. If you’re reactive in your reputation management, you’re at the whims of the public. Proactively set goals and plan your own course. Next stop, sterling reputation!

Analyze your guest interactions with Zenreach

Guests love free WiFi, and you can leverage that love to collect important information. Zenreach uses guest wifi logins to analyze spending habits. It also collects guest contact info so you can send your patrons special offers and customized marketing material.

Most importantly, Zenreach measures your customer return rate and your new customers per day. These two metrics identify customer satisfaction. And what gets measured gets managed.

You know your regulars by site. But with Zenreach, you can interact with them via email and social media. You can give them special offers, or reward them for bringing in new customers.

The software also acts as a canary in the coal mine. You’ll know if your regulars show up less, and when your new customer visits dry up; you’ll have the numbers, not just a gut feeling. You’ll know if you need to change something. Likewise, you’ll know if you’re on the right track.

Quarantine reviews using

If you’re serious about your business’ online reputation, then you need to implement a system that streamlines the process of getting reviews, addressing them, and deploying them across various review sites.

My Testimonial Engine is a software as a service product that does just that. It collects all your reviews in one place, quarantines new reviews so that you can manage them and productively address them before they go ‘live’ on various platforms, and then it enables you to deploy those reviews anywhere you want.

The beauty of this is that instead of being ‘reactive’ when you see a negative review pop up on one your channels, you can instead face the issue in a much more grounded way because your vision is not clouded by “how does this look?!” When we’re worried about looking good, we often aren’t thinking clearly.

Test new initiatives

Thanks to Zenreach, you’re now measuring your reputation every day using real numbers: spending habits, return visits, and new customer visits. Not to mention, you’re notified when anyone leaves you a review. So now you can try out reputation-building initiatives. Keep the ones that work, and change the ones that don’t. Here’s what to test:

Make social deposits

Make deposits into your bank account of social capital. Social capital is the goodwill people in your community have for you. You increase that goodwill by giving, and you don’t always have to give money. Here are some ‘gifts’ you can give to your online social friends that will build social capital:

    • Compliment people in your community on social media who you appreciate.
    • Funny quotes or stories that highlight your brand and are fun to read / watch.
    • Find someone online whom you know visited your restaurant, and ask them a specific question about their visit. Like, “How was your [specific dish that they ordered] cooked? Did you notice the [specific ingredient] pop in [a specific dish they had]?”
    • Tell a story about a meaningful experience that was had in your establishment

Create likeable online interactions

Be likeable online. This is easier than it sounds. The main way to be likeable is to engage others. That’s right; the primary reason many businesses aren’t likeable online is their lack of engagement. They simply post stuff. But they don’t respond to customer comments or say thank you for mentions. Social media contains the word ‘social’ for a reason.

If you’re a bar or restaurant, people mention you online whether you realize it or not. You can use tools like Hootsuite to read all your mentions.. Make a point to check for mentions, like them, and respond to them every single time. Take it a step further and delight those who leave a comment by entertaining, informing, or demonstrating something for them.

A word of caution: when responding to negative reviews, take some time. The last thing you want to do is respond when you’re emotionally charged. We naturally want to ‘one-up’ the jerk who left us an unfair negative review. While it’s important to stand your ground, it’s very easy to come off as an asshole even to the people who are just skimming the reviews.

I’ve read cringe-worthy responses from managers and owners that serve no other purpose than make the commenter wrong and look stupid. You may want to write a long-winded explanation of what the situation was, but unless you’re an extremely entertaining writer, nobody cares.

The formula is simple: offer an apology for their experience, invite them to have a conversation about said experience, and lend them an olive-branch to come back. This communicates that your doors are always open and that your establishment is managed by an adult who can take a bit of criticism.

Ask for reviews

When a guest has an amazing experience at your establishment, ask them to leave a review. 9 times out of 10 people don’t leave positive reviews simply because they never think to or can’t be bothered.

We’ve seen bars and restaurants add up to five 5-star Yelp reviews a day by simply asking. I know restaurants that go days without ANY reviews. Imagine the impact of even just one 5-star review every day over the span of a few months. Higher overall rating, and more revenue.

Maintain a blog/vlog

Your establishment isn’t the only medium through which you can provide a valuable service. Using your own online platform is a powerful way to scale the value that patrons experience in your establishment.

If you’re like most people, when you think about starting a blog, you groan and think, “So much work!!!” Blogging doesn’t have to be hard. You can start by publishing something. Anything.

First, choose your platform. Next, start a live video on your phone and write a summary of the video. The more frequently you do this, the more you’ll engage your community rather than simply exist within it.

We recommend Facebook Live because of the user-friendly interface, and you can easily download the video and repurpose it on other platforms. Let’s put this into perspective. Imagine you run a live campaign everyday for three months. Then run the exact same campaign on a different platform one year later. The second time, though, you don’t have to create anything new. It’s the modern-day equivalent of publishing a book.

The main difference is that in the digital world, you can get WAY more granular in terms of data, so you know exactly what worked and what didn’t.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Traction takes time, and we’re in the online reputation-building game for the long haul. Commit to going live every single day for 3 months, and then ask people you trust for feedback. Review some of your posts that receive the most and the least engagement once the 3 months are up.

Imagine all of the amazing things you could talk about every single day! Maybe one day you talk about the special your chef put together. The next, you showcase your bartender. What’s more, because the video is live, you are opening up a real conversation.

The bottom line

If you can engage with your community and show them you care, you’ll build a bulletproof online reputation. Not only will you grow your positive reviews, but you’ll also deter negative reviewers who notice your glowing fan base.

Have more questions about building your online reputation? Let’s talk!

By thenimblebar

Your Bar Website: Learning Experience or Time Suck?

You’re in the hospitality business, not the website business…

I’ve been working on the Nimble Bar website off and on for about 4 months now. While I’ve made some pages that look really nice, the truth is that I’ve spent WAY too much time on this thing. It’s like I engage in some masturbatory form of WordPress theme researching.

Truth is, many small business owners, including restaurant and bar owners, fall into the same trap. Working on your bar website feels productive, but it’s less important than providing your patrons with an amazing experience.

In this article, I’ll share some lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve made a list of some of the key time sucks I experienced building the Nimble Bar website, and how I’ve learned to overcome them.

Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Time suck: Perfectionism

We decided to build the Nimble Bar website on WordPress (WP). At the time of this writing, WordPress powers something like 25% of the internet . As a consequence, it’s the best supported web framework in the world. Thousands — maybe even millions — of themes, plugins, articles, and tutorials await the novice developer. Researching all this could easily consume a person’s entire life.

I’m often tempted to waste hours looking for the perfect theme or the perfect plugin. And I could justify the time waste. I’m learning a new skill, right? Well, yes. But I’ve got more important things to do.

Time saver: Time limits

For any bar website task, I’ve set a limit for myself. If I’ve found an answer but I’m not sure it’s the perfect one, I pull the trigger with the answer I’ve got after 20 minutes. If I can’t find the answer in 20 minutes, I outsource (hire a freelancer). And then I make sure my freelancers know they have a specific timeframe to complete the project, too.

As a result, I give myself those 20 minutes to build and learn, but I never waste a whole day in the WordPress development time suck.

Time suck: No accountability measures

When we started developing our consulting business several months ago, we were individually  ‘power-consuming’ the web instead of ‘power-producing’ for results. We each went about the day doing as we pleased, and we didn’t achieve what we needed to. As lone guns contributing to the same project, we wasted time.

Time saver: Teamwork

Now we have an accountability system: each other. We focus on production, share hard deadlines, and hold each other accountable. Together, we’re more disciplined and we get more done. Now when I’m working on any particular task, I’ve got my team to keep me from wasting time.

Time suck: Ignorance

When I started working on the Nimble Bar website, I thought it would be as simple as picking a theme and filling it with content. Turns out that really isn’t the case, particularly if you’re trying to build something unique. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and learning was going to take time.

I found that I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how I could squeeze our ideas into the theme I chose. But user experience suffered. I’ve learned that I have to put content first, and build my infrastructure around that.

Time saver: Outsourcing

Outsourcing is the dream for any small business owner. Delegate your weaknesses to a freelancer and then focus on your strengths. For example, at the Nimble Bar Company, we’re hospitality experts, not WordPress experts. But thousands of WP experts are waiting to help us and can be found through sites like Upwork and Fiverr. So we hire freelancers to help us with our Nimble Bar website. They know the ins and outs of WordPress so I’m able to dream up the story and user experience, sketch it out, and find the right expert to build it for me.

I’d rather spend my time early on finding the right freelancers and outsourcing to them than spending hours and hours every week training myself for a job that ultimately I shouldn’t be doing.

Then again, if you don’t want to learn WordPress OR hire anyone, then there are always services like Wix and Squarespace which are not to be underestimated as business building tools. They aren’t quite as customizable, and end up being a little more expensive, but plenty of folks do just fine with them.

Wondering what to put on your bar website?

It just so happens that I know a few guys who specialize in helping businesses tell their stories. We’re called The Nimble Bar company. Contact us if you want to chat. Or sign up for our newsletter (below) if you want to take baby steps and get to know us a bit first.

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How To Max Out Your Online Reputation
Your Bar Website: Learning Experience or Time Suck?