It can be a challenge managing your restaurant’s online reputation with the world of online reviews consistently rising. However, it is not impossible. After running your business all day, it’s exhausting spending a couple of hours managing your online reputation, but the key is to work smarter, rather than harder. Utilize the following tools and strategies to free up more of your day while still effectively managing things online.

1. Dedicate one hour a day to your online reputation. Establish a daily calendar reminder and commit to spending only one hour per day responding to reviews, tweets, and comments. Rather than checking throughout the day, focus on doing so during your scheduled hour. After the hour has passed, don’t check for new reviews again until the next dedicated reputation management time.
2. Set up e-mail notifications. Save yourself the energy it takes to constantly refresh your restaurant’s business page by setting up e-mail notifications. This way, you’ll be notified in real-time when new reviews have been written, friend requests have come in, tweets have mentioned you, etc. You may also want to subscribe to each sites’ newsletter to stay on top of product announcements, business best practices, and even a summary of your business’s metrics for the past week, including calls, check-ins, website clicks, etc. On Yelp, you can change your e-mail preferences in your Business Account under the Account Information section.
3. Take advantage of free tools. You can create a virtual storefront with the free tools available on the sites your customers pay the most attention to. Begin by copy-and-pasting pre-existing information from your website or marketing materials, like the business description on your “About” page, onto your business listing on the sites you’re focused on.
For example, on Yelp you can enhance your business listing and bring in new customers by using the free tools available in your Business Account. To begin, focus your attention on the following sections:
• Business Information. Here you can add your business’s website, hours, specialties, and other basic information, as well as a 3,000-character description.
• Photos. Adding photos is highly recommended. In fact, those searching on Yelp remain on a business page with photos 2.5 times longer than one lacking photos. This can include pictures of your establishment, dishes, staff, and more.
• Deals and Gift Certificates. Setting up a Yelp Deal or Gift Certificate is a great way to invite potential customers to make a buying decision while on your Yelp page. If you’re not sure what to offer, just do a quick search on Yelp and filter by who’s offering a Yelp Deal in your category for ideas. It’s free to set up a Yelp Deal or Gift Certificate, though there is a revenue share, should it lead to a sale.
4. Monitor your traffic. Most online review and social media sites provide businesses with information about the traffic they’re getting and how consumers are engaging with their business page. Review how your business’s profile is performing once a month; observe the number of user views you’ve received, clicks to your website, and so on and fill in any gaps to increase the possibility of turning those viewing your business page into an actual customer.
5. Market your business the smart way. To spread the word about where your business can be found online, add logos of the sites where your restaurant has a strong online presence on your business cards, in your e-mail auto-signature, and in your storefront.

By implementing these strategies, you will be provided with the best insight on where your business can improve based on customer feedback, and potential customers can view the positive experience that other guests are having with you. Source1 Purchasing provides you with the latest news, trends, and advice to keep your establishment running smoothly. Check out our website to learn more about the Source1 Purchasing Program and how it can benefit you at www.Source1Purchasing.com.

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