Social media for small businesses – Pizzaria

This is part of an ongoing series about social media and small businesses. Living in Salt Lake City, Utah I’ll be using examples from the beehive state but obviously the ideas I’ll be presenting in these
article will work anywhere.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy so if you know any SB owners that might benefit from this article please send them a link to this information.

Happy Happy Pizza (cooked) by David de Groot

Happy Happy Pizza (cooked) by David de Groot

I love pizza, I go to a great little pizzaria called Este Pizzaria at least 2x a month if not more. Last time I was in I started talking to the owner about his business and how he markets himself and one thing he brought up was how hard it was for small businesses to market themselves online. So Este Pizzaria I dedicate these 5 ideas to you.

  • Set up a page on your website where people can submit pizza recipies and everyone can vote on them, UserVoice is a great vote based system that could be used like this. Then after a month the most voted pizza could be on the menu for a while. Or even eaten in a private party with the recipe creator and their friends. The even could be recorded and put on YouTube and MySpace video.
  • After a while of doing the pizza competitions you could release a free eBook of pizza recipes from the winners and even offer a print version in your store.
  • Start a blog about pizza. Talk about making dough, making sauce, put up videos of how to toss a pizza, etc. Several restaurant owners have already done this in their respective areas like Justin Levy at the Prime Cuts Blog.
  • Have an art competition where artists paint pizza boxes. Collect both online and offline votes. Then take the winner(s) design and use them as your pizza box design for a while. When the winner(s) are announced you could hold a pizza party for them and put it online.
  • With any of these you can create a widget through sites like WidgetBox, KickApps and others to promote the contests and get your fans to spread the word for you.

What do you think? Have any ideas of your own to share? I’d love to hear them in comments section.

Thank you for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters TwitterFriendfeedLinkedinFacebookMySpaceMyBlogLogTechnoratidel.icio.us

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  • rogersdc

    Josh –

    You have some good ideas, but seriously, what small business owner has the time or (many times) the technical savvy to do everything on your list?

    Here's my critique:
    #1 – Probably the best of the bunch, but why add another web app for both the owner and the customer to figure out? Go with something easy that most of his customers are familiar with; a quick search on Facebook brought up “Easy vote” as an option. Or, better yet, drive people to the store with a promotion tied in to voting in person – free drinks or a chance to have the pizza named after them.

    #2 – Clever idea. Who's going to put the ebook together? Again, this is probably beyond the technical ability or even available time of most small business owners. I see a couple options here: share the recipes as blog entries (saves time), post them to an app like allrecipes, post on a website.

    #3 – Who really has the time? A small business, especially a restaurant, consumes every moment of the day, and forget about time for family and friends. It is an exceptional restaurateur who is able to own, manage, and blog a business.

    #4 – Nice one. But the online vote taking could be tough.

    #5 – Forget about it.

    I'd love to hear how the owner responded to your comments. While I think these tasks are tough to impossible for a non-technical, small business owner, I also think he could benefit a lot by doing some of them. It may also be to your benefit to help him – a taste of what he can achieve through a little online, social app marketing may bring him back for more.

    • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

      Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate the compliments as well as the criticism.

      You bring up some VERY valid points. The reason that most SB users don't get involved very heavily beyond a MySpace page (which is what literally every SB like this in SLC, UT uses) is because they don't have the time because they try to do it all themselves. That's where it would be up to the owner to delegate a bit of the duties and get some help.

      I've offered to work in trade before. Free coffee for 2 months, free slices of pizza for lunch 2x a week for 3 months, etc but once again it's all about time. I've been working on some ideas to help the local SB and do it all in trade, but there is only so much I myself can do without the owners and maybe even a few of their employees getting involved.

      The online voting can be tough, but even something really simple like installing Disqus on the blog and using it's vote up and down comments feature can be used. I also agree that Easy Vote would be great if the businesses would migrate to FaceBook, but the majority they have MySpace (the rest have nothing) and they feel that's good enough for them for now. Maybe I should step up the encouraging a bit and see where it gets me.

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