Society is becoming more technology dependent each and every day and people are moving their lives more and more online to the internet as time goes on. Therefore, businesses are now continually shifting their efforts to online marketing rather than using the traditional advertising platforms such as newspapers and radio. People learn about current events via social media way before they can read the story in the newspaper the next day. When was the last time you opened the Yellow Pages rather than just looking the necessary information up on your computer or smart phone? Do you even keep the Yellow Pages when you get one on your doorstep or do you just recycle it? If you want your food challenge and restaurant to be very successful, you need to be taking advantage of the very many marketing opportunities that can be found online via websites and social media.

Here are the main websites and social media platforms that you should be using:

Your own website – Most restaurants today have a website so that customers can get online to check out their menu, find out their specials, and see what events are coming up at the restaurant. The website is also the first place that people will look to find information on your food challenge. If your food challenge can’t be found mentioned on your website, then it obviously is not too important. If you have a website, create a special page specifically for your challenge. This will not only make your challenge more “searchable” online, but it will also allow you to post the challenge advertisement image, advertisement video, house rules, and pictures of past challengers (Wall Of Fame) all in the same spot for your potential customers to clearly see, and they will definitely appreciate that. Some restaurants just post the challenge on their menu, but that is not enough. A “clickable” advertisement for your challenge needs to be available on your homepage, because not everyone spends the time to get to your actual menu. Please keep the challenge info up-to-date on your website too!!

Facebook – Most restaurants that do not have an actual website use Facebook to post their menu, specials, and events. Facebook is also typically the next place that eaters look for food challenge information if you don’t have a website or if they can’t find any information or pictures of your challenge on the site that you do have. A person will only spend so much time scrolling through your “wall” and photo albums, so make sure that your challenge is easy to find. I love getting on a restaurant’s Facebook page and seeing something about their challenge in one of the first 10 posts I see. Most importantly, it shows me that the challenge still exists, and it also shows me that people are attempting it which makes me want to attempt it too. On most photos I see, there is usually a question about one or more of the details such as cost, time limit, and prize. If you post your advertisement image with all of those questions answered multiple times per year, you will see a huge decrease in these questions. You can also just link the image as your comment responding to their post, which makes your life much easier. Facebook can be very funny, and you really never know what will happen when you post a picture. You may post a picture one day and get 3 ‘likes’ and 2 comments, and then post the same picture 3 days later and it may just go ‘viral’ all over the internet, so you just have to keep experimenting and improving.

Twitter & Instagram – Typically, if an eater can’t find challenge information on your website or Facebook page, he or she will just quit looking online and just call your restaurant for details. Most small restaurants don’t use Twitter or Instagram but most larger restaurants do. If you use these platforms, you should definitely post photos of the challengers so that your followers can see that people are attempting your challenge. People respond to photos much more than text, and these 2 platforms are great for posting pictures. Another great thing is that you can link your Twitter account to your Instagram account so that you also post to Twitter whenever you post an Instagram photo. You currently are not able to link your Instagram account to your restaurant’s Facebook fan page. There are many people that have decided not to have Facebook pages due to privacy issues and other personal reasons, so most of these people have Twitter and Instagram accounts. By using these 2 platforms, you are able to reach these people too. Since your website and Facebook are the first places that people go to, don’t create either of these accounts if you are not planning on actually using them and keeping them updated. Not having one at all is better than having one that hasn’t been updated in 5 months, so remember that sometimes “less is more” when it comes to marketing, and this applies to Facebook too.

Those are the main places that people will be going to find your food challenge information online. Another main place that people will be looking is YouTube, which is why you should definitely create an advertisement video to post online. YouTube was not included in the main list above because you more than likely will not be posting enough video content to actually build subscribers and followers on YouTube. You will simply be posting the YouTube video link on to your Facebook page and displaying it on your website. You may also use Pinterest and other popular social media applications, but 97% of the people interested in your challenge will be going to the above online platforms first, and therefore you need to take care of those pages first with the most effort.

All of the above information concerns where you need to have your food challenge information posted on your own pages so that people can find it online more easily. Online marketing definitely doesn’t end there. Spend time making sure that your challenge is posted anywhere and everywhere that people may be interested in it. Obviously, you need to make sure your challenge is posted on first. To find out how to best take advantage of the site’s benefits, please click here. You also should make sure your challenge is posted on which is another website that people may go to for challenge information. For tips on contacting free local news media outlets so that they might be interested in doing a story that will also be featured online for people to find, click here. Get creative and think of all the other places you can post your challenge advertisement video or image to attract more people. I’m sure you can think of a few websites, forums, and community Facebook pages. Just make sure to keep all of your information current and updated. Once you get everything online set up and looking great, maintaining everything is easy, and all the benefits and new customers that you receive will be worth the initial efforts you made to make everything happen initially.

Thanks for reading why you should use free internet sites and social media to advertise your challenge!!

To go back and view other Marketing A Challenge articles, click here.