June 5, 2017 by adm_zs

Do you promote your business on a local level?

Do you market on Facebook or Instagram?

When asked about how to better reach local customers via social media, Bruce Irving had a lot to say.

Bruce Irving is host of the “Smart Pizza Marketing Podcast” which aims to help pizza restaurants become better at marketing. Marketing within the pizza industry was a skill Bruce had to learn to ensure the pizzeria he used to own would be successful. Bruce can be found at SmartPizzaMarketing.com.

Throughout an interview Bruce underwent, Bruce talks about why social media marketing is worth it for your business.



Bruce has been working with pizza sense he was 16. After developing a partnership, Bruce was finally able to claim he owned his own pizzeria. The pizzeria brought in a good amount of revenue considering it was only big enough to seat 10 people.

In the late 1990’s the owners of this pizzeria used popular marketing methods of their time such as direct mail which worked well until around 2008. Eventually the two men changed their marketing methods because direct mail had begun to become less popular, and began to market via social media.

Bruce’s pizzeria thrived in revenue even throughout the economic struggle of 2008. When Bruce and his partner were asked how they marketed on different types of social media they quickly began explaining.

Bruce figured there could be much potential benefit from talking to other pizzeria owners and collaborating with one another. In 2015, Bruce decided to start a podcast to spread knowledge among business owners. This podcast quickly changed into an agency that helps local pizza restaurants market on social media.

For the past year and 4 months Bruce has been running this new agency full time, all while helping local pizzerias thrive.


Videos and Social Media

 Pizzerias are different from many other businesses in that they are a very visual style of restaurant. Cooks even tend to do their cooking in front of their customers because the cooking process is considered entertaining. There are even many traditional style restaurants that are deciding to make the cooks part of the show, transitioning to open-kitchen concepts.

Bruce encourages clients to do a video in attempts to bring this entertainment to the web.

Many cooks come across shy at the beginning of their videos but it is essential they learn to become comfortable with a camera aimed at them.

Videos don’t just work in the restaurant business but many other businesses as well. You can provide people with tutorials and behind the scenes videos to attract new customers. If you claim to be the best pizza in town show your fans why in a video.

Displaying differentiators found within your business will not only make you stand out against other small businesses but also large ones as well. Your personality in the video can also potentially lure in or detour new customers so it is important to appear likable in any video you make promoting your business.

The video marketing strategy is an easy strategy for any restaurant owner to execute on because everyone has a smart phone in their pocket. Plus, you are more likely to get views on a video than a blog.

Bruce shares ways in which camera shy people can become comfortable in front of a camera. Bruce first recommends using Instagram stories or Snapchat because the videos usually disappear quickly. Once you feel comfortable on camera Instagram and Facebook are currently the best marketing tools.

When Bruce was asked more about Facebook and Instagram videos, and their production value he said that he recommended people make their stories short and authentic while they make their Facebook videos look a bit more professionally done.

When producing your video, try your best to keep the humanity behind your local restaurant easily visible. This allows people to develop a sense of personal connection with you and your business.

By saying things like “I’m here. If you want to stop by, great! If you want to order online, I’m here to help.”

By doing this people get a sense of the type of person running their local business.


Social Media Investments

 When Bruce was asked how small business owners would know whether social media marketing was worth their time he responded saying that he did not believe local businesses had a choice on whether or not to use social media. Their only choice was to decide which social media platform to use or struggle financially, significantly. He suggests using multiple platforms as that is where the younger generation (an important target market) tends to linger.

If you want people to be involved in your business, you must have some involvement in social media. Not all videos register with individuals the first time they see it but after seeing your video multiple times your marketing tends to start to sink in. When someone finds themselves in need of a product or service their minds tend to linger and think about ads they might have seen relating to the product/service they need.

When Bruce was asked about clients and their concerns about ROI he confirmed that most all clients are in fact concerned with having a bad ROI. Bruce frequently has individuals tell him that they attempted to market via some type of social media and it didn’t work. Upon deeper evaluation Bruce almost always finds that the individuals in charge of the social media marketing were doing a mediocre job.

Success with social media marketing doesn’t just happen overnight. Individuals looking to market via social media must first build a rapport with their audience. Bruce suggests his clients stick to their social media/marketing for at least three to six months. Bruce claims that if individuals marketing for their business spend a little bit of time daily and spend a little money when developing his/her marketing page social marketing will work.

Owning a walk in business provides business owners with even more marketing techniques. The interactions business owners can have with customers in his/her store allow the business owner to spread awareness of his/her social media page to increase traffic and public awareness of the business. Online ordering is also a great way for business owners to increase their email list and number of customers.


Facebook for Local Businesses

 The best advertising platform for a local business is Facebook.

Bruce used to send EDDM (every door direct mail) which allowed you to send mail to houses based on zip code, specific carrier routs, and so on. Nowadays you can do the same thing on Facebook for a fraction of the price. For example, a store owner in Houston could use Facebook to market to customers in area codes within 10 miles of their physical location.

You can also plug the physical location of your business into Facebook and market to individuals within a certain radius of your business.


You can also upload your email list onto Facebook and target people who do open your email or people who don’t open your emails. Bruce suggests targeting people who don’t open your emails more heavily to get the best ROI. You can also target fans by interests if those pages are large enough.

Bruce likes to run one Ad that targets people involved with the business already and another ad targeting individuals who have not yet become involved with the business. For example, Bruce might run an ad providing a $4-off coupon to people who live within 5 miles of the business and have an interest in pizza but have not yet liked the pizzeria’s Facebook page.

Bruce finds that some tabs and special tools on Facebook don’t work well considering their purpose. For example, the offers tab allows Facebook admins to promote deals on Facebook but finds that this method of marketing does not work as well as ads that are less direct and less recognizable as ads. The “Now Hiring” tool allows admins to lay out criteria for individuals interested in becoming employees and is simple to use for both admin and interested employee, however the “now Hiring” tab is much less appealing than a creative, well thought out ad, which is likely to lure individuals to your Facebook page who are already interested in applying for the job.

One example of a successful ad aimed at luring people in to apply for a job was an ad done by a pizzeria. This video promoting people to apply to be a delivery driver depicted younger man in a delivery car driving to deliver pizzas having forgot that he had left the pizza on the roof of the car. The video said “Hey, we obviously need some new delivery drivers. If you (or anyone you know) is looking for a job and wants to make money, go here.

This funny video went viral and attracted the attention of many individuals searching for a job.

When asked what, a local business can do to generate exposure Bruce explained that it is nearly impossible to generate exposure without first spending some small sum of money.

To benefit your business, you can do things such as ask questions on social media, and or develop contests and giveaways. Developing a “Like and share to win” Facebook post is a great way to build a following. Just one share of a post on Facebook can lead to exposure to hundreds or thousands.

Contrary to popular belief marketing is not always done best with professionally taken pictures. Because people are turned off by Ads marketing with a picture taken with a smartphone rather than by a professional photographer makes ads less recognizable as ads and as a result will be less likely to turn people off.

Photos that look more natural in their environment tend to be the best photos to use when advertising/trying to sell a product.


Instagram Tips

 In recent times, you could post 1 or 2 posts a day trying to sell your goods/services. Now it’s good to tone it back a bit. You also must have different strategies for posting your stories vs your Instagram feed.

Assume you are trying to advertise pizza. On your Instagram feed you would want to take the photo with your smart phone and spend a little extra time making the photo aesthetically pleasing. Boomerang videos which turn pictures into short repetitive videos are also a good marketing technique to consider.

To reach the maximum number of customers you must give a brief description and include hashtags which serve as links through which people can come across your Instagram page.

Instagram stories can be used similarly to the way snapchat stories were used a few months ago: providing individuals with a behind the scene look into your business. By doing this and showing your customers what it’s like to work for your business, you build rapport with your customers.

Collaboration among trustworthy employees is recommended and can often lead to higher quality marketing content.

Another marketing tactic is to make short Instagram stories during rush hour in your restaurant. If your restaurant is busy and customers are having to wait an extended period before being served make a video and show them why their food is taking so long.

If you want responses to stories, make sure to be personal with people if they comply and respond to their comments.

When it comes to how often a story should be posted on Instagram it is noted that about 4 or 5 videos produce the best results. Anything less tends to be not enough, and anything more seems to be too much.

Instagram business profiles get you metrics on stories allowing you to better recognize what resonates with the audience. Instagram business profiles also give you the option to provide individuals with your email address and a shop now link.

Bruce tends to run numerous ads that feature dishes such as pizza costing clients about $5 he is able to create an audience on Instagram and add a shop now link.

It is important as a business owner that you recognize the importance of social advertising and ensure that the marketing for your business is being taken care of.


Email Recommendations

 Bruce doesn’t believe a bigger email list means a better email list. Bruce believes individuals should only grow their email list to reach your subscribers. That way people are more likely to open and respond to your email.

Giveaways often produce enough incentive to get your recipient to open your emails, and make for a good marketing tactic to increase ROI.


An example is when Bruce held limited time giveaways in which he emailed his customers/potential customers with an email asking them to participate in a free pizza giveaway. At the end of the week usually Wednesday or Thursday Bruce sends out emails announcing the winners of the contest.

When people open the emails to find out who the winner is they send a signal to their email provider that they wish to see those emails. The contest winner email mentions the winner and a little bit about what’s going on during the up and coming weekend.

When running a business, you can run a weekly giveaway although people who have already visited your site are much more likely to already be familiar with your business and therefore be more willing to choose to receive your emails.

Master group of pizza industry is a marketing group led by Bruce, members of this group have doubled their business in the past year using Facebook. While the monthly cost to run a Facebook, page is $500-$800 per month business owners know that’s a negligible amount after considering the ROI.

Remember: You don’t have to push ads on all your Facebook posts.



Written by adm_zs