According to the Associated Press, Benihana – the Japanese-themed restaurant chain headquartered in Miami – reported a revenue increase of nearly 5 percent in the first fiscal quarter of the year.

In addition, in revenue for Benihana franchises that were open for at least one year, rose by 6.4 percent. At a time when many families may have dined at home to cut expenses, Benihana has been able to experience growth. This may be due in part to the company’s positive online presence, as according to a study by Netbase Solutions, an analytics consultant.

The study involved Netbase researchers combing social media sources for phrases that included “I want…” The company found that Benihana generated 36 percent and 39 percent of both women’s and men’s overall “social media chatter,” respectively, in reference to the key phrase. This was done over a one-year period.

In addition, when surveyed, female respondents said they enjoyed the restaurant for its fun, family atmosphere. Male respondents chose the establishment for its food and overall experience.

While the reasons why consumers may enjoy the restaurant may be because of its food and environment, the amount of social media buzz that its customers are generating essentially conducts the company’s targeted internet marketing for itself.

While many small businesses may not have the clout or inherent customer base that Benihana has earned in its development, they can still benefit from the same type of social media attention the sushi restaurant has gained. This can be created, though, with effective small business internet marketing and a quality product to back it up.

By partnering with an internet advertising agency, companies can create compelling campaigns that help drive customers through the door.