You’re here, which means either you’re just starting out in the whole “social media for business” game or you’ve been at it for a while and nothing seems to be working. We get it. Social media is great for so many things, but also…it sucks. Amiright?
Here’s the thing. There isn’t any one magical action you can take that will make your social media flourish because it isn’t one size fits all. BUT, we’ve been doing this for a while and we’ve compiled a list of things that we’ve seen work time and time again. The best part is, they’re so simple, that you can get started implementing them today!
Before you dive in, make sure you are doing these things first:
- Pick which social media channels to focus on (hint: you don’t need them all)
- Make sure your profiles are complete and up-to-date (menu, hours of operation, address, etc.)
- Post consistently
- Post quality photos
- Reply to your followers when they comment, DM, or post a review
- Engage with accounts outside of your own
- Promote your social media channels through other marketing efforts
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’re ready to go on and create a spectacular social media presence. Here’s what our research shows that works:
1. Create a character.
Your social media (SM) voice should be a reflection of your brand voice. Think of your SM as a character in a TV show. What would he/she say? Do they use cool lingo? Are they super polished and professional? Whatever you choose, you have to be consistent. Make it so that your followers feel like they know your restaurant as a personal friend. This way you can build a deeper connection beyond just having good food. Take Wendy’s and McDonald’s for example. The products they offer are very similar, but they are able to show their differences through their brand voice.
2. Disguise your promotional posts.
Remember that SM character you just created? Pretend he/she is at a party (the social media world). Would they make many friends if all they did was walk around the room and talk about themselves? Probably not. The secret to creating that bond with people is 80% listening to their needs and 20% providing value. Instead of blatantly saying “Hey! We’ve got great food. Come try some”, try posting a product placement photo that tells a story and caption it something like “there’s never a wrong time to eat X with friends”.
3. Invite those who like your posts, to like your page.
Facebook has this really neat tool that lets you invite people who have liked your photos to like your page. This is the perfect way to gain followers and get in front of a bigger audience consistently! If they’re liking your photos, chances are they’ll accept your invitation. They’ve already shown that they like what you’re offering. Eater Creative does this with their client’s profiles, and we’ve seen incredible conversion rates. All you have to do is ask for the “follow”.
4. Use Messenger marketing.
Facebook Messenger allows you to reach your audience in a whole new way. It provides a one-on-one interaction between you and your guests so you can get down and personal. Alongside the ability to build a deeper relationship, Messenger is the perfect place to offer flash sales, confirm reservations, and run a loyalty program.
5. Create ads.
SM is still one of the cheapest places to reach your target audience, so take advantage of it while you still can. Facebook ads are great for offering promos and driving customers into that loyalty program we talked about with Messenger. You can also retarget those who have interacted with your SM so you can reward those that are loyal, or use it to entice those that haven’t yet taken the specific action you want.
6. Perfect your look.
SM is changing rapidly. The one thing that shouldn’t change is your brand. You want to perfect the way your social media feeds look so that it evokes people to recognize and follow you. Use your brand colors, use the same filters, shoot food pics with the same 3 angles, or even involve the same plate in each photo you post. Your goal is to show what it’s like to dine at your restaurant and be easily recognizable.
7. It’s a team effort.
If you want a robust SM presence, you’re going to need help. Happy employees are going to be your best brand advocates. You might be running your social media, but by having your employees post about your restaurant too, you can reach a whole new audience. Messages related to your brand reach 561% more eyes when posted by brand advocates, according to a study done by PostBeyond. When other people are posting about your business it comes across as more genuine and less promotional. Therefore, people are more likely to listen to it.
BONUS TIP: Create an Instagrammable Space.
If you have an “instagrammable” attraction in your restaurant, you are going to definitely see your @mentions rise. Bloggers, influencers, influencer-wannabes, they all go in search of cute places to take photos for their feeds. Why not provide that space? Neon signs with cheeky quotes are always a big hit for a great photo-op area, or try a flower wall. The more you get people buzzing about your space, the more foot traffic you’ll get.
Social media isn’t a walk in the park. We get that! But with a little direction and a plan, you can get the results you’re looking for. Continue to check back in with our blog from time to time, and sign up for our emails. We’re always here to update you on the most updated social media tips to help your restaurant get in front of more eyes. In the meantime, start implementing the 7 simple social media strategies above, today and start seeing those conversions!