Every business today needs effective social media marketing. Taking advantage of the “networking effect” of social media is particularly important to businesses in the dining and entertainment industries, such as bars and restaurants, where people have a wide array of choices on where to spend their hard-earned dollars.
The social media checklist presented below covers all of the basics in social media marketing for restaurants and dining businesses, and is a great starting point for restaurant owners who want to tap into the power of social media to drive traffic to their establishments.
Schedule Content for the Week or Month
Having your social media content scheduled to publish in advance is a great best practice that will allow business owners and marketers alike to organize their content and free up their time to focus on more pressing business matters. Social media management tools like Hootsuite can be a great help for scheduling social content.
The frequency of your social posts will ultimately depend on your business and your audience, but in general, restaurant and food and dining businesses may be able to get away with posting more frequently than those in other industries, simply based on the nature of the industry. People want to hear about specials of the day, promotions that you’re running, or events you’re hosting, so be sure to get regular events scheduled on your calendar so your fans and followers are always in the loop.
Use a Variety of Content
Make sure to schedule a variety of content throughout the week and be conscious of being overly promotional. Yes, your fans and followers want to hear about your specials but they also want to connect with your business and engage on different levels instead of always being sold to.
Having a variety of content also means varying the type of content that you publish. Choose to showcase food items with stunning visuals or maybe a photo of a long time customer. Share content from other accounts relevant to your business / industry. It’s a best practice not to post the same type of content over and over again. By doing so, it makes your content come across as boring, and your potential customers are likely not going to be engaged or attracted to your business.
Make Note of Holidays and Special Events
One idea to consider is a promotion focusing on a holiday or special event occurring that week. Your food business will obviously want take note of the larger holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but don’t simply limit yourself to major holidays. Get creative and come up with a way to celebrate National Pizza Day (2/09), National Spaghetti Day (1/04), National Dessert Day (10/14), or National Pie Day (1/23). Making note of special food holidays is also a great use of your content calendar. Using a content calendar allows you to plan your social content months in advance. It will also help you to better organize your marketing messages and highlight holidays that are approaching so you don’t forget to promote your pizza restaurant on National Pizza Day.
Use Multiple Social Channels
Make sure to publish your marketing content across multiple social media channels. Facebook is a great place to start with your social media marketing, but there are several other high-value social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter that can make a big difference in keeping your tables full. You can’t go wrong if people are tweeting about your restaurant or posting pictures of your delicious food on Instagram. Also consider more niche social sites likes Vine and Snapchat, or set up a page for your eatery on Pinterest to showcase your food and menu items. There are so many ways to engage customers with social media.
Understand Reputation Management
Review websites and social media platforms have given customers a way to voice their praises, opinions, and issues for anyone and everyone to see. Keeping up with these interactions is an important part of how you manage your business reputation. Yelp, probably one of the largest review platforms for restaurants in general, is an essential tool for business owners to get found by and interact with customers. Whether the review is good or bad, you should always connect with your audience in order to let them know that they’ve been heard.
It is a good idea to remain responsive to customer complaints or poor reviews. In today’s world, one upset customer can have a major impact on your business, so you must be prepared to take steps to deal with issues as soon as they crop up. It’s essential that you don’t respond with anger or negativity, and that you attend to complaints or issues in a timely manner. Relating to this, remember that while responsive is good, appearing defensive in this context is almost always a bad idea. Even if the customer is exaggerating or there isn’t a good reason for the problem, it’s best to own up to the issue and work towards a remedy. In the end, the entire community will be able to see your interaction regarding the issue and how you handled it. If you took a professional approach, remained calm and collected, and helped to solve the customer’s issue, you’re sure to score major points towards your business’s reputation.
Get Started on Your Social Media Checklist Today!
Review your current social media marketing efforts, and use this social media checklist to find areas for improvement. Creating a weekly social media content calendar is an essential first step in organizing your content, and you may be too busy running your business to look for someone you trust to manage your social media presence. Learn more about how you can hire the right person to manage your social media here!