July 25, 2014 | By Ron Miller |
Let’s face it. Running a restaurant requires that you wear a lot of hats. Only one of those hats is marketing and just part of marketing is social media. If you’re like most restaurateurs, you wish you could spend more time doing it. This article is about getting more benefit out of the time that you do invest.
Whether we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter or any of the other 1,000 social media websites, the fundamental thing to remember is that they are all different. You can’t treat them as if they were the same. I see so many people who just broadcast the same post to all of their social sites. You should have slept in a few extra minutes this morning instead of doing that. It never works. Instead, here is how to do it right…
The goal with Facebook is to get people to leave a comment. The reason comments are special is that when you comment on something, the post you commented on appears on your timeline. This is how a post can go viral. The person doing the original post may only have 50 followers but if it captures people’s imagination, millions of people can end up seeing it. A common mistake people make is that they measure their Facebook success by counting up their followers. What’s more important is the quality of your content, which you can measure by how many people comment.
So how do you get comments? Ask for them! Always put something in your Facebook posts that encourages a response. For example:
- Fall is our favorite time of the year and it begins with our new menu. Eduardo is adding Swiss Cheese Fondue to the menu. The taste will make you think you’re dining in Gimmelwald, high up in the Swiss Alps. What are your favorite fall food memories?
As good as a comment is a Share. What causes someone to share a post is that they feel the post is valuable. They are in a sense endorsing the content, staking their reputation on it. They won’t share it unless it’s good. To get shares, always include a beautiful photo. If you’re posting a recipe, take the time to format it so it will print nicely. If you’re posting some tips, include several.
What makes your business unique? How can social media build upon that?
In my opinion, most people use Twitter all wrong. They write a catchy headline and then put a link at the end, in hopes that people will click on it and read their article. Do you have time to click on all of those links? It’s a modern-day version of what my grandfather used to do. He cut out articles from his morning paper and then once a month, would send them to me in a big envelope. I was grateful that he was thinking of me but really? I don’t have time to read all of the articles that find on my own. While Facebook is good for sarong articles, videos, pictures and infographics, Twitter is not. What works great on Twitter are 144-character tips like these:
- I found some beautiful broccoli rabe at the market this morning. It’s going to be part of tonight’s grilled salmon special. $16
- If your butter is too cold to spread, try grating it with a cheese grater.
- Eduardo is cooking up his mom’s recipe corn chowder tonight. You can’t imagine how great this place smells!
The objective on Twitter are retweets. You want to make things sound so great that people want to share them with their friends.
- Always include an image. People relate to photos and they get shared, commented on and retweeted more than anything else.
- Social media is about connections. It’s you connecting to your customers but it’s also your customers connecting with each other. If your customers are talking, don’t feel the need to always interrupt.
- You have an advantage being in the food industry. Pictures of food do really well on the Internet. Invest in quality professional pictures. You may think you can’t afford it but they pay for themselves.
- Once you have pictures, marry them to recipes and post them onto Pinterest.
- Keep the 4 R’s of your brand in mind: Reliability, Reviews, Reputation and Represent. For a refresher, you can jump over to our article on restaurant branding by clicking here.