Social Media success is a three-legged stool.
- Relevance to your “brand”
- Connection to your followers
Post at least weekly on your various social media sites, which is hard because coming up with new ideas and compelling ideas is a challenge.
Here’s a list of potential categories of posts:
New products – it could be something seasonal that has started or an old favorite that people love. Or maybe it’s a seasonal ingredient you’ll feature in many ways, or your proprietary salad dressing you are bottling and selling – whatever it is, shout it from the rooftops!
New service – have you started takeout, or delivery, or streamlined an old process that irritated customers and now it is improved? Added family meals, catering or a “take and make” product? You can’t assume people will automatically notice those changes, you need to share it. EXPECIALLY if it’s something that will make their lives easier or an improvement to your services.
Safety protocols – in the wake of Covid-19 this is top of mind for a lot of people and likely will be for some time. Everyone wants to feel safe. There is probably a lot of things that you are doing that may not be visible to your customers, or they may not understand why you have started doing something a new way. Share your processes, reasons why, and the regulations you are adhering to.
Funny memes or jokes – making people laugh is one of the best ways to connect with them and make them remember you. The humor can be related to your type of establishment, your popular food item, a special event, your town or state, your sports team. There’s a caveat though…these ALWAYS need to be in good taste, so make sure you have a few people to act as your filter before you post.
Behind-the-Scenes – these posts could be pictures or videos to help you humanize your restaurant for followers. They demonstrate that your business is run by a team of people and helps give your brand personality. Think about things that would be of interest. For example, many people have never seen the inner workings of a restaurant – highlight favorite kitchen gadgets, knife-cutting techniques, the arrival of a large quantity of a product for a catering event or special occasion, or a sped-up view of the kitchen and passthrough during service. Behind-the-scenes shots help establish your authenticity and trustworthiness.
Videos – these can be short and don’t need to have huge production value. There’s no end to the ideas – mix it up with promotional, instructional, and entertainment value. Show your chefs hard at work, the bartender teaching a new cocktail creation, show the restaurant full of people, highlight your best customers, show off renovations or upgrades, have some fun with the staff, award prizes for a contest, or video a contest drawing. We know one Restaurant Owner who created silly activities to do in an empty restaurant that they featured when their dining room was closed during Covid-19. Above all, these videos give you the opportunity to demonstrate your personality and team culture.
Testimonials – all of your marketing needs to include testimonials and social media is no different. Use screen shots of Google or TripAdvisor reviews, or create your own format (a great tool is www.canva.com) and select ones that highlight the things that you most want to highlight about your establishment.
How tos – “make a margarita” etc – anything can be shared here: drinks, your salad dressing, guacamole, grilling a steak, how to decorate a dessert… whatever tips and tricks people might find intriguing and feel that they can attempt themselves.
Customer photos – if a customer tags you on their social media account, make sure it appears on yours. People trust what others have to say about you more than what you say. Encourage people to use a specific hashtag when posting photos of their time in your restaurant, that way you can easily find them and use them. Solicit entries for “Customer Photo of the Week” and make sure you credit the contributor.
Staff openings – your customers are a great resource for staff. They might have children or friends that are looking for jobs. They know what they like about your restaurant and are more likely to recommend someone who will suit your culture because of that familiarity. You could consider a bonus if they find you a winner – free dinner or dessert perhaps?
Rewards program signup – Electronic sign up to your Rewards Program should be easily done by having the reader click a link to your online signup. You could also include a link that goes directly to the download of your Rewards App that would allow them to sign up and start earning their points immediately.
Contest details AND contest winners/prizes – you are having contests, aren’t you? They go so far to engage people and get them excited about an event and when you have the draw or announce the winners – it should be a big deal on all your social media sites.
Quizzes – for some reason everyone loves to get quizzed, so give them the opportunity to give you feedback. They like Chocolate or Strawberry, Chicken or Steak, Tacos or Burritos…? You can make them serious or fun and glean some valuable information in the process.
Here’s the number one, top Secret to Social Media Success.
Every time you write a post, you want to be able to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” but from the CUSTOMER’S perspective. Consider why they would share a post.
People respond to your posts by liking it, sharing it, or commenting on it. And they ONLY do that because it serves their own social purpose. It fills a need for them.
If they respond to a post that is funny, it’s because they want to show people that THEY are funny.
If they respond to a post that is fascinating, they want to demonstrate to their followers that they are fascinating.
You need to write each post with that in mind. It needs to “sell” what you want people to know about you and your services, AND it needs to give your followers content that fulfills their social purposes.