- M. Villarreal
The Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Marketing for Restaurants
Figure out your content strategy
The first thing you should do when trying out social media marketing for restaurants is to have a set content strategy. If you don't know how to do this, or don't have the time to (which is more likely the case), you can work with a digital marketing company. Find a local small business marketing firm who can help you create and execute a marketing plan. You can have them do it all with your input, or they can create the plan and you and your team execute it. If you choose the latter, this means paying attention to several things: the time you post, what you post, and how you post it. First, you need to set up a posting schedule and stick to it. Second, you need to know what content you want to post. Is it pictures? Videos? What about sharing cooking tips? Finally, you need to select a style and stick to it. Use similar lighting conditions and presentation setup for your pictures, videos, and tips. Sometimes, changing things up can be fun and effective. Still, you first need to find stability and figure out your audience’s preferences.
Many people shy away from livestreaming when marketing social media for restaurants. And this is understandable, considering all the requirements and concerns. At the very least, you would have to invest in commercial kitchen deep cleaning services and commercial kitchen hood cleaning a lot more frequently to keep your restaurant’s kitchen in top shape for filming. And then there’s the added stress and tension of doing the livestream well. This does make it unsustainable to do streaming frequently. Still, you can set up one day a week or month when you freely share your cooks’ skills through this medium. It can do wonders for your image and show off the transparency of your restaurant. If you are going to show off, make sure your business is looking good. All to often during a live stream the audience looks more at the surroundings than the person doing the live stream. Make sure the areas is clean and well organized. It's a good idea to power wash outdoor areas, especially entryways and patio seating areas to ensure a great environment and beautiful background for pics and video.
Engage with your fan base
If you are investing in this type of marketing, then the way to take full advantage of it is to engage people in the comments. This can be a real eye-opener if used correctly! It can even make responding to ever shifting restaurant guest preferences and expectations a lot easier. After all, you’d have the opportunity to learn what they are interested in and what they’d like to see from your restaurant in the future. Does this mean you will be expected to indulge every single request and suggestion? Of course not! However, just showing that you are reading their comments and considering them can have amazing effects. If you go as far as to add new menu options because of their comments? Well, you’ll earn some real popularity with your fans.
Organize fun events
The final thing you should do when tackling social media marketing for restaurants is organizing events for your followers. Now, there are several routes you can take with this. You can organize competitions, where your followers are encouraged to film themselves making a meal and share the video. Others can then vote, and their favorite can be added to your menu, with a small prize or discounts going to the winner. Or, you can always organize the opposite event: post cooking videos and let your followers vote on which should be added to your menu. You can also have people share photos of their home-cooked meals or open up polls for them to vote on minor decisions in your restaurant. In other words, these events should further bolster your engagement with your followers.
NEVER try to fake reviews
We cannot stress enough how important it is to never feature fake reviews on your social media. As the experts from moverstech.com like to point out, it is relatively easy to recognize fake reviews when compared to the real thing. And getting caught in the lie would do far more damage to your credibility and reputation than you stand to gain by posting the reviews. Your social media accounts and Google rankings can be negatively impacted and even sometimes punished. After all, one or two good reviews are not enough to sway the public, while even one fake review can turn the public and potential customers against you!
Be careful with giveaways and freebies
While it would be silly to say you should never do giveaways or offer freebies to your followers, it is correct to say that doing it is detrimental to a restaurant. First, you risk attracting the wrong sort of followers to your social media account. You want a following of people who are fond of your restaurant and what it has to offer - not a stream of people looking to win one of the prizes you occasionally put up for grabs. Then, there’s the risk of actually hurting your image. If ‘winners’ are disappointed by what they get, they will complain through a review or in the comments.
Sharing photos, videos, or even updates is fun and something you should do. Sharing them every ten minutes and inundating your profile with them? Not something you want to do. It will just annoy your followers to be hit by notifications that often. Besides, you would eventually run out of things to post about, which means you would hit a content drought a lot more severely and quickly than if you’d just paced yourself and posted regularly at specific times.
Don’t ignore negative comments and reviews
The final don’ts when doing social media marketing for restaurants is ignoring negative comments or reviews. Honestly, bad reviews and comments are as valuable as good ones. They can even be useful. Many customers (and potential customers) will look at how you handle bad reviews to understand who you are. They may even use it as a way to gauge how you respect your customers and their viewpoints. They also reveal areas where your restaurant can improve and it's directly from the customers mouth. Take, for example, looking for tips for creating an inviting outdoor dining space. The theory is nice and all, but you’ll only know if it’s successful once you have customers come in. And, if they complain, you’ll know exactly what to improve to make it better! Besides, if your customers have proof you take them seriously and work to improve, you’ll become even more popular.
We hope you’ve found our guide on the biggest dos and don’ts of social media marketing for restaurants helpful! As long as you properly think your strategy through and stick to it while fixing the little problems that pop up along the way, we know you will do just fine. And if you're looking for a commercial services company to help clean your vent hoods, deep clean your kitchen equipment or power wash your outdoor common areas, give Cornerstone Commercial Services a call today at 1-800-274-3905