You know you need to become active for your restaurant on Social Media. You don’t know exactly why or how, but you know you need to. No need to worry. We know you are busy, but take just 3 minutes of your time to read through this guide. We’ll explain the why and the how of social media and review monitoring for restaurants so you can take control and bring more customers into your business.
What exactly is Social Media for Restaurants?
Restaurants are a different animal when it comes to business. Because of restaurant review sites, Social Media for restaurants includes more than just the usual suspects (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc…). Social media also means Yelp, Google+ Local, Insider Pages, Yahoo! Local, and YP.com (Yellow Pages). For your restaurant, Social Media means any site where your customers can create content about your business and share it with not just friends, but all your potential clients. This is why social media is so incredibly important to your restaurant business.
As a restaurant, you need to use social media to get noticed by prospective customers, get feedback on your restaurant, service, and food, and to keep an eye on the competition so that they don’t steal your clientele.
Social media can be inexpensive, but we understand that it can be a time suck…and time…you don’t have. We know what happens when your cook calls out and your server breaks his or her leg…you end up in the kitchen and in the front of the house. All the more reason why it is important for you to strategize AND to have a good tool to help you be smart about how you do Social Media so you can get back to doing what you do best: running your restaurant. Socialdraft’s dashboard offers you a total solution to manage your restaurant’s social media.
Let’s go through the absolute basics of marketing your restaurant on Social Media
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Set up your Review Monitoring
Restaurant review websites means that your customers have a forum to sing your praises when they love you. Of course, this also means that they can just as easily spread the bad word.
You can’t ignore these online restaurant reviews. To help you manage and monitor more effectively, we created Socialdraft, an industry-leading review monitoring platform made for restaurants, cafe, and other local businesses in the restaurant industry and hospitality sector. Simply set up the name of your restaurant and add keywords to get the best results possible. You will no longer waste time searching through Google alerts (which gives you results for other restaurants at least 70% of the time), and you’ll know every time you receive a review, any time your restaurant is mentioned in a blog or web publication, AND every time you are mentioned on Social Media sites. Our alert system is the most thorough solution. Besides, unlike other alert systems, you can share those amazing reviews to your social media sites with a simple click.
With Socialdraft, you can stay on top of what your clients and customers are saying about you in real time. We monitor all major sites in your industry along with blogs and news outlets. If they are talking about you, you’ll know. Our system also provides you tools to minimize the impact of negative comments, reviews or general slander.
Our site is built on complex algorithms that minimize you having to from site to site to find out if you’ve gotten a review. Socialdraft works for businesses with a single location as well as larger organizations with hundreds business locations.
Social Media Plans for Restaurants
Now that you’re listening to the chatter about your restaurant, you need to take part so that you can control and veer the conversation in your direction. We recommend that if you are just dipping your toes into Social Media that you begin with the big guys: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once you’ve got those set, you can begin to experiment with others…but these should cover your bases. It really depends on your demographic, but these you absolutely must be active in. These are where the bulk of your audience will be, and the ones that give you the most benefit when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization – or in normal people language…how Google finds you).
Your message will vary according to your audience, but before we get down to helping you with your restaurant’s Social Media calendar, let’s give you some tips.
Social Media Tips for Restaurants
The first thing about Social Media is not to sound like a walking advertisement. Keep in mind that you are competing with the latest news about Kim Kardashian, your customer’s sister’s baby, and tons of cute cat pictures. This means that you need to talk to your audience as if they were friends. Stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% conversational, 20% promotional. Without further ado, here are some post ideas to get you started:
Reviews: We all know you hate Yelp, but your customers love it. When you do get that amazing review, screencap it and share it to social media. This is really the best kind of advertisement. It is unsolicited, honest, and trusted (whether you like it or note).
Memes: Remember we mentioned those cat pictures…you don’t have to do a cat picture, but you do need to entertain your audience, so find funny and entertaining items that will resonate with your audience. Keep in mind that each time one of your posts is shared, social sites are prone to send more traffic to your profile (especially on Facebook).
Post pictures: You should add pictures to every single post. EVERY. SINGLE. POST. It has been proven over and over that post with images get significantly more engagement across all social networks. On top of that, you’re in the business of food. People can’t taste or smell your food…so let them see it. Make them drool. Make them hungry.
Showcase your team: Yes. Share pictures of your servers, bartenders, sommeliers. Better still, post videos of them talking about their favorite dish, or their best trick to making the perfect cocktail. This will give a face to your restaurant and remind your clients that you are a friend who will take good care of them when they come in.
Local Events: Remember that it is not all about you…it is about the community…what better way to serve the community (and tourists coming to your area), than sharing local events. Better yet, collaborate with other local businesses and attractions to create deals that will appeal to your customers. Is there a local community theater? Join forces to offer a free glass of wine to anyone who comes in with a ticket from the night’s performance. They will share this to social media allowing you to reach their audience…and you will build relationships that will last a long time.
Deals: It is totally ok to be promotional sometimes. People want deals…and wouldn’t you rather get 100% of your money rather than giving 50% to Groupon? Create deals and specials and share them to social media. You can go a step beyond that to reward your social media fans. Ask them to check in for a free dessert. Or ask them to take a picture at the restaurant, and tag your Instagram handle for a free appetizer. Let them become your advocates and do the advertising for you.
Collaborate with Suppliers: Bringing in a new Rose for Spring? When you cut the deal, let your wine supplier know that you plan to “blow this up” all over social. Ask them to connect you to their social media person so that they can help you to amplify the message. Do the same with other suppliers in town.
Social Media Calendar for Restaurants
Now that you have some good ideas on what to post, you need to begin figuring out how and when to post to your social media pages. We’ve built Socialdraft around a calendar, so that when you are working on your restaurant’s social media posts, you can easily visualize the month, week, and even the day. This will help you to craft more relevant posts for your audience.
If you have multiple locations for which you can create the same content, you can create projects. These projects can be any combination of Facebook business pages, Twitter accounts, and even LinkedIn accounts so that you can save time posting the same content to all those pages.
If you run the same specials on a weekly basis, our duplicate post feature is perfect. You can simply duplicate the post and drag it to the date when it repeats. It’s super simple.
Want to learn more about Socialdraft and how we can increase your business’s reputation? Check out our tour and find out how our restaurant review monitoring platform works?
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