Jeremy Julian

Restaurants and Social Media (Part 2)

September 22, 2014

This is Part 2.

If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, go here.

Picking up where we left off on our 5 tips for getting the most out of social media.

Hopefully you have now identified your primary customer profiles and the social media outlets they use.

Next, you…

2. Identify your brand

This is something that needs to be done whether you opt for social media or not, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the world of social media. Social media channels allow your brand to have more ‘personality’, as if it were a living, breathing thing. You can be funny or serious, or cater to a certain demographic or interest group. For example, Taco Bell has adopted a loose, shoot-from-the-hip way of doing social media. Compare that to Olive Garden, which is undeniably classic with its “when you’re here, you’re family” picture. Find a social media voice that fits with how people perceive your brand.

3. Don’t be a social media tool – invest in one

You wouldn’t try to build a treehouse without a hammer, would you? Make sure you have the proper tools to do your social media job correctly. Invest in a service like HootSuite, Buffer, or Social Bakers to get you on the right track. By investing in a social media toolkit, you are doing yourself several favors. For one, you can schedule your social media posts. This means when you’re slammed with the 7:30 pm dinner rush, you don’t have to worry about remembering to post tomorrow’s daily specials before your customers unplug for the night. Be sure these social media tools include reporting so you can see what is working and what isn’t. It’s all about guess and check, so why not guess a little smarter?

4. Be at the right place at the right time

People are busy. They check into their social media outlets at different times of the day or night. When they are there, you want to make sure you’re there too. Make yourself visible by listing your business on popular apps like Urbanspoon, Yelp, and Google Maps. Time your posts on social media to coincide when people are most active on the site. You can also post at meal times. What better way to get someone in for $2 Margarita Night than by hitting their Facebook feed at 4 pm?

5. Use common sense

At the end of the day, it’s about building relationships. You want to become a part of your customers’ lives. You want them to be able to scroll through their Twitter feed and laugh at your tweet, or Pin the recipe just posted for killer dumplings, or drool over a picture of one of your famous chocolate sundaes.

Don’t overdo it, though. Don’t post constantly, and don’t post stuff that’s irrelevant or out of the ‘tone’ of your brand. Avoid hot button topics. If you have something to say, say it wisely. Show gratitude when people kindly refer to your brand. If someone has something negative to say, don’t delete the post and don’t retaliate; address the issue with humility and seize the opportunity to improve!

Social media is your friend. Yes, it takes work – and if you’re “old school,” it will surely feel outside your comfort zone. But it also allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level in a day and age when that’s hard to do face to face. Social media gives your brand a fighting chance to rise to the top and be heard amongst all the noise and clatter that surrounds our lives.

Do you have any tips on using social media? We’d love to hear them! Comment below!

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