This may sound overly simple, but it’s true. Create a page on Facebook for your restaurant and get an Instagram account. Then, download those apps on your phone so you can quickly post pictures on your business pages. And did you know that you can post your Instagram pictures to Facebook automatically? Learn how each and every social media channel works, and you’ll soon be posting several times a day with ease!
Those pages will reflect on your restaurant. Post nice, clean pictures, download your logo, and find a nice picture for your background. There’s nothing like a heavily pixelated photo to make your place look outdated or reflect poorly on your attention to detail – imagine how that will look to your crowd.
Forget about LinkedIn — it’s strictly for business and not to promote restaurants. And while you are at it, forget about YouTube, except if you think you have a viral video — but those are extremely hard to come by. If you don’t know which apps are the latest trend, just ask your customers on occasion. They will be your best source of information to learn about the latest app trends you should follow.
Ok, maybe you shouldn’t beg, but good reviews (and, sadly, bad ones, too) will make the difference and you should be relentless in your quest to get some. You can start by asking your most dedicated guests; if they’ve been coming to your place for years, they will be more than happy to vouch for you. And have no shame — you can bribe your patrons for reviews. Barter some few good words for a $10 coupon or a free dessert, it is well worth it.
Now that you exist on social media, you need to engage your audience to increase your following. The best way to grow your community is by offering incentives to do so. Georgetown Cupcakes has been known to give away 100 daily cupcakes to its Twitter followers, and Mon Ami Gabi regularly posts promotional offers to its Facebook page. Again, this is fairly easy to do and has the potential to bring many new customers to your place.
A Twitter picture contest is a great way to get your customers to post pictures of themselves — pictures that will be shared with their own groups of followers. Those contests are quite common. Potbelly ran one last summer and yours truly won a bright yellow coffee mug! Anyway, make the gift/reward appealing enough without ruining your budget (sweepstakes are a good way to offer something significant without breaking the bank). And don’t forget to announce the winner at the end of the game!
Engage your staff and maybe even start a contest among them. By engaging them to participate, it will lighten the load from your shoulders while bringing more voices with more colors to your social media fabric.
My final thought to you on this topic is — don’t take yourself too seriously! Social media should remain a fun and entertaining way to converse with your community of guests. Your social media channels help put a face on — and give a personality to — your business, and they’re a good way to raise loyalty among your guests. Always keep that in mind!
by Marylise Fabro
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