The food scene can be incredible at your place of business, or at least you can make it seem that way. Yes, you need to have an experienced chef, some delicious dishes, and customers of course; but it doesn’t stop there. Establishing yourself online in a high quality manner, and then developing key relationships both in your local community and then the worldwide arena is a vital. You can have some of the best foods and a top notch cooking team, but if the people do not know about it consistently, it ends up not really counting.
Now when it comes to social media for restaurants, many businesses attempt to take a shortcut or come up with a sub-standard plan that does not allow for success. Unfortunately for many, just posting specials and food photos from your smartphone to social media outlets does not cut it anymore. It takes a serious plan by people that are experienced in this line of work. Yes, you can do it, but just remember, it is a whole job in itself if you want to really make it profitable.
When thinking about a plan for your restaurant social media strategy, here are few things to keep in mind:
- When will I be posting? Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and every few months? Having a social media schedule is of utmost importance and it is the beginning of getting something effective done.
- Who will be posting to my social media platforms. There is a term we use that says “attitude is everything” and it isn’t really, but it is.
- Personality: people feel personalities through your posts, photos, comments, and everything you do. This is a big responsibility because your business will be known by your online voice. So when choosing someone to do your social media, make sure they have the right social attitude.
- Experience: this is necessary, unless you have the time and money to spend allowing a beginner to experiment on you.
- Foodie: And it always helps if they like to eat good food, so a foodie is one of the qualifications your should put on your list.
- What will I be posting? Food is fragile, and the social media content coming from the restaurant brand needs to be appetizing. There must be a standard in place when the upper-level management and staff are held accountable to. Having the right tools for this is important.
- Photography: Any good camera (usually $200 and up) can do, but if you invest a little more, you can expect a lot better photo. The Canon T6i comes with a “Food” setting that is a nice bonus. Then there are other things to take into account such as the lighting. Maybe you need a lamp or even a spot in your restaurant that has the perfect lighting readily available. Also, read a few articles on how to take photos of food. There is a wealth of resources online that you can learn from.
- Videos: a key component that you should be producing. Whether you are talking about the restaurant, food dishes, a recipe, or just talking about your community; videos are a necessary tool to have in your content arsenal.
- Graphics: using the right photos and text, you can have some amazing graphics created for your restaurant. These can communicate a message to your guests as well as potential visitors, informing, educating, and enticing them to eat at your establishment.
- What else? There are plenty of other things to consider:
- Community Interaction: stop talking only about yourself and liking your own posts. Get off your page, visit a few others, and find out what is happening in the community around you. You have businesses nearby, vendors, and companies that eat at your place regularly. Start building loyalty and those relationships deeper by going to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and liking their posts too.
- Community Relationships: where can you help and build relationships in your community that not only count, but reciprocate back to you so you can give even more? Of course the first prerequisite should be that you care. Then take that care and put in into action. Maybe you feed the homeless once a month, or have a community dinner open house, or teach kids about farming and where our foods come from.
- Contests & Giveaways: have some fun with your social media audience. Create a contest and give something away, creating a winner.
- Review & Reputation Management: some reviews come naturally, but if you are not working for and prompting great reviews, a bad review will soon come and ruin your day, week, and maybe even your business.
- Media Kit & Press Releases: create your story, and distribute out to the powers that be in your local community, then regionally, and also nationally and internationally if applicable. Apply to cook in competitions. Make yourself available for opportunity.
And there are many other things to keep in mind, but this information is a start to assist your journey. If you need help with any of this, you can contact us at G Social Media. We work in a variety of capacities from consultation, to developing strategies for your team to implement, to on-site training; and under some circumstances, we even handle the full PR and social media for restaurant clients.