Nowadays, everyone thinks they know everything about social media. With hundreds of articles across the web discussing standards and guidelines for the “right way” to use each social platform, the mass majority are focused on the behavior of larger, more established brands. While there is value in what a larger brand does and doesn’t do, social media for a small business requires a more scrappy, authentic approach. Between putting out a fire in the back, and dealing with the incoming customers at the front, we want to make sure that you get the biggest return for the time and effort you spend on social media. Here are my top three best practices for your restaurants when it comes to managing your Facebook page. Follow them and your organic Facebook following will be consistently engaged and continue to spread positive word-of-mouth about you online.
- Less is more.
If you do a Google search for “How many times should a business post on Facebook per day?”, you’ll find that a lot of sites say to post at least two times a day. I disagree, and here’s why – imagine you had a friend that posted Facebook updates more than twice a day. Besides being slightly annoying, you’re likely to hide them from your Newsfeed after a day or two of useless posts. It works the same way for a business, your customers can hide you from their Newsfeed too. And if you spam them with multiple posts a day, they will. I’ve found that if you post to Facebook twice in a day, a few hours apart, the first post will generally reach far fewer people than the second post will – one basically trumps the other. So in order to get the most out of each post, stick to once a day, or better yet, every other day.
- Let’s see those food photos.
Facebook posts that contain photos generate more engagement (likes, comments, and shares) than text-only and link posts. However, not all images are created equal. In fact, as of November 2014, Facebook changed their newsfeed algorithms to crack down on “overly promotional content.” To clean up the Newsfeed, they have begun to severely restrict the reach of “low-quality” posts. In order to avoid having Facebook filter your posts and reducing the number of people you could potentially reach, I recommend you avoid posting memes or cheesy graphics. Keep your updates simple and relevant to your business (behind the scenes shots of your employees and/or photos of regular customers are pure posting gold). Pair up food posts with a clear and appetizing picture, or mention that new piece of art on your wall and give a shout out to the local artist, the ideas are limitless. That way, your posts will get maximum reach and your customers will actually enjoy seeing your updates in their Newsfeed!
- Keep it brief and conversational.
Many businesses feel like they need to post their specials/sales/discounts every day. However, this can easily jeopardize the whole point of social media, which is to cultivate relationships with customers and deepen the emotional ties they have with your restaurant. Think about it for a second. When was the last time you logged on to Facebook to see advertisements? Probably never. Your customers use Facebook to stay connected with the people, places, and things they love. They and are interested in staying connected and up-to-date with your restaurant, but in an authentic, humanistic way.The whole point of social media it to be SOCIAL, not to be sales-y. The text in your Facebook posts should be short, to the point, and reflect something that would actually come out of your own mouth. You wouldn’t walk up to a customer and say, “Two medium 12″ two topping pizzas for just $16.99 Tuesdays and Thursdays!!!!” – would you? No, of course not. Feel free to use casual language, but always keep your posts polished and use proper grammar – you want your business to be portrayed professionally.
Follow these simple guidelines and you will be ten steps ahead of your competition! You’ll stay top of mind with your customers (without annoying them) and you’ll foster great relationships and strengthen the love they have for your business. Go get ‘em!
[Coming Soon!] Twitter for Local Restaurants – 3 Best Practices
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We've been managing social media accounts for restaurants since 2012. For almost a decade, we've partnered with restauranteurs who are serious about using social media to generate business. Whether you're a good fit for our service or not, let's schedule a call and we'll give you free personalized advice on how to improve your social media presence. Either way, you'll walk away from the call more confident about your ability to promote yourself online - completely for free.