We’ve all been there before: half-way through the Mother’s Day rush, you realize you forgot to post anything to your fans on social media, so you scramble to your computer, and post the first crappy image you found by Googling “happy mother’s day.” Fail. With the Holidays quickly approaching, I can only imagine your to-do list as a restaurateur is growing by the minute. As you’re staffing for holiday banquets and planning special menus, it’s important to not let your social media get put on the back-burner.
Here are a few rules to follow to help keep your holiday posts from being tacky, cheesy, or downright embarrassing:
Put in the time: Very few people are capable of coming up with wonderfully creative content with no thought or preparation, so plan on carving out some quiet time to put your best ideas on paper. If you don’t put in enough time to craft your posts, the quality of those posts will suffer, and if your holiday post are not quality, you will miss out on a lot of great opportunities to engage your followers.
Connect on a deeper level: Celebrating a holiday is more than just saying words. Think about it, there is deeper meaning behind each holiday that many of your customers feel a personal connection to. Your goal should be to find a way to tap into that personal connection, so that when your customers read your post, they’ll also feel a deeper connection to you and your restaurant. Your posts will be shallow if they only focus on the things that are on the surface.
Be Authentic: As a restaurant, it is critical that your social media is authentic, and truly reflects your own personality and voice. You want your fans to look at your posts and be able to feel a genuine connection with you. You would never want them to question if your post is actually coming from you. This means you should avoid those tacky, generic holiday e-cards at all costs. Seriously.
I realize it can be difficult to craft social media content for the holidays in a creative way without sounding like everyone else in the world also posting about the holidays. So, to help you get your creative juices flowing, check out the examples I put together below of good (and bad) holiday posts.
Example 1: Halloween
Good Post: It is important that your social media posts have a purpose and offer something to your followers. Anyone can say, “Happy Halloween!” Even robots… If you take time to tie in community events and show your followers that you care about their families and your collective community, you might just strike a heart chord and remind them why they love your restaurant in the first place.
Bad Post: As always, your social media posts should be formatted properly so the trouble with pulling images from a Google image search (like in the post below) is that they rarely look good when you post them online. Also: no one thinks sparkly pumpkins are cool, unless you work at Michael’s. So, yeah. Don’t do that.
Example 2: Fourth of July
Good Post: Brainstorm ideas. What symbolizes this holiday in our community? In Boulder, CO, there is a local landmark called The Cito Barn, at Colo. 52 and North 79th Street, with the giant American flag on its east side. This barn was first painted with the stars and stripes during the Gulf War and has recently undergone a restoration. This photo is a perfect way to both promote a local landmark and celebrate Independence Day! This is a fantastically unique post that will make this specific restaurant’s fans feel nostalgic and proud of their community.
Bad Post: Before you hit ‘post’, ask yourself: What does this have to do with my restaurant? Is this personal at all? Will people think that a spam-bot created this post? Does it look like a teenager made it for their old MySpace page? Is it attention getting and beautiful? Does it reflect the personality of my business?
Example 3: New Year’s
Good post: Find a good-quality authentic image that is unique to your own business and wish your customers a happy New Year. Show them you truly care about them by taking the time to find out what safety resources are available on that day.
Bad Post: This image is very tacky and the context of the post shows no emotion or humanity. Ask yourself: Is this what I would personally say to an actual friend of mine about the coming year? Your answer will likely be ‘no’ (unless, perhaps, you answered after drinking the champagne pictured in this image, in which case, knock yourself out).
Example 4: Mother’s Day
Good Post: Do you love your community and appreciate supporting local? Chances are your customers & fans do as well. Mother’s Day is a big day for flowers and plants – the perfect time to show your support for the local farmer’s market! Do you have other business owners in your network who offer a great product that would be a nice Mother’s Day gift? This is a great opportunity to show them a little love.
Bad Post: It’s okay if you think this type of e-card is amusing, personally, but the fact of the matter is that it’s probably not appropriate to post on your restaurant’s social media. Your sarcasm will rarely translate well, and you’ll leave your customers feeling confused and potentially offended.
Example 5: Father’s Day
I hope these examples have given you a better idea of how holiday posts can be a great opportunity to engage your fans! Steal these ideas and apply them to your own restaurant. And please, for your own sake, steer clear of glittery graphics and tacky e-cards, and take the time to show your followers that you care (and that you are a human).
Did you know?
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