If you’re not sure where to start with your restaurant's social media strategy, here are four points to consider before you launch your campaign.
1. What is your restaurant’s mission and vision? Who are you and where are you going?
Your mission is the crux of your restaurant. Do you strive to be high-end or casual, counter service or table service? This is the scope of your company – its dominant emphasis and values. Consider things like your company history, what the restaurant does, and the ambiance/environment of the restaurant itself.
For help writing your own mission statement, check out this helpful guide.
2. What is the restaurants voice sound like? What is your communicating style going to be?
The feeling your customers get in your restaurant is the feeling your customers should get when they enter your social media space. What makes your restaurant unique? Identify it and use it! This will define your “voice.”
Many restaurants work hard to carve a specific niche for themselves. Tailor your social media posts and updates accordingly. For instance, if your restaurant positions itself as a hangout for sports fans, your voice might be more friendly, casual and relaxed. Then actively reach out to sports venues and provide the conversation topics your customers are looking for like posting about upcoming games and results from recent games. Be a part of the community your serve.
3. Who is going to handle social media? What’s the process and how will you handle customer comments – good or bad?
Social media is all about follow through – don't post several times a day for a week, then disappear altogether. You’ll need to maintain your social media presence by posting consistently, whether it’s once per day or once per week.
And you’ll need someone to head up that posting. Will it be you, the owner, or maybe someone on staff? Whoever it is, make sure you’re on the same page as to what should be posted, how often to post, and how things like customer complaints and compliments should be handled. (Ford Motor Company has a great example of an in-depth social media policy.)
4. What platforms are your customers on? Where do you need to go to reach your ideal customer?
Be where your customers are. As far as US social media goes, Facebook is the most popular choice, followed by Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+. Instagram’s per-user engagement rate is generally the highest, and it’s quickly catching on among restaurants.
Keep in mind that images communicate better and spark greater interaction than simple text posts. Restaurants can reach more people by posting great images of food and other photos that tell stories. A picture is worth a thousand words.
So there you have it: A solid base from which you can launch a winning social media presence. Now go forth and get posting!