We’re not going to start off by explaining to you all the reasons why your restaurant needs to be on social media, you already know that.
We also know you’re reading this because you feel there’s room to improve your restaurant’s current presence on social, so we’re going to get right down to business so you can start making changes and seeing improvements as soon as you’re done reading this post.
Here are the three biggest restaurant social media mistakes you might be making and how to fix it:
1.) You only post pictures of food
Your business is a restaurant and people know your business is to serve food, so there’s no need to continually share the same thing that they already know, which is that, you guessed it, you serve food. Not to mention, you’re eventually going to run out of menu items to show pictures of, so it’s crucial you get more creative.
One thing that will never stop getting old is stories. Stories lead to connections and they’re the things that get other people interested enough to pipe in and say, “Hey, me too!” or offer up their opinion.
Take a look at one of the biggest social media accounts ever, Humans of New York. This account rose to fame quickly and continues to grow year after year in following and engagement because the entire premise of the account is about telling stories, which is powerful stuff.
Of course, we’re not expecting you tell stories in the same fashion Humans of New York does, but look for the stories within your own restaurant. Talk to the diners whose faces you see regularly in your establishment, give people a virtual peek in to your kitchen, and the stories of the people who are working for you.
Takeaway: People can only connect with food so much. Get creative and find the meaningful stories that create a deeper connections between you and your audience.
2.) You don’t give enough away
Hold your horses, we’re not talking about giving away free meals to all your diners, we know you run a business here. We’re talking about giving away support, knowledge and value through your restaurant social media content.
Here’s what we mean…
Does your restaurant support local charities or various community groups? Not only should you be talking about the support your restaurant provides to other groups, but also show your support by posting updates that don’t benefit you in any way.
For example, is your city trying to raise funds to build a new park in your neighborhood? Show your support by spreading the news to your following. Sure, it may not have a direct benefit for your restaurant, but it’s important to stay tuned in and show support for other things happening in your immediate community.
Now when it comes to knowledge, what’s something you know that you can teach your followers? Your initial answer might be cooking. Great, set up a workshop where you teach a small group of people a cooking technique they can use at home to impress dinner party guests.
For example, one of our clients has a simple way to reheat leftover pizza on the stovetop that results in a much tastier slice than one you throw in the microwave or in the oven. They gave this knowledge away and it appeared in a write-up in a local magazine with a large readership. Minimal effort, maximum exposure.
Takeaway: Not everything you post on social media needs to be tied to a promotion for your restaurant. Give away other things that people will remember you for such as support and knowledge, and people will want to support and share news about your business in return.
3.) Your posting schedule is non-existent
It’s hard to strike a good balance on social media. Part of you may feel like you have to post around the clock just for people to see your updates (you can thank Facebook’s algorithm changes for that), or you might be thinking you have nothing to say on social media, which means you could easily go weeks without posting anything.
We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to be posting all day to get your restaurant noticed, and you absolutely have more things to say than you think, but the biggest mistake you’re making is not having a set schedule.
Sporadic posting once every couple of weeks related to a new promotion or menu item is essentially the same as not having social media profiles set up at all, in fact, it might be worse. Because not only does infrequent posting cause you to not show up on any of your audience’s feeds, but if someone does happen to come to your profile, it leaves a bad impression to see that the last update was made more than a few days ago.
On the flip side, over-posting usually results in non-relevant and non-interesting posts because your only goal is to stay in people’s newsfeeds. You’re better off posting once a day or a few times a week with good ideas of what to post rather than appearing spammy. There’s already enough noise on social media, don’t contribute to it with non-relevant posts.
Takeaway: Fail to plan and plan to fail. Come up with a calendar and schedule for posting, take advantage of tools that help you schedule posts in advance and make a bank of ideas to draw from so that you’re able to post relevant and interesting content consistently.
What are some other issues or questions you have regarding your social media presence? Let us know on social, or send us an email, not to ring our own dinner bells, but we think we’re pretty good at this stuff and we’d love to help.