3 Tips for Maximizing Social Media for your Restaurant

Posted on August 5, 2014 by Michelle Locke

In the last few years, social media has become one of the easiest ways to attract customers, as well as an easy way to waste time. With so many platforms and so many potential consumers, getting started -- and doing the right things -- can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we’ll give you three tips to get the most out of social media without sacrificing all of your time.

1. Focus Your Time

With so many social media platforms to choose from, you might wonder exactly where to start. The truth is that you don’t have to be everywhere; some platforms are more beneficial than others.

Only you can decide what is the best investment for your restaurant; pick one or two platforms to focus your time and attention on. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for restaurants because they are so widely used by consumers. Instagram and Pinterest are especially powerful because they’re visual platforms.

2. Schedule Social Media

You've got employees to train and manage, food orders to complete, and a thousand other things on your plate -- we must be joking if we think you have time for social media.

We’re serious though. Social media doesn’t have to be a time vacuum. Once you decide on the platforms you think are best for your restaurant, you can start using a tool like Hootsuite to schedule out content throughout the day or week, which saves you time day-to-day.

The benefit of tools like Hootsuite, Sprout, or Buffer is that not only do they allow you to schedule out content, they also provide analytics and data for engagement and impressions. This can help you know what is working and what isn’t -- so if the time you're spending on social media isn’t benefiting you, you can immediately make changes.

3. Encourage Customer Participation

A recent Craigslist rant took issue with customers who use their smartphones at the dinner table, claiming that social media use has caused service times to double since 2004. You could encourage customers to put away their phones... Or you could encourage your customers to participate on social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, by including your username and a special hashtag on the menu -- and offering incentives for posting! Since customers are using social media anyway, why not join in the fun?

When it comes to social media, you get out what you put in. Dedicating a few hours to social media each week might seem like a sacrifice, but research shows that millenial customers respond best to marketing via social media. With these tips, you’ll get the most out of social media and still be able to run your restaurant.

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