Five dos and don'ts that will make sure your social media marketing is on point!

9/26/18 6:00 AM Lindsay Gillanders

Now that you’re using Ameego for scheduling (RIGHT?!) you have a lot more time on your hands to focus on the other things that go into making a restaurant successful, like marketing! A strong knowledge of how to promote your business is key to making sure your restaurant stays full, but where do you start?

Social media is here to stay and usership is still growing! If you’re not using social media to market your restaurant you’re missing out. Used effectively it can be a great way to connect with your customers and potential customers in a manageable and affordable (!!) way.
Think social media is scary and overwhelming? It doesn't have to be! Our marketing and social media guru Lindsay has compiled her top five dos and don’ts to ensure that you’re social media-ing properly and seeing the best ROI on your social focused investment.

  1. DO: make sure you know your target demographic.
There are so many social media platforms these days it’s hard to know where your restaurant should be. Knowing who exactly you should be marketing to is KEY to ensuring you’re not wasting time on snapchat when your customers and potential customers are spending their days on Facebook. For example, if you’re running a cool and trendy establishment you’re probably looking to connect more on Instagram where the younger people live (think teens to 30 somethings). If you’re more of a high price point fine dining restaurant you’ll be wanting to spend most of your time on Facebook (note: did you know that the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is 55+? It’s true!). Knowing who you’re targeting will make sure you’re reaching the right people who are most likely going to connect best with your brand.
  1. DON’T: forget to pay attention to details!
Every time you post on a social media platform you’re potentially making a connection with a new customer. You want to make sure you’re looking professional, sounding intelligent, and putting your best foot forward. Make sure your spelling is on point, your grammar is impeccable (there, their, and they’re!), and your messaging is clear and concise. No one wants to know that “Bellinis are on speshal”. If you’re that flippant with details on social media why would they expect you to be any different behind the bar or in the kitchen? Mistakes happen but a good dose of proofreading and a google or two when you’re in doubt about your grammar and you’ll be good to go!
  1. DO: post often (BUT NOT TOO OFTEN).
Do you have that friend who likes to spam your Instagram account with photos of their kids? I do. I mean they’re really cute kids, but 20 posts a day is a bit much. Make sure that you’re throwing enough content out there that you’re keeping people interested, but not so much that they’re tempted to disconnect with you. I’d say a good rule of thumb is a minimum of three posts per social media platform per week, and a maximum of seven. Try and space it out and mix it up. Some should be marketing focused (like the Bellini special we mentioned before), but you can also use your social media to show your personality! Is it Chef Wendy’s birthday? Throw a photo up there and wish her a great day! You can also post about community events that you think your followers may be interested in, highlight a special staff member, or shout out your favourite scheduling company (*cough, cough, AMEEGO, cough, cough*).
  1. DON’T: forget to turn a negative into a positive

Social media is great for building customer relationships. Unfortunately sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Reviews can be a great way for people who LOVE your spot to shout it from the rooftops, but they can also be a way for people to air their frustrations. If you get a bad review or a bad post, think twice before disabling or deleting it (you can’t actually delete bad reviews, but you can turn them off on your business page). Try and see how you can turn it into a positive customer service moment instead.

For example: “I came it your restaurant and the food was awful. There was a baby crying and my server was rude”.

Your customer service focused super answer: “Hello! We’re so sorry that you had a bad experience. It sounds like we may have been off our game that night but we would love the opportunity to do better. Please send me a direct message via the Facebook messenger so I can learn a bit more about what you didn’t like about the meal and find a way to make it right. I’d also like to know who your server was so that I can follow up personally and correct any issues that may be affecting their service. Unfortunately I can’t do anything about the babies, but I can let you know that our lounge is 18+ (so no babies allowed!!) and we tend to be a bit slower during the afternoon if you'd like a quieter dining experience! - Lindsay”

BOOM! You look like super star. The bad food isn’t a regular occurrence (and the positive reviews you already have prove that), and you just went out of your way to correct any issues in a VERY PUBLIC way. Ten points for Gryffindor!

  1. DO: respond, respond, respond!

Did someone comment on your post? Engage with them! Did they leave you a good review? Thank them! Interacting and engaging with people will tell your platform that they like you and you like them. That will make the platform algorithm happy and make it more likely that your content shows up in their feed. What’s the algorithm? It’s the magical dohickey that determines what you see and what you don’t see. Ever wonder why you see a million Facebook posts from your Aunt Ester but none from your friend Paul from high school? It’s because at some point you did something that made the Facebook think you like Auntie E more than Paul. Maybe you liked her crochet posts, or her photos from Japan while ignoring Paul’s cat pics. Regardless, Facebook thinks you like her better. By interacting with people and having them interact with you, you’re showing the platform that you’re an Ester (aka you’re what people are interested in) and they’re therefore more likely to have your posts show up in their feed organically (sorry Paul).

Okay so now that the people are flocking into your restaurant because of your vast social media knowledge, make sure that you’re taking home the biggest slice of the profit pie possible! Did you know that Ameego can cut save you up to 4% of your annual profits a year? We aren’t lying! Make sure your labour game is on fleek (are kids still saying that?). Request a free, no obligation demo today!

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Topics: Guest Experience, Restaurant Culture