Social Media Tips for Restaurateurs
Be brief. Nobody wants to read long paragraphs. Emphasize visuals. Photos and videos attract more interest. Always get customers’ permission before uploading their photos. Think long-term. Facebook is about communicating your restaurant’s culture. Occasional showcases are OK, but promoting the catch of the day every day might get very old for your followers very fast.
Don’t just sell. Showcase menu options, recipes, and the origins of dishes; share favorable press; post industry news; and ask questions. “You want to see two-way interaction in these channels,” Weil says. Don’t overpost. Once or twice a day is plenty, says Perlman, who advises operators such as Wolfgang Puck and Marc Vetri. Stay current. Neglecting your Facebook page is even worse than not having one. “Bang out 20 or 30 posts on a Sunday afternoon,” Perlman suggests, “and schedule them to appear automatically on your page at predetermined days and times.”
Tweet specials. Make sure to inform your staff—especially about Twitter only specials.
Tweet open tables. Let the twitterverse know when tables are available.
Tweet to drum up business. If business is slow, tweet an enticing offer, like “half off drinks 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonite if you say you saw this on Twitter.”
Tweet news. New chef? Going to a foodservice festival? Want to share an article? Tweet anything newsworthy and relevant.
Tweet frequently. “The quantity of content needed for Twitter is much higher than for Facebook,” Dimes says. “Tweet as often as you want.”
Tweet wisely. It’s virtually impossible to take back a tweet once it’s posted.
Tweet with hashtags. A hashtag is a word immediately preceded by a # sign. Hashtags are how Twitter users find conversations on topics. So you occasionally might want to include such things as #yourcity, #restaurants, and #typeofcuisine in your tweets.
Claim your business. Most places on Foursquare are created by users. Visitfoursquare.com/search to see if you’re already there. If so, “claim” the business as yours. If not, add your location.
Post updates. Post special offers, upcoming events, and other news on your Foursquare business page.
Reward customers. Use Foursquare as a loyalty program—e.g., offer a free appetizer on every fifth check-in.