Social Marketing is Sharing Your Brand Message
Before ramping up your use of social media to promote your restaurant, you should already have a clear sense of your brand. Everything you’re doing on social media should directly reinforce your brand image and spread your brand message. What’s great about social media is that you can do this in a very personal and sincere way, by interacting directly with your online followers.
When interacting online, you want to always put your best foot forward. You can express an opinion on a topic, but you must make sure that it fits into your branding strategy. Just be careful about a polarizing subject matter or sharing views that are not relevant to your restaurant marketing strategy. Most important of all, do not mix up your personal profile and your business profile! Make sure that you always use your professional page to engage with customers.
For a complete introduction and definition of branding terms, please see our article Learning Center article “Restaurant Branding”.
When Marketing Your Restaurant Online, Post Relevant Content
What is the difference between social media content that gets people excited, and what gets called spam? The old saying is “What’s in it for me?” No one wants to be marketed at, but we often enjoy being marketed to. The key to successful social media marketing for your restaurant is relevance to your audience.
Don’t spam your followers with repeated solicitations or post the same content in multiple online discussion groups that you just joined. Don’t expect to get new followers on social media with one-way communication. Desperate self-promotion doesn’t work in online marketing and can be dangerous to your brand image. Unsophisticated “spam” posts inspire resentment and can attract viral attention in the form of negative attention and rude comments.
It would be a mistake to think that all of your posts to social media need to be about your food, events or sales. Definitely, you must post to promote these things, but you want to promote strategically so that these offers and events seem special and are directed to the people who are actually interested. The majority of your posts should be marketing rather than promotions. Post content that will be shared, get likes, positive comments, and encourage attention and engagement from your target market.To keep your target audience engaged with your social media posts, you need to provide something of value that will interest them.
To help you identify your target customers and how to reach them, refer to the Learning Center article “Restaurant Target Marketing”.
Of course, you want to experiment with your social media for restaurant marketing as well. The great thing about social marketing is that you get instant feedback in the form of likes, shares, and retweets. This voting from your fans on content that they like will help to shape the way you market your restaurant as time goes on. As you continue to engage with your target customers you’ll get a clearer sense of what works on social media and what doesn’t. So get out there, and start posting those cat pictures!