There are more than 3.3 billion active social media users across the world. Along with the rapid increase in mobile devices, social networks can help your restaurant attract customers and improve brand awareness.
And who would be a better brand ambassador than your employees? They can grow your online presence, become more engaged with their job, and help customers all at the same time.
But, it has to be done correctly. Implementing policies and procedures to guide your employees is the first step in creating a social media marketing strategy. This aids in keeping the process streamlined, measurable, and easy to follow.
Ahead you will learn how to get employees more engaged with your social media channels, the benefits of doing so, and how to manage it.
Develop a social media strategy
You and your employees will be lost without a concrete social media strategy. Developing a marketing plan helps set goals to accomplish, lays out the steps to reach them, and quickens progress.
The first decision you must make is which social media channels you’d like to use for your campaign. While it’s wise to cover all of your bases and be present on several platforms, you want to choose one or two as your main focus. This way, you can build a larger following faster and engage more users. As a restaurant, the following networks are effective:
All three of these social media channels are highly visual. They are excellent websites to post images of food from your menu to gain shares and attention. Specifically, pizza, steak, and sushi are the most posted foods on Instagram.
After choosing which networks you want to use, you then need to decide how often you will post and what kind of content it will contain.
Remember that social networks are meant to be social. Potential customers aren’t interested in being intruded with advertisements or overly promotional posts. Most of your content should be photos of food, events, or other interesting things that your restaurant does. Also, use these networks as a way to spread updates or news.
It’s recommended to post at least once per day to stay active. Users enjoy following accounts that continually share content and engage with customers. Ensure that you answer questions and become a member of the online community.
Set ground rules to follow
A social media marketing strategy lets employees know what to do, but they also need to know what not to do.
Having a positive online presence helps with your restaurant’s image, so it’s key to avoid any inappropriate comments or content. This applies to both business accounts and the personal accounts of employees.
Basic ground rules might include:
- No swearing or rude comments.
- No talking poorly of other restaurants.
- Report inappropriate behavior from other employees
- The social media manager must approve posts.
- Consequences of breaking the guidelines.
Having employees following these rules will create consistency across all of the channels you use. The voice of your restaurant will remain the same, and it will be familiar to customers.
Dedicate someone to be in charge
Overseeing your restaurants social media, analytics, and employee behavior can be very time-consuming. This is why it’s efficient to hire or dedicate an existing employee to be in charge of managing your online presence.
They will ensure that the marketing strategy you developed earlier on is working and generating results. A social media manager also can keep tabs on how employees respond to customers, what content they are posting, and if they are following guidelines.
Have your social media manager report to you every month with details of the restaurant’s growth online. These reports could include follower account, engagement, and any achievements worth noting.
Encourage your employees
Once your social media strategy begins to work, encouragement is one of the greatest things to offer employees. Being a caring employer has been proven to enhance the happiness and health of those that work for you.
Begin by acknowledging specific post or interactions they made on social media and congratulating them on a great performance. If they received an impressive amount of likes or shares, make that known as well. This will encourage them to continue delivering good results.
Also, don’t be too overzealous of employees being on their phones. They may not want to take photos or contribute to your restaurant social media if they feel scrutinized. Encourage them to take pictures and share them online instead.
Making social media an integral part of your restaurant has many benefits. You will expand brand awareness, drive sales, and create the opportunity to have employees enjoy their role more. Create a marketing plan to execute, guidelines to follow, and encourage your workers to keep up the good work.
Kevin Valdez is the Co-Founder of GroupRaise, a new way of organizing restaurant fundraisers for local causes.