Restaurants and social media come hand in hand. If you are running a restaurant, look around and see how often you spot your customers capturing photos of their dishes, sending it to friends and posting it on social media. Probably quite a bit? Social media is the new word of mouth advertising and unless you have a presence, you are essentially saying goodbye to hundreds of customers who will fail to notice you amongst the noise. But how do you know you are doing it right? How do you know if your activities are actually damaging your brand rather than enhancing it?
Here are some common mistakes restaurants make on social media.
- Mixing Business With Pleasure
Using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for your own personal interests is no problem. However, do not confuse your business accounts on these channels with your personal use. Posting inappropriate content that has nothing to do with your business could confuse your followers or even worse make them stop following you full stop. Be sure to keep business and pleasure separate.
- Not Posting Enough
Have you created a social media account to promote your restaurant? If the answer is yes, when was the last time you visited it? If you are not consistently posting to your accounts, they really are not doing you any good. Your followers will not see your updates and you will not attract any new followers. The bottom line is there is no point in using social media to promote your restaurant if you are not actively posting. The presence of the page is just the beginning, you have to remain active on it.
- Posting Too Much
Whilst not posting enough to your accounts is damaging, posting too much can also be. It is great to want to be active. However, if you are adding updates on a constant basis, you may be over-saturating your customers. Have you ever seen an ad on TV far too many times before? After a while, it loses its effect. People start switching the channel when it comes on. The same idea applies to posting too much on social media channels. Be aware of what your posting and what is too much and not enough.
- Being Unresponsive
One of the greatest benefits of social media is that it allows you to interact with your customers on a more personal level. This personal exchange helps to make you and your business more real, which can help to increase your success. If you are not interacting with your customers, they may feel like you are giving them the cold shoulder. For example, if someone posts a comment, whether it be positive or negative and you do not respond, you could really leave a bad taste in that person’s mouth, which could have a big impact on your success and not in a good way.
- Posting At The Wrong Time
Believe it or not, the time you post has a massive impact on your success with your social media campaigns. Posting at times when most of your followers are not online may make your content invisible which is a waste of your effort.
- Deleting Negative Comments
Having your brand out in the public domain will always result in some negative feedback at some point. When you see a public comment about your restaurant that is negative it hurts. It is inevitable that negative comments will creep through. People enjoy voicing their opinions, even if it is complaining. Some may be private, but they can often be public. The main thing to know is that if a majority of the comments are not negative you are doing good. How you deal with these comments shows the world how professional your brand really is. Deleting comments and ignoring them seems to be an easy way to avoid the issue, however, this will only make someone even more angry, resulting in a backlash that can often be very embarrassing. It is much better to publicly apologise for the issue and try to resolve it directly with the person. Be patient and understanding of any complaints directed at your restaurant. You would not ignore a complaint in your restaurant, so do not on social media.
- Being Inauthentic
Do not pretend to be something you are not. Your restaurant serves a specific niche. This niche may not be ideal for everyone, however it is perfect for the audience you are targeting. Do not worry if what you say may upset some people, as long as your message is serving your target audience and fitting with your vision are on the right track. For example, Pizza Hut makes very few healthy claims and this may turn people off looking for a salad. However, by sticking to their vision and core values they attract people that want that kind of food.
These are some of the common mistakes that restaurant owners can make when using social media to promote their business. You may have read this and realised you are guilty of a few. However, at least now you know not to mix business with pleasure, to post often but not too much, to be responsive, to post at the right time, not to delete negative comments and to be authentic. If you need more help with your restaurant’s social media you can always contact us at Sauce Social.