You probably know that being “social” these days is so important but you just don’t have the time or staff power to handle it. Well you can hire someone locally to handle it for you. (Locally is key) or you can do these five things to get yourself in the social game.
1. Make a strategy plan. Make a plan and follow it, this will cut down on the time that you spend on social marketing. Included in the plan should be a dashboard, like HootSuite. By subscribing to these sites you will be able to post on all the sites at once. Some experts say that you should not do that because a hashtag on Twitter does not transfer to Facebook. But you are going this alone and time is money. The important thing is that you are out there.
Your strategy plan should consist of when you will be posting and how often. The sites vary as to when to post and how often but only slightly. The best time to tweet is 12noon and 6pm, the best days are midweek and weekends. The best time to post on Facebook is 12noon and on Saturdays.
I know you think I am crazy those are your restaurant busiest times! See, that is where your HootSuite can come in handy. You can create your posts in the morning when it is quite and schedule them through HootSuite to post through out the day! It is like turning over your recipes to your sous chef and having him do all the work!
Ok, so now I have you talking but you really need to be listening too! Listening is very important in Social Media Marketing. I was watching a show called “Hotel Impossible” the other day and the host of the show, Anthony Melchiorri was asking the General Manager and Owner of the hotel if he knew what his guests are saying about the hotel. The manager had no idea, he wasn’t listening. Social media gives you that ability. Check your scores and posts on Yelp, Open Table and Trip Advisor. Listen and respond to your customers. The other way to listen is Google Alerts. Set up an email alert for everytime your restaurant is mentioned on line. You can set it up so that you receive alerts daily, weekly or monthly.
People love to read about what is going on in the community, what you are involved in and especially love Chef Recipes. Blogging should be done once a week or at the very least once a month. It should never be over 1000 words and it can be as little as just a couple of sentences. Again, this is where a strategy can come into play and make it easy for you to blog. Come up with 4 topics that you think you would like to talk about. Maybe it is a recipe (1 week), maybe it is a new wine program (2 weeks). How about your private space and give tips on planning an event (3 weeks). Or perhaps about your staff or history of the restaurant (4 weeks) . See now you have a whole month of blogging! I suggest using a site like WordPress to get you started. They will help you along the way and give you a domain name which you can link to your website.
4. Google, Google and Google
Google +1, Google Analytics, and Google Adwords. I know everyone is saying that Google +1 is not going to make it, but I think that you will be surprised. You need to get SEO (search engine optimization) and I think Google +1 is going to be a great tool for that. Google + is tied to the number 1 and 2 search engines in the world, Google and YouTube.
Google Analytics is free and it is a great way to help you understand how people are finding you, who is looking for you and what they do with the information once they find you. It is free, just sign up and ask your webmaster to add it to all of your pages on your webpage.
Google Adwords is fantastic way to advertise on the internet. By using AdWords it makes sure your restaurant shows up on Google when potential customers are searching for places to dine in your area. And, you only pay when the searcher clicks through to your page. This is know as Pay per Click (PPC) advertising. Instead putting an ad in a magazine and hope that someone sees it and takes action, you only pay when someone does see it and takes action.
5. Be there
As I mentioned earlier two of the sites you need to be active on is Twitter and Facebook. But there is a new kid in town, Pinterest. Pinterest is growing at a rapid pace. The primary user of Pinterest is women. Who really makes the dinner reservations? Yes, it is women. Pinterest is a place where you pin something you saw on the web and pin it to your board. You share your board with your friends, and they share it with their friends. This page is great for taking pictures of your specials and posting them on your page. Recipes are a good place to put here too! It is also a great way to get people back to your webpage. Post a picture, say what the dish is, and then post a link to your webpage to get the recipe.
The concept of Christmas in July was started in an attempt to cool off during the hot summer months. The celebrations included Christmas traditions like Santa Claus in his summer attire, ice cream,other cold foods, and gifts. It has also been reported that it was thought up by retailers to try to take advantage of the sales season they experience in the fall. You may have already started to see the Christmas decorations on sale at the stores.
Why wait until the holiday season? Why not mix it up and celebrate a different holiday? Like I say "Everyday is a Holiday, Celebrate Everyday"
September 10: Swap Ideas Day - Potluck
September 14: Kreme Filled Doughnut Day - Doughnuts and Coffee
September 18: Cheeseburger day - Have a BBQ Grill Party
October 4: Improve your office day - Office Supply Exchange Party or Decorate your Cubicle/Office contest
October 6: Mad Hatter Day - Tea Party with Crazy Hat Contest
October 17: National Pasta Day - Italian Themed party
November 3: Sandwich Day - Build Your Own Sandwich Buffet
November 15: National Day of Play - Bring in Xboxes, Billiards, Casino Games, Ping Pong or go bowling!
November 24: Unique Talent Day - Have a talent contest XYZ Company's Got Talent
But if you want to stick with the traditional holiday festivities we have some great ideas for that party too.
The morale of this story is: Don't forget your employees; Be creative and you can stay within a budget; and Hire someone to do the party festivities for you. www.behipmarketing.com
From time to time I see postings on social media platforms that I shake my head and say “do you think they really meant to post that?”We have the First Amendment, giving us the freedom of speech but we also need to know who our audience is; that audience is pretty much everyone.
Today, due to social media, companies that are hiring, have more information than ever on applicants. It used to be that companies determined if the applicant was a good fit using just by their resume; today they also look to social media platforms. But it is not just companies and individuals looking to fill jobs; it is companies looking to hire consultants, or companies to perform services.
When you are a consultant, freelancer, entrepreneur or a small start up business; potential clients will check you out on the web first.They will look at your website to see how updated it is.If you webpage is filled with “cobwebs” and has not been kept up to date they may think your business has not been kept up to date.
They will look for you on all social platforms. LinkedIn to check your “online” resume.What your skill set, your background is, and what recommendations you have received. Potential clients will also check your Facebook Page, Google you, and look for you on Twitter.So it is important that what you put on these pages are things you would want seen.
I have seen a business owner complain bitterly about a client. I am sure the client can figure out it is about them, and how would that make future clients feel? Someone ask if anyone had a tampon she could borrow. Really do you want to give out that much info? Political rants are turn offs for almost everyone.And inappropriate language is always inappropriate.
Just remember you may think it is your personal page, but it is out there for everyone to see. That is what makes it business.