By now, your restaurant has almost certainly joined social media. But are you using those tools to their fullest potential?
Pew Research Center found that social media is used by 88% of people between the ages of 18-29. In addition to keeping up with friends and family, social media users are reading news, looking for entertaining content and researching what to spend their money on.
While social media can be a great way to get in front of your customers, it’s most effective when you utilize it to accomplish specific goals. It’s a powerful way to build campaigns for specific actions you wish your customers to take, to engage directly with your customer base about your business, as well as a way to measure the ROI of each campaign.
However, how you use social media can make or break your message or branding. Here are some things to keep in mind while your restaurant maintains its social media presence:
How often should you post?
This varies from platform to platform.
Research shows that if you are posting to Facebook, the maximum number of posts should not exceed 2 per day and once on the weekends. In fact, 3 or more posts per day led to a loss of engagement and likes.
Similarly, with Instagram your restaurant should not exceed 7 posts a week, or one post a day.
Twitter, on the other hand, has a different type of user interaction. Because of the constant flow of information, the shelf-life for a tweet is significantly shorter than a post on Instagram or Facebook (unless your tweet goes viral). The research suggests that most businesses find success posting between 4-15 tweets per day.
When should you post?
Each platform also has peak times for maximum audience reach and effectiveness.
Instagram engagement is pretty constant however, research suggests that the best days to post are Monday and Thursday, with the exception being from 3-4pm on these days. Otherwise, the sweet spots seem to be 2am, 8-9am, and 5pm daily.
For Facebook, the best times seem to occur between 1-4pm and peaking with user engagement between Thursday-Sunday in the early afternoons. In general, to increase user engagement, studies suggest that 1pm, 3pm, and 9am are the most effective times. Facebook also has a built-in “insights” page for you to track your user engagement so you can cater to your specific audience.
Twitter users are 181% more likely to check the platform during their commutes. User engagement and tweet visibility are highest at noon, 3pm and 5-6pm.
Still, your results may vary depending on your customers. Tracking your social media campaigns is a good way to figure out what is working and not working for your business.
What should you post?
Your social media should be an extension of your business’ personality, and if your consumers feel as though you are talking at them rather than to them, they are less likely to engage or care about your online presence.
When posting, think about what keeps your customers coming back and what you want them to know about your business. Try creating posts about:
- The people who serve your customers
- Deals and announcements
- New dishes
- The source of your ingredients
No matter what, you can’t go wrong with drool-worthy pics of your food. Keep your posts should be engaging, consistent and true to your brand’s identity. (For extra credit, check out how Wendy’s keeps pushing the envelope on Twitter.)
Don’t just be another robot!
Business doesn’t have to mean boring. When your customer follows you on a social media platform, it signals that they want to engage with your business. They don’t call it social media for nothing!
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