Social media can do a lot for your business, but if you’re not using it right, sometimes it’s worse than not using it at all. Here are a few ways you could be deterring customers through your social media efforts.
Your daily posts are monotonous – essentially personality-free
This generation tends to look to social media to assess what kind of culture a restaurant has, see how delicious the food looks, and read reviews of everything from wait staff to ambience. If everything you post is bland, people might automatically assume your employees are bland, your food is bland, the drinks are bland, and so on. Prospective customers are going to make assumptions. Help them make positive ones.
You ban food pics – because no one actually wants to know what you had for lunch
True, not everyone wants to know what their cousin’s boyfriend’s sister had to eat that day. But your chefs and bartenders put a lot of effort into their creations – flaunt them. Let people see what they can’t get anywhere else. "Insta-ready" items help increase traffic as well.
Positive or negative, you don’t put any effort into review replies
When Sally says, “I loved your featured drink special yesterday!” respond with more than just a, “thanks.” Tell her if she liked that special, the next special is similar, or recommend a drink you’ve had in the past. If Jerry thought his “server was incredibly rude,” don’t simply say “Sorry for the inconvenience. We hope next time the service is better.” Or worse, tell him the server thought he was hard to handle. Ask him to respond via private message and assure him that you’ll follow up with the server. Make it right, whether he’s right or not. Would you rather have one unhappy customer that simply doesn’t come back, or an unhappy customer who tells everyone how inconsiderate you are?
Special events go unmentioned on your pages
Is a popular local artist or a high school jazz ensemble swinging by for a performance? Starting a new happy hour special or having a Halloween costume contest? Post about it! Your regulars can only preach so much. Let’s not forget that social media is essentially free advertisement. These events draw business, and by posting event photos, live streaming, or encouraging others to make posts, you show even more people that you know how to have a good time.
The long-term employees and regulars that have helped shape your restaurant receive no recognition
From my experience, the restaurants that are able to hold their employees have the best service. When people love their jobs, they can’t help but want to do their best. Similarly, repeat customers soon seem like family; you know what they enjoy talking about and you have their drink order ready before they even sit down. You look forward to seeing them every week. So show your employees and customers you care and appreciate them every once in a while – with their permission of course.
For beginners, SproutSocial has a great guide on setting up a FaceBook page for your restaurant.