For any local business it can be difficult to hone the social networks you need to be present on, after all there is no shortage of choices — from major networks, like Facebook and Twitter to more niche ones, like Instagram and Periscope.
While it would be wonderful to have a presence on every single social media network out there, most small businesses (and big businesses!) don’t have the time or the resources to manage them all. How do you identify the social media networks that will give you the most bang for your buck?
There are hundreds of social media networks available, with a huge range of sizes, niches and unique audiences. For restaurants, you are able to eliminate many of these networks immediately; they won’t help you bring local diners to the table.
Keep reading for the networks you need to include in your restaurant social media marketing strategy.
Top social media for restaurants networks
When building a social media restaurant marketing plan, Facebook is the first network you should incorporate. Facebook allows you to share a variety of content — such as your contact information, pictures, videos, business updates and menus — with your fans and followers.
If your restaurant’s marketing plan also includes local search and online ratings and reviews (it should include both), your efforts on Facebook will kill two birds with one stone. Facebook Local Search launched in Fall 2015 and helps users find businesses that have the best Facebook ratings and reviews.
Once your restaurant is up and running on Facebook, consider using social media advertising to drive traffic to your Facebook Business Page or restaurant’s website.
Twitter is the next network you should incorporate into your social media marketing for restaurant strategy. As a real-time information sharing network, many restaurants leverage Twitter as a customer service channel, both proactively engaging with existing diners and spreading awareness among people looking for restaurant options in a specific location.
You can also connect with influencers in your area, such as food bloggers, community groups and other local businesses.
Google My Business
Google My Business is your restaurant’s one-stop-shop for all Google platforms, including Search, Maps and Google+. Claim your Google My Business account and you’ll ensure searchers find your restaurant’s information quickly — and that it’s correct — whether they are looking on Search, Maps or Google+.
Claim your Google My Business account and you’ll ensure searchers find your restaurant’s information quickly — and that it’s correct — whether they are looking on Search, Maps or Google+. While many digital marketers downplay the significance of Google+ (which you’ll manage via Google My Business), the fact remains that Google is the dominant search engine out there; by publishing content to your Google+ page, you are showing the search engine algorithm that your restaurant is 1. real and 2. active, making it more likely that you will increase your search rankings.
While many digital marketers downplay the significance of Google+ (which you’ll manage via Google My Business), the fact remains that Google is the dominant search engine out there; by publishing content to your Google+ page, you are showing the search engine algorithm that your restaurant is 1. real and 2. active, making it more likely that you will increase your search rankings.
No social media restaurant marketing plan would be complete without Yelp/Eat24. When you claim your restaurant’s page on Yelp, you’ll be able to share information with searchers (Yelp ranks very high on Google) and respond to reviews. and you’ll be able to share your information with searchers, respond to reviews and receiving free feedback.
If you’re worried about receiving negative reviews, don’t be. The majority of online reviews are positive. If you do get a few wild card negative reviews, follow our review response formula and you have a 33% of turning that negative review into a positive one.
LinkedIn is the definitive social network of entrepreneurs and professionals. While it might not seem like an important social media network for your restaurant to be on, having a presence will help you develop relationships with vendors and explore new business opportunities, such as adding a catering service to your restaurant.
Depending on how many people your restaurant employs, you can encourage them to follow your restaurant on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is also a great place to recruit for employment.
Instagram is considered a “niche” social media network because it is exclusively visual (photos and short videos).
While Instagram isn’t for every type of business, incorporating it in your restaurant marketing strategy is a good idea. Instagram lets your restaurant showcase your top menu items in a visual format, strengthening relationships with existing customers and promoting your offerings to a new set of diners.
Why these social networks?
It can be tempting to go overboard when you’re starting out with social media, creating profiles on every single available network, from Snapchat and Instagram to Periscope and Reddit.
After all, if social media is a great way to spread the word about your restaurant and bring in new customers, what restaurant doesn’t want a full dining room? However, when your restaurant is in the initial stages of building a social presence, you should refrain from creating profiles beyond the core five platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business, Yelp and LinkedIn. If you need to go above and beyond, jump on Instagram, too.
Restaurants that successfully use social media are active and engaged on the networks, going beyond just having a presence. By signing up on a lot of social networks, you spread yourself very thin and run the risk of neglecting the followers you have worked hard to get on the core five platforms. You never want to appear inactive and un-engaged — a major faux pas in the social media world.
Get control of your social media management
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not worried about joining every social network out there, I’m worried about managing my core five platforms,” the LocalVox platform can help.
The Localvox platform is an easy-to-use tool that helps restaurants stay connected and informed of what’s happening in real-time on social media and review sites. Available on both your desktop computer and mobile phone, LocalVox helps you work smarter and save time, all while you increase your restaurant’s engagement with customers
To learn more about creating a marketing plan for your restaurant, download our free eBook today. Specific to restaurants, our eBook will help you come up with restaurant marketing ideas and overcome specific challenges that a restaurant might face when using social media.
from Local Marketing Blog – LocalVox http://localvox.com/blog/top-networks-social-media-for-restaurants/