In our world of “you’re doing it wrong,” there is no better example of that than on most social media pages for restaurants and bars. Most of them just do not get it.
In Myrtle Beach, restaurants have to attract people who have never been there. While we love our core local audience, the influx in population in the summer requires us to have an online presence. We need the tourists in order to keep our economy going.
In the hospitality game, tourists know about you before you know about them. That is a fact. If you think those rack cards are driving your bar business, you are living in 1985. They know whether you are worth the money before they get in the car to come to the Grand Strand.
Here are five tips for bars and restaurants in the ways of proper posting to social media sites.
It is not about you.
If you are a bartender, do not post “come see me.” Ever. You are not the main attraction of the bar and, frankly, the only reason people “come see you” is so that you will give them something for free. Pay attention bar owners. Your social media princess or prince might not be helping your business in the long run.
Make your social media account inclusive. Show off how everyone has a good time at your place. Show off your food being enjoyed by your customers.
Make your social media posts about the people who pay you. Make it look fun. Make it look delicious. Make it look like something people who do not know you would want to check out.
Post everyday and be consistent.
It takes time to manage your online brand. Such is the world that we live in. It is a pain. It is not what you signed up for and it is complicated.
It is also not going away and it is free.
Whether you like it or not, social media is only getting stronger. A media outlet that is growing and cost you nothing should be on your radar of things to do everyday. If I walked in your door and told you that I would give you unlimited access to over 1 billion people for free, would you do it? Well, that is social media.
If someone from Ohio gets on your Facebook page today and the last post was August 28, what message are you sending to their frozen fingers? You are telling them that there is nothing going on that is worth their time when the weather breaks. Post everyday.
The algorithms are about engagement.
We are so concerned with how many “likes” and “followers” we have. You can spend $20 and buy followers for your page. That is our world. That does not bring people into your bar.
The algorithms for social media are about engagement. Engagement means people are paying attention. How many people comment on your page and how many responses you give are major portions of the Facebook algorithms. Those algorithms determine how many people see your posts. That is what matters.
Before you buy your way into the “100,000 likes” club, think about why. If you have a ton of followers and no one is engaged, that is just like buying business cards and putting them in your desk drawer. They do no good if no one sees them.
If someone comments on anything you post, you should respond. If the comment is negative, respond that you would like to call them or private message them to resolve the matter. Never get into a complaint situation online. Ever.
Share the good stuff. Tag people who put up good photos of your product. Offer deals specifically for social media. Feed the public’s need to have an opinion and to be involved in your business.
By commenting and engaging, you will organically promote your page. For free.
What is a hashtag? The # symbol is used to mark key words or topics in a post so that it will becomes easily searchable.
Meaning, #gooddayatthebartoday means absolutely nothing. No one on the planet is going to search for that. In fact, a hashtag like this falls into the negative branding category. It lets the general public know that you have no clue what you are doing.
Use relevant hashtags to the post, the place and your strategy. Keeping a theme constant with your brand will develop strong images, video and, yes, hashtags.
Better images and video.
There are no excuses for bad photos or video these days. It is so easy with your iPhone to do both really quickly and really easily.
Static images of just your food is not fun. People want to look at your image and put themselves in that image. You can suggest that the people at your place are enjoying “insert dish here” by including people in the image or video.
Focus and light are also very important. Just make it look good. Simple as that.
These are not the only tips that exist for social media rock stars, but it is a good foundation for the restaurant folks that are coming into the busy season. Now is the time to start building your summer business and I hope these quick tips will serve you well. Cheers!