This is part two of our blog on the “6 Steps for Social Media Success”. Part one is here…
Have a plan: create a spreadsheet and spend some time planning at least a rough framework of the types of social media posts you’re planning for the next month or two. Things will inevitably change as you go along, but you’ll have some idea of where you’re headed.
A restaurant, for example, might consider these types of posts:
MENU HIGHLIGHTS (e.g. “this week’s special,” “new grassfed beef producer we’re using,” “ramps now in season” – preferably with a link to your website page with more detail)
AREAS NEEDING A BOOST (e.g. “breakfast” or “happy hour”– preferably with a link to your website page with more detail, menu, etc.)
EMPLOYEE LOVE (employee of the month, an engaging pic of someone doing their job well)
RECIPES – FROM THE CHEF (make sure the recipe feeds a typical family, so 4-6 servings)
RECIPES – FROM THE BARTENDER (try to avoid recipes with too many expensive ingredients, or difficult techniques)
“US AS EXPERTS” (e.g. something that positions you as the expert in your field, such as your chef leading a cooking demo, your bartender in a contest, you meeting with a new farmer you’re using)
CUSTOMER LOVE (pics you took of your customers enjoying your restaurant, or if you downloaded their pic from Facebook or elsewhere, make sure to give them photo credit and thank them)
NEWS (e.g. upcoming events and dinners, etc. – preferably with a link to your website page with more detail)
MEDIA LOVE (links to articles written about you thanking the writer/outlet and tagging them)
#4 – Be a part of the conversation
So – how much promotion is too much self-promotion? There are a number of theories on the ratios, but we like to err on the side of using social media to promote others, finding that if we scratch others’ backs, they usually scratch ours back. That means you also need to spend some time listening, checking in to what others are saying, and comment back or share the ones that interest you.
# 5 – Work smart
Once you build a social presence, make good use of it to successfully engage and grow your audience. You want to learn as much as possible about your audience so you can grow relationships with them. Each platform has tools to help you do this (for example, Facebook has Insight, which offers demographics about who is visiting your page and when. We like Hootsuite’s social media monitoring platform for comprehensive but not overwhelming reports.)
#6 – Evolve
Social media is constantly changing and so are your customers. Make time to manage, audit and adjust. Your social media strategy should change over time, answering the question “what’s working best now?” – as your business grows. Check in frequently and make relevant changes.
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