We asked the marketing professionals.
Developing a strong social media presence for your venue can be a tricky task, but now more than ever it is an essential thing to do. With less people out and about due to COVID-19, you need to capitalise on every opportunity you can.
You may not be a fan of apps like Facebook and Instagram, but learning the basics should be a top priority for your business. Once you’ve found your feet, you might find yourself asking:
If this is you, don’t stress! As simple as social media can seem from a user perspective, there’s actually a lot of work that goes on in the background which you might not have been aware of. Which is why we’ve reached out to foodservice marketing agency Mulberry Marketing Communications, for some advice on what to do (and what not to do) with your venue’s social media:
Finding the right platform
This is a great place to start! With social media nowadays there’s an abundance of platforms to choose from. And although it’s wise to cover as many bases as possible, the reality is managing these accounts takes time. Therefore, you’ll want to know which one will be the most effective for your particular venue.
Facebook is the obvious one and most venues will set this up first. It serves as a great point of reference for anyone wondering when you might be open as well as what the menu looks like. You can treat this almost like a second website (or a primary website if you don’t have one). Be aware that users can leave reviews and feedback on Facebook, so if you don’t have the time to respond to each one thoughtfully, perhaps you should consider Instagram only.
You’ll find that Instagram is similar to Facebook in many ways (which makes sense, as Facebook bought the app) so the two go hand in hand quite nicely. The simplest of ways to compare the two, is that Instagram is less words, more imagery. So this is an awesome place to post all your gorgeous food imagery! Its ‘story’ functionality also allows you to foster customer loyalty by reposting their pics which is a useful feature.
If you’ve never spent money on your social media before, it’s worth giving it a go. Posting to your page helps spread the message to some of the people following you already, but if you want to reach new potential customers, advertising is the way to go. Most apps are set up to make things fairly simple, but there’s still a few ways that you can slip up.
The main slip up for beginners is the target audience. You might create your first ad and be blown away by the response, but what good is it if all your likes have come from somewhere in Europe? Narrow your targeting to suit the group of people most likely to visit your venue. You can localise ads to a specific geographic location, target things like occupation and interests, you can even target demographics like ‘parents of two children’ or ‘people interested in brunch’.
The other question that comes up a lot is “how much do I spend?” The answer is slightly different depending on the venue, but in the beginning, it comes down to a little trial and error. To start off try making one ad and putting $50 behind over a week. That should give you some data to work with when deciding how much to spend and who to target.
Our one piece of advice for advertising newbies: Don’t click ‘Boost Post’. Instead, head into the ad manager where you will have far more control over targeting and what you’re trying to achieve.
Creating Engaging Content
Unfortunately, your ad spend will only get you so far. Creating engaging content is the other side of the coin that you’ll need to strongly consider. Our quick tip is this: invest time in the visuals. It’s common knowledge that imagery and videos are better attention grabbers, so always try to include these when conveying your message. If you’re struggling for ideas or can’t work the camera like your competitors, image banks like Unsplash and Pexels are a good go-to for inspiration (and copyright free images!).
If you are thinking about putting some money behind an image, it’s important to have a read of the guidelines. Facebook has rules around things like how much text can be in an ad for example. If you don’t abide to these guidelines you put your ads at risk of being less effective. Meaning less bang for your buck.
Putting it all together
The idea of managing Facebook, Instagram, a website, Tik Tok (the list goes on) is all very daunting for a social media novice. But once you have a grasp of the basics, you’ll start to realise that many of these platforms are connected. For instance, you might be seeing better results on Instagram and post there regularly. That’s fine, but don’t leave your Facebook to become a barren wasteland of non-activity. You can share content almost instantly across both platforms, so creating content that makes sense on both can save time.
Once you’ve established a bit of a presence online, you can start pushing other areas like your website or blog. Facebook is a great place to share links to all of these different components, leading an already interested audience to specific parts of your business.
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with others, Tip Top Foodservice is constantly looking for cafes and restaurants who might enjoy a little extra exposure. The two parties can benefit tremendously from a tag or mention, as it’s bringing two audiences together. If you’re using Tip Top Foodservice products and share a picture, don’t forget to tag them for a chance at featuring on the page and broadening your audience!
There’s always more to learn but we hope this insight can help those managing these accounts. If you have any questions about any of the information here, please feel free to contact the Tip Top Foodservice Facebook or Instagram accounts today!