8 Ways Restaurants Should Use Social Media

The importance of marketing your restaurant is exponentially increasing and, at this point, is a necessity for any restaurant. There are many avenues one can take regarding marketing, but we will focus on Social Media. 

Facebook Marketing

Facebook is a tool that is crucial for any restaurant, but it is important to utilize it efficiently. Providing visuals of your food and restaurant to your customers gives them a first-hand experience of what their visit will be like.

1. Food Photos

Visualizing the food within the restaurant creates a categorically different experience opposed to just reading about the restaurant. I know when I’m looking for a restaurant one of the first things I check is how good the food looks.

2. Page Tabs

Implementing different sections within Facebook helps keep the customer engaged with your restaurant’s page. The first few tabs they see are critical. Integrating your menu onto your Facebook page gives the customer the best insight as to what they can expect at your restaurant.

3. Exclusive Offers and Group Deals

Offers and deals will help keep customers engaged and motivate them to ‘like’ your page. 58% of Facebook users expect offers and deals once they become fans.

4. Contests and Sweepstakes

While discounts are a great way for initial interest, contests are a great way to keep them coming back.  Sweepstakes and contest that require your audience to check back at a later date is one of the best ways to guarantee prolonged engagement.

Instagram Marketing

5. Hashtags

Using hashtags helps increase the restaurants visibility on Instagram by making your content searchable. Every hashtag you add to a picture is a new way for your audience to find your business.

6. Posting Menu Items

People are going on Instagram for one reason, to look at pictures! Pictures are a great way to catch a potential customer’s eye. 

Twitter Marketing

7. Link to Your Menu

Placing links inside your tweets is a wonderful opportunity to direct your audience to your website. What’s the best part of your website for your potential customers to see? Your menu! 79% of people are incentivized by a positive comment regarding the food or menu.

8. Timing Your Tweets

Pushing out a message for a specific time can help bring in new business (ie, timing a tweet to go out when it is most relevant) At noon send out: “Come check out our new #lunch specials.”

Social media is only becoming more important in the ways that consumers are choosing where to eat. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a necessity for restaurant owners looking to attract new customers. Follow SinglePlatform on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to learn more ways to get discovered everywhere that matters across the web.

Social Media Management Tools for Your Local Business

78% of Americans use at least one social media site, which means social media is an important resource for you to communicate with customers. Social media usage has increased year over year making this marketing channel important for the future of your business.

Not only do social media platforms facilitate communication, studies show that 74% of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions. While there are several social media platforms to choose from, Facebook and Twitter are a great place to start; 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online.

To help you manage your social media presence on the web, we’ve compiled a list of the best social media management tools available:

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows you to manage any of your social media platforms from a centralized dashboard from Facebook to FourSquare. With the ability to schedule and publish posts, communicate with all audiences, and track interaction histories, Hootsuite is perfect for local business owners focused on increasing reach on multiple social media platforms.

Offering four different plans (including one that’s free), Hootsuite Pro and Hootsuite Business have the features best for local businesses. Learn more about Hootsuite plans and pricing.

2. TweetDeck

Specifically designed for Twitter users, TweetDeck is an add-on tool that enables people to monitor multiple timelines via one interface, schedule tweets, manage a twitter account with multiple owners, and filter searches based on different criteria.

Best for people desiring organization and real-time streaming on Twitter, TweetDeck is a free way to increase engagement and activity. Learn more about how to add TweetDeck to your account.

3. Sprout Social

From one dashboard, manage your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram with Sprout Social. With features that enable you to publish and schedule content, respond to questions and concerns, as well as create a social media marketing plan, this product is ideal for local businesses who have one to three people in charge of social media and desire more in-depth analytics reporting.

Choose from three different plans, each designed for business owners of various levels of social media expertise. Learn more about Social Sprout’s features and pricing options.

4. Buffer for Business

Buffer for Business’s features focus on driving traffic, increasing fan engagement and saving time on social media. Connect between 11 and 150 social accounts and allow up to 25 employees manage your social media profiles.

Best for people who already have a solid grip on the ins and outs of social media, Buffer for Business allows 2,000 scheduled posts per profile and analytics to track your progress. Learn more about Buffer for Business’s pricing.

5. DrumUp

Similar to other social media management tools, DrumUp also hosts a centralized dashboard to view and manage all linked social media accounts. In addition to timeline monitoring, DrumUp suggests relevant content to your audiences, allows scheduling and publishing and recommends hashtags to use for related posts.

Best for people who want to stay on top of industry news as well as share it with their audiences, DrumUp offers four different plans. Learn more about Drum Up’s pricing.

Managing social media platforms for your local business can fall to the bottom of your to-do list, but using a social media management tool can streamline the task of reaching out online. Learn more about how SinglePlatform can manage your online presence on the top search engines, review and travel sites, mobile apps and online directories.

Best Practices for Deal Sites and Check-in Offers

For small business owners, finding ways to increase foot traffic and create a loyal customer base can be a difficult. While traditional marketing methods may have worked for you in the past, the technology now available has made online marketing imperative to expand and market your business effectively. It’s important that small business owners stay current on the newest resources to help their businesses get discovered.

The first step to getting noticed by consumers searching on the web is creating a strong online presence. A great way to expand the reach of your online presence is to use deal sites, check-in offers, and loyalty programs that can incentivize customers to choose your business.

1. Deal Site Decisions

If you just opened your small business, partnering with sites like Groupon and LivingSocial is a quick and easy way to gain exposure on the web. When you entice customers to purchase with your business by offering them a discount or deal, they are more likely to give your business a try than more established companies. Not only are these sites great for increasing your reach on the web, they also motivate new customers to visit your business.

While deal sites are useful in gaining the attention of new customers, they haven’t proven to be the most profitable partnership for small businesses. If foot traffic and online visibility are what your business needs to increase, these sites can be a great resource to achieve those goals.

2. Check-In Offers Keep You Competitive

Put your small business at an advantage over your competitors by implementing check-in offers into your marketing strategy. Incentivize people to visit your business by offering specials, freebies, or discounts when they check in at your business on sites like Yelp, Facebook and Foursquare.

Check-in offers are an effective way to drive revenue and foot traffic but they also help to generate reviews for your business. Customers who check in online are often prompted to post a review about their experience online. Considering that 90% of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, this is a powerful tool to take your business to the next level.

3. The Power of Loyalty Programs

According to a recent survey, people are over 80% more likely to purchase with stores that offer some type of loyalty program. Harnessing that interest by implementing a loyalty program at your small business will not only increase traffic to your store, but also build consistent relationships with your customers.

While loyalty programs attract customers to your business, they also are an easy incentive to keep customers coming back.  80% of your revenue likely comes from just 20% of your loyal customers. So taking advantage of customer retention strategies like loyalty programs will ultimately ensure your business has repeat customers.

Deciding which marketing tactic works best for your business is key in expanding your reach and retaining customers. By implementing deal sites, check-in offers, and customer loyalty programs into your marketing strategy, you ensure success for your business. Learn more about SinglePlatform can help your business grow.

Four Ways to Market with Instagram Stories

Last Tuesday, Instagram introduced their newest feature, Instagram Stories. With people engaging with brands 25% more on Instagram in comparison with other social platforms, Stories is another way for brands to establish relationships with the people who purchase from them. Allowing users to post photos and videos that stay up for 24 hours before disappearing, the feature provides a way for small businesses to showcase every aspect of their brand. Here are four tips to increase your social media reach using Stories:

1.  Get Personal

Posting regularly on Instagram is a great way to share your most newsworthy information directly to your followers’ timelines, but Stories allows for more frequent and personalized updates. 64% of people cite shared values as the reason they build relationships with brands. The new update is a prime platform for sharing your brand’s values as they occur within daily happenings. Whether your employees spent time doing community outreach or you sponsor a local charity, showing these interactions as they happen is a great way for people to connect with the things you do on a daily basis.

2. Be Engaging

Increase engagement with your brand by announcing deals and specials only available to those who have seen your Instagram Story. Stories allows users to place text on the images and videos they post so you can include a code or password over your post that customers can redeem for a discount or freebie. This will encourage people to interact with your brand on Instagram while also increasing traffic and sales.

3. Host a Contest

Similar to Snapchat, Instagram allows users to see which of their followers has viewed their story. Incentivize customers to engage with you by offering a prize to someone who consistently watches your updates the most. Introducing competition is a fun way to encourage people to get to know your brand while rewarding those who already do.

4. Get Familiar

Just as you want people to engage with your brand via Stories, people want you to engage with them, too. Watching your customers’ stories not only allows you to get to know them on a more personal level, it allows you to understand what they like and why they might need your brand. The feature ultimately gives you a glimpse into what your customers’ daily lives are like, providing you with valuable information that allows you to tailor your marketing to fit their lifestyles.

While some say the update is a direct imitation of Snapchat, it’s a great (and free) way for small businesses to bridge the gap between the brand and the consumer while increasing overall engagement. Whether you snap behind the scenes moments or post quick updates, Stories is an essential way to communicate with people.

For more tips on how to get noticed on the web, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For the latest industry news, sign up for our newsletter here:


Social Media for your Small Business

The first social media website, Six Degrees, was created in 1997 and though the site is now defunct, social media has taken off. Social media are websites and apps that are designed to connect people with other people, but in the past few years, businesses have also started to leverage these emerging technologies. Learn more about why the two leading social media sites are important for your business. 

With SinglePlatform’s announcement feature, you can publicize your specials, events, happy hours, and so much more to both your Facebook and your Twitter at the same time. Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help your local business get discovered.

Best Practices for Facebook Ads

With well over 1 billion users, Facebook has changed the way that people interact with one another as well as the way that local businesses interact with their customers. Over 40 million businesses now maintain pages on Facebook, making this platform an important part of local businesses’s marketing strategies. Beyond creating and maintaining your company’s dedicated Facebook page, some business owners might consider the paid Facebook ad opportunities. To make sure your spending your advertising dollars effectively, check out these best practices for Facebook ads. 

1.     Choose Wisely

Facebook offers several different kinds of ads that can help local businesses better reach prospective consumers. Making up 74.8% of total ads, the Page Post Link ad is the most popular choice for Local Businesses. These ads are designed to push traffic to your website. Video ads are also popular with 15.1% of ads. You may also consider running Photos ads or ads promoting special events or offers. 

2.     Strong Content

After choosing which ads will best help you meet your marketing goals, you need to decide on your message. We’re living in a world of shortened attention spans so give your customers the most important information first. Facebook recommends that any calls-to-action be included in the first 90 characters for best results. If you are hoping to push more traffic to your website, ask customers to do so sooner rather than later.

3.     Quality Visuals

People scroll through their newsfeed pretty quickly, so your ad has to be eye-catching enough to make them stop and learn more. Photos and videos should be in high resolution with bright colors. Facebook has strict guidelines about how much text can be on their ads so make sure that your visuals are not content heavy.

4.     Target your Audience

Facebook allows you to use filters to target the people who see your ad. If your local business is based in Chicago, you don’t want to be paying for an ad that is shown to people in San Francisco.  You can also target your audience by age, gender, and interests so that you are reaching your best prospects.

5.     Change It Up

Facebook recommends changing the visuals and content of your ad every one to two weeks. Users in your target audience will see your ad multiple times, changing your creative will help keep the ad interesting to users and be more effective.

Following these five tips will help your local business get the most out of your Facebook ads. Learn more marketing tips and industry news by following up on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


New Changes to Twitter

Twitter is making some big changes over the next few months to improve their platform. On their blog, Twitter Senior Product Manager Todd Sherman announced these new changes and how they will affect users. Theses changes are said to be implemented over the next few months and the impact may be bigger than you would think.

Replies

The 140-character limit is no more when replying to @names! Twitter has been known for having a reply limit of 140 characters which forces users to get their point across in only so many words. As early as January of 2016, twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey hinted at the elimination of this limit. This will allow business to get more detailed in their replies to customers which could improve communication between your businesses and your customers.

Media Attachments

Media attachments on twitter replies have counted towards the 140-character limit in the past but that is also being done away with in the coming months. No longer will users have to conserve their words after adding media to a reply. This means more information and more detailed feedback for business owners.

The limitations of twitter can be confusing to a new user that isn’t familiar with twitter culture.  In an article by MediaWeek, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was quoted, saying, “One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler, Getting rid of limitations makes the product simpler and more intuitive for a first timer. Be sure to follow SinglePlatform on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates on industry news. To get updates straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below.

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