You know your way around a kitchen. You know your red sauce recipe by memory. You even know which regulars will ask for extra cheese when they place their order on Friday night.
But are you confident you know how to market your business on social media?
It might not seem that important, sure — after all, it’s nearly impossible for your customers to resist a bite after getting a glimpse of one of your pies. But that’s exactly why social media is important: Sprout Social reports that 75% of consumers have made a purchase after seeing a social post online, and over half of those buyers were shown 2-4 posts before opening their wallets. By contrast, the average person spends 116 minutes per day on social media. That adds up to a lot of opportunities to be seen by new and existing customers! Here a few tips on how to translate social media posts into a lasting relationship with your customers online.
- Social media platforms prioritize posts that are beneficial to their users. Think high-quality images and useful information.
- Quality over quantity: Don’t post just because you think you should. It’s better to post high-quality content less often than the same thing every day.
- Mix it up! Drool-worthy photos, menu updates, specials, plus a little flavor about the history and heart behind your business will keep fans hungry for more.
- Show, don’t sell. Customers don’t want to be sold, but they do want to remember why they love your business. Keep it conversational (it is “social” media, after all!) and light-hearted.
Quality Over Quantity
In the last few years, every major social media platform has implemented changes to their algorithm that prioritize the most “valuable” content first.
Here are some examples:
- High-quality images of your products and team
- Concise, engaging information about your business
- Announcements — hours changing, new locations
- New menu items
It’s more important to share authentic moments about your business to drive conversations every so often than to post a photo every day “just because you should.”
Social platforms all reward accounts that generate engaging content (i.e. getting comments, shares, etc.) by displaying their posts before competitors. Quality over quantity goes for your platforms of choice, too — if you can’t commit to managing all three of the heavy hitters (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), then commit to one or two channels.
Variety is the Spice of Life… and Your Feed
It’s hard not to love a gorgeous photo of a pizza, but even the most diehard pie lovers will lose interest if that’s all they see from you on Instagram. Adweek reports that Facebook users devote about 2.7 seconds to a post before they’re onto the next thing. Attention spans are shorter than ever, so how can you stand out?
Tell a story with your posts and see what your audience responds to. Here are a few examples to help you get inspired:
- Share a testimonial from one of your regulars.
- Give fans an inside scoop: Are you testing any new recipes for your menu?
- What kind of specials are you running?
- Did you celebrate a big milestone, like a 10-year store anniversary?
- History lesson: How did you first come up with the business name?
- Say thanks for all the support you’ve received from the community!
These are all fantastic ways to keep your fans engaged and to help them see your business on a more personal level. Plus, you always want to leave your audience hungry for more. Literally.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of content, either! Video content consistently drives the highest engagement from users, and questions posed to your audience (“Let’s decide this once and for all: Are we pro-pineapple or not?”) are a great way to mix things up.
Show, Don’t Sell
It’s tempting to try to entice your followers online with deals and reminders of why your product is the absolute best. But that’s exactly what everyone else is doing online and why you should opt for a different strategy. Customers don’t want to be sold, but they do want to remember why they love your business. That’s where all the efforts mentioned above come in. Showing your brand in the best light while staying light-hearted and conversational (it is “social” media, after all) will drive business organically while helping those occasional $5 off on Wednesday nights! posts have much more impact.