In the age of smart phones and constant connectivity, your restaurant franchise can’t afford not to be on social media. With competition at every corner, it’s important to stay on your customers’ minds by establishing a presence on popular social media platforms. But garnering 1,000 “likes” won’t translate to real-life monetary results unless your restaurant franchise knows how to use social media in the right way.
Want to convince customers to choose your restaurant franchise for their next meal? Then learn what not to do! Here are the top five social media mistakes that you might make as a restaurant franchise.
Top 5 Social Media Mistakes Made by a Restaurant Franchise
No clearly-defined strategy
A social media campaign without strategy is a waste of time and money for your restaurant franchise. First, articulate your end goal–a measurable real-life result, not “get more followers”–and then think about how to go about this goal. Want to gain a larger lunch crowd at your restaurant franchise? Target nearby businesses and try a “Win free lunch for your cubicle-mates” promotion, encouraging potential customers to share a photo or a reason why they should win.
Obviously, you can have multiple goals for your restaurant franchise simultaneously; just don’t take on too many that your campaigns become muddled. Try two or three more focused goals targeting specific groups or times you want to generate more business for, and of course, an overall goal to generate more traffic to your restaurant franchise. Every post should be made with a goal in mind.
Not enough of a local focus
As a restaurant franchise, you will probably get some marketing tips (and even mandates) from your parent organization. You should not treat this as a blueprint for your social media campaigns. Be sure to maintain consistency with the overall brand and post the things you’re required to, but remember that your restaurant franchise will benefit most from a locally-focused social media strategy. Post content that’s relevant to your area–share regional news, publicize local events, and celebrate when your city’s sports teams win. This will help your restaurant franchise maintain an active local profile. Also, be sure to include your address on all of your social media accounts so that customers can easily locate your restaurant franchise.
Not establishing a strategic, consistent posting schedule
Your restaurant franchise will squander your resources if you do not make a consistent posting schedule on your social media platforms. You don’t want to bombard customers with content, which can seem pushy, but you do want to stay on their mind and reward them for continuing to follow your restaurant franchise on social media. If you don’t, customers may get bored and jump ship.
Your posting schedule should be linked to your strategy. If you’re trying to gain more customers at a specific meal time, you should be aware of when customer cravings kick in so that you can take advantage of these and drive customers to your restaurant franchise.
With social media tools, you can schedule posts so that you don’t have to take time away from running your restaurant franchise. Just be sure to follow these tips on using social media automation!
Pushing coupons rather than customer-centered stories
Of course customers love receiving the occasional coupon, and offering discounts can lead to more “likes” and “followers” across your social media platforms. But too often, a restaurant franchise focuses solely on pushing coupons rather than customer-centered content that will actually help engage and retain customers. Chances are that customers will just “unlike” your Facebook page after they receive the coupon–a restaurant franchise can avoid this by engaging that follower by their content.
How can you find customer-centered stories? You have to know your customer base and think about content that will engage them. Do families frequently visit your restaurant franchise, or young adults wanting to mingle? Suggest some fun family activities going on around your area, or share date night ideas. Are your booths packed during game days? Let fans know what games are on and suggest some foods that they might want to munch on while watching their team.
You can also encourage your customers to interact with you on social media. Ask them to share their favorite dish from your restaurant franchise. You can even reward them with a gift card to promote engagement.
Using too many stock images to promote your restaurant franchise.
Images definitely have a place in your online marketing. There’s a kind of veneer and falseness to stock images that just doesn’t work with a local restaurant franchise, particularly on social media where customers go to authentically connect with your establishment. Seeing too many stock images may turn potential customers off.
Instead, share photos of your dishes or behind-the-scene kitchen shots on Instagram. Ask customers to post photos of their food on your Facebook. Take and tweet pictures of your employees at work. People come to your restaurant franchise to eat your food specifically. Reward them with actual photos of your franchise, promoting authenticity and a closer customer-franchise relationship.
Need help with social media strategy for your restaurant franchise?
Have you committed any of these social media mistakes? Don’t be discouraged–even the biggest brands can commit social media blunders. We can help you develop a social media strategy that works for your restaurant franchise. Contact Franchise Marketing Group at (816) 875-9311 or visit our office in Kansas City to learn more about our social media services and how they can help your restaurant franchise grow.