The benefits of social media marketing for restaurants

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Social media marketing for restaurants is essential to build a strong online presence and help to morph a brand into a publisher, where the business can build trust with customers and generate genuine interest and respect. This long term plan, should lead to positive recommendations and traditional word of mouth.

Who should be responsible for maintaining this presence? What should operators look for when deciding which members of staff will be responsible for social media?

The first stage with embracing social media is to deepen the company knowledge of the various social networks available. Some companies will stumble along and dedicate lots of time to posting, only to find that as business picks up, there is little time to keep up momentum. Therefore it is key to develop a strong marketing strategy for social media, which includes an editorial calendar, highlighting when and what content to post to engage the audience.

It is important to highlight responsibilities for each member of staff. You can start by estimating the amount of time to spend on social media and what roles are required. This could be one person to do all or a content creator, advertiser, moderator and conversation starter. All involved should be aware of the strategy and follow it religiously. Social media management can also be outsourced to a company that will post on your behalf and free up your time to focus on other key areas.

Operators should look for staff who are knowledgeable in terms of using social media on a personal level. In some cases, staff can be encouraged to post on social media frequently throughout their daily routine where they see relevant, from a chef tweeting a photo of their latest creation to a bartender showing of his cocktail making in a video. As long as it is appropriate and within the social media policy of the company, with individuals taking personal responsibility for their actions.

How important is it to train staff in the use of social media? What courses are available in this area? How often should such training be refreshed?

Social media training should be sought to deepen staff knowledge for those who will be involved with regular updates, as social media platforms are evolving at a rapid rate. Some businesses may prefer to arrange courses on social media for all staff so they all have a general understanding. Others may prefer to have advanced courses for key members of staff who will need to create targeted advertising campaigns and retarget existing customers or those who visit their website pages.

Social Ant run social media training courses in Scotland, which are tailored to the needs of different industries. They also arrange training for staff within their own premises, so they can develop their marketing strategy and implement it gradually. Contact jon@socialant.co.uk.

Jon Exton

Digital Marketing Consultant

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