Social media is sort of the big, hot topic today and for very good reason. It’s a great way to connect with your customers, so the question is, How do I create engagement on social media? Well, you create engagement on social media the same way you do at a party. If you’re interesting, people will engage If you ask people questions, they will answer. People are interested, frankly I am sorry to tell you, they are more interested in themselves than they are in you.
If you ask those questions about themselves, they are likely to answer, so sit down and think of a lot of questions that we’d kind of like to know about your customers, you know, what are some of the favorite places they like to visit? What’s the coolest restaurant they’ve ever been to in their life? Have they been to a restaurant in a foreign country that they thought was really interesting? What was it that they liked about that? Have that kind of conversation with your customers. Ask them questions. Engagement on social media is largely just a function of asking questions. Now, you got to be careful.
If everything you put on social media is a question, you look kind of weird, you know, that’s not conversations, it’s not particularly social. It sounds like you’re prying information out of them. So mix it up, ask a question, and supply some information. Give a little advice, suggest somewhere they might want to visit on vacation, whatever.
Mix things up, but to create engagement on social media is very much like you create engagement in your life and social surroundings. Ask questions, supply information, engage in other people’s posts. Go to customers that you know are customers of yours. Post on their pages.
Be engaging. Be a real person not just a, we’re the restaurant. That seems to be a bit of a trap that we fall into on our business presentations within social media. I have seen it in Twitter. I have seen it on Facebook. I have seen it on Pinterest. I have seen it everywhere, and social media is sort of like, Oh, I am the business. Nobody wants to have a conversation with a business.
I mean walk up to the front of the building and do what? Talk? It doesn’t happen. They want to have a conversation with a person. So be careful how you do this social engagement piece. This is very, very important.
If you kind of mess this up and people like unlike you and stop following you on Twitter, they are probably gone forever. I really don’t have a great way to win people back unless it’s a really, really good offer. I mean you can get people to join you initially with kind of an okay offer, like, Ah, we’ll give you a free dessert.
Follow us on Facebook. Bring this in and we’ll give you a drink with dinner types of things, and people will follow you, but if they’ve unfollowed you, unliked you, or stopped paying attention to your social media message, I am sorry, you’ve created a problem, so be careful how you do it, be conscious of it. Don’t just give your social media over to some kid who’s good with the computer. This is you. This is your message.
This is your great opportunity to really connect and engage with your customers finally. You know over all these years we’ve just like had broadcast mediums, and we’re just sending messages out to our customers. Now we have this capacity to really engage them and talk to them and learn about them and they can learn about you, and you can make a tight connection, not just a kind of peripheral connection where they hopefully think about you when it’s time to have dinner. You want them to be your friends. You want them to feel guilt for going to a competitor when they know you so well. Think about that. You’ve got friends that have got a restaurant, and you go to their city, then you just would feel horribly guilty if you went to somebody else’s restaurant and not their restaurant. This is your opportunity.
This is truthfully the way you can engage these people and make them love you, make them into raving fans by just supplying really good information and engaging them, but just be careful that it doesn’t come across as some sort of a spammy restaurant telling me to come and get my deals all the time, and how great they are. Engage. Truly engage just like you would with somebody you really wanted to be your friend. It doesn’t take a lot of time.
You can process this stuff In advance you can kind of bulk load things into Facebook and Twitter so that you’re scheduled for weeks and months in advance Let’s say that you’ve created a whole bunch of information on the history of food You could schedule that out over a year-long period, and then maybe you’ve collected a 100 recipes, you could schedule that out over a year-long period, so you’ve got kind of a creation of social media there, and then you engage with taking pictures of people in your restaurant and taking pictures and video of somebody cooking something, taking pictures of your sign blinking outside.
I don’t know, anything, but people want to be entertained. They want to be educated. They want to have a conversation with you. They really do want to know you. You’re very interesting.That’s why they come to your restaurant in the first place. They are interested in what you do.
If you are planning to engage with your restaurant customers, use our POS software to make them feel special all the time.