At KWSM, we work with a wide variety of clients from a plethora of industries. Each presents a unique set of challenges and best practices when it comes to social media, and we’ve learned that a one-size-fits all approach simply does not work. However, after a number of years and hundreds of clients, we’ve come to realize that some industry standards do apply when it comes to social media.
For the food & beverage industry, social media is essential. According to Hootsuite, 80% of the Food and Beverage Industry uses social media instead of traditional marketing to nurture leads, improve ROI, and stay in the know about customers- and competitors. If you can create an emotional connection to your food, drinks, or ambience, you will establish customers for life. These concepts translate well in the social media world, if they are executed properly. Here are some tips for running social media in the food and beverage industry:
- Quality is paramount: just like you wouldn’t skimp on the quality of ingredients in your products, you shouldn’t skimp on the professional level of your images. While certain foods or drinks may translate to film better than others (think colorful juices, glossy donuts), others that are equally delicious may not be the most photogenic. This is where investing in a high quality camera or professional photographer can provide you with great images to use across many mediums, not just social media. However, not every post needs to be a professional one. See the next bullet.
- Create online ambience. It is perfectly acceptable to use your own cell phone snaps to highlight the mood you set in your location and provide social proof in the form of real patrons enjoying themselves at your business. Distinguishing features should be highlighted: have a beautiful back patio for outdoor seating? Post it. A bartender that will create custom order drinks? Spotlight him. Set yourself apart to keep yourself top of mind for potential leads.
- Encourage discussion and feedback. This is a difficult one for business owners, especially in the food and beverage industry, because inevitably, someone will be dissatisfied. Don’t let fear be a paralyzing force; people will talk about you whether you want them to or not, and at least with social media, you are a part of the conversation. Yelp is obviously the most popular channel for consumers to voice their opinions, but Facebook and Twitter are also great mediums for receiving feedback. Think of your fans or followers as a free focus group.
- Establish a schedule and stay consistent. This is both literal and conceptual advice. The literal side refers to the nuts and bolts information of your business, which you need to keep current and correct on your social media channels, ALWAYS. Closed for a holiday? Change your hours on Facebook? Send a tweet reminder. Parking lot closed for repaving? Post a map with alternative parking. Never give the public an obvious reason to complain. On the conceptual side, establish a schedule with what you post and why. If your specialty is tacos, establish a weekly #TacoTuesday event, and publicize it via social media. Like a print publication, giving your fans or followers predictable content will keep them coming back on a regular basis.
Interested in learning more about best practices for creating social media content? Tune into our webinar on Social Media Day, June 30th![ois skin=”1″]