social media dos & donts

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  • LOOK YOUR BEST For photosAll your customers have camera phones, so the eyes of theworld are on you like never before! Cleanliness must be a top priority throughout your operation, but also focus on smart, clean uniforms and amazing food platings that beg to be shared online. Dont forget to smile!

    pay attention to lightingIf you notice customers taking photos, make sure the lightingin your dining area is bright enough to make the shots lookgreat! Dark, blurry food photos are unappetizing, and if theyend up online, could actually damage your digital identity and prevent new customers from trying your restaurant!

    When a customer visits your social media pages or website, the first impression you make should be appetizing.Many chains feature mouth-watering food photography and prominent logos to brand the site and the user experience.

    CHOOSE A social media CHAMPIONNot every restaurant can aord to hire a dedicated Social MediaManager, but doing social media well takes time, and youreprobably too busy to take on the additional hours of work. So designate a responsible employee or two to be your champions for monitoring and updating your accounts. Give them the extra time, resources and acccess they need to support your digital identity.

    offer free wi-fiEvery coee shop, convenience store and car repair waitingroom oers free Wi-Fi now. Your customers (of all ages) expectit, and it sends the message that your business is keeping upwith the times. Once its in place, get the word out via socialmedia, e-mail and through signage in your store.

    Let your customers know youre online and where to find you.Utilize table tents, menus, window clings, check stuers, andother in-store marketing to promote your website and socialmedia pages. Some restaurants print Yelp and TripAdvisorlogos on their business cards to direct customers online.

    BE social media-friendly

    maximize your first impressionUse a high-resolution version of your logo as your profile image.Use appetizing, high-resolution food imagery for your coverphotos. Theres a good chance customers will visit your socialmedia pages before ever stepping inside your restaurant, so make sure the first impression your sites make is welcoming,appetizing and representative of your brand.

    claim your business listingsClaim your restaurants page for free on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon/Zomato, Yahoo, Google Business and Google+.This allows you to post photos, update your address, hours of operation, menus and more, and lets you reply to customerreviews publically or privately.

    REINFORCE YOUR BRANDKeep your posted content appropriate to your restaurants personality and image. Tactfully feature your logo and useyour brand colors across all your social media networks and especially on your website. Remember your audience and craft your messaging to appeal to them.

  • cross-promote YOUR PAGESIf your customers like you on Facebook, post links to your Instagram page, too. If they follow you on Twitter, let themknow you just updated your web site. If they visit your website,make sure all your networks are featured, along with links toYelp and TripAdvisor. Driving trac back and forth betweenyour social media pages and your website improves yourrestaurants Google search ranking and keeps your customers engaged and entertained.

    make share-worthy postsFinding the exact marketing voice for your business and brandmay take some time, but if your posts have photos and are fun, interesting and educational, customers are more likely to share your content with their own network of friends, which expands your audience for free.

    keep track of passwordsYour restaurants reputation could hinge on being able to respond to a customer review or delete a social media postat any time, from anywhere. But you cant do that if you cantlog in. Software like 1Password can generate new passwords,keep your current ones organized and uses the cloud to syncyour secure password vault from your computer to your mobile devices.

    post lots of photosPeople love taking, sharing and seeing photos, and they play a huge role in establishing your restaurants digital identity. For your website and printed marketing, have a professionalphotographer take the photos. But for everything else, youand your sta should be taking photos daily and posting themeverywhere you can!

    upgrade your phoneIt lets you run the latest versions of the social media apps, but more importantly, each generation of phone hardware improves the camera so dramatically that its a no-brainer. Find the best lighting in your restaurant for food photography,and take the best photos you can! (Hint: you want indirect natural lighting, like a table near a window. Or try an outdoorcafe table thats not in direct sunlight.)

    monitor your pagesEven if youve delegated the role of social media champion, its still your business, your reputation and your livlihood onthe line. So set up a Google Alert for your restaurants name,and every few days, do a quick survey of your social media networks and the review sites, just so youre aware of whatsbeing said about you online.

    review your page analyticsThe major networks oer free business tools that show you how youre increasing brand awareness through impressions,reach and engagement. Some oer more information for a fee.Social media analytics help you understand your audiencewhich should help you create engaging content for them.

    tease new menu itemsOne thing all your customers are interested in is your menu!Share photos of recipe development, preview upcoming specials and promote limited time items. Have a contest to name your new sandwich. Change items out regularly and get your customers excited about your menu!

    encourage staff shutterbugsYour employees are on the front lines and will see your business at its best. As long as it doesnt conflict with your staphone use policy, funnel any photos they take through the person in charge of your social media to screen out inappropriate content and post any that support your brandand strengthen your digital identity. Your sta will feel a senseof ownership and connection when their photos are used to represent the best aspects of your restaurant online.

    Google analytics can show you how many people seeyour website, which pages are most popular and howthey find out about it/where they link in from.

    GOOGLE YOURSELFIs your restaurant easy to find online? Googling yourself is thefastest way to see what your customers see when they searchfor best restaurant in your area.

  • MAKE YOUR RESTAURANT APpEALING TO MILLENNIALSThose 100 million babies born between 1978 and 2000 Gen Y or Millennials have mutated into the most complex creatures to date. Theyre crawling and trolling through fast-food and high-end restaurants and they have the power to Yelp you to death!Instead of running away from them, why not embrace this generations quirk and tech savviness.Here are some things you should know about them:

    article from http://blog.spotistic.com

    1. Millennials care about social responsibility

    Millennials dont just like Instagramming pretty food, if theyhear that you treat your employees unfairly, dont care aboutthe environment, or deny a particular group their rights, theyare more likely than any other generation to make sure no oneever steps inside your restaurant. Just recently, a high-endrestaurant in India was boycotted and its rating subsequentlydecreased after a rape survivor was denied entry there. If yourrestaurant intentionally or unintentionally tweets somethingoensive to any particular group, expect some quick and potentially serious consequences.

    So be vigilant, because Millennials will hold you accountablefor bad behavior. If you display good behavior, they will notonly go out of their way to eat at your restaurant but promoteyou and your cause to their social connections as well!

    2. Millennials know they matter

    They may not have the buying power that their parents havebut that doesnt mean you can treat them unfairly or like akid. Your advertising or service sta should not in any way talkdown to them. Wendys made the mistake of making fun ofthe social media habits of Millennials in an ad campaign. Bad idea! Why would you alienate and mock the very demographic you are trying to reach?

    3. Millennials pay more attention

    Ingredient labels were once just a thing people with allergiesread. But Millennials want to know where their food comesfrom, who made it and even whether the ingredients weretaken from sustainable sources. Millennials are also one of themost educated and informed generations to date. Whether its on their Kindle or their high tech phones, this generation is always reading. If you stu Millennials faces with fries madewith beef tallow, burgers made from horsemeat and sausagesmade from pig lips, theyll definitely find out and could takedown your business in the process.

    4. Millennials are more passionate about food than religion and politics

    When Millennials come in to a restaurant, they dont just want a meal. They want a full blown sensory experience and arewilling to spend more money on dining. According to one survey, Americans in general are spending over $680 billionper year dining out, the most money ever. They are not willing to settle for quick, cheap food but are willing to go for expensive, healthy food options. They want quality overconvenience and ease. This means that quick service restaurants like Taco Bell, McDonalds and KFC may not be able to retain the Millennials attention and pockets as it did with Generation Xers.

    5. Millennials know and love their technology

    A new study claims that Millennials are more resilient, adapt-able and tech savvy than their older counterparts. So dont beafraid to incorporate technology into your service. This meansthat your restaurant shouldnt just be oering basic customerservice on social media, but it should be at the forefront of it!Oer digital coupons and even let your customer order fromyour Facebook page. Use interactive menus on iPads to takeorders and let customers pay from them.

    Millennials like to stay connected and social 24/7. Theyll tweetfrom the toilet, Instagram from the train, Facebook from theoce! They love discovering and sharing information withtheir friends, family co-workers, and acquaintances. You canuse this trait of hyper connectivity to engage with them whenthey make a reservation (pre-visit), while they order, duringtheir meal, when they pay and after they leave.

    6. Millennials are price-conscious and deal savvy

    Millennials arent scrounging in coupons books for oers liketheir old school parents. Instead they use apps and socialmedia to score the best deals. According to Business Insider,60% of Millennials share and trade coupons on social networks. But theyll still splurge for a big ticket purchase like an iPhone!

    7. Millennials are innovative

    Millennials can hack into the minds of other Millennials. So ask your Millennial sta how to appeal to other Millennials.Dont stop there, when you have a Millennial guest directlyconversing with you on social networks, take their feedbackand ask them for ideas. Engage, listen and reward their feedback with privileges and promotions.

  • sponsor facebook postsFacebook cut organic reach of business posts from 50% to about 6%. But for a few bucks, Facebook ads and sponsored posts can target very specific demographics, so you can reach thousands of the RIGHT customers. Try it the next time youre promoting an important event or sharing big news. Its probably the best value in advertising.

    hold photo contestsContests are a great way to promote your Instagram accountand to engage younger customers. Before the posting starts,make sure your restaurant is clean, your lighting is good andyour platings look great!

    SHOW BEHIND THE SCENES20 years of Food Network TV has made your customerssmarter than ever about how restaurants work. They knowthat most of the cool stu happens in the kitchen, behind thescenes. Use social media to give them a window into thatworld! Showing them the fun stu most people never see creates a deeper connection and keeps you at the forefront of their mind when theyre deciding where to eat!

    MAKE A CALENDAR OF IDEAS to POSTThe timely, spontaneous nature of social media is a large part of its appeal, but you can still plan certain posts well in advance. Make a posting schedule that includes major holidays and playo games as well as significant local festivalsand events. You can write your posts and prepare photos forthese known promotional opportunities months ahead, so when the time comes, you wont be staring at a blankscreen, trying to think of what to post today!

    experiment with videoGreat photos are absolutely essential, but videos are the future of social media marketing. Theyre one of the most ecient, entertaining ways to convey your brand and personality. Chains are producing lots of videos not as television commercials,but exclusively for sharing on social media. Independent restaurants are jumping on the trend, adding videos to their websitehome pages and social media feeds to quickly convey what makes them unique and to attract new customers.

    Need more proof? Instagram has their own video apps, YouTube (the second largest search engine in the world) is launchingan app just for kids, and Twitter recently launched Vine for Kids. Most smartphones can record HD video, and youve probablyseen those auto-play video ads in your Facebook feed. Videos are already a big deal, and we are just scratching the surface ofthe video marketing era, so its a great time to dive in and promote your restaurant!

    At the home page of rockitbarandgrill.com, a full-screenvideo builds anticipation for their Spring 2015 reopening.(Click the right arrow to begin video.)

    Dennys created a series of stop-motion animated videos featuring their Grand Slam breakfast characters. The videosare posted across their various social network sites.

  • respond to reviews publicallyOnce you claim your restaurants page on Yelp andTripAdvisor, you can respond to reviews either privately, via direct message, or publically, so the rest of the world cansee the exchange. The latter option lets prospective customersknow that A) youre smart enough to be aware of the reviewsites, B) you care about the experience youre oering and C) you reach out to connect with customers. This eort on your part can win you goodwill, even if youre respondingto a negative review.

    ask questionsSocial networking is a two-way conversation. So dont beafraid to ask (and answer) questions. Your customers will feel valuable if they know you want their feedback and input! Ask about their favorite menu items, or post two photos side by side and let them vote on upcoming specials.

    stay in the loopAlways be aware of whats going on in your neighborhood. The bulk of your social media posts should be about your customers and your community, not advertising. Start a discussion about something relevant and local that you know your audience cares about. This personal connection helps humanize your business.

    shout out to other localsEveryone is facing increased pressure from chains. Show solidarity with other small business owners and earn some local brownie points. Keep the money and goodwill flowing within the community.

    support your communityIts great to support the community at Christmas, but evenbetter if youre out there making a dierence all year long!Sponsor a local sports team, host charitable events that aremeaningful to you, encourage your sta to volunteer for projects like Adopt a Highway, promote local fundraisers and dont be shy about letting everyone know you care! This is smart PR that makes the world a better place!

    keep the conversation lightDont get bogged down in controversial topics like politics, religion or international aairs. This is the hospitality industry,and your customers look to you for food and fun, not newscommentary or debate. There are plenty of other forums online for those weighty discussions.

    RETURN the loveDepending on the etiquette of the social network, follow,like and share your customers content as appropriate.

    feature your staffYour people are one of the things that dierentiates you fromthe competition. Whether its a fun group shot or giving creditto an unsung hero, turning the spotlight on your sta showsyou believe in them, which fosters a sense of pride among your employees.

    try new apps and networksAsk your sta what apps theyre using and see what the buzzis about. If youve never been to Reddit, check it out. If youvenever tried SnapChat, download it today! Its free! It will onlytake a couple of minutes, and youll be THAT much smarterabout social media!

    market yourself a little bitLess than 20% of your posts should be business messaging.The rest should engage your customers by being interesting!Theyre not checking their social media feeds 6 times a day (or more) to see ads. They want to see whats NEW! They want to be entertained! And in the midst of all that, they also want to hear about your new t-shirt designs!

    Facebook posts celebrating employees. Top: Purebread DeliCenter: Chipotle, Caribou Coee Bottom: Five Guys Burgers

  • STAY INFORMED - Top 10 social media blogsA panel of social media experts carefully reviewed the nominees and finalists based on a number of factors, including contentquality, post frequency and reader involvement. Put these 10 social media blogs at the top of your reading list.

    www.socialmediaexaminer.com article by Cindy King February 5, 2015

    1. Buer SocialBuer Social, which has one of the best curated blogs in the social media space, provideswell-researched, comprehensive content thats useful for all levels of social media marketers.

    2. GrowGrow by Mark W. Schaefer flips content marketing on its head. His superb content consists ofthoughtful experiences, devoid of ego and designed to help other businesses find success.

    3. Jon LoomerJon Loomers core approach to content rocks. He shares fantastic, in-depth articles focusedon Facebook that include experiments, real-life examples and supportive graphics.

    4. Convince & ConvertConvince & Converts Jay Baer continues to raise the bar for seasoned marketers. This established thought leader creates consistent, quality content.

    5. Rebekah RadiceRebekah Radice has a beautifully laid out blog thats easy to read. She is a strong writer whoprovides in-depth advice for novice to intermediate marketers.

    6. Socially SortedSocially Sorteds Donna Moritz shares solid content with thought-provoking and curiosity-driven headlines, along with great visuals.

    7. RazorSocialRazorSocial, published by Ian Cleary, has tons of detailed articles for businesses. Plus, Ians stellar software tool reviews include his favorite features, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to use them.

    8. Jenns TrendsJenns Trends, by Jenn Herman, shares quality content while narrowing in on her niche: Instagram for businesses. Jenns tips are helpful for novice to advanced marketers.

    9. Simply Measured Simply Measured has well-written content, which includes outstanding data and hands-onreporting of actual case studies.

    10. SocialBro SocialBro provides quality posts on seldom-discussed topics. Great advice on this blog.

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    TRY CANVA.COMCanva is a free web app that createsprofessional-looking graphics for yoursocial media posts, Facebook covers, blog images, business cards, postersand much more! Canva is VERY easy to use, and it willmake your business look great. You can upload your own pictures, and there's only a fee if you use theirstock photos ($1 per image.)

  • HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICYRefer to the sample policy at www.restaurantowner.comor hospitalitylawyer.com. The exact wording of your policy is extremely important, as poorly written policies can leaveyou open to litigation. Make the policy part of your sta handbook and orientation training.

    check out other restaurants WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGESIt pays to visit other restaurant pages. Just by observing, you can benefit from their social media budgets by discovering the latest trends in web design and taking note of which posts are most popular. Borrow some of the ideas that are most applicable to your business. Definitely check out the chains, but dont forget to check out your local competition, too!

    USE HASHTAGSOn Twitter and Instagram, hashtags make your content searchable and easier to discover and show that you under-stand network posting etiquette. Dont overdo it, though. A few hashtags are all you need to stay in the conversation.

    make a to-do listWhat are your next steps for improving your digital curb appeal? Always have a vision and a plan for achieving yoursocial media goals. Some to-dos will take five minutes, othersmay take five months. But make a list, make a plan, and commit to always be improving your digital identity.

    USE the cloudOnce you start using one of the cloud storage services, youllwonder how you lived without it. Consider Dropbox, GoogleDrive, or Microsofts OneDrive (and their respective mobileapps) to keep all kinds of files in sync, accessible and easy toshare from any of your devices!

    collect e-mail addressesE-mail marketing is still one of the best ways to communicatedirectly with your customers. Collect addresses on your web-site, on your comment cards, when people redeem couponsor sign up for your loyalty program anywhere you can.Make sure your e-mail marketing is well-branded with yourlogo, ocial colors and your very best food photos!

    E-mail marketing should be appetizing and well-branded.Left: Carrabbas Right: Popeyes

    momotarochicago.com

    burgerandlobster.combottlefork.com

    doveschicago.com

    smokeybones.com

    USE LYNDA.COMLynda.com oers the best online video tutorials for softwaretraining and also covers a wide variety of other topics, including time management, menu design, photography and video editing. If its worth knowing, theres a good chance Lynda.com has a course that teaches it.

  • THINK OF SOCIAL MEDIA

    Because of its personal nature, if youre using social mediaright, it will strengthen relationships with your customers andbuild your brand in ways that traditional advertising nevercould. But to see that benefit, you have to commit to socialmedia marketing as an ongoing project, investing time and creativity (and funds) to produce appealing, share-worthy content. Set some social media goals so you can better trackyour progress and return on investment.

    JUST POST NIGHTLY SPECIALSIf youre posting the same happy hour specials night afternight, youre doing social media wrong. Thats predictable and boring, and even your most loyal fans will tune out thatkind of old school advertising quickly. Instead, post a variety of fresh and interesting content, with an emphasis on visuals the same kinds of things you like to see in your feed.

    AS A WASTE OF TIME, funds, OR ENERGY

    trust your accounts

    The reputation of your company is at stake. One thoughtlesspost could lead to a social media meltdown with the powerto close your business for good. Some of the chains have survived social scandals and Facebook PR nightmares, butthats much harder with a small budget in a small town.

    to immature or irresponsible staff

    use a personal page

    To keep from confusing your audience and diluting your marketing message, your restaurant should only have onepage on each social network, and every network has specialpage formats for businesses.

    If you were an early adopter of Facebook, your page may be in the older, personal format, instead of the business format.This violates Facebooks current terms of service, and theycould shut your page down without warning at any time. Save the hassle and convert that page into the current business format. You should be able to bring along all yourfans and youll gain access to valuable analytics reserved for businesses.

    as a business page

    This Facebook post from Checkers uses an apostrophe where none is needed. Dogs is plural, not possessive.

    OVERPOSTEach social network has a sweet spot for frequency of posting.Facebook users may tune out if youre posting several times a day, while Twitter users prefer lots of posts each day. Spend some time using the networks and pay attention to how often other people and businesses post.

    USE BAD GRAMMARPosts with misspellings and typos reflect poorly on your business. If your social media champion doesnt know when touse apostrophes or other punctuation correctly, find someonewho does, and have them proofread your social media postsbefore they go live. Attention to detail is a hallmark of the hospitality industry, and you dont want to be the one who always misuses there, their and theyre.

    REPEAT POSTNothing chases away an audience like seeing the same photoyou took in 2007 posted over and over (and over.) Be creative.Create new images to share. Take new pictures to post. Purchase stock photos if you have to. Just dont post the samepizza photo every week on half-price pizza night, for instance.

    AUTO-POST THE SAME

    Services like Hootsuite and Buer give you convenient dashboards, but dont fall into the trap of posting the sameexact thing to all your networks. Its a red flag that you dont appreciate the dierence between the networks, or their core users. Create some unique content for each network.

    CONTENT ON DIFFERENT NETWORKS

    WASTE TIME

    Find out which networks your customers are using and focusyour energy there talking to your customers where they actually are. Most of your customers are on Facebook, but beyond that, youll have to ask them!

    ON THE WRONG NETWORKS

    POST PHOTOS OF YOUR MENUYour menu is mostly text, which doesnt equate into a compelling, interesting visual. Find other ways to post and link to your menu content.

  • COMMIT THESE SOCIAL MEDIA SINSRemember when social media was a new, unchartered territory for brands? Consumers flocked to platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn overnight and marketers knew that, in order to stay relevant, they had to follow suit. Fast forward to today:97% of marketers use social media to connect with buyers. The problem is, most still haven't figured out how to leverage social to create a personalized, relevant and enjoyable experience for their audience.

    Socially awkward brands aren't just pushed to the sidelines, they miss out on building valuable relationships, or in some cases,end up on a viral list of social media blunders. Whether your brand is too boring, too tone-deaf or too promotional, your socialmedia approach cant be an afterthought. Avoid these sins of social media marketing to keep your audience engaged, interested and loyal.

    1. Being All Talk

    The key to social media content is to show, not tell. Audiences prefer engaging with visual content over text anyday; did you know that tweets with image links get an engagement rate 200% higher than those with just 140 characters? Flooding your feeds with line after line of textcould cause you to miss out on a huge opportunity to connectwith your buyers. Instead, we should be emulating brands likeOreo, whose Twitter feed is addicting thanks to charming illustrations, clever videos and mouth-watering images.

    Lucky for us, its easier than ever to share visual content,thanks to free design tools like Canva and seamless embedoptions on social platforms. For marketers, a picture really isworth a thousand words act accordingly.

    2. Putting on a one-man show

    Trying to apply your advertising approach to social is a bigmistake. In fact, one of the reasons social media is eective isbecause so many people tune out traditional media and massmessaging. On social, its even easier to mute brands that talk,but don't listen with a quick click, consumers can unfollowor remove your content from their feed for good.

    Instead of talking about yourself nonstop, make your audiencethe center of attention by highlighting their interests, likeMonster Energy on Facebook, or sharing their content on Instagram like Sharpie. Your social following isnt a captive audience, so take a break from broadcasting and start sharingcontent they'll actually want to click on.

    3. Forgetting to think before you tweet

    Staying relevant today isn't easy trending topics go fromviral to ancient history daily. So how can marketers keep up?Cue newsjacking. Instead of trying to generate buzz fromscratch, brands piggyback on the popularity of top headlinesto amplify their own content. We see clever newsjacks duringthe Super Bowl and the Oscars, but occasionally, the not-so-savvy attempts end up being headlines themselves.

    Last year, AT&T earned serious social backlash for a failed 9/11tribute, and Gap crossed the line when it took to Twitter to promote discounts during Hurricane Sandy. Its true thatmarketing today is time-sensitive, but you'd rather be late to the game than be perceived as oensive.

    4. Thinking all social platforms are created equal

    Your social strategy shouldnt be one size fits all. Find thechannels that best align with your audience's interests, then experiment with the type, cadence and style of contentyou think will resonate most. Measure what works and whatdoesnt and optimize accordingly. Instead of publishing thesame content to every channel, the best social media teamscreate tailored approaches based on the medium and the message. Know the network; know your audience.

    Need inspiration? Check out GEs Vine, JetBlues Instagram, L.L Beans Pinterest or Capn Crunch on Twitter. Each has a pitch-perfect approach for the company and the channel.

    5. Putting your customers on mute

    It used to be that if a customer had a complaint about yourproduct or service, they could tell their friends, family or a 1-800 number. Today, consumers can share negative reviewswith their entire network and the searchable social web through a simple click. Not surprisingly, 72% of customerswho complain about a brand on social networks expect a response within an hour. But in some cases, they are lucky to get noticed at all. Whether you only have a handful of followers or 31 million Facebook fans like McDonalds, you cant aord to ignore your audience, period.

    6. Forgetting to be humanIn an age where buyers are constantly bombarded with deals,promos and lowest price taglines, your brands personality is crucial to stand out from the pack. Corporate jargon and automated replies will send your audience running in theother direction, while brands that arent afraid to let loose will be welcomed with open arms.

    Ultimately, building a community of brand advocates todayisn't about what you're selling, its about what you're saying.Luckily, the casual nature of social media makes it easier thanever for us to talk to our audience like humans.

    mashable.com Aug 28, 2014 article by Mike Volpe

  • POST DARK, BLURRY, DISCOLORED OR OVER-FILTERED FOOD PHOTOSWith digital cameras, theres no reason to post bad photos. Just retake them until they look great! Unappetizing food photoson your social media networks are 24/7 anti-advertising, and may even scare away potential customers! Find good lighting.Avoid retro filters in Instagram. Never use black and white food photos. Purchase a small tri-pod. And only post great shots!

    POST WATERMARKED,

    A Google search might return all kinds of pictures youd like to post, but dont post pictures you obviously dont have the rights to. A watermark from depositphotos, shutterstock or istockphoto is a dead giveaway youre using stolen imagery on your social media feed.

    PICK A FIGHT OVER

    Theres nothing more distasteful than a public flame war.Never go on the oensive youll always look like a bully picking on a wronged customer. Instead, be humbleand try to learn from whatever grain of truth might be in theusers negative review. Apologize if the situation merits it, and reach out to the customer for additional feedback.

    UNLICENSED STOCK PHOTOS

    RUN A GROUP COUPON

    If youve had success with them in the past, great. Many restaurants arent equipped to handle the horde of bargain seekers who arent regulars or even in your target audience. These folks might not be right for your brand, but they are social media-savvy enough to leave reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. Proceed with caution.

    UNLESS YOURE PREPARED

    A NEGATIVE REVIEW

    NEGLECT CURB APPEALMaintaining your digital identity and digital curb appeal is crucial,but so is making sure your business is well-kept, clean, invitingand professional. Any part of the customer experience might endup in a review or in a photo posted online, so keep that parking lottidy, and everywhere else, too!

    Image vendors usewatermarks to discourage illegalusage and sharing.

    Luckily, licensingstock images is easyand aordable.

    Its still cheaper totake your own shots!

    assume theyll find youSocial media isnt a Build it and they will come scenario.Once you invest the time in launching your sites and begingenerating compelling content, you still need to let the worldknow. Promote your social media pages online and in-store.

    OVER-EXTEND YOURSELFBe realistic about your resources. Dont attempt five social networks when you only have time/sta to do one site well.

  • GET DISCOURAGEDThe world of social media is constantly changing and can feeloverwhelming. It may take longer than you expect to learnhow to use the popular networks and even longer to find andbuild your audience. But keep working at it, making your sitesinteresting and well-branded, so that when people DO find you, theres appetizing content for them to enjoy.

    GO QUIET Even if your business is seasonal, theres no reason to abandonyour social media accounts for months at a time. You might be closed, but your customers are still online every day. Thank them for last years success and get them excited aboutthe season to come. Commiserate with them about inclementweather. Share o-season updates about remodeling and renovation projects, new recipe testing, new menu printing,etc. Stay at the forefront of their mind, and theyll be the first in line when you reopen for the season!LET YOUR WEBSITE GET STALE

    Your website is still the heart of your digital identity and thefirst place customers will look for your menu, your hours of operation, directions, etc. Talk to your web designer about Responsive Design and ensure your site is viewable fromsmartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

    A steady stream of professional food photos is a must, and be sure to prominently feature your limited time specials, justlike the chains do! And if you have an entertainment calendaror schedule of events, update it regularly.

    LIST A PAGE ON YOUR SITE

    Because lets be honest that message will probably still bethere in six months. Finish the entire site, photo galleries andall, before it goes live. Dont disappoint your customers with a half-hearted, half-finished web experience!

    AS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

    LOOK LIKE A GHOST TOWNAvoid loading your website and social media pages with toomany photos of your empty restaurant. They might be well-lit and even taken by a professional, but they also lack life andenergy, and may give the impression that you have no customers. Always showcase your restaurants best features, but its usually smart to limit the big empty-room shots.

    CONFUSE YOUR PERSONAL

    As a restaurant owner or manager, you are a public figure andyou have a public image to maintain and manage. And thatimage can aect your restaurant business. You may even haveto sacrifice a bit of privacy on your own social media pages. If youre friends with customers on your personal pages, be very careful not to post overly intimate or inflammatorycontent that could, by association, damage your restaurant.

    AND WORK ACCOUNTS

    HIDE YOUR BEST FEATURESIf theres something special about your business someunique angle or thing you do better than anyone else make sure the world knows about it! Dont bury the most interesting things about your restaurant in paragraphs of texton your websites ABOUT US page. Put them front and center!

    POST BLINDLYIf you see that a hashtag is trending, dont just jump on it without understanding the context. Thats come back to hauntseveral international companies that inadvertently made lightof a sensitive social topic. You dont want to be seen as tryingto capitalize on tragedy to gain social media exposure or unknowingly take sides in a controversial public debate.

    ignore pinterestPinterest has over 57.9 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. alone, 80% of whom are female. Over half a million businesses are already on Pinterest, chasing after those users. Combine those statistics with the photo-centric nature of thesocial network, and youve got an amazing showcase for yourrestaurant and the delicious stu coming out of your kitchen!

    FORGET THE KIDSWant a shortcut to your restaurant being LIKED and SHAREDon social media? Develop some eye-catching, photo-friendlykids dinner platings. Parents already snap loads of photos oftheir kids, and if you create some over-the-top, fun-lookingmeals, you can bet theyll be snapped and posted before thecheck is delivered!

    Ask your Sysco Marketing Associate for more information about social media and building your digital identity.