To some business owners, social media is out of their comfort zone and maybe best left to someone who ‘gets it’. The first rule is to get over that fear. Social media when it’s honest, engaging, worthy, informative and eye catching is one of the most powerful marketing tools that your restaurant can possess. The trouble is when you give your brand to someone else to look after they need to equally love your business and your product offering.

This article isn’t intended to give you a blueprint of success but what it can do is give you the confidence to embrace social and make it your own. Social when it’s produced by someone who genuinely LOVES their business shows through. You know that there isn’t an agency behind the scenes producing a set program of weekly tweets and Facebook posts. There is genuine care and thoughtfulness to the business, your customers, your food and your reputation.

Don’t just think of your content as ‘content’, think of it as rather micro-content, snippets of information, humour, commentary and inspiration. It’s all around us, in real time every minute of the day.

Don’t over complicate social, talk about what your audience are talking about, when they start talking about something else talk about that instead. This is engaging, communicating with your customer base. Don’t just use social to sell – it gets really boring and you will lose your audience if you keep on plugging away at ‘selling’.

Get everyone involved with content, your staff, your chefs, your suppliers, their suppliers, the farmers, the farmer’s kids and so on. If you can reach out, the content is there for the taking. For example, you have mussels on your menu. They are sourced and farmed locally, go and talk to the producers, go and visit the farm. By describing the provincial story to your customers via social media is a worthy exercise. If you video it and take lots of photos you can always break it down into snippets and release facts over weeks at a time. Don’t just think of doing one full story, tweeting the link and posting on Facebook – you can get so much more out of that one piece of content.

Brands and small businesses want to look relevant and stand out but when their content looks unimaginative it only serves to make them look lame. This is why you should think about ways you can stand out in a busy environment where EVERYONE is talking loudly, sharing, debating and discussing topics. Just how do you stand out? You stand out by adding value, creating content that engages your audience, giving them something. Social is about giving and sharing – not selling. Selling comes naturally by building brand loyalty through engagement.

Good luck and enjoy using social media. Put the effort in and it will reward you.

We have helped many restaurants with their funding requirements – sometimes freeing up working cash flow which is used for marketing and in some cases marketing for social media. We understand the hospitality business and understand the way it works, what pressures businesses face and what they can do to improve and grow. We don’t just offer restaurant business loans – we offer a dedicated product for restaurant growth. It’s our intention to build loyalty with our own customers and create long term relationships.