How to Launch a Social Media Plan

February 2014


It’s no secret that using social media will directly engage your customers and help accelerate your brand’s growth. If you don’t believe it, here’s proof: According to a recent study by Rice University, consumers spend 45% more of their dining budget on restaurants of which they’re Facebook fans. They also frequent fanned restaurants 36% more than places with which they have no social media connection. Using the right social strategies is key, however, as is building the right foundation. Here are some tips to launch right—and take off.

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Getting Started

Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? How do you select your medium? “It depends on your brand,” says Brittany Ward, Vice President of Marketing at Screamin’ Hot Concepts dba Buffalo Wildwings—one of the top social media performers in the country. “Do some generic searches to see which platforms seem to be more trafficked and discussed regarding your offerings. Also, ask guests where they’re active, and the staff, too. They’ll often mirror where your guests are.”

Generally speaking, Facebook is a solid place to start (and according to PEW research, has the most users, of any social medium), and you can synch Twitter and Instagram posts to your page. You can also cross-promote, and send Twitter users to your page or other social accounts.

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Maximize Offerings

Do you serve dishes with creative presentation? Are your customers foodies? It might be wise to set up an Instagram account so you can have further opportunities to display and share photos with fans.

Are your customers primarily business focused? Use LinkedIn to share and post articles that are relevant to your brand. Doing so can also set you up as an expert within your industry.

Are your customers relatively young? Twitter has the second largest amount of social media users, and most of them are between the ages of 18 and 29. If your business is located in a city, you’ll also want a Twitter account, as according to PEW research, many Twitter users live in urban areas.

Create Strategy & Structure

Once you’ve decided on your platforms, create a template for posts, including frequency and relative content. It can help you stick to it, and if you have multiple businesses, helps to streamline efforts. It’s important to note, too, if have multiple business locations and will have employees managing the respective social pages, Ward advises against providing direct verbiage for posts. “You want to go for a more authentic feel,” she says.

Keep in mind, the top brands using social media post about 4 to 7 times per week, and Ward suggests no more than one post daily. It’s OK to tweet more frequently, especially if you are replying to other Twitter users.

Other key strategies:

>Franchise your posts. This means, creating an ongoing topic, much like a newspaper column. For example, you could make Tunesday Tuesdays, and feature the top-played songs at your business from Rockbot, and if you don’t use a jukebox service, perhaps feature a customer of the week.

>Promote your events and new offerings. Trivia nights on Thursdays? Promote them the week prior or ask a question of the week and reward customers. You want to give your community reasons to keep visiting your pages.

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Expand Outward

>Don’t be afraid to share information from other vendors in your area, or aligned brands. It breeds a sense of authenticity and also promotes goodwill among your peers, and encourages them to reciprocate your efforts and promote you to their community.

>Use a social app like Rockbot, that automatically posts to customers’ social pages, promoting your business. For example, when a Rockbot user plays a song at your establishment, their selection along with a link to your website appears on their social platforms.

GET MORE WITH ROCKBOT

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*For a sample template, community-building strategies, and a new, research-proven step to growing your customer base through social media, check back soon for a free BluePaper download. In the meantime, visit rockbot.com for more information on engaging your customers at your business while enhancing your overall vibe!

Topics: bars, restaurants

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