4 Reasons Social Media May Never Work for Your Bar or Restaurant
It can be easy to succumb to the temptation to dive into something that you hear being praised every day for its benefits. All you hear about is Facebook and Twitter that and something to do with “checking-in” on Foursquare.
Social Media fanaticism has officially taken over and many business owners feel they’re missing out on something big if they’re not tweeting 20 times a day and spending hours trawling through Facebook. But the reality is that as a business owner, social media might not even be for you. You might never get any benefit from it. In fact, you could end up doing more damage than good.
How do you know if it will work? How can you tell if Social Media is not for you? Here’s how:
Social Media is not for you if…
Your business isn’t social
This might seem like a strange statement considering the number of personal interactions every day in a bar or restaurant. Surely it’s the most social atmosphere in the world? The truth is that most businesses are “transactional” and not social. Think about many fast food restaurants, busy happy hour bars, fast casual restaurants where you are lucky to make eye contact, let alone have a meaningful conversation. If your staff aren’t talking with your customers, asking them about their day, talking about the weather, getting genuine feedback about their meals/drinks, then your business is not social. It may be profitable, but its not social. Check to see what happens when a half finished meal is taken from a customers table uneaten. How did the serving staff deal with this? Was it a transaction or was it social?
SOLUTION: Start to make your business more social before diving into social media
You don’t want to know
Social Media and online interaction invariably means you have to listen to what’s being said about your business. If you don’t want to know or you have no interest in participating in the conversation that is ALREADY taking place about your business, then Social Media might not be for you, If you don’t see the value in creating a feedback loop in person in your business to notify you of complaints or problems, you won’t be comfortable dealing with it openly online and should avoid Social Media at all costs.
SOLUTION: Take it on the chin and listen to what your customers are saying
You seek short term gains
If you have spent the last few years focusing your marketing spend in newspapers, magazines and radio or if you are used to pumping large sums of money into marketing stunts, then Social Media will be an unfamiliar beast to tame. There are no successful stunts on Social Media. There are ways to build engagement that can result in the ringing of the cash register drawer, but stunts will be called out for just that.
There are few short term gains in Social Media, but instead there is a longer, more profitable and more reliable return on investment once you have built a community of loyal customers who support your business, defend you online and ensure they spend their hard earned cash in your bar or restaurant. So ignore the short term “pressure cooker” gains or stunts for the slow-cooking crock pot and build loyalty bit by bit. It’s worth more.
SOLUTION: Buy into a longer term concept and you’ll reap the rewards increasingly month by month.
You have too much else to do
You can put all the work you want into your kitchen, into training your staff and into getting your prices right, but if nobody knows about your business or if there are negative reviews and comments circulating online that you don’t know about, then its all for nothing, isn’t it? Once you have the correct listening/social platforms set up, then there is no reason that Social Media marketing and engagement need take more than 15 minutes a day. Have you really got too much to do that this can’t be fitted in or delegated? If so, then you might have more pressing issues in your business than Social Media.
SOLUTION: Clear a little time from your schedule each day to reap the rewards of Social Media.
Is social media for you? Would love your feedback below.