Which Social Media Platforms should you be using?
Even if you’re relatively comfortable in the world of social media, it’s likely you still feel as if you’re hearing about a new site every other hour. And to some degree you’re probably right. Given the money (or perceived money) to be made via the Next Big Thing, new start-up companies are popping up quite frequently.
Obviously all that matter for you is which ones are going make a difference for your bar/restaurant. Which sites are actually worth the valuable time of you and your staff?
With that in mind here is a list of the social media platforms you should be paying attention to, either as an active participant or interested observer
We certainly don’t have to tell you about the big bad publicly traded king of social media. We will assume your bar/restaurant is participating with Facebook in some form or another. And there are many forms that participation can take. At the very least you need to be regularly updating and communicating with fans via a business page. Depending on your size and specific advertising needs, you should be taking a close look at Facebook’s advertising options.
Another must for any bar or restaurant owner within eyesight of this article. It’s very possible you’re not quite as familiar with Twitter as you are Facebook. If that’s true, it’s a shortcoming your business needs to correct. Twitter can help in a multitude of ways, ranging from directly responding to customer inquiries to passively monitoring what is being said about you.
Now owned by Facebook, the hottest name in photo sharing is one you need to know. Your bar should be on Instagram, building a group of followers and sharing images of what goes on at your establishment. Above and beyond that, Instagram is a great way to listen to customers and find the relevant images they are sharing.
The most recognizable name in location-based social media, Foursquare presents a wonderful opportunity to observe and participate in what customers and potential customers are doing around you. Fans “check-in” at locations and share their activity with friends. They are able to engage in competition to be the most frequent visitor to various public locations. Foursquare offers you a glimpse at who is (and isn’t) visiting you and allows you the opportunity to reward your regulars.
You don’t necessarily need to be an active participant on sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paying attention. Taking a glance at those sites every so often will give you a potentially valuable look at what customers think about your restaurant, and how it compares to the competition.
The key is not to get bogged down trying to familiarize yourself with every single social media fad as it first bursts on to the scene. Just make sure you know the sites the majority of you customers are using and you’ll be fine.