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Restaurateurs and retailers should be using social media as a tool to engage with your audience, advertise your business and reach out to prospective customers.
Webbiquity, a leading SEO brand management website reports 57% of consumers feel more inclined to think highly of a business if they see praise online. Social media has become an inescapable part of our everyday life and with 86% of millennials using social media everyday. It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to grow and maintain their online presence. Social media is a free platform with a reach that extends much further than traditional advertising. Grasp the opportunity to put your brand out there and encourage your customers to post and share your content. The very nature of social media requires short, attention grabbing posts with more content available should the customer want to engage further. This is an opportunity to showcase your products in their best light. Post images of the daily specials on your menu, or create a sense of demand with ‘only one more left’ with limited product lines. Advertise events, such as sales or product launches, new menus or refurbs. The smartphone is the 21st century shop window, an opportunity to draw your customers in.
User generated content such as reviews, shared posts and pictures act as a credible referral for your business. You can encourage these behaviors through interacting with your customers when they’re in your store. Restaurants and eateries confident in their offerings should socialite reviews from customers. Businesses incentivising customers will often see an uplift in reviews, such as including customer in a prize draw or money off their next visit. Header or footer text on receipts is a good way to remind customers they have a review function available to them. Encouraging customer engagement is a surefire way to improve your customer retention. Social media is a means of strengthening your customer relationship even when they aren’t directly on your premises. By sharing and engaging with your content customers become your brand advocates.
It’s important to pick a platform where your content will get the most exposure with your target audience. If you're operating across multiple channels don’t spread yourself too thinly. Choose one or two main platforms to focus on. Facebook is the most used the predominantly used social media site in the UK, with 83% of Facebook users accessing the site every day. YouTube and Twitter come second and third respectively with over half of all millennials accessing the sites daily and 56% believing social media has increased their brand awareness. Depending on your audience you may want to engage with image-based platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat which you can use to showcase your products in visually interesting ways.
Your social media account needs constant upkeep to ensure content is fresh and messages, complaints or inquiries are being dealt with in a prompt and courteous manner. Social media is becoming an increasingly important way for businesses to engage with their audience and those that choose to ignore the growing dominance of this communication platform are likely to be left behind. It’s never been easier or cheaper to connect with your customers. Take advantage of these platforms to help your business grow.
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