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4 Tips for Automating Social Media

How to maintain a social media presence AND get everything else done

By Sarah Ann Noel- June 8, 2017


For now, social media remains an important part of any business marketing strategy--and it is especially important in the restaurant industry. As our restaurant consultants continue to find trends based on the Millenial generation's need and wants, your establishment needs to accommodate their preferred means of communication. 

But "social media" is a broad term, and there are lots of channels to keep an eye on. Many businesses have full-time staff positions dedicated to social media management and engagement. Running a restaurant is a busy, fast-paced endeavor, which can make social media marketing tricky.

Don't let the time commitment scare you from participating, however. There are ways to manage your social media accounts and get everything else done. Trevor Noel, the accounts and partnerships director of Wander Unlimited, a Denver-based creative agency, offers up these tips on how to automate--therefore maximize--your restaurant's social media. 

1. Create a content calendar. Half the battle is figuring out what to post. If you create a content schedule in one shot, you have to spend less time generate posts for each day. "For example," says Noel, "Reserve every Friday for a post about a weekend deal; feature a happy hour cocktail each Monday. Knowing what you have to post makes it easier to get it done quickly." (Denver-based graphic designer Andrea Crouse creates an Instagram planner each month. Sign-up for the free download to plan your aesthetic and schedule--that way you're always on brand and on time.)

2. Streamline your quality control. To have a good social media presence, you have to have exceptional content. Most of what is on the internet, particularly on social platforms, is very visually-driven. Any old iPhone snapshot will not do. To save time in creating interesting, high-quality graphics and promotions, use free stock images or photos from Unsplash to keep your content beautiful but easy. (Skeptical? The image for this post is a free download from Unsplash--found and grabbed for the post in under a minute!)

3. Automate the posting schedule. There are many different platforms for pushing scheduled content to social media accounts. Noel says that Wander Unlimited prefers to use Later.com. "It's a free service for posting to Instagram. You schedule the instagram post, complete with text and hastags, and then you can share across your other platforms through the app."

4. Make promotion and engagement easy--for you and your followers. Social media doesn't work without followers, and it doesn't work if you don't engage your followers. Often, this is the biggest time requirement in managing an online presence. First, promote your posts. "You can boost posts on Instagram and Facebook on a shoe string budget," says Noel; but you can be very selective about to whom the messaging is promoted. As your following increases, make them long-term followers and turn them into guests with good engagement. "The best way to engage your following with very little output is to host contests," suggests Noel. "Incentivize mentions and geo-tags by doing a contest for a coupon or a gift certificate." Easily choose a winner at random using Random.org.

Our restaurant consultants highly encourage attention to social media and how it can work to your advantage to build a business. But it isn't the only thing that needs tending to. Use these tips to make your online practices healthy and effective for your business.

Have more questions? Contact a restaurant consultant today. http://restaurantconsulting.us/Contact-National-Restaurant-Consultants