Your Business Plan is possibly the most important document you can create when starting a new business. Think of it as a roadmap to the future success of your business! It forces you to think about things you will need to decide, challenges you may have to overcome, and ways of attracting customers.
As mentioned in my Digital Footprint post, having a social media presence is crucial to any business today. For restaurants in particular, if you do not have a social media page for which you are actively creating content on a regular basis, you might as well consider yourself nonexistent in today’s market.
Is that reality a bit harsh? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
I’ve compiled a list of post ideas to get you started. And quite honestly, if you stick to this list for a while, you’ll find yourself with a plethora of post ideas!
I originally created this list for the company I work for to help them create more meaningful content on their pages. They chose not to use it, so guess what! Their loss is your gain. I’ve changed the wording to be more generic so that it may help to spark some creativity on your end as well!
Have other ideas you think would be great for this list? Comment below! Let’s help each other out!
- [your company] Brand Values
- History Piece on [your company]
- Special events/launches
- Inspirational/Quotes – Motivational Monday
- Educational – Tuesday Tips (small, simple, can fit in a photo)
- Tell a Story with a Photo
- Featured Customer (giveaway? Just featured?)
- Shared Customer Post
- Behind the Scenes
- Recipe Card
- Ask a question/poll (What led you to industry? How did you find us on ___? How long have you been in the industry?)
- Spotlights – (departments, resources, products, etc)
- Book Club (featuring books relevant to industry)
- Industry News/Stats
- Live Videos during special events/food shows
- Sneak Peaks/Coming Soon
- Customer Testimonials
- Guest Posts (specialists, chefs, brokers, etc)
- Share Wins or Results/Successes
- Customer Interview
- Seasonal or Holiday Highlight (“National Chocolate Covered Insects Day” – Oct 14)
- “Thank you” post to customers/followers
- Share Podcast or YouTube Video relevant to industry)
- Events Hosting/going to (food shows, industry events, golf tournaments, career fairs, festivals, etc)
- Employee takeover???
- Show Customer Using Product
- “A Day in the Life”
- Special Customer Follower offer (Discount, Something free, etc)
- Fill in the blank (“My favorite [your company] product is__,”)
- Share other Social Profiles (if on FB, share Insta/Pinterest/LinkedIn/Twitter handles)
- Boomerang Video
- Call to Action (click this link)
- Industry Interview
- Where are you? (will tag on map)
- Answer a FAQ
- Exploring new towns (restaurants, tourist spots, hotels, etc)
- Time/Money Saving Tips (highlight [your company] resource in relation)
- Fun Industry-Related Fact
- Featured hashtag (#spot[your company], #[your company])
- Virtual Restaurant Week in different territories
I hope this list is helpful to get you going! I bet you could do an entire year’s worth of posts (or more) with just these ideas alone!
Do you know what your potential customers see when they find you online? How do they find you? CAN they find you?
Knowing your digital footprint has now become one of the most crucial aspects of running a business. Whether you want to engage online or not, the fact of the matter is if you want your business to be successful in today’s marketplace, you’ve got to have an understanding of how to engage with your customers online.
According to lexingtonlaw.com, Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) account for a quarter of the United States population! That age group alone spends about $600 BILLION in the US every year, and 94% of them prefer to shop in a digital format of some kind!
And you know that little device they are always carrying around – the device they get such a hard time about because they’re “always on it”? Yep, I’m talking about their cell phones.
If they can’t find you on their phones, as far as they’re concerned, you don’t exist! And if you don’t exist, how much of that $600 billion do you think your business is going to get?
…do you see the importance of your digital footprint now?
Probably one of the easiest (and least costly) ways you can show up on the radar of your audience is by having a social media presence.
Now I’m not saying dive in and drown yourself in every platform available. Choose one or two that would benefit you by reaching the audience you want to reach.
Own a restaurant? I’ve found that Facebook & Instagram are great places to start in the social media realm.
Have a blog? Pinterest is the BEST way to gain followers! You can also use Facebook or Instagram here as well.
Find out where your target audience is hanging out, and BE THERE!
Having a website doesn’t have to be a cumbersome ordeal either. There are plenty of website creation options out there, and depending on the level of engagement you intend to have with your audience, you may have little to no cost involved in creating your business’ website.
If all you intend to do is have a presence online, telling the public about your business and where they can find you, that’s an option. You can include the business phone number and email address for your audience to reach you if needed, and you control what’s displayed on the site!
You can also fully engage with your audience through your website. Sell a product and want to offer online sales? Own a restaurant and want to offer online ordering? Your website can offer as little or as much engagement as you can handle.
So let’s say you want to fully engage through your website but are far from comfortable with computers. Uh oh, what do you do now? Do you give up and stick with your local radio, newspaper, and television ads? No!
There are PLENTY of businesses out there you can hire to manage these things for you. Find a local social media manager, enroll in services from a web site management company, hire out any aspect of your online presence that you feel someone else can do better than you can.
Have you ever visited a business and left a review afterwards?
Review sites have been proven to make or break a business in some cases, and the way you manage your business on these sites can make a huge difference!
Some popular review sites are Yelp, Google, Facebook, Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, and FourSquare. I suggest checking each and every one of them to see if your business is listed.
If you find your business on a review site and you did not create the page yourself, CLAIM THE PAGE! Somewhere along the top of the page, there is usually something with the word “claim” or “this is my business” or something along those lines.
Claiming your business gives you control over the information that is out there (aside from the reviews themselves). Are your hours listed correctly? What about the contact info? If you have a restaurant, is your menu updated and correct? And the photos – oh the photos! What kind of picture is painted of your business through the photos that are posted? Post some of your own that show what YOU want your audience to see.
Once you’ve taken control of your business on these sites, invite your customers (especially the happy ones) to write a review! Offer some kind of incentive to them for the review as well – a percentage off coupon, a drawing for a free item of your choice – get them to help increase your star rating!
The fact of the matter is, many times customers do not leave reviews when they’re happy; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you want your business to be portrayed fairly, it’s only smart to encourage your happy customers to leave good reviews as well to balance them out!
These are some of the most important aspects of your digital footprint that need your most attention. Once you get a handle on these, you will have a much better understanding of how your customers view your business, and most importantly, ways you might be able to improve!