We manage social media for restaurants, bars, and retail shops all over the country and as COVID-19 has continued to impact operations, the number one question we receive from owners and managers is: What should we post on our social media pages if we’re temporarily closed?
Answer: Lots of things! As much as you can. DON’T GO DARK!
Right now, as coronavirus is impacting everyone everywhere, we’re getting two questions.
- Should I be posting on social media as my business?
- What should I be posting?
Should you be posting on social media as your business?
The answer to this first question is absolutely YES! You should be posting on social media. If you’ve modified your operations to delivery or take-out only, or changed your hours of operation, you need to be sharing that with your customers. This situation is evolving hour-by-hour and it’s important to keep them constantly updated on what’s happening at your restaurant. Keep posting your sales, specials, and community involvement. There is more traffic on social channels right than ever before. Your customers are starved for interaction and will be more likely to engage with your content.
What should you be posting, especially if you’re temporarily closing your doors?
In that case, really stay connected. Your customers are on social media right now more than ever before. They are at home, they don’t have much to do, and their eyes are on Facebook, Tik Tok, and Instagram. And right now is an opportunity for you to connect with them, show your humanity, offer advice, and offer your expertise in a way that can help them at home:
- Cooking advice
- Shopping deals
- Even just checking in with a casual “hello”
People are thirsty for normalcy right now and they want to feel connected to their community. This is a time for you to really strengthen those relationships, foster loyalty, and get them excited to come blasting through your doors once you open again. Because it is temporary; you will reopen, and people will be wanting to support you.
So definitely stay in touch with your customers regularly, two to three times per week, no matter what right now. If you have questions – even if you’re not one of our clients – but you’re a business owner or manager, and you would like some guidance, reach out to us. Contact us here on our website, reach out on Facebook or Instagram, and we’d love to help you in any way we can.
We’ll get through this together.
You put your life into building your business. You worked hard to build your stellar reputation! One bad review, and you see your profits drop. You can’t satisfy everyone, but one person can make it seem like you satisfy no one!
Don’t ignore the complaint: address it.
Ignoring the complaint, and hoping it will go away, will not do any thing to fix the issue. If the customer has a legitimate complaint, do your best to make it right. If it’s a broken product, apologize, and offer an exchange. If it was bad service by an employee, apologize and offer a discount, or free product, depending on the circumstances. This shows other customers that you care about the person’s concerns, and you take your business seriously. This makes you look good to prospective new customers.
Ensure that the issue is legitimate:
Some people can never be satisfied. Some might not have a legitimate complaint, but that doesn’t mean they have a right to ruin your reputation. So, ask probing questions in a polite way. If you feel someone is making up the bad review. Ask pointed questions to the reviewer, that they would only know if the event had actually happened. Explain that you are trying to make this right, but you need additional information in order to do so. If the reviewer is making up a bad review, that will become obvious quite quickly when they have no answers. This is a great way to keep your good name!
Keeping your reputation stellar takes a lot of work! Especially with the number of review sites that exist! Speaking Socially Media offers review monitoring and generation starting at only $150! Contact us today! We help boost your business to the top of the best review sites. Our goal is to help you grow!
We all know the saying, “You have only one chance to make a good first impression.” If this holds true in all areas of life, how much more so does it apply online, where a bad first impression will make visitors leave your site and not follow through on your call-to-actions. Here are a number of things to keep in mind when trying to make a great first impression online.
Know Your Target Audience
You need to know your target audience and what they are looking for. Once you know that, you can design your site so that the first thing they see is something that will keep them hooked. It’s not enough to be unique; you need to show a uniqueness relevant to your target audience.
Have a Great UX
A great UX, or user experience, is one of the most important aspects of web design. If your site loads slowly, visitors will lose patience and click the “back” button. If there is no navigational menu, visitors will know no way of navigating to the pages you want them to. Your website should be easy and fun to use.
You Need Social Testimony
One of the factors that people, perhaps subconsciously, use to determine a business’s value is its social influence. If people see that your Facebook fan page has only a few likes, their perception of your business will not be a respectable one. The same goes for Twitter followers. You can use Facebook advertising to gain Facebook likes, and being active on Twitter, including using popular hashtags, is a great way to get exposure and followers. You can also follow people in the hope that they will follow you back. Encouraging customers to leave great reviews is also included in this category.
For more tips on how to be successful online, please contact us.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK DEFINES A RESTAURANT’S REPUTATION.
With the increasing prevalence of review sites, everyone can be an online food critic, and thanks to social media and mobile devices, most people are. A study in the Economic Journal revealed that just an extra half-star rating makes a restaurant 30-49% more likely to be fully booked at peak hours. In this study, there were no changes in the quality of food or service–the only difference was star rating.
Perception is everything.
Together, customers and search engines define your brand’s perception. Customers research online to build an informed opinion before choosing where to dine out.
They want lots of accurate information without much effort on their part, so rarely do they venture past page 1 of online search results. You have only a few seconds to stand out against the competition. Local search results rank restaurants based on rating, volume, and recency of reviews. When left to their own devices, customers either say nothing at all or wait until anger fuels their feedback, resulting in skewed average ratings that do not necessarily reflect the restaurant’s performance. Plenty satisfied customers don’t think to jump online after a meal, and leave licking their lips instead of using them to spread the word.
How do you get new reviews? Make it easy for your customers to write them.
Generating new reviews from across your entire customer base can balances the scales. Speaking Socially’s in-moment SMS feedback tools prompt all your customers for reviews immediately following a visit, meeting customers where they are–on their phones–and capturing sentiment while it’s still fresh. With such a convenient outlet, even customers who wouldn’t normally post online are inclined to share.
Not only do reviews put restaurants on the map; they’re also invaluable business development tools. Insights from customer feedback help all departments, from owners and management to servers and kitchen staff, learn exactly where to improve. Restaurants can highlight positive reviews on their website and social channels to use authentic experiences as promotional material. Testimonials from happy customers will help online searchers get a feel for what a restaurant is like far more effectively than menus and professional photographs.
Manage reviews, book more tables
To help restaurants streamline review management, Speaking Socially’s automated feedback collection process pre-qualifies sentiment, directing happy customers to post on top review sites like Google and Facebook. Speaking Socially’s integration with OpenTable allows restaurants to easily collect new customer reviews on OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations. This review site alone has over 15 million reviews.
Claim your restaurant on OpenTable to reach more diners, instantly book reservations, and get new reviews. What about unhappy customers? Speaking Socially routes them directly to management to share feedback in private, enabling quick issue resolution and preventing problems from escalating into public view. Respond to negative reviews promptly and thoughtfully to turn frustrated customers into loyal ones.
With the ability to solve issues in a pinch and sprinkle praise across major review sites, restaurants have the recipe for that 5-star online reputation that hungry customers crave.
About Speaking Socially
With Speaking Socially, it’s easier than ever to get new authentic customer reviews, building trust that leads to more sales. In today’s reputation economy, Speaking Socially provides the eyes, ears and algorithms necessary to create the five-star customer experiences that keep your business at the top.
What’s the purpose of your company’s social media profiles?
Sure, you need to improve your visibility, keep customers engaged, and ensure that your marketing campaigns are reaching a wide audience. Social media is great for generating leads and raising your company’s profile, ultimately leading to more sales and growth.
And all of that growth is going to mean that you will need to start using social media for another kind of marketing: recruiting great employees.
Most people don’t think of recruiting candidates as a kind of marketing, but it is. You need to not only market your company’s product, but your company itself. That way, you will get the best candidates to lead your company to even greater heights, and ensure that they turn into engaged employees.
Here are a few things to consider when using social media as a recruitment tool.
Market the Company
You’re used to marketing your product: writing up compelling copy, creating appealing visuals that make people want to buy it right now, and pushing promotional offers to drive conversions.
But remember that your brand is more than your product: it’s the company, too! Don’t forget to market the company itself as a fantastic organization. Show off that it’s fun to work for you, and that your company is a great place to be.
Here’s a two-fer. From time to time, take the opportunity to highlight your employees on social media. Take a flattering, well-lit picture of the employee and a little bit of text about who they are, and show that you care enough about your individual employees to recognize them and their work in front of the whole world.
This has two benefits: it humanizes the company for your customers and gives them an idea of who they are working with, and it’s like a “customer testimonial” for potential job candidates. Everyone wants to work with happy, engaged employees, whether they’re a customer or a colleague.
Another bonus is that this shows that you value your employees as people and not just bodies in cubicles — positioning you as someone who is good to do business with, and great to work for.
Just make sure to get permission from your employees first!
Remember to Use Different Platforms
Most people think of LinkedIn as the default place to find new employees, and for good reason: it’s full of professionals with easily-accessible resumes or job histories, and widely used by job-seekers. And by all means, advertise your company and positions there, and feel free to structure your messaging as a little more corporate.
But job-seekers aren’t just on LinkedIn, so don’t forget about the other platforms, like Facebook, for example. Facebook can also be a great tool for showcasing your company culture and showing off some of the great perks your employees enjoy. And because it has one of the widest online audiences, you’ll reach even more great talent.
Need some help managing your company’s presence on social media? Contact us!
Dealing With Negative Reviews
Your response shows potential customers how your business deals with complaints.
Some refer to them as haters. They usually make you want to fire off a quick response in return because they’ve evoked negative emotions. A social media troll is one who deliberately posts negative comments or reviews to provoke others. Whether true or not, their intent is to cause trouble in your social media communities.
Customers are looking for reviews to see positives as well as how a business responds to complaints. The way you react to trolls can impact your reputation. Here are a few tactics to keep in mind.
1) Always respond
It’s important to always engage with a comment, whether it is positive or negative. A response shows that you took time to try and find a resolution.
2) Restate The Complaint
In your response repeat back what the customer is posting about. Is the complaint about your company or product factual?
3) Highlight Your Strengths
Show the customer that your products or services have a reputation.
4) Don’t Make Excuses
Don’t place blame on an employee or situation. Take ownership of the complaint.
5) Resolve the Issue
An offer is usually the easiest way steer the complaint towards a position outcome. This doesn’t have to be extravagant, a simple $5 gift card can often make a customer happy.
6) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Proof
If you feel the complaint is fraudulent don’t be afraid to ask for proof of the complaint. You loyal fans will see this complaint for what it is and support your actions.
There’s no way to completely stop negative comments or reviews, but using these tips you can help you keep them under control should you find yourself going head-to-head with a troll on your brand’s page.
You wouldn’t ignore a customer in your store asking a question at the customer service desk would you? Or even one that called in on the phone? Of course not! For years the customer service desk and telephone calls have been perceived as a normal way for customers to interact with business to get answers to questions about products or services. However, for the last ten years, a new player has been on the field of business to customer engagement and it is one that, although it is here to stay, goes unanswered 7 out of 8 times.
That new playing field is social media and it is where more and more consumers, young and old, are turning to get their questions resolved. According to a recent study, customers seeking support on social media is up 21 percent in just the last two quarters of 2015 alone and seven out of eight customer messages go unanswered within a 72 hour period.
Unfortunately, most businesses are 4 times more likely to post things to their social media then they are to answer a customer’s question or reply to a comment. If your response is “If they want to know something they can call or come in person to my store” then you can probably expect to lose that particular customer. And as it was with the telephone, it is a trend that will continue to grow.
Statistics show that the Real Estate industry is currently struggling the most with this trend, as they are 11.7 times more likely to post something than return a message from a potential client on social media and consumer goods based business are 40% slower than educational establishments which have the quickest response time.
So now that the scary numbers are out of the way what is the good news , you ask? Why is this important to your business? Customers who engage with companies on social media spend 20 – 40% more with those companies. 71% of those who have positive customer service through social media will recommend the brand to friends. So what is a small business who does not have multiple employees to do with limited resources in the face of this new surging trend? Simple! Follow these four steps:
- Develop a social media customer care strategy for your business.
- Equip yourself with the right tools to execute that plan.
- Listen and provide timely answers to questions and comments.
- Be genuine. You wouldn’t be otherwise in person, and your online persona should reflect the same.
If your business needs assistance setting up and implementing a social media customer care strategy or someone to maintain it for you, contact us today for a fee consultation.
They happen every day, but taking a look at some of these mistakes can help your business avoid them. Remember, always review and think of potential double meanings before you post.