Social Media Marketing
Facebook isn't just for kids. It's where people are organizing their class reunions, weddings, special events and yes, running their businesses. In other words, it's a goldmine of opportunity for the catering world. If you're lost when it comes to social media, it would be beneficial to hire a part-time salesperson who focuses on your corporate division and is social media savvy and capable of taking on this role in all capacities. (Or go through this guide step-by-step).
Social Media today is a way to expand the reach of your business by marketing your product and creating campaigns that turn customers into loyal, repeat clients. This approach is as much about building relationships as it is about selling your service. By utilizing social media in your operation, you will show your following that you are committed to providing excellent services while also reaching out to new customers and making them aware of your product. You want your clients to know that you are committed to building relationships, so it is essential to interact with them in these outlets. There are several social media platforms to get accustomed to if you're going to find success in this arena. You can learn about all of the major ones here.
According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of all American adults use some form of social media, mostly on their mobile devices. Among those with an income greater than $75,000, usage has jumped significantly from 7 percent in 2005 to 78 percent in 2016. The chart below breaks down popularity according to demographics and social media site.
Social Media Usage Among U.S. Adults
Source: Social Media Fact Sheet, Pew Research, January 2017
SOCIAL MEDIA STATISTICS FOR THE CATERING INDUSTRY:
95% of the food-industry thinks technology improves efficiency
73% of food-industry customers say technology improves their experience
81% of food-service customers use online ordering systems
78% of food-industry professionals look at metrics every day
What are the major social media platforms?
- Google +
FACEBOOK: With a global reach of over 2 billion active users, Facebook is currently the biggest social media platform in the world. Because of its wide potential reach, many businesses have found it useful for advertising and connecting with customers. Using Facebook for business purposes can sometimes be difficult. Facebook's rules and algorithms can make it difficult to ensure that your followers see what you post via organic reach. However, Facebook is one of the best tools to use if you want to target a specific audience through paid campaigns. Facebook knows a lot about its users, and it uses this information to your advantage when you purchase ads.
- You must create a separate business page, DO NOT use your private page for your business. (you can use it to promote your business page, but not AS your business page). If you need assistance setting up your business page scroll down.
- Use a recognizable profile pic. Preferably your logo or your food.
- Complete the “About Us” section of the page. This is the FIRST thing your potential clients are going to look at, make sure it has ALL relevant information about you and your company.
- Keep your message uniform. Use a “cover photo” that relates to your profile pic. Create a post that promotes your brand and “pin” it to the top of your page.
- NEVER use a dummy account to post reviews, tag, etc., it is not only transparent to clients but moreover, it is a violation Facebook policy and it a sure way to get kicked off quickly.
- Tailor and organize your posts. Facebook has a variety of tools that help narrow down your target market; age, gender, education, region, industry, etc.,
- DON'T post too often. Companies that post more than 60 times per month receive 60% fewer interactions. Instead, spend your time crafting great posts that represent your brand and post 1 - 2 times daily. THAT'S ALL!
- Use Facebook Live. This is somewhat of a new feature of Facebook, and since Facebook LOVES to promote their new features, you're sure to get high visibility. If you're somewhere special; a ball game, concert or unique location, go on Facebook live and chat a little about you and your brand.
- Announce special dates, promos, deadlines for holiday orders. Post blogs and press clips.
- Use tracking URLs and Facebook insights to analyze your performance. Once you have these metrics, you can tailor more of what works and less of what doesn't.
- DON’T always use just words. Your content can generate 94% more attention if you add visual graphics. And 65% more if you add a picture.
- Strategize the times your posting. Click, and Share rates are highest between 1 pm - 2 pm.
- RESPOND QUICKLY! 42% of consumers on Facebook expect a response in 60 minutes or less. Despite whether the comments are good or bad, failure to respond, i.e., ignoring them, only fuels anger and disappointment.
- Try using a paid budget to amplify your posts. Promote contact that you know works. And don't make assumptions, base the findings of your analysis. Expanded content can expand your reach and attract more people.
TWITTER: Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets. Tweets may include hyperlinks and are limited to 280 characters, due to the constraints of Twitter's Short Message Service (SMS) delivery system.
- Create a catchy Twitter handle. Remember that you are restricted by characters, so if the full name of your business doesn't fit, come up with something clever that sounds like your company/brand.
- Be sure your twitter handle and name are the same. Too often people will use their company name as their Twitter handle, then fill in their first and last name as "Name." DON'T do this, put your company instead of your name, so you're not showing up in the news feed as Joe Smith instead of ABC Catering.
- Have an excellent profile pic. Using your company's logo is an easy decision. It creates awareness and promotes your brand.
- Have an equally excellent header image. However, make sure your photo relates to your brand.
- Include your location.
- Include a link to your website.
- Take time to build your base. Finding followers is a long, daunting process, BUT if you stay engaged and tweet regularly, you'll see that you're building up your following in no time. Seek out good contacts, related to your industry and follow them. Most people will follow you in return.
- Share and Listen.
- Follow industries that are relevant to your operation; #foodindustry #catering #corporatecatering #cateringlife #caterers #corporate #yourcity
- Watch those tags in your feed and comment on their posts. Retweet your own followers as well, and preface it with a comment.
- Twitter is a fast-moving channel, and users can virtually see everything you post. Some say the life of a tweet is 8 minutes, so unlike Facebook don't be afraid to post ALL THE TIME. Retweet your posts but be sure to use different posts in between that are unique and promote your brand. Twitter users can pull your profile at any time, and you wouldn't want them to see the same posts repeated over and over. If you're worried about retweets, use an app designed to schedule tweets for you. We find Hootsuite.com to be extremely helpful. You have a chance to get them on the hook once they go to your page, so make it look good!
- Use of hashtags. Hashtags can be tricky, but they're just words so don't be scared. A hashtag is any word with a # in front of it. It allows users to follow topics, industries, people, etc. according to hashtags. You can also use hashtags after your own tweet so that your tweet goes into specific feeds. For example, if you tweet about a promo and use #catering as the hashtag, everyone following #catering hashtag will see your tweet. If you want to search a hashtag yourself, just type the hashtag in the search bar, and you can find anything related to that hashtag. There are some of the most common hashtags for the #cateringindustry listed above but search online for the most commonly used hashtags for your local business market. A good one to use in our industry is #cateringlife but remember when using hashtags, try to keep it below eight.
- Create your own #hashtag. This is a good way to brand your company and keep track of your tweets and retweets. Come up with something clever that nobody else is using. You can search for the hashtag before choosing it for yourself to make sure it's not already out there. For example, if your operation is Wyatt's Catering, you might try #feedwyatt
- Use Twitter Lists. When you categorize your followers (or the users you want to follow), it can not only streamline your marketing approach, but it also notifies users that they have been added to one of your lists. If you create a list called "restaurant masters" and add a user to that list, you can bet they're going to be honored when they get that alert...in turn, they will follow you, and maybe even tag you which will bring lots of followers.
- Attend Twee-Chats. Stay abreast of the chats going on; you might find one relevant to your industry.
- Use proper grammar. I know Twitter restricts you to 280 characters, but you're representing your brand so grammar is key.
- Live Tweet - If you're at a major sporting event, trade show, exhibition talk to your followers in real time. It's a great way to give value to your company and show that you're active.
- Announce special dates, promos, deadlines for holiday orders. Post blogs and press clips.
- Be respectful and be appropriate, but be bold at the same time. Take risks on your page, try new things out and see if they work.
- Chill out with the capital letters (and the exclamation points). It's ok to use capital letters for a heading or two, but DON'T WRITE THE WHOLE TWEET IN CAPS!!!!! It's obnoxious, and most people will pass right by your tweet.
INSTAGRAM - Instagram has over 700 million active monthly users. That's less than Facebook or Twitter, however, more active users. You can use Instagram to market and promote your business for less money than other social media sites.
- CREATIVITY - Focus on the solution, not the product. Instagram is all about looking pretty. If you're in the food industry, the key here is to make your food look pretty. If your pics are not rocking, then you won't gain the followers you need. In our industry, it helps to showcase behind the scenes. Users love that! Show how your business is oriented, demonstrate the process, show the company culture and share your mission with the world. You can do all of this by uploading photos, short videos, Gifs (called Boomerangs - get the app) and longer 1-minute videos.
- INSTAGRAM STORIES: -- This is a slide-show format that lasts only 24 hours. This new feature is designed to compete with Snapchat. Instagram s
- tories get a top spot in the Instagram timelines
- and can be used to capture lower-quality video scenes
- . Keep your daily postings consistent so that you can tell a good story of your day. People don't want to look at your story and see one or two lics, they want to see exactly what you did for the day; drove to work, prepped, cooked (great opportunity to showcase your food), behind the scenes in the kitchen, people being silly or just acting like themselves...you want your watchers to relate to you!
- Experiment with different content: Gif's (Boomerang) backward video (Rewind) and live video.
e.Tag other accounts
- Use the fun features like face filters (another SnapChat feature), text, stickers, etc.
- Search stories for hashtags and locations
- Send Stories via mobile app
- BEHIND THE SCENES - People love knowing the origin of the products they use. Bring them there. Let them see what goes on in the back, in the kitchen, in the office, during a staff meeting. If you don't think you have anything to share, you're wrong! Share your post-it notes, blackboard, whiteboard; every business has brainstormed ideas. It's up to you to turn that into a pretty picture/video and post it. And now Instagram lets you archive those posts, so they're yours forever.
- EXPAND YOUR REACH - Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags and more hashtags. You can make these hashtags industry-specific, or you can set up your own hashtag, perhaps your name or a witty hashtag you come up with that you don't think anyone will use. Just remember that, whatever you post always use that hashtag! Instagram will allow up to 30 hashtags, but that's WAY too many. Try using 8 or below. Popular hashtags are ever changing. #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) will probably always work well, but others may not. Just google the top hashtags for your industry. For catering take a look above in the twitter section for popular uses.
- @OTHERS - Instagram is known for collaborations and sharing success stories. Tag (@abccatering) other companies in your industry, friends, restaurants you've just dined at, etc. This is a great way to build up your following. Another technique involves the use of ‘shout-outs.' An unpaid shout-out is when you partner with another brand that has roughly the same number of followers as you to promote each other to your audiences and you both benefit from increased exposure. Try this; it tends to work well.
- LOYALTY PROGRAMS - Keeping your customers interested is an essential part of any effective marketing campaign is key. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive content. Let them be the first to know about new products, services or events. Announce special dates, promos, deadlines for holiday orders. Post blogs and press clips. Create teaser photos that build anticipation or satisfy curiosity for your new releases, office openings or stores. This kind of preview makes your Instagram followers feel special and keeps them coming back for more insider information.
- ANALYZE & BUILD - Trying to take a step back and analyze what worked and didn't can be a marketing guessing game and nightmare. The truth is, you can read all the articles in the world about the best practices and publishing times, but you will only find out what works for your clients through testing and measuring results. Social media management tools can help. You can use them to schedule your Instagram posts and use social media analytics to measure their success. Make sure to regularly measure your follower count, engagement, and clicks, all to refine and improve your strategy.
YOUTUBE (in the works) -- Launch your YouTube channel with a short video introducing yourself and giving an overview of your company and brand. What do you do? Who is your core market? This information is important.
- VIBE - YouTubers come in all shapes and sizes. Think about what you want your “vibe” to be. Some people choose to address their audiences directly wearing a three-piece suite. Others choose to wear shorts and sneakers and address their audience indirectly sitting by the pool. Some, such as in the case of the food-industry, showcase their food and film behind-the-scenes videos sometimes with voice-overs sometimes without. Keep in mind that addressing your audience directly, facing the camera, gives your followers more of a chance to get to know you. What is your vibe? Figure it out and remain consistent.
- VIDEOS - Create short funny, informative videos that relate to your brand. Target your audience with a consistent, signature style that keeps them coming back for more. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to let your personal life come across in your videos. The more creative you can be the better. Users want to get to know you...let them!
- SUBSCRIBE - COMMENT - LIKE - At the end of your videos don't forget to ask your watchers to subscribe to your channel and also to "leave a comment and like this video at the bottom."
- POST - Post frequently: There are businesses whose primary focus is YouTube. These channels have daily content updates. You, however, do not need to upload videos every day. Posting videos once a week is a hefty goal and is more than enough to build a presence...once you master weekly videos, bump it up a notch.
- TAGS - A tag is a keyword that you are adding to your video. These keywords describe and highlight the content that is in your video. Additionally, tags are incredibly beneficial for getting addition views of your video. One of the biggest tips to remember when choosing your video's tags is to be relevant to your video. You want to make sure that your tags accurately describe the content of your video and you want to use as many as possible. Remember to separate all your tags by commas. The more relevant your keywords, the more views you will receive. Always arrange your tags in order of most importance. YouTube puts more weight into the tags at the beginning.
- Be specific to the content of your video
- Compound - tags with two or more words used. Maybe the title of your video. Leave out words like (and, as, or, etc.) because Youtube ignores these words. Try to use all 500 characters allowed, but don't waste them on words that will be ignored.
- Generic tags have to do with the overall content of your video. "Catering" "Corporate Catering" "Catering Consultants" "Food Industry" ...it's essential to have a group of generic tags that you use in all your videos.
- Popularity - The popularity of tags vary by industry and interest. There are some popular tags for the food-industry outlined above, however, if you're looking to target a more specific audience google popular tags for that particular interest/industry.
- COMMENTS - You can use this section to add additional comments that you may not have included in your original post. Often this sparks a conversation. If your follower's comment, always always always respond. This is the first step to building relationships with your followers. You must engage.
- ANALYTICS - Who is watching your videos? Thanks to YouTube analytics you can find out. The Demographics Report offers some reports on your audience, such as information on age, gender, and top location views. The Traffic Sources Report gives specific information regarding the sites, and YouTube features that viewers are using to find and watch your content. The Devices Report and Playback Locations report also give you clues about your audience's tech tendencies. These results may surprise you; sometimes you discover that you're attracting a whole demographic of people you never knew your brand could attract.
- CONSISTENCY - Going from stop-motion animation to thrill-seeking videographer to sit down interview style segments WILL NOT help your brand. Stay consistent. Pick a theme and stick with it. In our industry its most likely food...use videos, photos, interviews, voice-overs, etc. that center around food. Just be yourself and pay attention to who’s paying attention to you!
- PERSONAL - How are YOU using LinkedIn personally? Are you effective? Could you do better? Before you can use LinkedIn for your business, you MUST have your personal page cleaned up and efficiently operational. If you don't have a personal account, create one...then we'll move to the next step.
- BUSINESS - Create a stellar business page. Keep your content relevant and your posts coming on a regular basis. Include all valuable information about your business, including website and contact information. Write an informative description, and skip the slang/text-speak...always use proper grammar.
- COMMUNICATION - Connecting and effectively communicating with people through LinkedIn is no different than dealing with people outside of the network. Whether they are a supplier, potential partner or client, you need to build enough value for them to trust you for them to develop an interest in your company, products, and services. Always update frequently. Relevant updates that you should consider would include recently completed projects, new business features, news coverage, blog posts, creative tips, new features or products and anything that shows your business as an active and serious operation.
- GROUPS - A huge social feature on LinkedIn is the ability to start a group that revolves around a specific interest, i.e., food-industry, catering... If you can connect your business to a general topic that engages people, you can set up a group, stir a discussion and make sure members know about your business. There are several resources online that offer assistance in helping to initiate LinkedIn groups. Be sure also to seek out and participate in other groups with similar areas of interest. This provides valuable networking opportunities.
- CONNECTIONS - Approach this with a purpose. Building your relationships solely for having a large following is not a sound strategy if you want to effectively grow your business using LinkedIn. Every connection you make MUST be linked to your goals and objectives in the industry both now and in the future. Interact with your friends!
- CONTACTS - Most people don't realize that LinkedIn is in effect a very powerful CRM system that allows you to categorize your contacts by tagging them into specific folders. This is extremely important because the key to LinkedIn success is ensuring that your communications are targeted and personalized to each person you are connected with. If you don't have your contacts segmented, you simply can't target your demographic without going through your entire network one by one, which for a person trying to grow a successful business, is extremely time-consuming.
- TIME LIMIT: - Set a time limit for yourself each day and stick to it. Typically anywhere between 10 - 20 minutes (after you get established) should be sufficient. Try not to get caught up in the news-feed, remember, you’re on here strictly to generate business. Once you’ve made the connection you wanted to make, done the research you needed to do, or posted the content you wanted to share, then get off the platform! Don’t allow yourself to stay and browse. It is easy to get sucked into doing more, try to stay focused...there are other battles to conquer!
- PERSONALIZE: - Send personalized connection requests. Stop scrolling and start searching! This is the distraction I addressed above. Find the connection, and send them a connection request with a concise message explaining why you want to connect. Steer clear of anything that portrays the message, "I want to sell you something" or anything that can be interpreted as such. Instead try, "I was reading your latest blog post, and I loved your insight on X." Or, "I saw this share on Twitter, and I really liked it." That alone with open the door to establishing a relationship, this is what you want! Remember, building strong relationships is the key to growing your business. Just be patient, it doesn't happen overnight.
- FOCUS: Focus on your target market. We are in sales, so we know who our target market is. Focus on actively starting conversations with these targets, whether they're vice presidents at a company you want to earn as a client or they're thought leaders in your industry. It may be helpful to make a list before you log in, so that you can remain focused and engage only with those intended.
- PROMOTIONS: Step #1 - Highlight Your Business on Your Own Profile. Personal profiles are still a powerful tool on LinkedIn. They give you the opportunity to present yourself as the individual behind the brand and build a professional reputation. Make sure your profile details the activities of your business and links to all the important pages: your business website, professional Twitter account, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and any other social media account you have for your business.
- TARGETS - Find your friend's posts and blogs. Like, comment and share them to your network, even if you have to go to another website to find their content. Not everyone embraces LinkedIn's blogging platform yet so that they may share a lot of material elsewhere.
- TAGS: - Before you post or share someone's information or a photo you're uploading, think about the relevant people you can tag in your post. Tagging on LinkedIn works as it does on most platforms: To use the @ symbol simply type the person's name and LinkedIn will bring up a drop-down menu of connections and people you follow to confirm the tag. Click on the correct person, and their name will appear in a blue hyperlink to their profile in your post. The people you tag will receive a notification of the tag and any interaction with your post. They may even receive an email about the post depending on their LinkedIn profile settings, BUT remember this: Make sure the posts your sharing, tagging, uploading, etc., are RELEVANT to your operation/brand.
SNAP CHAT: -- This platform is fairly new to the social media world, but it is nonetheless part of the growing list of social media platforms that business should be using to promote their brand and services. SnapChats are short videos that tell a story throughout the day and disappear after 24 hours. Marketeers agree that SnapChat could quickly become a valuable resource for business owners. The interface is a bit tricky and takes some getting used to, but businesses that have stuck it out and got the hang of it are finding that great results are coming from their campaigns. To put it lightly, SnapChat is intimidating, to say the least, with an interface that is vastly different than virtually every other social media platform out currently there. However, there is a way for a business to use SnapChat to their advantage. Due to the newness of this platform, it creates new ways for businesses to connect with their target market using other methods that haven't been utilized before. Aside from the statistics, which can speak for the growth and engagement on the platform, there are some strong benefits to marketing on Snapchat. These include:
- LESS COMPETITION: - Every brand that’s ever existed seems to have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (and, increasingly, Pinterest). As difficult as it can be to even connect with users on these platforms, it can be even harder to get your content to stand out from the competition. Though Snapchat is increasing in popularity amongst brands quickly, there’s still less competition here for businesses than on other platforms.
- A DIFFERENT APPROACH: - Snapchat is different than other platforms. You'll be reaching a new audience in a new way with a new type of content. This can be a challenge, but it can also be a significant advantage.
SNAPCHAT STATISTICS: -
- An estimated 200 million monthly active users send 700 million photos or videos each day, with approximately 8 billion video views a day.
- Snapchat has approximately 100 million daily active users.
- Snapchat reaches 11% of the US’s entire digital population. This might not seem like much, but when you consider how massive the population is, that's certainly a decent reach.
- Snapchat is among the top 13 apps downloaded overall (and sometimes in the top 3 for photo and video apps)
- Snapchat is worth $25 Billion.
- Snapchat has more users than Twitter and grew as much in one year as Twitter did in four years total.
- 76% of Snapchat users also online shoppers.
- Snapchat's daily users are spending an average of 90 minutes a day on the app.
- IN A NUTSHELL (Instagram for Dummies): -- This section is for those of us "old-timers" who just don't get the hype. Here's what it does...
IN THE BEGINNING: One could claim that naked pics are how Snapchat got its start and changed the social media game, and because they self-destruct after 60 seconds, this is true.
DISAPPEARING PICTURES? FOR WHAT? 2. Olds: "What's the point of sending you a picture if it just goes away?" Youngs: "I don't want you to see my drunk selfie more than once, thx." - That should sum it up.
POSTING: While many people prefer to uploads "snaps" as they take them, you can also upload a prior photo using SnapChat's memory feature.
DEFACING PICS: Why would you want to draw on your face you say? Well here's another thing that us old-timers don't necessarily understand. A perfectly executed Snapchat drawing turns a young amateur into a modern-day Monet. The cell phone screen is our canvas. The pointer finger, our acrylic paintbrush. This feature can be a lot of fun is executed properly.
FRONT CAMERA MODE: Perfect way to take selfies, videos, and commentary. Be sure to use all the quirky features that go along with posting snaps; flower headband, spooky faces, etc.
BACK FACING CAMERA: -- The back facing camera is more for taking video and pics of the outside world. Don't be afraid to narrate your videos as you're taking them. Sometimes alternating between front and back cameras can be fun if done it the right way. Just explore, you'll be surprised at what this platform has to offer. Now do see what all these kids are talking about, pretty fun huh?
SCREENSHOTS: While Snapchat is supposed to be private, there is still a way to upload screenshots to the site. (We'll talk about this more down the road).
VIDEO -- To take a video on Snapchat you have to open the application and hold down the circle button until it fills completely. Now post your video. If you accidentally X out if a video before its complete...Tough luck, you have to start over.
HIEROGLYPHICS: Although it appears to be, these symbols are not hieroglyphics. Use these symbols in your photos.
TIME CONSTRAINTS: If you want to take a picture/video that lasts longer than 24 hours, just use Facebook or Instagram.
FRIENDS: Go though your friends list and ADD THEM ALL! Then search for industries and ADD THEM ALL. Any hashtag that you can think of that may be interested in your product or services ADD ATHE ALL!
MESSAGING: To us old-timers, we may never understand why there's a need for messaging through this site when there are so many other sites that offer them same...BUT young people get it, and they use it.
THE VERB: -- YES, Snapchatting is a verb; snapping, snapchaterring. The same as with other social media platforms; Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, etc. The sooner you get accustomed to this concept the better!
[icon name="pinterest-p" class="" unprefixed_class=""] PINTEREST: This social media platform is all about graphic images, and in the food industry, we post A LOT of graphic images. The best way to promote your brand, company and especially your food has got to be through photos! People are naturally intrigued by graphic images. The more appealing an image is, the more attention it is going to generate – which is what Pinterest relies on. People are using Pinterest to share their ideas, share recipes, and take pride in the beauty of their dishes. Pinterest has quickly become a fantastic
- POSTS: Businesses have a great deal of success using Pinterest as a marketing tactic in the restaurant industry. Pinterest is filled with irresistible images of menu items and mouth-watering catered dishes that promote businesses in the food industry. It truly is a fantastic marketing approach. If you want to explore this sector of the social media sphere, then you're only a few steps away. Let's get started with some effective marketing...
- CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT:
- YOUR MASTERPIECES: The food is what bring people to your restaurant/catering company, so first let's broadcast some of your beautiful dishes. You can post images directly from your website and embed a link directly on your website. Alternatively, you can take images of menu items that aren’t posted on your site and embed a link to your site into the images. This visual imagery will drive more traffic to your site.
- COLLABORATE -- In addition to posting your picks all over Pinterest, be sure to connect all your social media accounts. That way when you post on one site, you will be posting on all sites. This helps broaden the range of your audience, which in turn promotes your vibe, brand, and company.
- PIN BOARDS: - Do you serve a wide range of foods? Do you also feature specialty drinks and desserts? If so, try making a collection of different pin boards. Make a board for your appetizers, your entrees, your desserts and your drinks, for example. Or, you could make a board each of the different types of entrees you offer; pastas, poultry, and seafood, for instance.
- What’s the point of this? – It makes it easier for your targeted audience to browse through your menu items, and the general public is all about ease.
- SEO: - Make use of SEO best practices. You’re already using SEO to promote your website, right? Well, don’t forget to use your SEO practices to promote your Pinterest page, too. Include keywords in your pin boards, in your tags and your titles.
- CONNECT: -- Maintain a connection with your followers, and maintain your friendships. The whole point of social networking is to socialize. You're investing so much in promoting your business using Pinterest, but it won't do you a whole lot of good if you aren't using the site to socialize with your customers. Make sure that you are inviting conversations and responding to comments. Promote contests that will get people talking about your restaurant and spreading the word; offer a gift card to whoever is the first to find a collection of predetermined pictures, for example.
- CHOOSE: - The "Google+ Pages" section of Google+ is specifically geared toward business accounts. When you create your business page, avoid creating your business page through just any old account, such as a personal Gmail account. Instead, choose a Gmail account that is accessible to multiple members of your marketing team (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), and use that account to create your page. Because Google+ Pages' administrative capabilities currently don't seem to be as sophisticated as Facebook's (which enable you to assign multiple page admins regardless of the page's origins), you'll want to choose a host account that makes your page as accessible to as many multiple contributors as possible.
- CREATE -- Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create, and if you see the option to create a Google+ Page, get started! Follow the wizard (it's much like Facebook's Page wizard), and choose the most appropriate option to classify your business. You'll be able to select from the following options:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
After selecting your classification, fill in your basic information:
- Page name (company name)
- Business' website URL
- Your category (i.e.catering, food-industry)
- Classification of your page's content (i.e., any Google+ user, 18 years of age or older, etc.)
- CUSTOMIZE: - Now you need to customize your public profile. The profile basics include your tagline (think of it as your business' elevator pitch) and an image (your company logo is a great option).
- DISCOVER - Explore the site, discover new people/industries, find out who your target market is going to be.
5. PROMOTE - At this point, you've created the skeleton of your page, and Google+ will now prompt you to promote your page. We recommend customizing your page further by sharing some updates. Don't be quick to tell the world about your page; you need to give it some time to develop. Promoting a blank page isn't a great way to convince people that your Page (business) is valuable enough to add to their Circles. So invest some time into optimizing your page and sharing a few links to before you start promoting it to the masses.