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Content Marketing Using Social Media

"Like" it or not, customers size up your operation before they even walk through the door. You can make a positive impression with a social media presence that communicates who you are and gives customers a reason to "like" you - and keep coming back.

Content marketing is all about communicating without selling. If you start to look at social media as a way to add value to customers' daily lives, they'll start to see your operation as a valuable resource.

Here are four easy tips to keep in mind when content marketing on social media:

1. Be Authentic
Many of your customers perceive their online experience as a direct reflection of an in-person experience, so interacting with your online presence should feel like interacting with your operation.

Include your menu and contact information on Facebook. This might be the first place a potential customer looks in deciding whether or not to visit your operation, so make it easy for them to decide!

Share photographs of your most attractive dishes and drinks. Consider sharing recipes or cooking tips to try at home.

2. Enable Interaction
People love to share their own experiences online, so don't just talk at your customers on social media. Talk with them. Encourage user-generated content with contests or polls that give people opportunities to share.

Don't forget to make it a two-way conversation. If a user posts or asks a question on your page, respond! Listening and responding to customers' unfiltered feedback on social media is as important as any self-promotion you could try.

3. Encourage Sharing
If your content is engaging and useful on its own, your followers will want to share it - but a little encouragement doesn't hurt!

You can encourage followers to pass along your content with a "like/comment/share" promotion. Ask followers to like, comment and share a post for a chance to win a prize, or offer a bonus promotion if a certain number of shares is reached.

4. Keep It Up
The key to successful social media presence is fresh content - but coming up with posts can seem daunting alongside all your other daily tasks. It doesn't have to be! Develop a content calendar so you and your staff can stay on top of social media posts.

Think about ongoing features that your followers can look forward to: daily specials, weekly promotions, customer spotlights, or seasonal dishes. You'll soon discover the types of posts your audience interacts with most. If in doubt, ask! Your followers will be happy to talk back.

Content courtesy of Unilever Foodsolutions