Written by: Marty Schecht, ’16 Graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts Program, CEO of Restaurant Growth Marketing
A key factor in determining a restaurants success in today’s world is social media marketing. If you’re a restaurant, bakery, or any other food business, these digital platforms have evolved into an extension of your daily operations that can help you to succeed. Social media is a powerful tool that changes every day.
Here are eight tips to improve your social media strategy to reach more customers, grow your following, and improve your brand:
- Post 4 – 6 Times a Week
- Each post you make is only seen by about 5% of your followers, so don’t worry about posting too much content.
2. Engage with your Followers/Customers
- Interacting with customers makes them feel heard, wanted, and important. Respond to reviews, comments, and messages, both good and bad.
3. Post More Videos
- Videos have a much higher attention rate than pictures.
4. Re-Post Pictures that your Customers Post about your Business
- Pick and choose the best pictures your customers have posted on Instagram by searching your businesses geotag (location) and reposting them on your page. Make sure to give the customer credit and thank them for coming in.
5. Use Local Hashtags (if you’re a local business)
- Using local hashtags will generate local awareness.
6. Always Post your Specials/New Menu Items
- Any new deals, specials, menu items, or products should be posted. Let customers know about specials and that it’s for a limited time.
7. Follow your Competitors
- Interacting with your competitors is good for business. Friendly competition is interesting and gets people involved and talking about your business.
8. See your Post from the Eyes of your Customers
- Before each post, ask yourself, do my followers care about this, is it interesting or unique. How rare is it? Will my followers want to share it?
- Partner with Food Bloggers
- Locate food bloggers and influencers and interact with them. Build relationships. Invite them in for a free meal.
- Ask Your Followers to Share
- The biggest mistakes businesses make is not asking their followers to share their content. Sometimes a little instruction is all a follower needs.
We sat down with Marty to learn about his background, business, and the world of restaurants. Below, find our interview with him and learn more about his company!
How did I get involved in the culinary industry?
Taking the Professional Culinary Arts Program at ICC represented a crucial measure of my life’s path to becoming an entrepreneur. Fueling my motivation, it drove me to a level of confidence that is required when starting your own business.
I learned numerous tangible skills but the greatest attributes I took away from my time at ICC were time management and organization. Skills I use every day, whether I’m in a kitchen, taking notes during a client meeting, or just planning my day-to-day schedule. I am grateful for my time at ICC.
Why is Social Media and Digital Marketing so important to me?
Before heading off to culinary school, I studied entrepreneurial marketing at the University of Iowa. Opening a restaurant was always my goal, even when I was studying business in college. The restaurant industry fascinated me, and I wanted to be a part of it. Although, I never ended up opening my own restaurant, I discovered a unique opportunity to help restaurants and other food businesses thrive using strategic social media marketing and advertising.
Therefore, after attending ICC, I invested a significant amount of time and money to understand what was happening in the constantly evolving world of online marketing. I came to understand the power behind social media and what it can do for a business—if used strategically. I found a way to combine my passion of restaurants and the food industry, with my education and knowledge of social media.
How have I used my education to help others?
I started a company called Restaurant Growth Marketing as a way to help businesses reach their true potential. As founder and CEO, my focus is to help restaurants, and other food industry related businesses, efficiently utilize the world of online marketing to grow their business in ways they never thought were possible.
My motivation derived from a few mentors I found who taught me about mind-set and how to best educate myself. They taught me about the world of online marketing and how 95% of businesses needed help. So, I decided to invest in my own education and apply that knowledge to assist business owners in the food & restaurant industry.
How do I manage my business and what services do I offer?
My daily efforts are currently focused on the Miami metropolitan area, but I have clients on both the east and west coast and can help any restaurant/food business anywhere in the United States. Each day I aim to get face-to-face with more business owners to express the power of the internet and social media, when it’s used the correct way, and show them how I increase sales 10-20% for my clients, often in the first year.
The first step in the process after we take on a client is to dive deep into the minds of the target market to figure out the consumers’ interests, behaviors, and buying habits so we can cost-effectively reach and communicate with them. Our goal at RGM is not to just reach lots of people or manage your social media, but rather to bring new and repeat customers – to increase revenue.
Where do restaurant owners go wrong and how do I help them avoid common pitfalls?
Most restaurant owners are not used to developing such a strategic marketing action plan focused on results. One of the biggest mistakes’ restaurant owners make is not having and implementing a strategic-executable marketing plan.
What we do at Restaurant Growth Marketing is help businesses create and implement their marketing plan, through result-driven, proven marketing strategies. We focus on results and getting our clients an ROI that makes sense and makes them excited to work with us. My objective with Restaurant Growth Marketing is to provide restaurants with a customized service focused on growing their brand and increasing customer base. We’re excited to have such a great opportunity to provide business owners with more stability, strategy, revenue and most importantly, time to work on their business – instead of in it.
For more information about Restaurant Growth Marketing:
Please visit our website: https://restaurantgrowth.marketing
Check us out on Facebook: @restaurantGM or https://www.facebook.com/restaurantGM/
Follow us on Instagram: @restaurantgrowthmarketing https://www.instagram.com/restaurantgrowthmarketing/