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Social media is an important part of reaching your customers. Given billions of people spend at least some of their time on social media every day, leveraging those platforms can be a great opportunity to interact with customers on a more personal level, inform them of deals, and extend your reach on search engines such as Google.

Successful social media marketing and finding the time for it can be tough. These tips will help you successfully manage your pages and engage with your audience.  

1. Build Out the Entirety of Every Profile

Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin or just one platform, make sure you have filled out every piece of information your customer could ever use to find you. This means filling out your hours, your location and including a menu of your foodservice program online.

2. Respond to Everyone

Social platforms are now being used for customer service, sharing reviews and engaging with companies. It’s important to respond to every post, message and tweet as soon as possible. This includes the negative comments. When you receive negative feedback, leave an apology and offer them a quick form of communication like a phone number to help better understand their complaint and solve their issue.

3. Post Just the Right Amount

Frequently we see social media accounts that are collecting digital dust, and others that post so many times a day we can’t keep up. Post a few times a week or once a day to keep your customers engaged without overwhelming them.  

4. Create a Balance of Content

It’s important to vary your posts and keep the content fresh. Don’t re-use old posts often, but create new and fresh posts even if they cover the same product, topic or deal. Customers will often skim redundant posts or unfollow your accounts. Don’t only use one post format, either. Use images, videos and targeted messaging to engage with each of your customers.

5. Take Your Own Photos

Smartphone cameras are amazing pieces of technology, you don’t need an expensive camera to take your own amazing photos anymore. Take photos of your store, your staff and your products. Make sure that your store is clean and that the images reflect well on your store.

6. Use Paid Ads

Social platforms have consistently made it harder for companies to get free advertising on their platform. Facebook posts show up in news feeds less without paid boosting now more than ever. If your budget allows, paid ads can help you reach specific customer demographics, find new customers, and engage with those already liking or following your page.

7. Find Partners to Co-Brand and Share Content

Working with other companies to cross-promote your company can be a great way to find new customers and followers on social media. Work with a vendor, trusted partner, or even a neighbor to help promote each other's products through social media channels. When used in combination with an event, special promotion or partnership, you will expand the reach of your posts and mutually benefit both you and your cross-promotion partner.  

8. Make it Trackable

It’s important to know if your social media is having any impact at all on your store’s sales. Each platform includes an analytics tool, and your web host may also show you how many customers are coming from social. You need to define your success with your promotions and social media. That may mean drawing in new customers, more interaction online or more social exclusive coupon redemption.

9. Check Grammar

It may seem simple, but it’s easy to send out a social media post without checking it for grammar. We don’t do it on our personal channels the same way we would for an email, so it’s not always top of mind. Using the free version of a tool like Grammarly will help you catch the big errors.

10. Be Organic

The beauty of social media is that it allows you to share your personality and be human through your marketing. Customers expect it and like to see how you have fun and the authentic moments that are worth sharing. When in doubt, share real and interesting moments like an impromptu culture moment like a storewide chicken dance.

Following these ten items will help you jumpstart your social media influence without a lot of hassle. If you get used to using this blog as a checklist, it becomes much easier to manage and maintain one, two or even three social channels.

The QSR Nation Team consists of Josh Anderson, Beth Outz and Anthony Pierce. Every week they bring you foodservice marketing tips and business strategies for success. 

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