Join us today for our blah blah blah special.
Hey, it's ladies’ night, come on down.
These types of social media posts flood Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat feeds every single day. We are inundated with everyone trying to get our attention. Does it work? Sometimes. The problem is that the more restaurants and bars that open in your market, the more they’re sending the same messages. Your guests are becoming desensitized to them.
If you don't stand out, you just blend in; welcome to the Cult of Average. How do you escape this cult? Create some badass social media posts!
Not all Posts are Created Equal
There is a natural order to everything. Even when it comes to social media posts, some are just more powerful. Think of it like a hand in poker: some are just better to be holding when you are going after the jackpot.
Ace (the written word) Just having the high card is not great in poker. However, there are times when it will beat the other players at your table. Using just written word or text posts might get you a few wins on social media (if you are a great writer, and on Twitter where posts with links significantly outperform posts with images) but you don't want this to be your only play.
Three of a kind (picture posts) Holding three of a kind (especially three aces) makes you feel confident. It’s the same when you use the right pictures in your social media posts. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that is true…if it is the right picture. Again, Twitter can be an exception here as images have proven to be less effective than links.
Full house (pictures with words) There have been many rounds of poker won by holding a full house, and for good reason: it's a great hand! Pictures are great, but having a few words on top of that picture increases the impact (and therefore engagement) a normal picture post can have. Words like yum, yes, happy birthday, and happy anniversary superimposed on a picture add a powerful punch to any post.
Four of a kind (GIF) Sitting there with four aces or four kings, you feel that rush of adrenaline. Using a GIF (or Graphic Interchange Format) is close to that excitement. You’ve seen these animations floating around the Internet for quite some time now. Millennials love them for one simple reason: they convey emotion. Nothing like a short animation of someone showing the emotions you also wish to express in a post. Consider the fact that 55% of how we communicate is nonverbal and you’ll understand why a GIF can get your message across to your guests clearly and quickly.
Straight flush (video) A straight flush is like feeling you can dominate the world! Sadly, the odds are not very good you'll hold this hand over and over during a night of poker. Video, however, is a constant tool you can use to stand out in your market. Video allows you to use all elements of communication: words, tone, and body language. This format is a powerful way to market against those big brands with big marketing budgets. A clever video can help you become an Internet star!
The beauty of video is that you can start today if you have a smartphone. No need to hire an expensive film crew to come in and do a full-blown production. Some filmmakers have made entire movies using just an iPhone. Get your message out there and start sharing videos about your brand. No excuses.
Royal flush (live streaming) When you’re holding a royal flush you experience the deadly confidence of James Bond. Live stream or live events are the future of social media and you must jump into this arena if you want to stay ahead of your competition. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have live video features that let you broadcast to the world. It's like having your own TV channel without the weird weatherman in the plaid sports coat.
Have a Clear Goal
If you’ve ever played poker you know you want to have a strategy. You want to build the jackpot up even if you are confident you have a winning hand. With social media posts you must have a clear objective as well. The key is to understand that social media is not just about making a sale. Yes, I know you think it is – it's not. It's about keeping your brand top of mind and leveraging social media as a megaphone for your brand’s message.
Have you ever accepted a social media connection and within a minute they message you about something they want to sell you? Kinda rude, isn't it? Social media is about relationships, and relationships are built on trust. If someone likes and trusts you, they will come to buy from you.
Drop the sales pitch and start being more social. Use an 80/20 ratio: 80% of your social media should be about the guest (replying, commenting on their posts, sharing), and only 20% should be about your products. Remember that real brand confidence is humble. If you are continuously posting about your food, food, food (or drinks, drinks, drinks), you come across as needy. Stop doing that!
If you think you’re selling food and beverages, or maybe you’re elevated to the point of thinking you’re selling an experience, think again. What is an experience? Emotions.
Tapping into emotions through your social media posts is the secret mega marketing companies have known for years. When that good looking guy or girl is walking down the street in that TV commercial and at the end they flash the picture of the cologne or perfume, what are they selling? The product of the emotions. You want to be that person. You want that emotion.
You have probably heard the expression "sell the sizzle, not the steak" before. It's true. Trigger emotions and you will see your social media take off to badass levels. Here's the other side of that coin: trigger emotions besides hunger or thirst. There is a wide range of human emotions that restaurants and bars need to tap into, like those associated with family, community, education, nostalgia, humor… The royal flush of all emotions is happiness. Post pictures of your guests having an amazing time. Post pictures of your team happy and having fun. Post about your core values. Post about the local farmer you use. Post about the animal shelter you support.
There are not many real differences between pictures of a Cosmopolitan. Sure, you might have some handcrafted "secret" ingredients you use, but an image of your Cosmo on the bar by itself doesn’t truly stand out from someone else’s. But put that same drink in the hands of people having fun, laughing, and enjoying your restaurant or bar… Now you’ve triggered emotional elements that inspire people to react.
If you want to win at social media, stop playing small hands. Stop posting the same boring stuff. Stop playing the same emotional triggers. To be a badass means you have to be willing to be vulnerable, take some risks, and above all, show that you are a human being.