Researching is an integral part of social media. Just like with any business, you have to understand what you have in front of you. Once you have your business goals set, you can focus on your market research. Looking online, you can research where most of your customers are.
1) You will know which social media platforms to be on
2) You will understand your online customer base better
3) You will see what you might have to improve on
Let’s say you own a restaurant and it has fallen behind in online marketing. Meaning, you still have to set up your online accounts. So you look at your demographic, do some search terms online for your locality and find out how many individuals are on Twitter. See what they are doing. Are they talking about lunch? Maybe they are planning to go out for dinner. See what you can do for them. Establish your online presence. Let’s see what they are saying. Take down a few notes and with that, you can create a plan to engage them. Understand what hashtags they are interested in and since a restaurant is a business where location is important, make sure you find some local hashtags.
That restaurant is doing just fine, but you do need a page that generally people can like as much as they like your food. Create a Facebook page. One thing about Facebook is that you can’t interact with people the same way you can on Twitter, but there are positives. Let’s say your menu changes every day or you have daily specials. Now you can put them up on Facebook. If someone that is at work sees the new dish and likes it, they will be more eager to come and eat. With Facebook, you try and catch the already caught. By that, I mean that they probably already know about your restaurant. This is a good place to encourage repeat customers by a simple reminder of “We are here”.
Your food looks and tastes delicious. Those repeat customers keep on coming back. Figure out a plan on how to reward them and also leave a little footprint for their friends/colleagues to see. You are set-up on Foursquare and you are managing the account. Now is the time to create some interaction. Give one of your visitors a great day by giving them a free drink with their next meal. Go online and reward the mayor of your establishments with something from the restaurant. They could be valuable advocates to your business, which could mean a huge difference in the amount of people that like you online and the amount of people that have no idea who you are.
Note: Many people might not have the opportunity to go on social media at work, but a big thing to remember is that smartphone usage is increasing and many use social media on their cell phones/mobiles. Also, Pinterest would be of great use to get people to your website. Don’t let the saying “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach” go to waste!
So with all this information, get yourself on social media now and see where it takes you and your business.