Fifty years ago, if you were a new restaurant or brewery and you wanted to talk to customers, you bought advertising. You pumped out messages about how delicious or reasonably priced your product was and people flocked to your door.
But the world has changed. Today, consumer brands need to build relationships with their consumers, and so they flock to twitter. Every bar, restaurant, and brewery I can think of has an account on twitter. Unfortunately, most of them aren’t getting any responses from their social media activity.
In case you are curious, it isn’t the media, but the message that is the problem. How are these locations are using or misusing the media? For the most part they are treating it like mass media. They are broadcasting when they should be conversing. Here a few signs that your favorite restaurant or brewery is missing the mark.
- Their twitter follower to follow ratio is out of whack. Sure there are a lot of spammers out there, so it would be odd if they were 1 -1, but 10 x as many followers then people you follow? It is a myth that many followers mean many people are paying attention. I “follow” 2,800 people. I do not read all their posts every day. Lets face it I do not read most of their posts. I put people in groups and pay attention to specific groups . On rare occasions I will browse the stream looking for something interesting that might jump out but most days I focus on a few hundred. But my followers don’t know, and so if they reach out I can still connect.
- There is no engagement. Lots of announcements of specials and promotions, but no conversation. Not even when someone talks to them. How long do you think it will be before fans get bored and turn away
- Fan pages which don’t allow fans to comment or post. If you are afraid of what your customers might say, you have bigger problems then not enough leads.
What other suggestions would you give to retail and restaurant owners trying to improve their social media strategy?