Recently a friend of mine decided to embark on a career in stand up comedy. Err… No. I just made that up. This is really just an excuse to list a few tips on how to inject some inspiration into restaurant social media marketing based on advice usually shared among those masters of monologues, gladiators of giggles, banes of hecklers… stand up comedians.
I have always been deeply impressed by the bravery (and, in my mind, slight insanity) displayed by people who actually want to get on a stage to try and make a room full of unknown randoms laugh.
How do they go about improving their jokes and routines, was a question that popped up in my mind last night. So I looked up a couple of stand up comedy websites aimed at beginners (are you a crawl along comedian before you learn how to stand up? and yes, that makes it abundantly clear why I shouldn’t be on a stage and the only attempt at a joke I’ll do in this post). As I expected there is a world of stand up comedy blogs available from where advice and insights can be gleaned.
3 thoughts to apply to your social media
Below I have listed three points that I think transfer over to the world of social media.
Develop a persona but don’t change who you are
It’s unavoidable, when you act on Twitter or on Facebook you will have a specific voice that identifies you as you. Unless you are required to maintain a specific and well defined tone of voice for a brand account, stick with who you are.
People can smell fakery and insincerity a mile off, and keep in mind that as a marketer you are likely to be required to meet people offline so make sure you can live up to expectations! That said, don’t be afraid to emphasize the sides of you that make you stand out in a crowd. Quirks, we all have them. Just pick the right ones!
Let your interests and passions shine through. What makes people at your restaurant tick? What inspires you, what makes you laugh, what irritates you, what’s going on around your place? Invite others into your world for a bit. You might be surprised at how many people care.
Enough about you
Nobody likes an always-on sales spiel spewing online equivalent of a specials board. It has been said before, but there are so many restaurant Twitter accounts out there that need to hear it: don’t do the hard sell all the time!
When you do need to push a sales message, make it about what your customers will get out of it, not just yet another line straight off your specials menu. Know who you are talking to and shape your message accordingly. By making it fun, showing that you care enough to take some time to liven things up a bit, you might get some attention.
Also, do make the most of the fact that you can thank your customers for recommending you, but if your Twitter feed is an endless stream of re-tweets of how great you are and who checked into your restaurant, you will come across as a bit full of yourself.
Get on with it
Nobody likes a joke with a loooooong setup and a weak punchline. And no one will understand a social media update that requires having followed every single thing you have been posting for the past month. Social media is by its very nature bitesized and chopped up, people dip in and out of lots of different feeds and streams of content. So keep things short, snappy and “now”.
“Doing social media right” for your restaurant (which to me means somehow adding value to the network) can be really hard if you are not one of those inspirational social butterfly naturals.
For those days when you really don’t know what to say, take a break and try listening for a while. See what other restaurants talk about, read a couple of blogs, check out the list of upcoming restaurant openings at Hot Dinners or try to find inspiration from a different walk of life altogether… like comedy! Comes with added bonus laughs and an abundance of silly links to pester your friends and colleagues with.
What do you think? What are your top tips for beginning or struggling hospitality social media marketers? Leave your thoughts in the comments or let me know on Twitter.