What is the quickest way to engage with your customers on social media? The answer is Twitter.
Twitter is an interactive platform that allows you to create and share posts of up to 140 characters with the world. Twitter is currently testing increasing the character limit to 280 characters per post. This will allow users more leeway when posting tweets while still maintaining Twitter’s quick and efficient nature.
As a restaurateur, it’s important to play an active part in the community around you. Social media plays a vital role in connecting restaurants with customers as well as other businesses and associations. Whether you’re trying to send out a quick news update or responding to a customer, these Twitter tips and tricks will help you optimize your social media presence.
Understanding the Basics
Before you begin your Twitter endeavor, let’s make sure you’ve got these terms down.
- Tweets are short posts that you share with your followers in the Twitter world. With only 140 characters per post, make sure that your content is concise, powerful, and effective. Create a content strategy and make sure that your tweets are always “on brand” for your restaurant. In addition to text, Twitter allows you to post photos, videos, and GIFs, which are not included in the character count and can help promote your post.
- See a post you really like and think it would be great to share with your followers directly? Retweeting will share the post directly from your wall to your feed.
- Show some love on posts that you think are great by giving them a “like".
- Direct Message
- Direct message is useful for replying to customers when you’re in the process of service recovery. For example, you can ask for additional, personal information about a service experience, or get an email address to send a digital gift card.
- Replying directly to someone’s tweet will start a thread, or conversation, within their post. Replying to customers is a great way for restaurants to engage with customers and actively participate in the service recovery process directly from Twitter. It’s also a genuine way to answer customers’ questions and to thank them for coming into your restaurant.
- Pinned Posts
- Pin a tweet to make it stay at the top of your feed. This is helpful if you want customers to see your important restaurant news at the top. For example, a food truck may want to pin their week’s hours and locations at the top of their feed, while they continue to tweet about the week’s menu offerings.
- Trending Hashtags
- On Twitter, hashtags can be useful to tap into relevant conversations and engage with your customers and industry peers on a whole new level. Utilize trending hashtags to be a part of an active conversation or use keywords that are relevant to your business. Don’t go hashtag crazy, but one or two per post is sufficient.
Now that you know your basics, let’s dive into how Twitter can grow your brand and spread awareness.
Engaging with Customers
Good customer service and service recovery are imperative the restaurant industry. When a service failure occurs, many customers will turn to social media sites to share their story. Through platforms such as Twitter, restaurants have the ability to turn the situation around and perform service recovery, even after the customer has left the restaurant. Reply directly to a customer’s tweet or start a direct message to begin the service recovery process and ask for more information. This will show other customers that you are responsive and that you care, and it will encourage more followers to reach out. On the positive side, you can reply to a customer to thank them for coming in. This will encourage and grow loyal restaurant goers who now know you care for their patronage.
Engaging with Other Businesses
Twitter has become an integral part of the business world. It’s an efficient way to get news and updates on the businesses surrounding you. Twitter allows you to engage with your industry peers on a whole new level. Love the article about Danny Meyer’s new Roman Cafe? Retweet it to share it with your followers. Excited about you friend’s post about their upcoming restaurant collaboration with you? Like their post. You can also tag other businesses directly in your posts.
Posting Frequently is Key
Unlike some of its other social counterparts, Twitter is a great platform to post frequently. Fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven? Let your followers know so they can get to them as quickly as possible! Run out of donuts for the day? Send out a quick tweet so that your customers are not disappointed. On Twitter, it’s okay to post many times a day as well as repost other people’s posts when appropriate. Understand your audience and evaluate what the appropriate frequency is.
Building Your Brand
Twitter is a great platform to cross-promote your other social pages. Come up with a creative hook for your caption to encourage people to click open links. Include links to longer blog posts or articles about your restaurant or to your Instagram posts. Use Twitter's activity dashboard to track your success. Through this, you can track impressions, engagements, clicks, and more.
Your Twitter account can also be linked into our one-stop shop, Avero Buzz, where you can track, reply, retweet, or otherwise engage with your followers directly from our platform. You can see conversations and mentions and respond in real time.
Check out our previous blogs on Social Media Do’s and Don’ts, Surviving Social Media, or Instagram Best Practices if you haven’t already, and download our Social Media Survival Guide to stay ahead of the social media mayhem.