Five Types Of Posts

Today I want to talk a little bit about social media posting. Many people get confused about what to post.  The biggest issue for me is knowing whether what is posted generates sales or just engagement.  Engagement is ok – but it doesn’t pay the bills and give you income – only sales will do that.

So we have found that the five different categories of posts definitely do both – they create engagement and sales.

As well as having Restaurant Profits, our marketing business, we also do something for our clients called Content Magic.  This is where we turn four, three minute videos into 120 - 140 different types of posts.  We then publish these across five different channels including Facebook, Instagram, Google, My Business, Blogs, YouTube and others.

You may be wondering how we do 120 posts from 4 videos.

To begin with, we focus on our clients demonstrating their value, their thought leadership or their intellectual property.  So to do that from within the hospitality industry, I suggest that you consider the skills that you, your chef or team can demonstrate.

Examples of these are:

  • A dish of the week or
  • A tip of the week, where you show them how to use some knife skills or how to choose fresh produce, or how to fillet a fish or bone meat or something like that.
  • Feature a special menu item then show it being prepped, made and assembled, a kind of “look over the chef's shoulder” video.
  • You can show fresh produce coming into your kitchen and how it's turned into a final dish from those raw ingredients.
  • One client videoed their chef creating a squid dish - from fresh seafood to plated and the video got a ton of views for them.

What you are demonstrating is the thing that people come and pay for at your venue.  We are very curious about how you do what you do, because we can all buy produce from the supermarket but we can't make it the way that you can. By doing videos like these, you're demonstrating your skills and demonstrating your value. You might have seen people doing cocktail videos, cocktail flaring videos, making special coffees or coffee art these are examples of this kind of content.

So the 1st of the five kinds of posts are “Demonstrating Value” posts.

The 2nd type of post is intended to “Create Connection” with your audience, followers and customers.

These posts allow people to know you beyond what they know about your food and your venue. So they could be what you're doing on a day to day basis for example:

  • You could take a photograph of yourself at the market.
  • You could take a photograph of yourself looking at something that's been delivered in through the back door, some fish or something like that.
  • You can be having a walk on the beach and take a photograph saying you're taking some time out.
  • You can talk about the books you’re reading, audio books or podcast you are listening to
  • Talk about the chefs you're inspired by.
  • Mention the businesses that you love.
  • Give a “shout out” to local businesses that you use and support.  By doing so you are connecting with your customer base and the local business community.  Use those businesses’ hash tags too so they are aware you are doing this – they should reciprocate which is good for you too.

Caution: I personally wouldn't do posts that are too personal unless you are happy to share photographs of your family or you at home for example.  I do know that some people are happy to do so, and it does have its place if you are ok with lessening your privacy.

The 3rd type of post is designed to generate engagement.

So what kinds of posts generate engagement?

  • You can ask a question.
  • You can ask people, when is your favorite day to come out and dine?
  • You can talk about which is your favourite winter menu item or summer menu item.
  • You can list a few items from your main menu too.
  • You can ask them for help with an idea. Do you think we should do this___________ or do you think we should do that___________?
  • You can ask them what's their favorite cocktail from your cocktail menu.
  • You can run a competition to name a cocktail.
  • You can talk about things like a charity or a cause or a local thing of interest.
  • You can also once again share what you're reading what you're listening to, what you're inspired by, because people will get engaged and respond by saying things like; “Oh, I'm reading that too”. Or “Oh, I didn't know about that podcast. I'll listen to that, too”.

The 4th kind of post is all about demonstrating social proof.

This is massive in marketing. It's not something that we see a lot in the restaurant world, but it is about you sharing proof that you are good at what you do.

You have a great opportunity to do that every time you get a great TripAdvisor review, every time you get a great review on Google My Business or on Google itself or on Facebook. You can take a screenshot and just make that into a post and circulate it.  Make sure you link that post back to where the review has been made e.g. Facebook or Google My Business that way people will go look at your Facebook page or your Google My Business Page, remember to ask those people to leave reviews too.

  • You can share a testimonial.
  • You can share a review.
  • You can talk about when you've got awards; or
  • When you've been nominated for awards.
  • You can share when you've been mentioned somewhere in the media, maybe you've been mentioned in the local paper, or in a magazine, maybe you've been interviewed on a podcast or on a radio station. So you can mention those as well.

Why is that important? Because it gives you standing in the community. People think that people on TV or in the magazines or newspapers are valuable. Today celebrities are admired, just for being celebrities… so you appearing to be a celebrity gives you and your restaurant a higher social standing.

Speaking of celebrities, if you have famous people come into your restaurant, ask if they would be happy for  photographs to be taken with them and then post them on your social media channels as well as displaying them in your restaurant.

Another type of Social Proof posts are case studies,

For example post about an apprentice who joined you as a kid and now they're graduating, maybe they're moving on or maybe they are being promoted within the restaurant.  You can feature their specialty. Again, this kind of post gives you social proof, it shows that you care about your staff and that they stay.

The 5th type of post is the Call-To-Action.

This kind of post gets people to go beyond looking on social media, it gets them to take action.

Your Call-To-Action posts can get them to do the following:

  • Order online.
  • Book a reservation.
  • Order takeaways.
  • Enquire about or book a function.
  • Buy gift vouchers.
  • Buy wine
  • Buy retail products and much more.

These posts can also announce special events that have limited seating. You can, could do a special night where you're testing out a new menu and provide a booking link.  You can announce early bird limited seats to try out a new menu. There are lots of different ways that you can get people to take action beyond just seeing your posts on Facebook.

Let's go through those five different kinds of posts again:

  1. You demonstrate or provide value; show them the secrets behind menu items, you show your team cooking, you could post a PDF so they can download the recipe for that menu item.
  2. You create connection with people so they get to see a bit more of you than just you as a chef or a front of house person or a manager.  They get to know a bit about your life.
  3. You create engagement by getting them involved in a dialogue between you and them.  This can take the form of a Q&A or a Poll.
  4. You create social proof by sharing examples of you doing really well with the business. So it might be reviews, testimonials, somebody graduating within your business, it could be celebrity visitors, mentions in the newspaper and other media outlets.
  5. You create calls to action to get people to buy, book or order "Now". Basically you are saying click here and take action.

So those are five different ways to use social media. As I said at the start of this article we start with four, three minute videos.  Those videos provide proof or your expertise and behind the scenes glimpses.  They can also show you talking about a menu item, interviewing your chef about what they're doing or talking about local produce.  We turn those short videos into 120 - 140 posts that cover these 5 Different Types of Post.  They are then distributed across five different digital platforms that month.

Maybe you don't want us doing that with your videos. But think about those five different types of posts, and keep your social media interesting and vibrant.  Most importantly make people take action so that they come in and spend money with you. Don't just keep posting photographs of food and coffee, it gets boring. And if you do want us to help you with social media posting like this, or with creating that content from video, please get in touch via the website and we'll tell you about the next steps to get started.