With more than three billion people around the world on social media, it’s safe to say that the value of social media marketing is not something your business should overlook. Big and small companies alike can reap the benefits of using social media platforms to create brand awareness, engage with customers, and increase revenue. Unlike large restaurant chains, however, smaller establishments typically don’t have a team dedicated to posting and creating. It’s more than likely that a manager or owner has taken over the role as a social media director. One important question many small businesses repeatedly ask themselves is how they can juggle a successful social media marketing strategy with their busy schedule. Here are our suggestions:

Prioritize Your Social Media Tasks 

The abundance of social media platforms can certainly be overwhelming. Narrowing down the most important platforms and practices to create engagement for your brand is the first step to successfully carrying out a social media marketing campaign. You can pinpoint the proper social media channel that would most benefit your business by asking yourself a few questions. Are you a new restaurant hoping to create brand awareness? Do you have an aesthetically pleasing and flavorful menu you’d like to show off with photography? Is your restaurant offering a special deal or coupon that you want to draw attention to? For instance, if you are looking to attract younger customers and share appealing food, Instagram may be right for you. Likewise, if you are interested in sharing specials with a more mature audience, Facebook may be worthwhile. Identifying your goals and audience can help you discover the most effective social media strategy, and, in turn, save you time.

Employee Advocates: A Small Business’ Social Media Warriors

Employee advocacy is taking over social media marketing: 71% of social media companies use employees as influencers or advocates currently, or want to in the future. That said, try not to overlook the marketing tool that your business already has: your employees. Employee advocacy is defined as the promotion of a brand by its staff and is a method that seems to be working extremely well. In a study conducted by The Marketing Advisory Network, data found that a message shared by an employee is 561% more impactful than one shared by a company on social media. Instilling an employee advocacy program in your small business will take some of the social media posting work off your hands and create more traffic across platforms. It’s a win-win strategy. 

Planning Is Key

You likely plan out a time to do menial tasks around the restaurant – payroll, inventory, and maybe even utensil polishing. That same level of attention should be brought to a social media marketing strategy. Consider scheduling a time to dedicate to social platforms and engagement so that it doesn’t feel like a weight-bearing on your shoulders every day. Don’t sell your business short on how much time is required to actively increase traffic across your desired platforms. Every restaurant is different and some brands may benefit from daily activity, while others do better by engaging every few days. Maybe you find that sipping your morning coffee and scrolling your restaurant’s Instagram comments is the best way to start a day. It’s also possible to prefer engaging after closing when a thoughtful tweet sent out earlier has had time to spark some responses. The idea is to make social media marketing part of a routine. 

Prioritizing your social media tasks, utilizing employees as advocates, and dedicating an allotted time to your social media strategy will make creating brand awareness less of a burden. For small businesses, the easily accessible and free method of social media marketing isn’t always taken advantage of due to a lack of time and a dedicated social team. Making use of the time you do have and employees who can proudly advocate for your brand will create a routine for your social media marketing angle, and with consistency, you’ll learn what steps bring in the most traffic. Posting, replying to comments, and reposting user-generated content can be day-to-day tasks that keep your restaurant in the loop on social platforms. Trial and error will allow you to best determine how to stay relevant without sacrificing precious time on the floor.