More often than not, small businesses and very small businesses recognise the importance of their online presence nowadays, however, it is never a financial priority as carefully split budgets are already stretched out as much as possible to fit the monthly expenses needed to keep the business running. Even those who manage to save a bit on the side to invest in creating content for social media to promote their local business and increase their bookings by using a freelancer or sometimes even by creating the content themselves, don’t think of social media as an essential element of their business during a crisis.
In fact, even though you might find yourself in the situation where your restaurant is closed, this might be an opportunity to use social media to connect with your audience, provide content that is of value to them and ensure they still remember your restaurant after the lockdown is over and life will slowly start to go back to what it used to be.
While most small business owners believe that social media costs are high (and they are, when you have a team and combine organic content marketing with paid advertising campaigns, SEO or other marketing activities), there are ways in which you can take advantage of your online presence to increase awareness of your brand without breaking the bank and without having to hire a full marketing agency to do it for you.
Here are a few ways in which you can optimise your social media content strategy and take your social media game to the next level, even in a time of crisis:
Live Cooking Classes
In general, content that provides value is always something that you want to offer to your audience but now it’s more important than ever to do so. With everyone on lockdown and few takeaway options, most people are trying to cook their favourite meals at home and they’re constantly looking for inspiration and tips.
Luckily, this is something you’re an expert at and can definitely help them understand the basics of cooking and potentially, teach them some tricks and tips on how to be more efficient in the kitchen. Whether you have one chef or more in the restaurant, brainstorm together and create a plan for a weekly cooking class through a live video on your social media channels recorded from the comfort of their own homes. Do some research and realise what your audience is more likely to look for during this time, as people could be looking for really easy, quick and delicious recipes or they could be searching for inspiration for something more complex and unique as they have the time to try something new!
All you need is a phone to record and good lightning in a kitchen (during a sunny day, working next to a window could do just great) and you are ready to go! No need for expensive and fancy equipment. As long as the sound and video are clear and you’re providing your audience with real value while they’re stuck at home, they will love it!
You might not want to share all of your restaurant’s secrets, but I’m sure that by now you already know which meals in your restaurant your customers enjoy the most and are probably dreaming about at the moment. Why not brighten their day with an exclusive recipe every week?
Create or share recipes that your followers can cook at home to remind them of your restaurant and use your social media platforms to connect and interact with them by asking what recipes they would like to learn more about and how to ensure they nail it every single time!
If you’re not sure what recipes they’d be interested in, you can always ask them! Use your Instagram Stories or even live Q&As to ask your audience what they’d be interested in learning how to cook.
Your employees are the ones that make up your beautiful team and each one of them has a unique set of skills that they can use to generate some content for your audience. Employee takeovers on social media have become increasingly popular, even for larger companies. All you need to do before allowing your employees access to the social media accounts is put together a clear social media policy in which you should outline the DO’s and DONT’s that they can use as a guideline for the content they’re sharing.
Your employees can provide your audience with cooking tips for basic cooking skills or share some knowledge on what foods work great together, even sharing different recipes. Some educational content is more than welcome as well, so you can take it to social media to talk to your audience about how to choose your dinner set, table arrangement methods or best practices while eating at home.
Food is such a big part of every country’s culture and there are a lot of stories behind our favourite meals that we often don’t even know about. It’s an interesting content stream to add to your social media profiles that could be a great thing to look forward to for your followers. Whether it’s legends, local stories or interesting trivia about the meals you usually serve in your restaurant, it’s great to share your knowledge with your audience so they can learn more about the dishes we love and miss so much!
All of these ideas can be integrated into your social media content streams without breaking the bank or using complex equipment. You and your team can use your own phones and basic content editing tools available for free online to create some basic, yet very creative and effective content that will keep you in touch with your social media audience and provide them with valuable knowledge they will definitely remember when things start to go back to normal and they can visit your restaurant once again!