6 Types of Visuals to Incorporate in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

social media marketing

In all aspects of business, compelling visuals are important. Whether you’re just starting out with a business model presentation adorned with graph data rather than written statistics, or you’re printing out brochures with beautiful imagery to potential customers, you know the importance of providing memorable visual content. However, there are few areas within your company more essential to leverage visuals than throughout your social media platforms. For example, according to research from BuzzSumo, Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than posts with text alone. That is significant when attempting to increase reach and make lasting impressions on customers and clients. Check out these helpful content ideas to start incorporating more visuals into your social media marketing strategy.

1.      Create graphics with stock photography. Graphics with quotes, facts, questions and promotions offer a fantastic way to share information in an entertaining way.

2.      Post an infographic – but only an optimized snippet. People love infographics, so you should have these created regularly. However, make sure to only post a small preview and link out to the rest since the full-size image typically won’t fit. Plus, it’s great for website clicks.

3.      Consider professional photography and videography. This is an invaluable way to capture your brand’s story. Through a professional lens, your business will look appealing and captivating.

4.      Snap a photo from your phone. Don’t underestimate the impact of mixing in casual images too – such as a team member at a conference, a rearranged office desk or even your morning cup of coffee.

5.      Create and host Instagram and Facebook Stories and Live events. Both Instagram and Facebook now have Stories and Live events – utilize these to make more of an interactive visual impression on your audience.

6.      Upload videos regularly. Of course, the best visuals are ones that capture attention quickly – and what better than dynamic imagery in the form of a video? Video posts are placed on a higher priority in most social media platforms’ algorithms, and – overall – people tend to enjoy them when crafted properly.

social media marketing

With the above-mentioned methods in mind, consider these helpful tips for ensuring that visuals perform to the highest ability:

·        Make sure each image or video is sized for the proper platform. Typically, square images and videos will do best across most platforms; however, LinkedIn still uses horizontal sizing.

·        Brand visuals, but don’t go overboard. For example, a quick picture of you and your team doesn’t need a logo – as your faces are the branding for your business in this instance.

·        Keep videos under 1 minute – preferably around 30 seconds when possible. Not only do shorter videos typically get better engagement, but this also helps leverage content for both Facebook and Instagram since the latter platform cuts videos off after 1 minute.

·        If planning to advertise, don’t use too much text on graphics. Facebook will reduce the reach on advertised graphics that have more text than photo space, so save your verbiage for the description and work on ensuring the graphic catches attention instead.

social media marketing

The bottom line? People love to consume content visually. It’s a captivating way to receive information, and typically helps us retain information longer as well. By incorporating a variety of visuals within your social media marketing strategy, you’ll see better engagement with a higher quality social media presence.

5 Solutions to Combat Common Social Media Mistakes Made by Business Owners

Social media mistakes

As a business owner in the modern age of technology, you’re most likely well-aware of the importance of social media in raising your brand’s awareness and visibility. However, as the bridge is made sturdier between business and consumer, increased consumer reach and overall transparency of your company requires a crucial need for more than simply absentminded social media posting, but strategic social media management. Unfortunately, many business owners make an array of errors on their social media platforms that drive followers away when they could be making meaningful connections. Check out these 5 solutions to combat common social media mistakes made by business owners.

1.      Maintain a balance between professional and personal. Although you should generally keep the content on your social media pages professional, don’t be afraid to be friendly with your followers. Your business page isn’t your personal page, so you may want to avoid an over-abundance of emojis and rants; however, adding a bit of humor and lightheartedness here and there can make a lasting impact. Share pictures of your team, say “hello” to commenters and add entertaining posts into the mix.

2.      Incorporate a variety of posts – not just sales and promotions. In addition to remaining friendly on social media, it’s also important to remember that your followers don’t want to see constant reminders of “sales, sales, sales!” Connect with your audience and show them why they should follow you by posting engaging content rather than only promotions.

3.      Understand the differences in approach and formatting on each platform. Every social media network requires a slightly varied technique in posting style. One great example is hashtag use. On Twitter and LinkedIn, you should only use 1-2 targeted hashtags. On Instagram, you should use approximately 10-15 hashtags (or more). On Facebook, however, you should never use hashtags at all – simply because they aren’t often popularly used, so they look out of place. Post on each platform separately to ensure proper formatting.

4.      Ensure your branding is consistent throughout the online world. Logos, titles and usernames should all match across platforms. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, make sure your branding matches to eliminate any confusion among followers.

5.      Don’t try to do everything yourself – when in doubt, hire an expert. As a business owner, your job is to run your business, not to handle your own social media marketing. Eliminate mistakes by spending your working hours wisely on tasks you have time to do and hire educated experts to handle the rest.

Social media mistakes

The content your business shares online can have a massive impact on the way that current and potential customers view your brand, so always make sure that your social media presence is a positive reflection of your company. Post engaging content, have consistent branding and – when needed – delegate the task of social media marketing to an expert to have comfort in knowing that such an important aspect of your business is handled properly.

7 Great Ways to Use Instagram for Your Restaurant

Instagram for Restaurants

1) Invite relevant food bloggers to come in and Instagram your restaurant in exchange for a free entrée. People significantly underestimate this kind of exposure because fans will often go wherever the blogger tells them to go. Numbers aren't everything but we recommend looking for foodie bloggers that have in between 5-50k+ followers and at least 500 likes and at least 20 comments per photo. If they're in this range, it generally means people engage with them well and they have a dedicated following.

2) Search your location and engage (like and comment) on other people's photos in your area. Search your competitors and engage with who is following them. This can be quite time-consuming but rewarding if you want to grow your page and once you see more customers start to come in.

3) Giveaways! One of our clients gives away a $100 gift card every month and we ask people to “like” and share the photo and tag their friends for a chance to win—and each tag is considered an entry. We get hundreds of comments and tags and a lot of exposure as well as people who started following the page to keep up. You don't have to do this every month but once in a while will do you some good. If you want to build your email list, ask people to add in their email for a chance to win. If you promote the post, you can now geo-locate on IG so that will help new people see the giveaway who don’t already like your page. This is a lot more powerful on FB but works well on IG.

(FYI: This list is taken from our "Tip Of The Week" section in our newsletter—sign up to get more of these sent to your inbox twice a month: http://bit.ly/AspireEmailList :)

4) Tell stories about your staff, restaurant, decor, neighborhood etc. Don’t just post photos of the dishes. People are emotional and connect well with a story. How was the dish made? What was the inspiration being a certain piece of decor in the restaurant? Fun fact about the head chef? You get the idea... Also, IG rewards you by showing your photo to more people if someone spends a long time on your post, so do the occasional long caption when you feel inspired :) Also, ask questions so people can answer in the comments. What’s your favorite dish and why? When was the first time you dined with us? Can anyone take a guess as to what our new ice cream flavor is?

5) Obvious—but take good photos... Doesn't always have to be professional but use natural light or make sure the object you're photographing is very well-lit. Try and get some nice ambiance in the background to accompany the dish.

6) Leverage your customers' photos. Search your location check-ins and screenshot the photo and think of a relevant caption. You can give credit by doing something like “📸:: @sallylovesfood” and use 5-10 relevant hashtags related to the photo.

7) Dedicate a restaurant hashtag and use it for all your photos. Your customers will start using it as well and you can search to see what people are posting.

To learn more about how Instagram and Facebook can help your restaurant bring in 10-30%+ more customers within 90 days (or if you need an expert to do these 7 things for you), schedule a FREE strategy call with us here: calendly.com/aspirerm/ss

How A Restaurant Got 20x Its Average Sales in 2 Days

Let’s face it, what restaurant owner doesn’t dream of a packed house with lines out the door?

Well, it can happen with a little social media help…

 Global News / Via  globalnews.ca

Global News / Via globalnews.ca

Like many, John McMillan dreamed of having a restaurant. That dream came true when he opened Whitbie’s Fish and Chips. With everything in place, McMillan’s restaurant sparkled, ready for customers.

The days rolled by into months — into years — but barely anyone came.

It wasn’t until marketer Colin Ross discovered the restaurant, that McMillan’s business started to pick up — quickly.

After eating at Whitbie’s Fish and Chips, Ross couldn’t believe that this clean restaurant, serving fantastic fish and chips, by a “good-hearted, super awesome guy” was empty.

So, Ross took action. He created a sincere, heart-felt Facebook post that told McMillan’s story, also urging local people to share the post and to check out the fish and chips restaurant.

The results were staggering.

People started flocking to Whitbie’s Fish and Chips — one day, four hundred customers, the next, five hundred. The lines snaked around the restaurant and out the door on a regular basis. John ended up increasing his restaurant sales by 20x in only two days. All because of a Facebook post.

Why Social Media Works So Well for Restaurants (If Done Correctly)

In today’s digital world, social media is probably the easiest and best form of discovering a restaurant. Customers “found” Whitbie’s Fish and Chips through a simple Facebook post that took less than 15 minutes to set up using little to no money to promote it. People shared the post, engaged with it, and started flocking to the restaurant.

Consider this…

There are 1.86 billion monthly active users on Facebook

1.74 billion people access Facebook with their mobile device

That means targeting the right audience with a well-crafted Facebook post or ad can trigger a “Whitbie’s” response, as in, “This restaurant sounds great and it’s close by — let’s go!”

Here’s the exciting part…

Restaurants can create a social media marketing plan that precisely targets customers by interest(s), location, age, gender, income, and much more…

For example, the Ocho Mexican Grill in L.A. ran a Facebook ad campaignthat targeted local customers that fit their target audience demographic. Here’s how it went:

- The restaurant reached 21,233 people within a 3-mile radius
- They invested $2.01 per thousand impressions (CPM)
- Local customers each saw the ad a total of 2.35 times throughout the campaign

So, for the customers looking to have lunch close to work, Ocho Mexican Grill was on their mind and in the perfect location.

Not bad!

However, Geoffrey’s Malibu hired us to run a similar Facebook Ad campaign and the results were 3x more effective…

- The restaurant reached 60,152 people within a 25-mile radius
- They invested a maximum of $.01 per video view
- OpenTable reservations were integrated into the ad, resulting in 300+ reservations within the first 5 days through the ad alone

 A screenshot of the Facebook ad

A screenshot of the Facebook ad

We used our unique marketing and restaurant industry expertise to maximize every dollar spent and focus on real results: actually getting people into the restaurant. We also put together a content-focused marketing plan ahead of time to ensure our client was properly set up for success before putting out the ad.

Remember that using Facebook and Instagram to get “lines out the door” requires developing a strong social media strategy. Of course, there are also key social media “tricks” restaurants can implement in their strategies that put them ahead of the competition:

Customers Will Remember a Story

Every restaurant has a story to tell. For John McMillan, it was about leaving Scotland and sharing his treasured cuisine with his new community.

Customers want to hear these stories. They’ll love how a restaurant creates dishes, say, from their rooftop garden. And they’ll remember how a local brewery partnered with a restaurant to develop an exclusive brew.

The storytelling opportunities are endless. And they’re a powerful tool for connecting with customers — before they ever get to the restaurant and long after they leave.

Think about it:

Eating is a sensory experience. And, as they say, customers “eat with their eyes” first. So, it’s important to ignite that visual sense. And what better way to do that than with powerful images and video content?

Great Photos Create Desire

  A few photos we shot for Geoffrey’s Malibu.

A few photos we shot for Geoffrey’s Malibu.

Customers want to see what restaurants make. And they love quality food images.

So, when a restaurant presents images of its artfully plated food to customers on Facebook and Instagram, they’re inspiring people, bringing them up close to the food, and to the table.

Professional Video Feeds Curiosity

People are naturally curious — which is why customers love to get a glimpse “behind the scenes.” And if the head chef and/or owner of the restaurant is showing them around — even better.

Video content creates real-time interest. That might include a video of the chef preparing a new dish on the menu. Or maybe a short how-to video for making a popular drink from the bar. And, of course, a video tour of the restaurant — with the head chef — would certainly be a big win!

The thing is, if a customer can see the restaurant in action, they feel part of the food experience — before they even walk in the door.

Bringing Everything Together

With the right approach, social media marketing offers restaurants the opportunity to get more foot traffic, create customer loyalty and, of course, increase revenue.

And when that strategy includes powerful, visual content, customers respond with their feet.

Product (food/service/ambiance) + content (story) + visuals (photo/video) + distribution (social media/advertising) all need to work together holistically in order to trigger an action that will turn a potential customer into a loyal customer.

The end result?

Restaurant owners enjoy a packed restaurant with happy customers and lines out the door — every night.

That’s the magic formula that helped John skyrocket his restaurant and the magic formula that many successful world-class restaurants use in their marketing every single day.

So if you’re a restaurant owner or manager looking to drastically increase your restaurant’s sales in a short period of time, schedule a free call with us today and we’ll audit your restaurant’s marketing efforts and give you free advice to help take your business to the next level. Our goal is to at least double or even triple our client’s foot traffic within the next five to six months of working with us.

You can also learn more about us by visiting our website.