Using Social Media for Your Restaurant: Twitter

In last week’s crash course on using Facebook for your restaurant, we learned just how important social media really is and how it can increase business to your restaurant. This week we’ll delve into Twitter.

If you’re completely unfamiliar to Twitter, visit the Twitter Guide Book for everything you need to know. This is also a great resource for frequent users as well.

Today’s blog will cover the basics. For those who use Twitter regularly for your restaurant, please comment below how it’s working for your business.

So what is Twitter? They said it best:

So you, the restaurant, are what people find interesting and compelling.  The end goal is to have people follow you—and they will. Like we said, you won’t see drastic numbers overnight. But as time goes by, your following will increase. Spread the word to customers in your signage, menus, website, etc. and it will help increase your number of followers too.

Getting Started

Get an account here. When choosing a name, you may have to be a little creative based on availability–but still pick a name customers will easily recognize.  They’ll walk you through the rest of the steps.

Composing Tweets

For anything people are reading, from news stories to magazine articles, if you don’t catch someone’s attention in the first couple sentences, you have lost them as a reader.  You can actually accomplish a lot in the 140 characters Twitter gives you because it’s forcing you to get down to the point. Keep it simple and relevant. You can tweet about things in the past or for the future, but as a restaurant, you can take advantage of the moment and tweet about what’s going on right now.  It might drive someone in the door. Twitter has especially been great for food trucks in letting people know where they are.

Examples

“Serving breakfast from 7a.m. to 11 a.m.!”

“Pork tenderloin special only available today.”

“Stop in for our famous BBQ bacon burger for lunch this afternoon.”

“The ABC food truck will be at the corner of 10th and Smith Street today from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.”

Topics

Many restaurants, like McDonalds, Hard Rock Café and Dominos, tweet conversation starters related to their restaurant but engage readers without just promoting a special. We learned last week in the Facebook blog that it’s okay to promote, but over-promoting drives people away.

“Today’s topic: diversity and inclusion at McDonald’s. We are a leader in the area and proud of the recognition we’ve received.” –@McDonalds

“Happy Birthday to the legendary Les Paul! He would have been 96 today.” –@HardRock

“Another 90+ degree day today at Domino’s HQ. No truth to the rumor that we’re cooking pizzas on the sidewalks.” –@dominos

Just like Facebook, you can connect with others too—which is a great way to get your name out there. Keep in mind Twitter is a live newsfeed, so the more you tweet the more people will see you.

The Twitter Vocabulary

Here are a few of the most commonly used words you will see when using Twitter. For all Twitter vocabulary words, check out the Twitter Glossary.

Tweet: Your message to the world.

Retweet (RT): A forwarded tweet.

At symbol (@): You have your username, i.e. ours is CRPRestaurant. The @ sign is used to call out usernames on Twitter. So, for instance, to message us, tweet @CRPRestaurant.

Mentions: You can click on @Mentions, next to timeline just under the “What’s Happening” box to see any messages tweeted to you.

Direct Message (DM): A private way to send messages.

Follow: Following is exactly what it means. When people choose to follow you, they’re following what you have to say because they’re interested. You can follow people (i.e. customers, resources) you’re interested in and respond to them.

Hashtag symbol (#): Marks keywords in topics in a tweet. You can use them in sentences or after. It’s a good way for people who aren’t following you to find you in the search box or even in trending topics. (i.e. “Stop by for #dinner tonight and enter in our #contest.” OR “Stop by for dinner tonight and enter in our contest. #dinner #contest”)

Trending: A trending topic is one of the most popular topics on Twitter at a particular moment in time. You’ll see everything trending on the right side of your page. You can take advantage of these when you can relate something you’re about to tweet. Let’s say “wings” is a trending topic and you just happen to have a special going on, take advantage of it. (i.e. “We have 2 cent wings tonight! #wings”)

In Conclusion….This is Just the Beginning

When it comes to the message, Twitter is incredibly simple. If anything, get an account to tweet information about your restaurant to customers.  But if you’re even the slightest bit of technologically savvy or simply interested in what else Twitter has to offer—there is so much more. Here are some other Twitter resources to look into that will help you utilize Twitter best for your restaurant. Happy Tweeting!

Tweetr: iPhone app with many high functions including scheduling tweets.

TweetDeck: Personal real-time browser allowing you to connect through a variety of social media sites.

Twitter Search: Find what topics you’re interested in on Twitter.

Tweet Button: Add this to your website or anything web related for you—especially great for blogs.

HootSuite: Another social media dashboard.

Link/URL Shortening: Your 140 characters are important—Twitter just began a feature that shortens links for you, or you can use sites to shorten URLs like Bitly, Ow.ly and Google URL Shortener.

Pictures: Similar to link shortening, you can use certain websites to upload pictures to then share them on Twitter from a link such as TwitPic, Lockerz, Yfrog, Pikchur or Twittxr.

Twitter Apps: As a restaurant owner, you probably find yourself most of the time helping your staff. Use a mobile app to help you with your on-the-go schedule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *