Are you a pizzeria operator who struggles on social media? Looking for some new ideas? I’d like to share some tips that helped grow Perfect Crust Pizza Liners’ followers by more than 1,500 percent in four months! With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you have the opportunity to give your business an online personality, and you don’t need a marketing degree to do it. Here are eight easy steps to help you grow your restaurant via social media.
- Post content daily. For a pizza shop, post every day at about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Get in front of your customers as they are making their lunch or dinner plans. Post a pic of what you’re prepping for the day. Show fresh veggies being chopped. Show fresh dough being made in the kitchen. Post photos of what your lunch or dinner specials look like.
- Post food pics. We live in a visual society, so let me say that again: POST FOOD PICS! Too often I see pizza operators post something on Facebook to the effect of “Monday Special – 2 Pizzas for $15.99!” and that’s it. Post a picture of two pizzas with it. I guarantee you will get more “likes”! Make people’s mouths water! Post a pic of a slice with a recommended beer or wine! Post a video of a pizza coming out of the oven with the cheese bubbling!
- Reply to comments. You will get comments on your posts, and when you do, reply to them! When customers tag you in photos, reply! When the comments or photos are good, respond with a “THANK YOU!!” When the comments or photos are negative, reply, “Your business is important, and we want to fix this! DM us your phone number!” Be open-minded to the negative comments. Learn and grow from them. And don’t argue with your customers in social media!
- Get your staff involved. Post pics of your staff as they are working in your pizzeria. Catch them doing something right and post it! Why? Because we all love praise, and those employees are more likely to share the post! Try something like “Wendy and Johnny are incredible servers and are ready to serve you today!” along with a flattering photo of Wendy and Johnny. Just make sure you ask their permission to post the pic first.
- #UseHashtags– Find a hashtag that works for your pizza shop and use it on all your branding: #PerfectCrust, #StopTheFlop and #BeIncredible are some of ours. You can find something that is “yours” like #AndoPizza or #RespectTheCraft, from Mike Bausch and Tony Gemignani. Also, use the hashtag for the city you live in, such as #Tulsa for me. For you it may be #Omaha or #Detroit. Also use #Pizza and #DailyPizza—these hashtags are searched by the thousands on Twitter and Instagram daily!
- Ask your employees to post. Are your employees allowed to be on their phone during their shifts? If not, charge them a “phone usage fee.” In other words, say to them, “Want to check your phone at work? Fine, but you have to post a pic of one of our pizzas first on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook!” Have fun with it! You can also encourage your servers to post before their shift starts: Bigger Sales = Bigger Tips!
- Tag product brands that you use. If you use Perfect Crust Pizza Liners, tag us in your posts. We love to share your content—your success is our success! The same goes for Galbani Cheese, Stanislaus tomato products or other brands you use in your pies—tag them in your pizza photos! While you’re at it, tag PMQ Pizza Magazine! Is your food distributor on social media? Tag them, too!
- Feature your customers: This may sound shocking, but go into your dining room, take pics withyour customers and post them! Watch people “like and share” these photos like crazy! We all want to feel special, and this social media strategy will make your customers feel validated!
Eric Burns is vice president of sales & marketing at Perfect Crust Pizza Liners and IncredibleBags.com. Visit their websites at perfectcrust.com and incrediblebags.com or contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-812-0945.