Let’s face it: social media can be overwhelming.  That’s why most of the biggest and most successful companies in the world have one or more designated social media gurus that manage their accounts, making sure that the full potential of social networking is unlocked.  But if you’re a small business owner, you probably don’t have the budget to pay someone else to run your social media for you.  Don’t worry, we’re here for you: in this guide, we share some tips on one of the most important tips that will change the way your restaurant social media accounts add value to your business.

That strategy?  Integrating your social media accounts.  By linking accounts together in a proactive manner, you can get a lot more out of your social media, and see a lot more exposure for your business with less work on your part.  Linking social media accounts together amplifies your restaurant’s voice, and makes it easier to get the most out of the power of social media networking as a small business owner.  Here are our 5 tips to integrating your social media platforms.

1.  Make Sure You Already Have Accounts Created

Before you start digging into linking up accounts, adding links to your profiles. and doing the rest of work to integrate your social media platforms into one powerful network, make sure that you have accounts set up on all of the major social media sites you intend to utilize.  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all no-brainers, and should be utilized by every business.  Recently, Pinterest has made some major inroads, and is now almost just as powerful if used correctly.  And of course there’s also more niche or media based networks, like Google Plus and the auto-linked Youtube.  Do some research about what accounts you will be utilizing, and then get them all set up and ready to integrate.

2.  Decide What Will be your “Home” Platform

While you can and should use all social media platforms as much as you can, one of your profiles will naturally be your most successful, and it is a good idea to figure out what platform that is and start using it as a “home base” early.  For most business owners, Facebook is a good bet for your “home platform,” as the site has a massive user base and also lets you advertise to local customers easily.  Once you have decided on a “home platform,” put as much work as you can into promoting that page, and make sure it gets shared extensively throughout your networks.

3.  Link Your Facebook Page to Twitter

One of the easiest and most powerful steps you can take to integrate your social networks into a cohesive web is to link your Facebook and Twitter profiles for easier cross-promotional use.  Because Twitter moves so much more quickly than Facebook and you can tweet a ton of tweets a day before it looks like your account is spamming, the best way to link these two platforms together is to set your Twitter account to automatically post every Facebook post that you put on your page’s timeline automatically.  Once you do, every time you post on Facebook, your Twitter will post the same thing without any work on your end.  To unlock this powerful tool, check out this guide on Twitter for step by step instructions.

4.  Link Your Instagram to your Facebook

One thing that’s true of ALL social media is that pictures are extremely powerful.  Posting photo updates on your accounts will lead to more engagement, as your followers are much more likely to engage with photo posts and spread your restaurant’s name when they do.  Keeping this in mind, it can be incredibly powerful to link your Facebook and Instagram accounts together.  Just like Twitter and Facebook above, linking Insta and Facebook will make it so that every time you post a pic on Instagram, it will be posted to your Facebook account easily.  Unlike Twitter, it’s smarter to be a bit picky and choosy here, as flooding your Facebook page with spam is a big no-no.  So use Instagram‘s built in sharing functions to post pictures to FB from your Insta when you have a great visual to show.  Here are some instructions courtesy of Instagram.

5.  Constantly Cross-promote Profiles

While it can take a lot of time to keep updating all of your social media platforms constantly, it will pay off.  Especially if you use those networks to promote your other networks.  Post your Facebook profile on Twitter as often as you like.  Same goes for Instagram.  As far as promoting on Facebook, don’t share your other profile links too often, but feel free to link to your Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest from your Facebook page every few weeks or so.  Doing so will help your followers join forces, and make integrating your accounts that much more powerful.