The rules of social media curation for restaurant owners are much like the rules of preparing fine cuisine: in almost all imaginable cases, spam is a bad thing. In the context of social media sites, “spam” is a term for over posting, or sharing things so frequently that your posts are seen as an aggressive nuisance. If your posts are exceptionally low quality, they may be seen as “spam” even if you don’t post at aggravatingly high frequencies. But if you post things too often, your posts will be perceived as “spam” even if they are exceptionally useful and interesting. And if you are using social media in an attempts to boost your restaurant’s exposure, both of these situations are terrible news.
To demonstrate just how damaging spamming can be to your social media promotional efforts, you have to understand a bit about how social media posts catch on and get the most exposure. The posts from your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts that do the “best” in terms of reaching the widest audience are those that are shared and engaged with by the highest percentage of your fanbase. For example. your Facebook photos that get the most exposure are those that are “liked,” “commented” on, and “shared” by the most people. In other words, for your posts to ever reach their potential exposure levels and spread the word about your restaurant as far as possible, your fans and social media followers need to like and appreciate your posts enough to interact with them.
Which is why there is nothing more deadly to your restaurant than being perceived as a “spammer.” If you share things very frequently, your fans and followers will get sick of your posts, and stop engaging with them. When you “spam” your social media channels by over sharing content and posts, you lose your most valuable asset and the single factor that can do the most to take your exposure to the next level: the support and interaction of your core fan group. As a restaurant owner, you have to be very careful that you aren’t “spamming” your social media channels, and subsequently losing the support of your followers. Here are a few tips for recognizing if your posts on social media are “spam.” Ask yourself these questions:
Are your core followers still engaging with a large percentage of your posts?
Every one of your social media accounts probably has a group of “core followers:” the people who are big supporters of your restaurant, and show it by “liking” your Facebook posts, favoriting your IG pictures, and re-tweeting your Twitter updates. And a good barometer of how “spammy” your posts are is based on how often these core followers interact with them. If you start over sharing on your platforms, you’ll notice quickly that your core supporters stop engaging with your posts. If those “likes” and “shares” go down, especially from core fans, try slowing down your posting schedule and see if engagement goes up when you don’t look like you are spamming.
Do ALL of your posts provide unique or relevant value?
Spamming isn’t all about frequency: it’s about posting low content material too. When you post a high percentage of articles perceived as not having a lot of value, you’ll be treated as a spammer by fans and followers. Do make sure that your posts aren’t seen as spam due to quality concerns, ask yourself if each posts provides some value to your fans and followers. Ideally this value should be unique and not related to things they can get through your other recent posts, and should be relevant to your business and current marketing strategy. If your posts aren’t unique and don’t add any value to your fans and followers, they may be seen as spam.
Would YOU be annoyed by your posting frequency?
While most social networks have some guidelines around what is “technically” spam, more important is the perception of your posts by core fans and followers. If THEY think you are posting too much and spamming, your business will suffer. So, to get some better insights into this qualitative metric, put yourself in the shoes of one of your followers. If you saw another business posting at the frequency that you post at, would you be annoyed? If a rival restaurant shared as much content as you do, would you think their page was “spammy?” Take an honest qualitative assessment of what impression your business’s social media presences would make on you, if you were an outsider.
Of course, just like everything in the world of social media, posting frequency will take some experimentation. But as you experiment with frequency in mind, revisit the questions above to make sure that you aren’t spamming your followers with too much unwanted content.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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