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5 reasons to get a social media manager

social media for restaurants

5 reasons to get a social media manager

We all know that an active and engaged social media presence is a must for pretty much any business these days. The question is, should you pay someone to manage your social media platforms? It’s great if you have a GM who’s good at taking photos at the pass, or someone in the office who can snap your new packaging, but there are quite a few benefits to having someone who’s dedicated to the task, particularly when things are busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

To scratch the surface a little:

Planning

A pro will create a strategic plan that ties into your other marketing activity. Rather than posting sporadically or randomly, they’ll have the time to make sure your images, menus, profile information and links are always up to date, and that you’re making the most of seasonal and local hooks – things so easily missed if you’re doing 1000 things at once, but could cost you opportunities/customers if they’re wrong. The businesses that get good results on social are the ones who have a solid content strategy and dedicated people to put it in place.

Knowledge

They’ll know the quirks of each platform, for example whether or not to use hashtags on Facebook (no) or how to direct people to a link on Instagram (bio), and how often to post on each (varies). They’ll know how to best use your assets for each channel, and get the best results.

Investment

If you’re looking to invest some of your budget into social campaigns then even more reason to get someone to help – I’ve seen clients waste their budget through targeting the wrong location, or not having the right call to action. The former is a total waste of time, the latter not necessarily a disaster, but if you’re putting hard-earned cash into it, make it work hard! You need to be researching, planning, creating beautiful content, scheduling it and following it up

Time

Doing a good job on social media is time consuming! (Despite what a lot of people think…) The actual posting is the tip of the iceberg, you need to be researching, planning, creating beautiful content, scheduling it and following it up – replying to comments and engaging with followers. This is how you grow your following, and become known as a brand that has conversations with its followers, as opposed to just broadcasting.

Analysing

If you’re using a marketing channel you should be monitoring its effectiveness, whether you pay for sponsored posts or not. If you do it, measure it. Analytics within platforms are extensive, and it’s not always obvious what to look for. Measuring the right variables and monitoring progress allows for tweaks and adjustments based on what’s performing well, and means you get the most you can out of each platform.

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PR for small businesses

PR for small business

PR for small businesses

Recently I was asked (or I may have invited myself..) to help out with the Economy of Hours Weekender, by leading a couple of workshops for entrepreneurs on how to do PR for small businesses.
Economy of Hours is an awesome concept that allows small businesses to buy and sell their time and skills, swapping and helping others out for help in return. It’s a great idea, and allows those in the early stages of business to get the resources they need without the outlay of freelancers/agencies.
When you’re CEO, marketing manager, sales, finance, new business and every other role there is, it can be really hard to do your PR yourself, and agency costs are generally out of reach. While it can definitely feel like a minefield, there are lots of small steps you can take to get in front of press and reach the audience you need.
While it can definitely feel like a minefield, there are lots of small steps you can take I shared some hard-learned lessons (e.g. don’t make the ‘did you receive my press release’ call), some templates (for press releases and content calendars) and answered loads of good questions.
I hope it was all helpful for the attendees, and it was great for me to meet so many interesting people. Definitely check Echo out if you’re looking to swap some skills, they do some great things and the team is lovely!

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How to brief a food photographer

food photography
Content is king, we hear it all the time! And for food and restaurant marketers, a huge part of our content is beautiful, mouth-watering food photos to get your audience chomping at the bit to come and try it. With such drool-worthy food photos at every turn, it really does pay to get your menu or products shot regularly, and by an expert. So nail your photography brief and you’re halfway there!

It feels like briefing a photographer should be pretty easy – like so easy that why bother doing a blog post about it? But actually there are a few things to think about to make sure you get the best results, and to start building a great relationship with your photographer.

Chatting to Food Envy Photography’s Tom Waller (and from my own experience!) food photography can be even more of a minefield than usual, and requires very specific planning and briefing. ‘I’ve been doing food photography for years, and have worked with lots of clients who aren’t quite sure exactly what they want from the photos, which can make it it difficult to deliver the exact results they’re looking for. It sounds obvious, but by really thinking about why you’re doing a shoot, as well as all the detail of the logistical aspects, it makes it much easier for everyone on the day and much more likely that we’ll get great results!’

Things to think about

Tom has a checklist he sends to clients before every job, to make sure everyone’s on the same page, and to iron out any potential issues before they arise – a really useful guide to bear in mind if you’re getting some shiny new pics done.

1. What’s your budget?

2. What’s the concept/style of shoot? (You should add any images or a mood board of brands/companies that are in the style you’d like to emulate)

3. Who is cooking (and/or supplying the food)

4. Who is styling the food?

5. Where is the shoot?

6. Who is propping the food? (And also supplying the surfaces, backgrounds, plates, knives, forks, raw ingredients for lifestyle shots etc)

7. How many shots/dishes/products/recipes are to be photographed?

8. How where do you want to use the images?

9. Which file format do you require?

10. When do you require the final images?

By nailing just these simple aspects beforehand, or at least having a good idea of each point, you can seriously up your chances of getting some amazing photos, and are much more likely to do the brand justice!

Have a look at Tom’s gorgeous photos and videos here.

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