Social Media Challenges for Small Restaurant and Food Businesses

For a small business in the food or restaurant industry, it is hard to stand out on social media! From building your audience to creating content to managing accounts, the social media challenges that small businesses face can be daunting for a small team. We asked local businesses what they felt their biggest struggle was on social media to get insight on the problems and results that matter to them most. 

Here is what we heard: 

The Crooked Crab Brewing Company said:

 “One of the biggest challenges we face is that being seen – especially on Facebook – is increasingly a pay-to-play game. As a small business we need to be strategic in how and when we use our marketing budget.”

It’s a pay-to-play game on Facebook, and increasingly Instagram as well, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon! When your marketing budget is stretched across outlets, social media spending may be left in the lurch. To get the most out of your marketing dollars and see if your audience is receptive and active to your social media presence, it is important to review the performance metrics of your content regularly so that it can be optimized and used to inform future organic and paid strategy. 

Ceremony Coffee Roasters said their biggest challenge is: 

“Maintaining consistency but also learning how to push our boundaries creatively to engage our following and attract new audiences. Being a part of the coffee industry, I have found this to be an exceptional challenge (I often see a lot of content recreated or just too much of the same thing). We try to seek inspiration from innovative brands in other industries that we feel are paving the way in creating aesthetically pleasing content that delivers results.”  

We totally agree! Industry and market research is such a valuable tool for gaining inspiration while determining how to set your brand apart from the rest. When it comes to social media, everyone is in the same feed, so don’t box yourself in by only comparing your brand to others in the same space. Social media campaigns should each have their unique elements while remaining consistent with the brand and tone.

Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company says: 

“The biggest challenge is promoting us on social media as a wholesale distributor as well as a retailer. So we’re sharing information and promoting the local coffee shops, restaurants and colleges that serve our coffees, a well as our own online sales and retail sales through our roasting facility. It’s the dual-personality balance that can be tricky.”

Doing “it all” on social media is a tall order to fill! A strong digital strategy and knowledge of which audience you are targeting on each platform is a great way to break down which promotional efforts should go where. For example, a LinkedIn strategy would include more B2B calls to action, while an Instagram strategy caters more toward the B2C crowd. Paired with a strong brand identity, the “dual personalities” can both be represented where it is most appropriate and establishes a well-rounded digital presence!

It can be daunting for a small business to enter the enormous world of social media. But when they do, we are so thankful that they make our feeds look so delicious. To see more work we have done for our restaurant clients, please visit here.  To read more of our thoughts and blog posts about food and restaurant marketing, click here

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