How To Maximize Engagement On Social Media As A Food & Beverage Business

Online communities are just as important to engage with as your local community!

Business Ops Marketing

We get it: You got into this industry to share your unique food and beverage offerings with the world, not to shake your hips to a Shakira remix hoping the video goes viral. 

In reality, online communities are just as important to engage with and nurture as your local community, and they’re only gaining more traction and significance in our world. 

If you’re not the most social-savvy, this post is for you! We’ll break down:

Social Media Builds Community & Brand Awareness

Social media, at its core, is a community-builder. And with 90% of Americans actively using social media, establishing your social presence makes your business more searchable and discoverable by first-timers

All age groups engage with different platforms for different purposes, and they can all serve your business in some way, too:

  • Facebook: Zuck’s baby is now mostly for boomers, but catering to older generations benefits you—they have more disposable income, after all! FB is also great for generating buzz around events and engaging in Groups specific to your customer base. 
  • Instagram: You know this platform is image-heavy, and luckily your business has endless muses to photograph: plates of food, a flight of ciders, or even your gorgeous space. Plus, IG has a bunch of handy filters to spruce up any pic. 
  • TikTok: Yes, this is where you’ll find the hip-shakers. But food and bev has caught on to the video trend, and for good reason. TikTok is the definition of influential: 74% of its users say the platform inspired them to find out more about a product or brand. 

Of course there are other platforms—Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.—and those serve their unique purposes as well.

We joked about it earlier, but anything on the Internet has the potential to go viral. And as long as your pint is having a deliciously frothy head day, that’s not a bad thing, right?

Set Up Your Social Media Accounts For Success

You may already have your social media accounts set up, but it’s worthwhile to revisit and see if any improvements can be made. If you’re starting from scratch, keep reading!

1. Create A Business Account

It’s super important to choose a Business Account when you’re creating your profiles. This enables access to analytics and performance data, so you can tell which posts make your followers tick. Plus, then you can create ads and monetize engagement!

2. Secure A Snazzy Bio & Profile Photos

First impressions matter, even when online! Both your bio and your profile photo(s) should be eye-catching and unique to your brand. Colorful, branded photos are your best bet for maximizing brand visibility.

Here’s what else you can include in your bio to entice visits:

  • Your physical address
  • Hours of operation
  • Links to your website, online store, events, loyalty program signup, etc.

Below are some Arryved customers nailing their first impressions:

Atlantucky’s Facebook page establishes their brand perfectly here, featuring playful photos of happy people as well as plenty of information for guests to visit or get in touch. Plus, Facebook allows businesses to collect reviews and pin featured content, which Atlantucky has accomplished here. 

Check out all of these professional and informational Instagram and TikTok profiles! Notice how all are utilizing links in their bios so people can learn more if they’re interested. 

Check out Linktree or their competitors—it lets you host a unique page of interchangeable links so you’re not limited by the bio character limits. Arryved uses our Instagram Linktree for events, blogs, case studies, and more!

Best Practices For Day-To-Day Social Media

Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to get socializing! Follow these best practices to maximize engagement:

Post Often & Repurpose Your Posts

“Often” is dependent on your team’s bandwidth and your unique fanbase, but posting 3 times per week to start is a great goal. (By the way, if you’re short on time, enlist a team member’s help. Assigning specialty roles such as a Social Media Manager creates buy-in from your staff and is a proven retention strategy!)

Make it easier on yourself by repurposing everything you post. A TikTok video you make should also be posted on Facebook, Instagram Reels, and any other social media you use. These days, plentiful content is the goal and you shouldn’t be afraid of followers seeing the same post multiple places—they’re used to it!

That said, just as with your product line, quality is more important than quantity. Make sure there’s a purpose behind every post, but don’t overcomplicate it. A video of a beautifully poured beer with a caption detailing what’s on tap this weekend is definitely considered high-quality content.

Reshare Content From Your Guests

If people are tagging you in their own posts, make sure to reshare it! Reposting authentic content benefits your brand:

  • Followers are more likely to engage with reshared content—it’s less salesy.
  • Non-branded content earns trust with followers—it’s a real place and real people like it.
  • Validate how delicious and fun your place is by showing off the good times being had!

Interact With Guests & Respond To Comments

Just as you monitor Google and Yelp reviews, you should engage with guests commenting on social media posts. 

Unfortunately, internet trolls are aplenty, and people tend to be bold behind the mask of an anonymous keyboard. Be prepared for some not-so-nice comments, even if they’re baseless, and don’t ignore or delete the negativity. Even bad comments are good for engagement algorithms!

Unless it’s clearly just spam, replying publicly to ridicule is actually your best bet. Kill ‘em with kindness by offering to make it up to them and stay professional by not getting defensive. 

Make sure you respond to positivity, too. Fun responses encourage that behavior and get you higher engagement on posts. You can even encourage the interactions by prompting them:

  • Pose a question in the caption to elicit comments
  • Poll followers to get feedback and engagement
  • Host a competition to generate excitement and shares

Promote, Promote, Promote: Events, Special Releases, & More

Influencers make bank for a reason—social media is quite lucrative and the perfect channel to promote new happenings. Here are some ideas:

  • Tease upcoming releases: Create a countdown to generate excitement over new menu items. This gives you something to post about and encourages people to hit that Follow button so they can see the big reveal.
  • Create event invites: Facebook is a great platform for events, and you can even collect RSVPs!
  • Go live: Many platforms allow you to go live on video. You can take people behind the scenes to your bustling kitchen or introduce a special guest on-site. Going live alerts your followers and it’s a great attention-grabber.

Level Up Your Social Game: Ideas For The Pros

If you already found your business’s ideal posting cadence and niche, these level up tips will help you cast an even wider net of potential followers and soon-to-be customers.

Strike Up A Deal With A Local Micro Influencer Or Blogger

Small town influencers still have a big influence, as do your local mommy bloggers. Plus, those folks know the exact content that people en masse engage with. Do some lurking on local hashtags or location check-ins to find profiles that post about food and beverage businesses near you.

Once you’ve identified a high quality creator, invite them into your spot and offer to comp their meal in exchange for some content on their profile. You can have them highlight certain menu items you want to gain traction on, or let them do their own thing and see what catches their eye! Images and videos shot by these folks are great posts to repurpose on your own profiles.

Just make sure there’s a written agreement in place, especially if you’re covering their order.

Collaborate With Other Businesses

Collaborations are always a good idea: Both businesses get visibility to the other’s community. When done on social media, collaborations serve as unique posts bound to generate excitement and engagement online.

Our friends at Lady Justice Brewing and Diebolt Brewing recently announced their upcoming May the 4th Collab Brew in this hilarious video.

You can see the video has a significant number of likes and comments, and it’s hosted on both breweries’ profiles for maximum visibility! 

Looking for more marketing tips? Check out Low Cost, Low Effort Events That Drive Traffic

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