Photos via Vintage Press

published on August 13, 2021 - 4:10 PM
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The partnership between a local public relations firm and Fresno State has created a recipe for restaurants to more effectively market themselves online.

The Social Media Guide for Restaurants published July 23 breaks down the essentials for businesses trying to reach customers at a time where social media visibility could not be more important for restaurants, said Fresno State Professor Betsy Hays. Hays is also department chair for Media, Communications and Journalism.

The 23-page guide breaks down individual social media platforms as well as general guidelines for what’s shown to be successful. The guide outlines how to effectively use hashtags in Instagram, the benefits of a Twitter poll, how to respond to negative comments and more. It goes from basics such as what to know about creating an Instagram post to keeping important Facebook posts pinned to the top of a page.

The guide also sets out what businesses need to know about advertising on the different platforms and what services are available to do so.

The idea came when Hays was discussing social media and restaurants with her family. She noticed some restaurants were doing well while so many others were struggling. And with people even now still isolated and turning to online resources to discover new eats, good social media practice is important. Her students then came to mind.

“I know some people who can give some guidance,” Hays said. “We could put together this beautiful social media guide for restaurants and give it out to everyone,” she went on to say.

The course was public relations and advertising agency — a course that is typically taken by students nearing the end of their schooling. Three students took on the project — Mariela Rubio, Emily O’Masters and Jovani Gonzalez — while the rest of the class participated by offering insight into what should be included.

Research included deep dives into what different brands were doing.

During the year, Hays connected with RPM Public Relations in Fresno so students could have firsthand connection with professionals. Through Zoom calls, they provided education on branding as well reviewing and editing drafts.

Hays said she was proud of how quickly the students jumped on the project and recognized how valuable it would be.

“Social makes a lot of people nervous,” Hays said. “To be able to provide some guidance, I really appreciated how they bought in right away.”

To download the guide, visit the RPM Public Relations website.

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