Social Media Marketing For Restaurants
Many restaurants attempt to use social media as a way to market their establishment, but struggle at doing it effectively. The truth is, it isn't always easy. Social media has huge potential for drawing in new customers, but only if you know how to properly use the tools at your disposal. Improving how your restaurant uses social media can increase awareness in your community and will have more customers seated in your dining room.
Statistics always play an important role in making informed marketing decisions. If you're on the fence about how necessary social media is for your restaurant, keep these numbers in mind. According to Modern Restaurant Management's website:
With that in mind, here are 10 social media tips that will have your restaurant standing out amongst others in town:
1. Accurate Profile Information:
While it might seem obvious, it is important to make sure the key information listed about your business is always up-to-date. This is all the necessary information someone would need at a first glance including: hours, phone number, address, and your website link.
Because social networks do not prompt you to check or update this section, it is sometimes forgotten about. Some restaurants might have seasonal hours that change throughout the year. Make sure your social profiles reflect this and any other changes.
2. Professional & Meaningful Content:
Professional and meaningful content will go a long way with potential diners. Posts should always be restaurant orientated. Refrain from anything personal or political. People interacting with your business's page came to learn about your restaurant and nothing else. Include photos and videos as often as possible. Images like the one below will hook new customers and have them saying, "I want that for lunch".
3. Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes
Regardless of how you plan on marketing, you should always know your target market. To determine your target market, here are some basic questions to ask yourself:
4. Contests and Offers
Everyone likes a good deal. Running promotions will hook new customers and have them coming back for more. Here are some popular ideas:
5. Cover all the Bases
This is a simple and easy practice to follow with social media marketing. If you share something on one platform, make sure you share it on all platforms. This will allow you to gain the most exposure possible. For example, if you post that yummy burger photo to Instagram, don't forget about Facebook and Twitter.
6. Engage with your Followers
Customers like to see a business that is engaged with them. When customers comment on your posts, take time to reply. It shows you value their support. If a customer comments something negative, like a bad experience, publicly apologizing and offering a resolution through the comment section shows customer care.
The same goes for online reviews from platforms such as Facebook and Yelp. Thank customers for their input and always show your appreciation. If something negative is mentioned, ensure that you'll work to see it fixed and offer that they return for a second chance.
7. Advertising Never Hurts
All social media platforms, including Yelp, offer outstanding advertising options. In a nutshell, here's why you should pay for advertising on social media:
The answer is no. Your free posts only reach people who are already following your page. Paid posts and ads allow you to reach new people by expanding the audience that is able to see your content.
8. Show the Behind the Scenes
Don't be afraid to show customers how you operate. Give a peak behind the bar and inside the kitchen. If your chef and bartender are comfortable, make short demonstration videos that show off what your restaurant has to offer. Ask your employees and customers for their feedback on what kind of content they'd like to see.
Don't be afraid that a cooking demonstration will give away your "secrets" and stop customers from coming in to eat. Realistically, customers would rather have a delicious dish prepared from them, instead of cooking at home and dealing with a messy kitchen.
9. Share Customer Content
Everyone knows the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words.". Encourage customers to take photos of their food and overall experience. Ask that they share it on social media and tag your restaurant for a chance to get showcased. Every so often, search through and find the best photos of people enjoying what your restaurant has to offer. Share their post to your restaurant's social media pages. These candid customer inspired posts make excellent content and advertisements for your restaurant.
10. Promote Community Actives
Overall, businesses that play an active role in their community tend to do better. Use your social media to share how your team is getting involved. Create events on Facebook to promote fundraisers that take place at your restaurant and don't forget to post pictures and videos. Encourage your employees to volunteer, on behalf of your business, as a "Giving Back Initiative". This is an excellent way to get your name in the public's eye, all while doing something good for the community that supports your business.
Across all social media platforms you'll often see hashtags, but when and where should they be used? A recent study revealed that for Facebook, "...posts without hashtags generated more reach than those with tags added".
If you still want to use hashtags, don't worry. They are still relevant in today's marketing. It is recommended to incorporate hashtags into your Twitter and Instagram posts - but just not Facebook. Here are some good practices to keep in mind when developing hashtags:
~ Make it memorable and easy to remember
~ Keep it short and simple
~ Don't just use the brand name
Think of your hashtags as keywords that someone would use to find your specific brand or product. Keep in mind, the purpose of hashtags is to allow social media content to become searchable. Correctly using hashtags will help you gain exposure and grow your audience.
Sometimes it can be difficult to think of and determine the proper hashtags (key words) that will spike your exposure. Marketing professionals have access to online tools that will generate a list of popular hashtags (based on analytics) that would possibly attract the most views for your brand or product.