Every restaurateur wants their business to be known as the number one dining spot within its locality. What better way to achieve this than through social media?
However, social media marketing for restaurants goes beyond merely having an online presence. There is a constant need to carefully strategize using creative ideas and valuable content to attract customers to your restaurant. Considering that most restaurants struggle with creating an effective restaurant social media strategy, I have put together seven tips guaranteed to help you combine social media and your restaurant business successfully.
- Post very Attractive Images
A consumer-first eats with their eyes before having a real taste of your food. So you must share mouth-watering images of your food on social media. It is a proven restaurant social media promo trick that gets more customers to come to check out your restaurant.
Besides sharing images of your food, you can also flaunt your restaurant décor, artwork, cute ornaments and lighting, your chef while flambéing in the kitchen, etc. Also, encourage your customers to take pictures while at your restaurant and tag you.
- Engage Customers with Campaigns and Contests
Another way to engage with more customers on social media is to run campaigns and contests. You can post fun and exciting foodie contests, viral challenges, polls, quizzes, surveys, and giveaways that enable you to engage with your customers directly. You can also give promos or discounts to customers who tag you in pictures or videos of them sharing their experience from your restaurant.
Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are some of the best social media platforms to run such campaigns and contests. Aside from the campaigns and contests, you can also create loyalty programs that give customers gift cards, discounts, thank you notes, access to special events, exclusive offers, and other freebies. The gesture is bound to make them feel appreciated.
- Geo-targeted Ads
Most customers include their location when searching for a great place to eat. You can capitalize on this thanks to geo-targeting, a social media strategy that enables you to tag photos, videos, and other posts using a specific location for your restaurant. Social media platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. allow users to share and search for content by location. Besides location, these ads can be targeted by age, gender, etc. of your restaurant target audience.
With geo-targeting adverts, your restaurant can run paid ads on Instagram or sponsor your tweets to increase your customers' reach. When posting these ads, ensure that you have a defined customer base according to the demography and location to maximize the campaign results. E.g., a New Jersey-based restaurant will need to geo-target their ads around New Jersey-based consumers, instead of ads promoted throughout the United States of America. So you need to bear this in mind.
- Share your menu and price list
Sharing your menu and pricelist might seem like an obvious thing to do; however, most restaurants fail to include their menu or price list on their social media profiles. Most times, I'm looking through social media for the right place to eat; I'm drawn to restaurants that post their menu and price list. It gives me an idea of what variety they have and if it fits my budget range.
Instagram highlight icons are a great way to showcase your menu. Facebook makes provision for you to include a tab with your menu, and pinned tweets on Twitter also make it easier for customers to be lured by the variety of quality choices on your menu.
- Blog about Your Food And Services
In the age of influencer marketing, you can find a good number of influencers' who are also food bloggers with a large following. You can invite them over to dine at your restaurant and review your food and their overall experience on their blog. Subscribers to their blogs will likely turn into potential customers for your restaurant when the reviews and ratings of their experience were great.
Alternatively, you quickly set up your blog using WordPress to host your blog to reach out to more subscribers and engage the target audience. You can also get custom writing reviews via Online Writers Rating to help you write engaging blog posts.
- Consistency is Key
To get the best out of social media, you need to be consistent. Sometimes running a restaurant takes up a lot of your time, so you should create a posting schedule for your restaurant marketing strategy well ahead of time. The calendar helps you post at the right time of the day, follow and analyze market trends, keep a close watch on how your audience engages with your posts, etc.
Hootsuite, TweetDeck, SocialOomph, Everypost, and a ton of others are social media and scheduling tools available in the market to help you make scheduled posts and also monitor the traction generated from your restaurant's social media campaign strategy.
- Track and Improve Performance
While combining your restaurant business and social media marketing, it is vital to keep track of what works and what doesn't so you can fine-tune your efforts and improve on results. This gives you a clearer picture of your social media marketing efforts and helps you to track results that matter the most. With this, you can build on them and expand your brand.
Once you have an understanding of how your social media strategy works, you need to start looking for ways to get even better results. Take Pizza Pilgrims, for example; the brand went from a single stall at a food market to become a fully-fledged chain in multiple locations. With strategic use of social media marketing, Pizza Pilgrims keeps expanding.
It is a daunting task for any restaurateur running their restaurant and then integrating social media into an already busy schedule. However, putting in the effort to combine social media and your restaurant business is a free opportunity to create more awareness and success for your restaurant. One you shouldn't pass up on.