15 Social Media Strategies for Restaurants
For many restaurant owners, social media can be a bit of a mystery. You may have been told to “be everywhere,” but you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re overwhelmed by the number of platforms out there and aren’t sure which one is right for your business. Social media doesn’t need to feel like such a daunting task! There are plenty of ways to use social media effectively without having it take over your life (or even most of your time).
People want to know what they’re getting into before they get there. This means restaurants are relying on their social media presence more than ever before.
In fact, over half of all US consumers (42%) have engaged with restaurants on at least one social media platform. Of that group, 66% reported being more inclined to dine or order food from the business.
What does this mean for your restaurant? It means that if you don’t have an active social media strategy, then someone else will take your business from you because they do!
So let’s talk about how we can help your restaurant with its marketing efforts by implementing social media strategies. Here are 15 strategies for restaurants on social media that will help you get started today:
First Thing’s First: Create Social Media Profiles
You must have a social media presence if you want to remain relevant today. If you don’t, then someone else will take your spot! So before we begin talking about how to implement these strategies, let’s first talk about creating a strong profile online so that people see it.
If you haven’t already, then you’ll need to create an online presence. This can be done through creating social media accounts, a website, or both.
Accounts are quick and easy, but they don’t provide as much information about your restaurant as a website does. It’s also essential that you have a mobile-friendly site because more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet than ever before.
Make sure that your social media accounts, website, and any other marketing source you have are all in sync with one another. This will show people that you’re a well-organized business rather than just some startup off the street.
Once you have your online accounts, then you’ll want to create a Facebook business page. This is one of the best places for people to find out about new promotions that might interest them.
You can also have Instagram and Twitter accounts so that customers can interact with your restaurant more easily on their smartphones through these social media apps.
Other social media platforms that can be useful to restaurants are Pinterest, Google My Business, and Yelp.
Optimize Your Bio on Each Social Media Platform
Once you have your accounts set up, you’ll want to make sure they’re optimized.
It’s important not to waste the space on each platform by adding irrelevant information or stuffing too much into it. Think of your social media bio as a billboard that advertises what your business is all about.
Start by including the name of your restaurant in the upper section. Then, add a brief but effective description of what you and your business stand for and who you are at the bottom.
Here’s an example:
“Starbucks is a Seattle-based coffee shop that specializes in coffee drinks and treats. Come enjoy our friendly atmosphere and delicious coffee drinks!“
Something like this will ensure that your business is always the first thing people see when they go to look for you online.
Ask Questions to Engage Followers
People are on social media to be entertained, but they’re also there to get useful information. If you don’t want your customers to feel let down by your social media efforts, then make sure that it’s clear how they can benefit from following you.
So try asking some questions. Then answer them! These can range from questions about your menu to what people ate and enjoyed the most during their last visit.
By doing this, you show that you care about understanding exactly why your customers do business with you to improve upon it in the future. This will not only encourage repeat visits by those who enjoy learning more about your restaurant, but it will also help you get to know your customers better so that you can tailor promotions and deals more effectively.
You have your social media accounts set up, you’re posting regularly, and you’re asking good questions that encourage comments. Great! That means that people are seeing your posts, but they’re not yet following you in droves.
One of the best things you can do is tap into user-generated content. This is content created by your customers and shared on your social media accounts to help others who might not even know about your restaurant.
By posting and reposting this kind of content, you show people what they can get from following you online while also providing a good example for others in terms of style and content.
Promote Seasonal Menu Items
One of the best ways to use social media successfully is not by doing complicated or gimmicky things. Instead, focus on promoting seasonal menu items for your restaurant.
People are always looking online for culinary inspiration, whether finding new places to eat lunch or ideas for recipes that they can try at home over the weekend.
Respond to Your Reviews
Social media is also a great way to monitor customer satisfaction. So if someone leaves you a review on one of the platforms you’re using, then show your appreciation by responding!
You don’t necessarily have to respond right away, but try to do it within 24 hours. And if people are asking questions about a certain menu item in a review, then answer it right on the post.
Following these steps will help you get more return customers who are just as excited about your restaurant as they were after their first visit.
Make sure to keep up with your social media accounts and respond to their questions or comments promptly so that plenty of people from all different demographics know about your restaurant and the great things it has to offer.
In social media, you don’t have to post anything on your own. It’s possible for people who haven’t even heard of your restaurant yet to discover it and follow you through hashtags or what other people are saying about the foods that you offer.
But if you’re going to invest time and energy into developing a social media presence for your restaurant, then you might as well do it right.
One way to guarantee that people see your posts is through Facebook advertising, where you can target users based on the demographics and characteristics of the people who want to see your business’s page.
So even though social media can be easy thanks to automation tools like Hootsuite, it’s important to remember that social media is still about authentically engaging people.
Think Facebook Advertising is right for you? Let’s chat about it .
Post at Optimal Times
If you’re a restaurant owner, you know that lunch and dinner will be your busiest times. But if you take a look at the stats from Facebook, there’s actually a high chance of engagement during early mornings or late nights.
So consider scheduling your posts for those times when people are more likely to see what you have to say. This will also ensure that you can get your posts in front of more eyes, even if they’re not around during the day when people are on their phones and laptops at work or school.
Influencer marketing is a great way to get your customers’ attention who may not have heard of you before. It works because people love hearing from others in their industry, so they’re more likely to pay attention when you want to promote yourself on their social media accounts.
You can either approach them directly or through an agency that specializes in influencer marketing.
Cross-Promote Your Social Media Channels
One of the best strategies to boost your social media presence is to cross-promote your channels. Each platform has its own rules about how you can do this, so make sure that you know what you’re getting into before sharing the accounts.
You may find it advantageous to have all of your accounts linked together so that people have fewer clicks to get where they want to go.
Ideally, you would only have one account per platform so that your followers can easily follow what’s going on without having accounts scattered across multiple social media websites.
Use Video Content
People who use social media like to see the video. Video gives them a sense of what your establishment looks like and how the food is prepared.
If you don’t have a high-quality camera, that’s okay (most smartphones do these days), and there are other options available if you’re willing to look into it.
So instead of just having photos on your page, mix it up by using videos to show people what’s happening behind the scenes and tell them about specials that you might be running.
We know for a fact that platforms like Facebook wants its users to create more videos. On average, videos on Facebook get at least 59% more engagement than other types of posts.
Grab tips on going LIVE here.
Create Social Media Contests
People love free stuff. They also love to win. You can use these two things to help you with your restaurant marketing strategy for your restaurant.
For example, if you have a Facebook page, you can create a contest in which people have to submit photos of themselves eating at your establishment, and they get entered into a raffle to win something special.
If the contest is run during meal hours, you can promote that your restaurant gives away free food or something similar (you can do this through Facebook).
You should also think about running photo contests like Yelp to get people to leave reviews on your business. You can reward those who post the most interesting photos with coupons or prizes.
NOTE – Always refer back to each platforms rules and regulations on sweepstakes and contests.
Create a Consistent Voice
It’s important that you create a consistent voice and tone across all of your social media accounts.
For example, if you want your restaurant to be viewed as family-friendly or classy, then make sure to promote the same type of atmosphere on Facebook and Twitter. If people see inconsistent information about how you present yourself, they might get confused and won’t know what to expect when they visit your restaurant.
Hashtags can be a great way to promote your restaurant and draw attention to events that you’re running. For example, if you’re hosting a special occasion and giving away free drinks, then you might want to use the hashtag #FreeDrinkFriday or #SundayFunday. You can also use hashtags for advertising discounts or special deals that are being offered.
Social Media Strategies for Restaurants FAQs
Is it possible to gain exposure for my business on social media without spending money?
Yes, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter give you the option of setting up a business profile for free.
What are the best times to post on social media?
It depends on the social media site you’re using, but as a general rule, people tend to utilize sites more often during work hours and in the evenings.
Are local businesses required to have social media accounts?
Yes, social media accounts help you to promote your business and connect with customers.
Is it possible for social media marketing to bring customers to my restaurant?
Yes, you can attract customers through social media networks by sharing photos of your food and sharing information about daily specials.
What are some good tips for optimizing my restaurant’s bio on each of the major platforms?
Your bio should have a link to your website, it should be concise, and you should include some keywords related to your restaurant’s industry or location.
How can I engage my customers through social media?
You can engage customers by posting special offers and running contests. You can also ask people to post photos of themselves at your restaurant or share reviews with you.
What does it mean to cross-promote social media channels?
You can cross-promote social media channels by posting links to your Twitter or a Facebook account on your website. You can also post information about your Google My Business page on your Facebook account so that people know where they should go for more information about how you do business.
There you have it -15 Social Media Strategies For Restaurants. What will you start with first?
What can a marketing agency do for your business? Contact SocialManas Today.
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SocialManas Digital Marketing Agency is a full-service digital marketing agency in Bethel, ME with over 20 years of experience. We specialize in social media management, website development and paid social media advertising.