Social media marketing for restaurants is a big business and probably one that, as a restaurant owner, you can’t afford to miss out on. You only have to scroll the feeds of popular apps like Facebook and Instagram to see a restaurant review, a check in, a plateful of delicious looking food and more. But as a restaurant owner, or manager, how do you execute the best social media for restaurants strategy and what do you need to consider? We take a look with some top tips for how to execute the best social media strategy for your restaurant or food business.
For the full and explained version, read on, but here’s the quick do’s and don’ts:
- Do choose the right social media platform
- Do check out what your competitors are doing
- Do post great pictures of your food
- Do encourage your customers to leave great reviews
- Do get creative with your content
- Do engage with your customers
- Don’t neglect your social pagesw
- Don’t go long periods without posting
- Don’t ignore reviews or comments
- Don’t post bad or infoerior quality photos
- Don’t miss out on what social media can do for your restaurant
Choose the Right Platform for Your Restaurant
There are a number of ways in which to decide is the best social media platform for your restaurant. For a start, you will need to do some research. Start with the most mainstream and popular platforms – Facebook and Instagram and carry out these steps:
Google Search Local Restaurants and Eateries in Your Area
A quick Google search will highlight some interesting details. It will not only show you those that are appearing at the top of Google with their websites and directory websites but if any of them are doing social media well, you might find their Facebook or Insta profile in the search results.
But, there is another trick here – if your cookies are active, you will soon start seeing ads for local restaurants in your Facebook feed. In fact, if your phone’s microphone is active, you will probably discover that talking about local restaurants creates similar activity in your newsfeed.
Scroll Your Own Social Media Feeds
Scroll your own feed – if you start looking for restaurants in your local area, again, you will probably start to see suggested businesses appearing in your feed. This is also a great source of inspiration showcasing ides that you may want to adopt for your restaurant,. As a social media marketing agency, we are constantly looking for fresh ideas and inspiration. We are sure you probably do this with your menus too.
Search for Your Competitors
You should be aware of your local competitors. They may not necessarily specialise in the same cuisine as you, but they may be in your local area and attracting the same customers that you are looking for. You will be resented with the option to click on their page but you will also be able to see posts about them including the number of check ins they have had. Also, take time to read their Facebook page reviews. See what you are competing with. What sort of content are they posting? Are they posting constant photos of their food or do they benefit from lots of user generated activity? This is your chance to use social media marketing for restaurants to get ahead of the competition.
What Content Will You Post?
To keep your feeds fresh, engaging, and more importantly visible, you need to post a variety of posts that are engaging, attractive, appealing and that make people want to choose you. Primarily, people want to eat delicious food so that’s where you need to focus your efforts. Social media marketing for restaurants is about marketing the food first but also the environment in which it is cooked and served in.
- Photos of food
- New menu items
- Ingredient information – fresh organic
- Photos of the team – chef, sous chef, waiting staff etc
- Special offers
- Do you have a quiet night where you run a promo – is this an option?
Create graphics and artwork using platforms such as Canva.
Give consideration to the format of your posts. While images and graphics are good, you can’t use them all the time – mix it up and get creative. Instagram reels are great and have a much more powerful draw than static posts however, they shouldn’t be all that you post.
Simple graphics can be created using templates in Canva which you can then customise with your own photos/details.
Experiment and Get Creative
You should try various post formats. Don’t forget to make use of Instagram and Facebook stories and remember, you can include links here encouraging people to visit your website.
If you have a booking function on your website, this is an excellent way to promote it.
Make the most of the functions available too – the call to action button can take people to your website, your booking function or even to your What’s App to enable you to manage any bookings that come in.
Don’t just try and sell your wares though and don’t let your social media get stale. Like your ingredients, social media for your restaurant should be fresh and attractive. Consider your own scrolling habits and what draws you in.
When to Post and How
Don’t just post day to day either. Try and have some sort of structure. Why not sit down and look at the month as a whole – think about special events – Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day etc and make sure you incorporate these. Look for events like National pizza day too and use these to give you an extra draw.
Using the Meta Business Suite App, you can schedule your posts in advance at various times so that you know it’s taken care of. You then don’t have to rely on posting when you remember.
Consider when your audience is online. When do most of your bookings come in? If you are too busy to answer the phone, using social media to generate bookings through your website means that you may minimise the amount of phone calls you get at busy times.
If you have quiet time in the morning, you may want to schedule your posts for these times so that you are on hand to answer any questions or calls.
More importantly, be consistent. Don’t just post once and then leave it for a few weeks, conversely, don’t over post – this is one way to lose followers.
Know Your Audience
Building an audience is important but be sure to know your audience and what they want, Also, when it comes to growing your audience, be sure to market to the right audience. Using ads for Facebook and Instagram, you can target a specific location, target by gender, age, interests etc. This means you can narrow your audience to those more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Test a few different posts, change the images, use different formats and see what works for you.
Engage with Your Customers
If your customers share photos of their food or detials of their experience then engage with them. Comment and thank them but also be sure to re-share their content. Re-sharing what they post will build trust with others. If someone shares a delicious plate of food eaten at your restaurant, their friends and followers will see it. If you re-share it, your customers, or people that interested in what you have to offer will also see what others are saying. It also gives you new content for your pages.
Encourage Check-ins and Reviews
If you give receipts, why not print on the bottom your Facebook details or ask your happy customers to review you on Facebook or Google. Also encourage people to check in. Offering Wi-Fi to your customers? Leave a note under the code asking people to leave a review for you.
- Get creative
- Be consistent with your posts
- Post a variety of content
- Use all of the tools available
- Be real
- Engage your audience
- Encourage reviews
We have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping SME’s devise and execute a social media strategy. If you would like to discuss social media marketing for restaurants with us, just get in touch.