Social media marketing for restaurants can give businesses an edge at a time when competition in the restaurant industry is fierce. And it is only growing. It all begins with an online presence, and social media is a science with no perfect formula. It requires constant testing and strategizing.
Here are some tips to kick-start social media marketing for restaurants.
1) Take advantage of all available social media tools
Facebook and Twitter are great, but they also only represent two social media outlets. Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare are also hugely popular in the restaurant industry. Learn which social media tools are right for your restaurant and use them to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to be everywhere. It will only help your brand awareness.
2) Content, content, and more content
You’ve heard it before and you’ll continue to hear it. Content strategy is the way of the future. With so many choices out there, people need to be persuaded which restaurant they should try. The key for any successful restaurant content strategy is variety. Foodie pictures are a going trend and restaurants that can show off their menu with professional looking photos will appeal to the visual side of customers. Specials and promotions are also a great way to attract people. That new beer special may set you apart from the competition, but you want to make sure customers know about it. No matter what you content you choose, just make sure to mix it up.
3) Keep the conversation going
Social media is a great tool for word of mouth. And word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing strategies. Part of this is about encouraging reviews. Restaurants who can build and nurture positive reviews, or even respond to negative feedback, can reap the benefits of free advertising. The other half of this is about getting people talking. Pose a question, reply to your comments or create a contest. Conversation allows businesses to develop relationships and encourage loyalty.
4) Timing is important
For restaurants, timing can be incredibly influential. Users who view enticing food photos on an empty stomach are very different than users with a full stomach. Try scheduling tweets and posts at different times of the day and see how it effects engagement. You can also highlight dishes at their respective times to reach the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night crowds.
5) Share positive media mentions
Restaurants are often spotlighted in articles, magazines, and news outlets. Anytime you’re mentioned, make sure to share the article on social media. It’s great publicity and fans will often spread the word. Potential new customers will also be encouraged to visit your restaurant when they see positive press from trusted sources.
6) Show off your menu with Social Media
Possibly the most important aspect of social media marketing for restaurants is to ensure your menu and specials are visible. Don’t make users struggle to locate your menu. This is one of the most common reasons users search and follow restaurants. If they can’t find your menu, they’ll look elsewhere. Also, make sure that it is not only visible, but also up-to-date and accurate.
7) Use your brand identity
Whether you already have a brand identity, or you’re looking to create one, use social media to back it up. If you’re focused on healthy, all-natural food, consider posting articles and creating conversation about health and fitness. If you’re more of a beer and wings type establishment, share sports stories. No matter what you’re brand, it’s all about thinking like your target customer. Revolve your social media strategy around their interests.
Want more tips and strategies for social media marketing for restaurants? Get in touch and we’d be happy to check out your current social media strategy with a free lab report.