Do you run or own a restaurant? Are you looking at ways to advertise your brand or wondering what would be an effective marketing strategy to enhance your business? If you’re not using social media, or using it to its full potential, social media marketing would be the best place to start.
Adding social media into the mix of your marketing plans will have a huge impact on your business. If you’re looking for business growth and brand recognition, social media is a must in order to reach out to a wider audience and increase awareness.
Even if you’re not on social media (or don’t use it often), you can guess that many of your customers are – and they will be posting or commenting about their experience at your establishment. Which means it’s time to get up to speed and be where your customers are!
What could you be doing on social media to drive more customers to your restaurant?
Social media for restaurants: Facebook
Most people have a personal Facebook profile and many use Facebook as a search tool to find reviews or to ask for recommendations for restaurants local to them. With that in mind, you want your Facebook Page to look appealing!
Ensure that your cover photo shows your restaurant in its best light and changed regularly – this could be a picture of the restaurant itself or perhaps a favourite dish you offer or even a group of people dining. Ensure the cover photo is the correct size (the dimensions for a Facebook cover image is 851×351 pixels) and that the image is not stretched or out of focus. A professional looking image sets the scene for the user experience – and yes – first impressions count!
The same goes for the profile image (dimensions should be set at 180 x 180 pixels but will show 160 x 160 px). All these can be created free and easily within Canva – a program that we love here at South Coast Social!
Use lots of food photos! You are a restaurant and that is what you are selling. You want people to see what you have to offer and how people are enjoying dining with you. Before the food gets taken out to a customer take some snaps of nicely prepared meals or desserts and upload them to your Facebook feed with a comment inviting people to try the different options on your menu. Ask your potential customers what they would like to see on the menu – start a conversation!
Use offers and deals
As mentioned previously, people are searching Facebook for recommendations for restaurants. So why not entice them even more by offering them something as a reward for coming along?
This could be in the form of a deal for referring a friend or a discount on their next meal if they ‘like’ your Page and share the post. This increases the reach of your audience as friends of friends will see your Page when people start to like and share your Posts.
Create Facebook contests
Many people get scared when they think about the cost of Facebook advertising but actually if performed correctly with a budget set in place, it can be an extremely effective part of your social media strategy. Facebook advertising allows you to target people geographically which is ideal for restaurants as you can target the people that live close to your business or even people that work or have an interest in the area. Speak to us if this is something that you’d like to explore!
Social media for restaurants: Twitter
Twitter is a great place to provide quick snippets of information for your customers – a short section of text with a link to your website or Facebook Page. Twitter is extremely fast-paced with a great deal of information being thrown at a user all the time, so content and creative wording is needed!
Entice your potential customers to want to click to find out more. Use images to show what you have to offer. Tweets with images tend to get shared more often which results in more followers and more people to target. Make these images appealing!
Use hashtags – create a branded hashtag that you can use across the board which enables you to find posts that other people have tweeted about your restaurant and also makes your tweets searchable. Don’t use too many hashtags but think about what your ideal customer would be searching for and use these as hashtags in your tweets.
As mentioned in Facebook, you can promote your restaurant through vouchers or coupons, offering discounts for social media followers. This encourages people to share your content, making your business be seen by a wider audience and creating brand awareness.
Social media for restaurants: Instagram
Instagram is a widely used platform when it comes to restaurants due to the creativity you can use and the image you can portray of your establishment. This is the ideal place to be to sharing your dishes, whether that be lunch with friends, a romantic dinner for 2 in the evening or a breakfast with the lads. Instagram provides the perfect place to showcase your portfolio.
Using hashtags is a great way to increase awareness about your restaurant and your Instagram profile – top tip, eleven is the magic number, apparently!
Use specific geographical hashtags that target the area you want to attract people from. #Bournemouth #seaside
Use niche hashtags to reach out to people that might be interested in your restaurant. #ItalianRestaurant #FishandChips
Use trending hashtags to jump on board of trends that are happening now – that way you will get to engage with real-time stories.
Use campaign specific hashtags to create hype about a contest that you are running or a campaign that you have going. This encourages users to use the same hashtag in their posts too when they are engaging with your campaign.
Ask customers to upload a picture of their favourite meal or their experience when they are at your restaurant and to tag your profile or hashtag in their post. The best post could be used as a competition or invitation for a voucher etc.
Make the most of your Live Stories. Video content is a very effective way for people to hear about your restaurant and to see behind-the-scenes. Use this function to introduce your team, or perhaps the chef or to video a function that’s going on at the restaurant.
Think like your customer
This sounds very obvious but it’s an important thing to remember when it comes to your marketing. Successful marketing engages the reader and in order to make that happen you need to get into the mindset of who you are targeting. What do they want to see on your social media networks? Are you giving them reason to want to come to your restaurant? Are you speaking their language and offering them something they are interested in?
All your social media platforms should represent your brand and create a tone of voice that is reflected across each one. Your images should keep in line with your brand image and tone of voice should be how you want customers to hear you.
All the time that you are planning your social media strategy for your restaurant, you should have your customers in mind and aim to meet the needs that they are looking for.
Time your posts
Think about the time of day that your ideal customer will be online. Use the meal times as indicators of when to post. You could use these times as hashtags and invite people to retweet, i.e. #brunch #lunch #dinner.
If you’d like advice on how to manage your social media marketing for your restaurant, then get in touch and we can work with you to create the perfect marketing strategy to people buzzing about your business!