Do you run or own a bar, pub or restaurant? If you’re not using social media – or using it to its full potential – effective social media marketing is the best place to start.
Adding social media into the mix of your marketing plans will have a huge impact on your business. Social media is a must in order to reach a wider audience and increase awareness of your brand.
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!
Most people have a personal Facebook profile and many use Facebook as a search tool to find reviews or to ask for recommendations for bars or restaurants local to them. With that in mind, you want your Facebook Page to look appealing!
Ensure that your cover photo shows the business in its best light and that it’s changed regularly – this could be a picture of the bar or restaurant itself, a popular dish or drink you offer or information about upcoming events.
Ensure the cover photo is the correct size. The recommended dimensions for a Facebook Cover image are 820 x 360 and you should keep all graphics, text and logos in the middle to avoid them being cropped out on mobile.
The same goes for the profile image (dimensions should be set at 360 x 360 pixels). All these can be created free and easily within Canva – a program that we love here at South Coast Social!
Use lots of high-quality photos! Food and/or drink is what you are selling so it needs to look good. Take some snaps of nicely prepared meals or drinks and upload them to your Facebook feed, with a comment inviting people to try the different options on your menu. You could also ask your potential customers what they would like to see on the menu – start a conversation!
Instagram is widely used by bars, pubs and restaurants because it’s a really visual, creative platform. It’s the ideal place to be to sharing your dishes and drinks – whether that’s a romantic dinner for two, meeting up with the girls for cocktails in the evening or watching the football with a burger and a pint.
Make the most of Instagram Stories. Video content is a very effective way for people to hear about your restaurant and to see behind-the-scenes. You can be really creative here with GIFs, Polls and Questions. Use this function to introduce your team, to show what’s happening behind the scenes or to promote upcoming events. You should also share news and deals here and you can pin them to your profile Highlights if they’re ongoing.
When it comes to posts on the main Instagram feed, using hashtags is a great way to increase brand awareness. Top tip – eleven is the magic number, apparently!
What hashtags should I be using?
- 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. This includes Awareness Days and weeks like #BritishPieWeek and #DrinkWineDay.
- 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 when they are engaging with your campaign.
Getting engagement: offers, deals, contests and reviews
As mentioned previously, people are searching social media for recommendations for local venues. Ask your followers to leave a review on your Facebook or TripAdvisor page and share the best ones as posts!
Make sure you take the time to respond to these and any comments/customer queries, as soon as you can.
Why not entice potential customers even more by offering them something as a reward for coming along? This could be in the form of a discount on their next meal if they ‘like’ your post or ‘check in’.
You can also use your social media channels to promote current food or drinks deals. Use contests on your Facebook Page to create hype about your bar or restaurant. This increases the reach of your audience as friends of friends will see your Page when people start to like and share your Posts and tag each other.
Social Media Advertising for Bars, Pubs and Restaurants
Many people get scared when they think about the cost of Social Media Advertising, but when it’s performed correctly with a set budget, it can be extremely effective.
Facebook and Instagram advertising allows you to target people geographically, which is ideal for restaurants as you can target the people that live or work nearby, or those who have an interest in the area. Speak to us if this is something that you’d like to explore!
Think like your customer – keep it on brand
This sounds very obvious but it’s an important thing to remember when it comes to your marketing. What do they want to see on your social media networks? Are you giving them reason to want to come to your bar, pub or 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 too.
Time your posts
Finally, think about the time of day that your ideal customer will be online. Predict when they’ll be planning what to eat or where to go out that evening and post for then. Examples would be using #brunch or posting about your lunch menu around 11AM, or sharing drinks deals mid-afternoon on a Friday.
If you’d like advice on how to manage your social media marketing for your bar, pub or restaurant, then get in touch and we can work with you to create the perfect marketing strategy to people buzzing about your business!Facebook Advertising, Facebook marketing, Instagram Stories, online marketing, restaurants online, social media marketing, Why restaurants should use social media