If you think that social media for restaurants is unnecessary, think again. Long gone are the days of bringing in hungry customers because of a great marquee sign or from your store’s coupons in the Sunday paper.
Nowadays, it’s vital for successful restaurants to have and maintain a healthy, active social media presence.
If you find yourself handling the marketing for a food and bev business, or you’re wanting some information on the correct steps to take for developing an online presence for your restaurant, use these five steps to get started on the right track.
Show off the goods
If people are following your brand on social, there’s a good chance they’ve either previously dined there, or have heard about your restaurant from someone else. Remind the people of what you have to offer. Make them salivate over your freshly smoked BBQ while they’re pretending to pay attention in their staff meetings, or strategically plan your happy hour post after the lunch hour when your audience is counting down the minutes ‘til 5:00. The old saying might state that the eyes are the window to the soul, but they’re really the expressway to your stomach. Use that in your favor.
…but don’t only post pictures of food
However, there is a fine balance to maintain in your content calendar. Sure, posting about delicious dishes will help entice the user to swing by for lunch, but you have to keep your audience entertained. Only posting about one topic will plummet your engagement. Switch things up: show off some company news, involvement in the community, or spotlight a staff member. It helps keep the news feed not so monotonous.
Blog consistently about different topics
You may be questioning me here, but blogging is essential for all brands, restaurants included. To start off, aim for some easy topics, such as the story behind a family recipe, or how the restaurant came to be. As you develop your arsenal of articles, branch out. For our client Edley’s Bar-B-Que, their motto is “A Tribute To All Things Southern,” which opens up a realm of possibilities within their content. They like to showcase the greatest things about living in the South, and we use that when we blog. From developing a series of must-see events for the month in Nashville, to providing content for brides knee deep planning their weddings, we don’t restrict our blogging brains to brisket.
Interact with your followers
As social media for restaurants gain in popularity, so will the trend of customers posting pictures of their meals online. Make it a habit to daily scroll through your notifications and engage with these posts. Not only does it reaffirm the customer’s loyalty with a post-visit positive experience, but now, you’ve encouraged them to keep snapping pics every time they come and see you. And yeah, you can totally share those photos (as long as you credit the user). It’s also extremely important to monitor your channels for the sake of customer service. Don’t think of these platforms as an open window for people to negatively review your restaurant. See it as an extra way to resolve any negative experiences, as well as a way to gain insight into all parts of your business.
Don’t be scared to make an ask
Feel restricted in your posts because you can only come up with so many puns and song references? It’s perfectly acceptable to encourage your audience to come visit your restaurant – that is the ultimate goal for your marketing plan, right? As with every good thing in life, it must be done in moderation. Draft out your posts with a percentage of content types in mind; consider only post about your most popular special one day a week, and have the rest of your posts be a healthy mix of fan generated content, original photos and videos, as well as blog content.
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