Here are our tips on effective social media marketing for restaurants. Take these steps to reform your social media marketing strategy and observe how many more bottoms you get on seats.
Why should I use social media to market my restaurant?
Social media is a great (and free!) way of generating awareness for your business. Social media allows you to reach potential customers, share new menus and announce up-coming events. It also provides a way for your to respond directly to any questions a visitor may have. If you’ve got a website that allows bookings, you can also utilise social media to drive traffic to your website.
According to upserve, 90% of guest research a restaurant online before dining, so it makes sense for your business to be as visible online as possible.
How can I use social media to market my restaurant?
1. Get creative with content
When online social media users enjoy a business’s content and can find the information they’re looking for, they’re much more likely to become regular customers.
Try to create content that will enable audiences to feel part of your online community, creating this sense of community can help build up a base of regular, returning customers.
Some content ideas for restaurants include:
- Behind-the-scenes videos or sneak peaks
- Interactive content such as Q&A’s or polls which invites your audience to participate (e.g. If we were to run themed nights, which cuisine would you want to try first?)
- Informative content such as how-to’s (e.g., how to recreate your own club sandwich)
- People-focused content such as staff spotlights (e.g. ‘waiter of the week,’)
- Customer experiences or user-generated content – such as customer snapshots of your food – builds your social proof and strengthens your business’ reputation.
Use different visuals and graphics such as infographics, video, carousels, reels, IGTV, lives – mix it up and keep your content as creative as your cooking. Have a look at our imaginative and fun video marketing ideas.
2. Showcase your brand personality and voice through social media to connect with the right customers and audiences
Again, social media provides a platform for businesses like restaurants to really show off their brand’s personality and voice. Your brand persona should be reflected in the content you output, by being relatable and recognisable as a brand, you will build an engaged, loyal following and customer base.
So, for example, if you are a lively, laid-back Italian restaurant, you want your energy and informality to be reflected in your online social media content.
Have a look at how larger, well-known restaurant brands who are successful on social media use their personality in their content – whilst Nandos and Zizzi may be large chains, their creative Instagram content not only appeals to their target audience and shows off their fun and humorous brand personas, but they’ve also positioned and established themselves on a social platform their target customers heavily use.
Anyone, regardless of business size, can do this – the power is at your fingertips! Find out more about successfully establishing and using your business personality and voice.
3. Invest in the right social media channels
Social channels can put your business in front of thousands of users, but you’ll want to make sure those users are the right demographic for your business.
For instance, if you’re a restaurant that specialises in more economical eats, or you want to draw attention to your student discount, you might want to utilise the power of TikTok to help you reach your ideal audience and get them engaging with your brand.
On the other hand, if you’re a more traditional, a-la-carte style restaurant you might have more success showcasing your show-stopping dishes on Facebook or Instagram.
The easiest way to determine which social channels could be the most effective is to take a look at what channels your biggest competitors use the most. Whilst you’re looking at your competitors, why not take a look at their content and what seems to get the most engagement from their followers? This could help inform the social content for your own restaurant.
4. Find out what your customers want from you by starting conversations
The more you encourage interaction and engagement on social media, the larger your audience reach is going to be, and the more success you’re going to have.
Social media is a wonderful, quick-fire way to get customer feedback and suggestions without asking them to fill in surveys or complete other time-consuming tasks and doing so also wil increase your social media engagement rates.
Tried and tested engagement strategies for social media include regular, consistent posting, replying to all comments and messages, liking and sharing content, collaborating, tagging, and using plenty of user-generated content.
5. Drive website traffic and increase website conversions
If you have a booking system on your restaurant’s website (which we hope you do!), you might want to execute a social media campaign that works specifically towards the objective of driving online visitors to your website.
You can send online users to a landing page of your choice – such as your restaurant reservations and booking page – and track how many conversions have come about as a result of your social media web clicks advertising campaign.
Make sure you build campaign tracking UTMs so you can see which social media platforms drive the most clicks to your website booking system in your Google Analytics or website analytics data.
6. Collaborate with the right influencers and creators
Social media collaboration is a great way to reach a wider audience. By connecting and working with social media food gurus, you will expand your audience reach and promote your restaurant to new customers. Invite a food content influencer to take over your profiles or eat in your restaurant to raise your online profile.
Collaborate with an influencer or online creator only if their audience will be of use to you – if you’re a local, independent restaurant in a Northern town, a London-based influencer might get you more exposure but those followers might not necessarily want to make the long journey to your restaurant.
7. Encourage reviews on social media
Use social media to encourage customers to leave reviews whilst also sharing your existing ones. Not only does doing so bulk up your content generation, it contributes towards your reputation and builds social proof. Could you provide an incentive to get your customers to leave one?
Ensure you build a Google My Business profile also to boost your SEO and presence on SERPs.
8. Have accessible FAQ sections on your social profiles
Bring everything from your website to your socials for ease of access. If you cover everything from wheelchair and pram accessibility to dietary allergens all within one easy, accessible section on each of your social media profiles, not only will you reduce online queries, giving you more time to cook top-notch grub, you are also giving potential customers everything they need in one place – making them more likely to convert.
Whenever you receive a new question from a potential customer, respond immediately and then create a new piece of content featuring it for your FAQ section, so that your FAQ sections are constantly expanding and helping potential customers.
9. Run an incentive for user-generated content
By giving customers who have visited your restaurant and have left reviews or shared posts, images or videos about it on social media something to thank them (whether that’s a small discount when they next return or an additional loyalty card point, for example) not only are you building conversation and boosting content around your business, you’re giving existing customers a reason to promote you online!
If you would like further advice on how to market your restaurant on social media or through other means, please message us and we will be happy to help.