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.

Content and social media marketing for restaurants

  1. Retarget online users who have not converted into customers

Retargeting allows you to serve your adverts to users who interacted with your campaigns previously yet did not complete a conversion. Retargeting is powerful – consumers are 70% more likely to convert with retargeting.

Setting up a retargeting campaign on social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram in conjunction with an existing social brand awareness or lead generation campaign will place your business back in front of the eyes and on the screens of potential customers.

Consistent, regular messaging is imperative for driving brand awareness and building your business’s recognisability.

You can also use Lookalike audiences when doing a targeted Facebook Ad campaign to find new customers who match your existing audience profiles.

2. Set up conversion tracking

Social media advertising and marketing allows brands to set up conversion tracking, meaning they can measure their marketing and content efforts and see how many – and which – conversions a marketing campaign generated. Having access to social media analytics helps you learn what works and what does not and is the core part of any marketing strategy.

You should track conversions such as menu downloads, table reservations, emails, and phone calls.

As well as conversion tracking, you should have a CRM system such as Client Centre to track and nurture your business leads.

3. Be more creative on social media

Don’t repeat or use boring, generic content, such as stock imagery that lacks personality.

When online social media users enjoy a business’s content and are invited to interact with it, they’re much more likely to become regular customers.

Content ideas for restaurants include that which is based on evoking inclusivity, to enable audiences to feel part of your online community, meaning they’re more likely to set foot through your doors. Ideas for doing so include behind-the-scenes videos or sneak peaks, or 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) and entertaining content (e.g. which pudding are you?) adds value, and human, 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.

4. 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, no matter what size their business, can do this – the power is at your fingertips! Find out more about successfully establishing and using your business personality and voice.

5. Invest in the right social media channels

Let’s take an Jamaican eaterie and cocktail bar appealing to Gen-Z and millennials. They might want to use Snapchat and TikTok to showcase their fun, anything goes brand to a young and youthful audience.

An up-market, more expensive and traditional British a-la-carte restaurant appealing to Baby Boomers would be better suited to Facebook, a platform where they are likelier to reach their desired demographics.

Find out which social media channels are right for your business.

6. 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.

7. Drive website traffic and increase website conversions

If you have a booking system – which we hope you do! – on your restaurant’s website, 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.

8. Collaborate with the right influencers and creators

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 won’t convert into paying customers.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.