Owning and running a restaurant is a difficult task. Managing multiple activities on an almost daily recurring basis. Social media marketing for restaurants is an essential marketing strategy. You cannot ignore if you wish to be successful.
Social Media marketing for restaurants gives you the restaurant owner / manager the opportunity to show off your menu. With advances in camera technology it is now possible to show off your food and restaurant like never before. Social media also allows you to interact with your guests and to build a relationship with them. You can now easily and quickly build an audience of raving fans utilising social media. With the insight tools given by social media platforms you will know more about your audience than ever before. This will allow you to effectively target your audience through content and advertising where appropriate. Read on for my top tips on how to use social media marketing for restaurants.
Creating complete social media profiles is an essential element of social media marketing for your restaurant. You must have a Facebook Business Page for your restaurant. It must be complete with a description of your restaurant, opening hours, menu and a facility to book now. If you have multiple sites create and maintain a FB business page for each location. Examples of good restaurant business page and about page are included below:
Instagram is going to be one of your main social media presence. You must create a complete Instagram Page. Example below:
Twitter is another very useful social media channel for your restaurant. Although it won't necessarily be your main social media presence. It is a useful channel for building and extending your audience reach. Example of a good twitter below:
Creating good and complete social media profiles is not difficult. It just takes a bit of effort and attention to detail. Doing so will however show that you care about your overall image as restaurant. It will give your audience confidence in you and your restaurant.
Posting live video will get your audience to know, like and trust you. Below is a list of areas you want to create video content around.
Easiest and most powerful way to use video content is through a Facebook live. You don't need any fancy camera equipment a smartphone and a stand will suffice in most instances. Live broadcasts can be anything from a few minutes up to 10 minutes and must include a call to action in the live. If you are doing longer video content then a call to action should be repeated every couple of minutes.
Your call to action for your restaurant would be something like this. If you love the look of (insert dish name) and would love to sample our menu. Then give us a call to book your table now. Alternatively click the book now button in the top corner of the screen.
Live video content can then be re-purposed for other platforms like instagram and twitter and included in you website also.
Where you utilise high quality images instead of live video then you must tell the story of the image. What is the dish, why is it special. Then have a call to action similar to the above but in written form rather than video.
Your restaurant is part of the local community and as such you must engage with that community. Engagement can take many forms. You could be that you sponsor a local event. You could create a local event if there is not one to sponsor. If there are local events get involved contact the organisers. Offer to set up a stand at the event. Your options are limited only by your imagination. If you are struggling for inspiration use google to search for unusual holidays. Pick one that resonates with you and create an event around it. You will get publicity which equates to free advertising. You also get to reach new potential guests for your restaurant.
In social media marketing the use of #hashtags helps improve engagement and allows your content to be found by your audience. The audience you wish to entice to become your guest for the first time. #Hashtags made popular initially on twitter are now prevalent on Instagram and Facebook. In general terms on Twitter #hashtags should be kept to a minimum, where on instagram the use of #hashtags is not restricted as such.
Common #hashtags for a restaurant would be as follows:
#food, #foodie, #eats, #goodeats, #foodography, #delicious, #restaurants, #chef, #cooking, #yum, #instafood, #dinner, #lunch, #dessert
You can use whatever ones fit your own restaurant. Feel free to make a few up that are specific to your cuisine or restaurant. Be consistent in their use and you will reap benefits from greater engagement with your audience and more guests coming through your doors.
You have good social media profiles and you are encouraging your clients to leave reviews. In order to maintain your reputation you need to spend time each day monitoring your reputation and responding to reviews that you receive on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Foursquare etc. I wrote a recent article about Rank your restaurant in Google Maps which gives guidance on how to respond to reviews online and it is worth a read.
You should also register your restaurant name on google alerts so that you are alerted anytime your restaurant name is used and have the opportunity to review and respond to it where required.
In any geographic area there are influencers. Seek out an engage with influential people in food scene, these could be food or lifestyle bloggers. Local celebrities can also be very influential in getting new guests to your restaurant through exposure to large social media followings.
Identify the influencers who you wish to target and then reach out to them and invite them to your restaurant. After you have wowed them with your food and service ask them to post. review of your restaurant.
A great opportunity to create content and get social proof that your restaurant is a place worth visiting is to share guest generated content. Where your guests check in at your restaurant and create some content usually pictures. Then take that post and share it. It is great endorsement and when you share it you can also make an offer as described in Tip 2 Above. Not only giving you the opportunity to share some great pic or comments but also creating an offer in the process.
You can also encourage guest generated content by running contests to encourage guest generated content. You can even include a #hashtag campaign to encourage guests to generate content for you.
Above I have given you 7 Tips on how to use social media marketing for your restaurant. If you have found this useful please share the content with people you think may find it useful.
If you want to learn how we could help you with your social media marketing for your restaurant then email me using the link below and we can have a short phone call to explore whether we would be a good fit to work together.
George Wells IEng FIHE is an author, consultant and coach. Author of 107 Marketing and Lead Generation Tips to Turbocharge Your Business in 60 Days or Less. Nomad currently travelling slowly in Mexico. George is the founder of George Wells Marketing and is to help restaurant owners get more guests, have them spend more in their restaurant and get them to come back more often