The Complete Social Media for Restaurants Guide

Daniel Kelly

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About 73% of small businesses are already investing in social media marketing. Another 95% have already increased their marketing budgets.

With COVID-19 still a threat, you need a way to reach customers. Otherwise, they might not keep your restaurant top-of-mind. With social media for restaurants, you can reach, engage, and attract people to your doors!

It's not enough to start posting pictures online, though. Instead, you need a strong social media strategy that keeps your patrons in mind.

Here are the 11 delicious restaurant social media tips you need for sweet success. With these tips, you can stand out from other restaurants online. Then, you can attract more hungry customers and boost your business!

Start staying social with these 11 easy tips today.

1. Know Your Social Media Goals

Before you rush to post on Instagram or Facebook, take a second to consider your business goals. What are you hoping to accomplish with social media marketing?

Establish goals that align with your overall business goals. For example, do you want to:

  • Generate brand awareness to reach new customers
  • Educate customers about your quality ingredients and recipes
  • Let customers know you're creating a safe environment in light of COVID
  • Engage with customers online
  • Generate feedback from customers
  • Increase online orders
  • Boost brand trust and loyalty
  • Generate online reservations

Once you determine your goals, you can choose the social media strategies that will help you achieve those goals. For example, do you want to educate your customers about the ingredients you use? Give them a behind-the-scenes look.

You can show customers you choose local, pesticide-free, organic ingredients.

Do you want to generate more reservations or online orders? You can use pay-per-click ads to drive traffic to your website.

Establishing your goals will help you use social media for restaurants effectively. Otherwise, you could waste valuable time with ineffective strategies.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Once you determine your goals, take the time to gather some research.

First, determine who your customers are based on demographics and psychographics. For example, you can consider their:

  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Household income
  • Buying behaviours
  • Interests
  • Pain points

Do you offer fine dining and high-priced dishes? You might want to focus on people who generate a higher household income.

Are you a family-friendly restaurant? Focus your marketing efforts on parents and kids.

Understanding your target market will help you create content they care about. Otherwise, you'll fail to personalise your content. Your posts won't connect with your audience, making it more difficult for you to accomplish your goals.

Learn about how people behave at your restaurant, too. For example:

  • Do the customers prefer quality over quantity (or vice versa)?
  • Are people interested in your specials? Which ones?
  • Do regular customers stick with certain menu items? Which ones?
  • Do people come to your restaurant to unwind, or for special occasions?

You can create a survey to learn more about your customers.

3. Consider Each Platform

The average American has about 7.1 social media accounts. There are now over 3.5 billion active social media users globally. However, not every platform is the same.

If you want to make the most of your social media strategy, prioritise platforms based on your target audience. Which platform do your customers use most? Where do they spend most of their time?

You don't need to stretch yourself thin by creating an account on every platform. Instead, choose one to three platforms that will help you reach your target audience.

For example, are you trying to reach an older crowd? Focus on Facebook. If you want to reach younger patrons, use TikTok and Instagram.

Look at the features each social media platform offers, too. Which features will help you accomplish your goals?

4. Optimise Your Profiles

Take the time to fill out your profiles with the necessary information. Don't forget to include your contact information, website, and hours. Make it easy for people to find the information they need.

If it's too much of a hassle, people might not reach out to you.

Do you have multiple locations? Let people know!

If you're using Facebook for restaurants, make sure to set up multiple locations on your account. Facebook has simplified the process for you. Adding multiple locations to your accounts will help you reach local customers.

Each location will have its own subpage and link to the main location. You can:

  • Easily promote location-specific many specials
  • Reshare content between pages
  • Gather location-specific reviews

You can even create location-based Facebook and Instagram ads in the future.

5. Create Relevant, Engaging Content

Once you have your pages set up, it's time to create your restaurant social media posts! It's important to create posts that appeal to your customers. Otherwise, they'll scroll right by.

Think about the different posts you want to create, including photos, stories, and videos. When creating posts, it's important to consider your goals. Instead of constantly promoting your restaurant, focus on engagement.

Promotional posts can scare people away. These posts focus on dishes, products, and discounts.

You don't have to spend all your time on social media talking about yourself. Instead, focus on the customers.

If you plan on creating promotional posts, remain creative. Use product placement that doesn't focus on the product. For example, you can show a picture of friends having fun at a table.

The post can focus on the atmosphere you create, not your dishes.

Make sure to post high-quality, stunning social media photos. Grainy photos won't appeal to hungry customers.

Try to go live, too.

Videos on social media generate 1,200% more shares than text or image posts. In 2020, live streaming accounted for 82% of all online traffic.

Use live videos to generate excitement and engagement. Answer questions and get the customer's opinion about your dishes, too.

Otherwise, post user-generated content (UGC). Share posts from the people who love your restaurant and dishes. UGC will help build brand trust and loyalty.

6. Time It Right

As you start using social media for restaurants, consider your timing. The best time to post can vary based on your audience.

When does your restaurant open? Try to post around your business hours.

As you start posting, review your analytics. What time and day generates the most engagement on your posts? Schedule your posts accordingly to generate even more engagement in the future.

7. Use Location-Based Advertising

Location-based advertising will help you reach locals within a certain radius. If you plan on using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, have a plan. You'll pay for each click on your ads.

The costs can add up if you don't have experience with PPC advertising. Consider hiring a social media marketing expert for help.

As you create your ads, make sure to use a strong, compelling call-to-action. What action do you want people to complete? Do you want them to order online or make a reservation?

Have a dedicated landing page on your website for these campaigns. Make sure your landing page and ad language match. That way, customers will remain focused every step of the way.

8. Post Contests, Deals, and Incentives

Remember, you'll need to remain innovative and creative with your social media strategy. Plenty of other restaurants are already online. You'll need a way to stand out.

Try posting contests on your social media feeds. Creative contests can boost engagement. Meanwhile, you can get your followers to promote your restaurant for you.

Tell your followers to share a post of their favourite dish online. Make sure they tag you and use a branded hashtag. A branded hashtag will help other followers find your content.

Think about your prizes, too. What will encourage people to participate?

You can offer a free meal, coupons, or a branded t-shirt.

Use social media to share exclusive deals, too. Let people know your deals are exclusive to your followers. Your followers will feel special, which can encourage loyalty.

Look for other ways to incentivise your followers, too.

For example, you can offer freebies to customers when they check-in on social media using Facebook or Swarm. When they check-in, their friends will see it. Then, you can boost brand awareness!

9. Demonstrate Authenticity

As you start using these social media strategy tips, it's important to remain authentic. Otherwise, customers might not connect with your brand. Inclusivity is important as well.

Remain honest and authentic with your followers. Show them behind-the-scenes photos or share insider information. For example, you can announce an employee anniversary or talk about your secret recipe.

Show followers what your team is up to as well. For example, do you volunteer in the community? What local vendors do you work with?

A behind-the-scenes look into your restaurant can make you look real in front of customers.

10. Collaborate

You're not in this alone! Try collaborating with other local restaurants and chefs. You can even encourage a little friendly competition with a cook-off.

Consider working with social media influencers, too. Influencers already have loyal followers. They can spread the word about your business to boost awareness.

11. Analyse and Optimise

As you use these tips, take the time to analyse your efforts. Which strategies are working? Which fall flat?

Then, make changes to your social media strategy to increase engagement!

Social Media for Restaurants: 11 Tips for a Tasty Strategy

It's time to spice things up! With social media for restaurants, you can generate awareness and draw in new customers. Fill your dining room and start cooking up a storm with these easy tips today!

Is your social media marketing strategy falling flat? Not sure what's wrong?

Contact us today for a free social media audit.

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