There are more than 2 billion active social media users around the world, updating statuses, sharing photos of family and friends, watching videos, reading the news and even interacting with businesses. According to Modern Restaurant Management, 63% of restaurants in 2018 used social media as a primary marketing strategy. With social media as prevalent as it is today, it’s one of the easiest marketing avenues to utilize for your business, and it costs little to no money to have these accounts.
Below are six easy-to-follow social media marketing tips and ideas for your restaurant.
1) Utilize Multiple Social Media Platforms
With the myriad of social media platforms available today, it’s important that your restaurant has space on these. Having accounts on multiple social media platforms allows you to reach and engage with a wide range of your audience so that they can access the same information no matter where they visit. However, it’s important to note that if you have social media accounts on various platforms, you should be active on all of them equally, so pick and choose which platforms you utilize so you can best manage your time on each one.
2) Share Photos and Videos Often
Show the people what they want to see! Share pictures of every aspect of your restaurant on your social media pages, from your food, to the atmosphere, the staff and decor. You can even share fun behind-the-scenes posts, like a video of your chefs creating a new dish, your bartenders inventing a new drink or your staff participating in team spirit activities. Additionally, if you have a nice outdoor patio or large banquet room, share a picture of it and illustrate how you’re establishing safe social distancing practices to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Posting photos and videos often demonstrates your commitment to transparency, since many prospective customers rely on social media to find new places to eat.
3) Give Regular Updates on Events, News and Important Announcements
Informing your customers on what’s going on is easy to do on your social media accounts. These platforms are perfect for letting your audience know about opening and closing times, events you’re hosting, restaurant-related news, new menu items and more. It’s also crucial to share what you are doing inside and out to keep customers and staff safe, and displaying this information on social media makes it accessible to anyone. For example: if you’re switching to a carry-out or curbside pickup system, make sure your customers know well in advance by posting it on social media days or weeks leading up to the launch of this new service.
4) Include Your Staff on Posts
Regulars like to get to know the staff at their favorite restaurant, so sharing some photos, stories and fun tidbits about your crew will make your place feel more familiar and comfortable. Examples of staff-related posts include celebrating an anniversary, showcasing community service involvement, team building exercises and highlighting staff-favorites from the menu. Showcasing your staff also demonstrates that you value them as employees and what they have to say, which will shine through to your followers.
5) Post and Respond to Reviews
Whether it’s on Facebook, Yelp or beyond, interacting with reviews is crucial not only for your business but also your social media presence. Spotlight your positive reviews, and show your appreciation while also attempting to resolve the issue for any not-so-great reviews. Not only does this show your online community that you care, but also that you’re open to receiving constructive criticism and are willing to work with all your customers at providing the best experience.
6) Encourage Engagement
Social media is all about engagement: the more people like, share, and comment on your content, the stronger your social footprint will be. Encourage engagement from your followers to vote for upcoming weekend specials, or inviting them to share food photos are great ways to get your customers to interact with your posts. Another great way to interact with customers is to create polls or mini competitions to get them involved, like deciding on next week’s specialty drink or raffling off vouchers and gift cards.
Once you utilize these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a community both online and off-line.