How Restaurants Use Social Media: 15 Top Tips For You
Here’s an excellent example of how restaurants use social media:
Back in 2011, while bored at an airport Peter Shankman asked Morton’s Steakhouse via Twitter to deliver a porterhouse steak at the Newark airport where he was to land in a few hours. Little did he know that the folks at Morton’s Steakhouse took his request very seriously. When arriving at the Newark airport, Peter was welcomed by Morton’s crew with a huge Porterhouse steak, potatoes, shrimp, and bread. A delicious meal, for free.
The moral of this story is simple: social media is a driving source that has changed the way restaurants conduct their business. Savvy restaurants owners are using social media channels to promote their business, attract new customers, get reviews, and connect with clients on a deeper level.
However, building and maintaining an effective social media strategy and narrowing down the conversation into a positive sentiment are no easy tasks. A negative review can translate into lost dollars, so plenty of restaurants owners shy away from social channels.
It needn’t be like that. In this article, we’re going to show you how restaurants use social media to attract customers and build their business.
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- Create A Facebook Fan Page
A lot of restaurant owners don’t see the potential Facebook has for their business. They treat it as a distraction – something that kids do for fun. But, Facebook is one of the most efficient channels you have, to promote your business. You can use it to engage with your customers, promote certain events, or bring people together. For instance, you can join (or create) a relevant Facebook group and start a dialogue with your fans. If you haven’t done so already, click on the following link to create a Facebook page for your restaurant.
- Encourage Customers To Check-In On Facebook.
Whenever a customer checks-in on Facebook, your restaurant’s name is displayed for the customer’s friends to see. There’s no denying that this kind of exposure can benefit your business. The only question is how do you get customers to check in? For some customers, all you need to do is remind them to check in. However, there are moments when you need to do more to boost engagement. A great practice would be to offer some incentive, such as exclusive discounts and deals. For instance, you can offer a gift or 10% off for those who demonstrate that they’ve checked in.
- Post Engaging Content Every Day To Your Facebook Page
Imagine that your favourite TV show stopped airing for a few weeks just because the producers were too busy and completely forgot about it. You wouldn’t be too happy, right? Some of your most loyal fans might feel the same way. Try to post engaging content on Facebook at least once a day, such as custom and curated content featuring your food photos, behind the scene photos and so on.
- Aim To Get The “Very Responsive To Messages” Badge On Your Facebook Page
A restaurant’s interactions with their Facebook followers speaks volume to how much they care about their customers. If they don’t bother answering any questions or requests, it shows that they are not truly interested in providing a great service. By getting the “Very Responsive To Messages” badge on your Facebook page, you are letting your customers know that you care about their opinions, interests, and needs.
- Use Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising for restaurants gives you the possibility to target a very specific niche audience. If you run a restaurant, you can target your ads to be seen only by people in a particular geographic location. You can also try to get to those interested in the kind of food you are serving, such as Indian, Italian or Thai.
- Always Responds To Any Engagement On All Your Social Media Networks
A lack of responsiveness is one of the most common mistakes restaurant owners are guilty of. I’m not suggesting that you should answer to every spam message or every comment that you receive, but you should at least try to engage with those who ask you questions, praise your eatery or complain about your services.
- Use High-Quality Images For Both, Facebook Posts And Tweets
We humans are visual beings. Studies have shown that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text. So it should go without saying that the images you post on your Facebook and Twitter account should be of great quality. However, make sure that they are relevant to your brand message. If you are a gourmet restaurant, don’t post photos of young adults eating burgers.
- Create A Twitter Account And Tweet At Least Twice A Day
Another great lesson about how restaurants use social media is that you need to be active on Twitter and post at least twice a day, regardless of how busy you are. Create a posting schedule and stick to it. To save time, you can write a week’s worth of tweets ahead of time and schedule them using apps like Buffer or Hootsuite or our free social media management dashboard.
- Claim Your Google+ Page
Although most of your customers spend their time on Facebook and Instagram, a huge opportunity lies in creating and claiming your Google Plus page. A Google-friendly profile will make your restaurant searchable. As a result, when people look for certain types of restaurants on Google, your business might show up high in search results. If you have not claimed a Google page for your business yet, you can do so via the following link Get Your Free Business Listing on Google.
- Claim Your TripAdvisor Page
What’s the first thing you do when you are in a new city? Most probably you grab your phone and look for the best restaurants and bars in that area. That’s why it’s crucial to claim your TripAdvisor page. As the world’s largest travel site, people use TripAdvisor to check restaurants, hotels, museums and so on. TripAdvisor has the power to make or break a restaurant, so building up positive reviews is absolutely crucial for the success of your restaurant business. If you have yet to claim a page on TripAdvisor for your restaurant, you can do so via the following link List your Business On TripAdvisor.
- Monitor All Review Sites Daily and Respond Accordingly
If you ever wondered how restaurants use social media effectively, you must learn that they spend a lot of time monitoring each platform. Reviews, comments, and ratings are a powerful source of information that can make or break your restaurant. That’s why it’s important to take the time to scan review sites, such as TripAdvisor, Google Plus, Facebook, Yelp and other similar pages, read comments and identify problems before they snowball.
- Create a YouTube Channel and Publish High-Quality Videos
Video has become an essential part of any reputable company’s social media strategy. Studies have shown that people who watch a video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase a product than those who don’t. So, why not use this powerful medium to your advantage? You can create a YouTube channel and post recipes or take customers behind the scenes and show them how your chefs create the dishes they love so much.
- Create an Instagram Account and Share High-Quality Photos
Once your Instagram profile is up, make sure to share quality photos that will persuade followers to engage with you. Post photos of your best dishes, of your employees in action or of customers enjoying your meals. Only post high-quality images, this is essential, and a step that will be key for the success of your restaurant’s Instagram account, as well as, your actual business itself. People eat with their eyes and badly taken photos published to a restaurant’s Instagram account will do more harm than good. Select your photos wisely before publishing them for the world to see. Only post the best photos which have been taken with a high-quality camera. Poorly light, framed or shot photos will simply not do the dish or the restaurant justice. Follow this golden rule for all social networks, not just Instagram, and you are sure to grow a healthy fan base across your social media accounts.
- Create a Pinterest Account and Share High-Quality Photos
Another great way to drive online engagement for your restaurant is to set up a Pinterest page and start creating boards. You can create a menu item board, recipe board, special events board or even an inspirational quotes board. Make sure to also include some text with your pins to encourage people to share them. To drive traffic back to your website from Pinterest, be sure to include the associated link to your website in your Pinterest post. For example, if your post features an item off your menu, then include a link back to the same dish on your menu. Keep user experience in mind when adding links to your posts, as users will not like clicking on a link that does not relate to the content they have just been viewing on your Pinterest board.
- Schedule Your Content to Automatically Publish to Your Social Media Accounts and Use #Hashtags
Automation tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer allows you to schedule social media content, weeks in advance. You can also schedule content to your social networks via our free social media management dashboard as feature below. However, that doesn’t mean that you can set your posts and forget about them for the rest of the month. You can automate content curation and regular posts, such as articles, quotes, words of wisdom, and so on. Also, find a way to remain included in the conversation, respond to comments and messages, and make prospects feel like they are talking with a real person not an impersonal restaurant brand.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to use trendy but relevant hashtags to make it easier for people to find your posts.
Social media is becoming a tool that customers regularly use when deciding where to eat. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a necessity for restaurant owners who want to attract new customers and grow their business.
Free Social Media Management Dashboard For Restaurants
The self serve version of the dashboard is completely free to use. Simply create a free account via the blue button. Once logged in, restaurants are able to create posts and schedule them to publish to their social media accounts. The dashboard is an easy to use tool that allows centralised control of major social networks. The pro version provides clear statistics presented as a set of interactive graphs and charts. Content performance statistics include your most successful posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can find out which content performs the best and generates the most clicks. (Clicks can be broken down further to see which network provides the most and at which time and what day.) You can find out what your top #hashtags on Facebook versus Twitter. There are even powerful search tools, allowing the user to find curated content to publish, such as videos, topical news and trending content.
Click on the blue button to get your free social media management dashboard and start scheduling content to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts today!
Need Help Creating and Scheduling Content To Engage Your Target Audience?
If you would like us to create engaging content for your social media accounts to help promote your restaurant across the major social networks, Facebook and/or Twitter to attract new customers and widen brand awareness, contact us today.
Click on the following link to get more details about our Social Media Management Services.
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