How To Promote Your Restaurant On Social Media

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Did you know…

80% of consumers search online before visiting a restaurant for the first time and 88% will go the same day they did the search? This means that people are influenced by online reviews and the information they find on restaurant websites and their social media platforms.

If you are not convinced yet, keep reading why social media marketing should be part of your restaurant marketing strategy.

How Does Social Media Marketing Help Restaurants?

Building a Strong Brand Image

With social media, restaurants have the opportunity to showcase their food and atmosphere in real time. Through photos, videos, and customer reviews, diners can get a better feel for your establishment before they step inside. A solid social media presence builds trust with potential customers and increases brand awareness, which translates into more visits to your restaurant.


Picture from:
ezcater.com

Connecting with Customers

Want to get feedback on your restaurant? Your social media profile makes it easy. You can ask customers what they think of your offer, pricing, menu, or service. This allows you to understand how people perceive your establishment and make any necessary changes to improve the customer experience even before they actually enter your restaurant.

Improving Customer Service

Booking tables, taking delivery orders, and responding to customer inquiries can be time consuming, especially if your restaurant is busy. Social media can streamline these processes for you, making it easier to deliver better customer service and create a more satisfying experience for your customers.

Creating a Solid Marketing Channel

Restaurant social media accounts can form a so-called tube for your restaurant’s marketing and advertising efforts. Whether it’s a special event, promotion, or new menu item, social media is the perfect platform to spread the word about it.

And it’s social media channels that people will often turn to first when they want to find more information about your restaurant. That gives you another reason to keep your socials up to date when managing a restaurant business.

Targeting a Precise Group

Many local restaurants are rather small, but you can expand your reach beyond your area with the aid of social media. You can leverage social media platforms to target people from a specific demographic region who are more likely to become customers. Or, you can capitalize on being a local business and focus on building relationships with the local community in your city or district. Both tactics work.

What Social Media Platforms Are Best for Restaurants?

With a plethora of available social media platforms, it can be difficult to decide which ones are the best for restaurant social media marketing.

We have found Yelp, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to be most effective .

Yelp for Restaurants

Whether or not you claim your profile, your restaurant will likely end up on Yelp, so it’s better to actually monitor your restaurant reviews. Since people go to Yelp to read reviews and find information, make sure your restaurant’s information (such as hours, phone number, website, and location) is up to date.

As a review site, make sure you respond to both positive and negative customer reviews. Responding to positive reviews builds loyalty, and people are more likely to forgive a negative review if they see that your business took efforts to make up for the bad experience.

Here is what you should feature on your restaurant’s Yelp page to make the most of it:

  • Make-a-Reservation Button – This allows people to reserve their spot without having to navigate away from your Yelp page.
  • Up-to-Date Information – Make sure your address, hours, contact information, and website are up to date.
  • Menu – Include a link to your full menu.
  • Popular Dishes – Feature attractive photos of your best-selling dishes and their prices.
  • Staged Images – This ensures there are good photos of your food.
  • Customer Responses – They can earn loyalty from fans and put out fires with patrons who have had negative experiences.

Yelp connect allows you to highlight the unique features of your restaurant. This could be menu updates, new delivery options, new features, or new brunch hours. Post timely updates like seasonal offerings, holiday hours, and live events.

You don’t need to post on Yelp as regularly as other social media pages. Just give patrons ample time to plan for any events advertised. Post weekly specials a day before they begin so guests can plan to visit your restaurant while they’re available.

Instagram for Restaurants

Instagram marketing is a great way for restaurants to engage with their customers since food is the most popular thing to post on the platform. Many millennials and Gen Z-ers check a restaurant’s Instagram page before making a reservation. The brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text, so, as the most visual social media platform, Instagram, is a powerful tool for relaying information.

Here is what you should feature on your restaurant’s Instagram Account to make the most of it:

  • Bio – Your Instagram bio should clearly explain your brand, just as a Linkedin bio would but with a lighter, more creative tone.
  • Saved Story Highlights – Save and appropriately label story highlights to your profile that showcases pertinent information like recurring events and happy hour specials.
  • Consistent Aesthetic – Your restaurant Instagram profile should follow a theme and tell a visual story. Keep your filters and editing processes consistent for all your posts. You can use an Instagram app to check how your posts will look alongside each other before posting.
  • Online Ordering – Allows customers to place online orders from your Instagram account by adding an Order-Food button to your profile or a Food Orders sticker to an Instagram story.
What Are the Best Times to Post On Instagram?

The best times for a restaurant to post on Instagram are mealtimes or in the later evening when people have time to scroll. Post on your Instagram page at 9am, between 12 and 1pm, and 8pm.

How Often Should I Post on Instagram?

Post three evenly spaced Instagram stories a day. Measure your analytics and post them around popular viewing times for your target audience. Make at least two Instagram posts a week.

Image from: postplanner.com

Facebook for Restaurants

Facebook is a guest platform for restaurants targeting a slightly older market. It isn’t as aesthetic as other platforms, so you don’t need tons of hyper-polished images. You’ll also have the option to create Facebook Ads that target your audience.

Most users will go to your Facebook page for information, so make sure you include the following:

  • Professional Cover Photo – As the most prominent visual on your Facebook page, your cover photo should be professional-looking.
  • Contact Information – Make it easy for patrons to get in touch with you.
  • Link to Your Website – While your Facebook page should cover the basics, you’ll want interested viewers to be able to access all the info on your website.
  • Online Ordering Link – Allowing viewers to place an order from your Facebook page encourages impulse sales.
  • Your Menu – Many people who visit your Facebook page will be looking for your menu
  • Specials – Promote daily, weekly, seasonal, or holiday specials you’re offering
  • Events – Create public Facebook events to advertise your restaurant’s events.
What Are the Best Times to Post on Facebook?

According to Forbes the best time to post on Facebook are 3pm and 7pm during the middle of the work week.

How Often Should I Post on Facebook?

Post on Facebook once or twice per weekday once over the weekend.


Photo credit:
samtell.com

Tik Tok for Restaurants

Tik Tok was the top app downloaded worldwide in 2022 according to Sensor Tower Report making it a vital tool for restaurants to access and engage potential customers. It drives the popularity of short, vertical, videos on smartphones. They are the most popular content on the internet. The beauty of Tik Tok content is that it doesn’t have to be ultra-polished, anyone with a phone can create these short vertical videos, so the public is conditioned to appreciate realistic, inexpensive content. You can also repurpose your TikTok videos and upload them as Instagram reels, which is Instagram’s attempt to capture the popularity of TikTok Content.

Knowing what your restaurant should post on TikTok and how to maximize your efforts can be tricky. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Cooking Videos – Show the love, care, and precision your chefs put into each dish. You can also repurpose these and start a YouTube cooking channel.
  • Plating Videos – People love to watch creative, plating strategies come together.
  • New Menu Items – Encourages followers to come to your restaurant.
  • Hacks – Show your viewers food and cooking hacks that will help them in their own kitchen
  • TikTok Trends – Use popular music and audio to create fun video content that befits your brand.
  • Behind the Scenes Videos – Help patrons feel connected to your business.
  • Dining Experiences – Get people excited about dining with you so they choose your restaurant for parties, anniversaries, and other events.
When Should I Post on TikTok?

Whenever you have customer-engaging content.

How Often Should I Post on TikTok?

TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times a day. For a restaurant post, it only needs to be when you have relevant brand information.


Source:
pinterest.com

Restaurant Social Media Post Ideas

Here are a few restaurant social media post ideas when you find yourself out of ideas for new content.

  • Holiday Food Posts
    Participate in national food days such as National Pizza Day, National Ice Cream Day, or whatever food holiday can be made relevant to your menu.
  • Candid Photos
    Don’t shy away from candid, natural, unedited humorous photos taken by servers or staff. These can add a personal touch to your posts that will help guests connect with your business.
  • New Menu Items
    From your daily/weekly specials to new menu staples, sharing photos of your menu items will encourage your followers to try them.
  • Positive Reviews
    Share positive customer reviews. You can convert reviews into images using tools like Canva, or have a graphic designer create some.
  • Promote Loyalty Programs
    Show off the perks of participating in your loyalty program. Promote a link to join in the caption.
  • Happy Hour Specials
    Share photos of your happy hour menu items and provide the days and times in your caption.
  • Sustainable Practices
    Highlight your go-green initiatives, recycling programs, and sustainable sourcing practices.
  • Outdoor Spaces
    If your restaurant has a great outdoor dining experience, show it off on social media. Whether you winterize your patio, have a beer garden or a rooftop bar, seeing your outdoor space will encourage patrons to visit.
  • Pets
    Pet-friendly establishments can show off photos of patrons’ fur babies at their restaurant.
  • Gluten-Free Menu Items
    Nothing builds anxiety for people with allergies like wondering if they’ll have a safe and delicious food option at your restaurant. Showing off your gluten-free menu items on your social media is a great way to attract customers with gluten sensitivities.
  • Giving Back
    Restaurants that give back to their local communities earn their customer’s loyalty. Share the way you serve others and give to causes your target audience cares about.
  • Community Involvement
    If your restaurant has a booth at any local events or is taking part in a local restaurant week, share your involvement on social media.
  • Birthday Specials
    If you offer guests a free dessert on their birthday, show off the items guests can enjoy if they celebrate with you.
  • Catering
    Promote your catering services by showing pictures of events you’ve catered, your catering van, or items unique to your catering menu.
  • Awards
    If you receive any awards or recognition, share the news with your customers.
  • Your Events
    From trivia nights to seafood boils, show off the events you’re hosting on social media. Do both before and after posts for recurring events so that if customers miss out, they can join in next time around.
  • Vegan Menu Items
    If you have delicious vegan menu items, show them off on social media to attract those seeking plant-based choices.
  • Merchandise for Sale
    Advertise branded merchandise on your social media accounts.
  • Cross Promote Your Social Media Accounts
    Link to your other social media accounts and encourage followers on one platform to follow you on others.

Wrapping Up

Social media marketing for restaurants has become an increasingly vital tool. It represents a wealth of opportunities to boost your restaurant profile, reach new customers, and help ensure existing guests return. Social media platforms offer great benefits for any restaurant business.

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