Social media marketing is becoming an increasingly critical part of a marketing strategy for restaurants. Here are some pointers to engage users and create an online following:
1) Notify your customers
Keep your customers updated about changes in your restaurant. Have a happy hour or new weekend special? Let your followers know. Facebook and Twitter are tools to inform your current customers and attract new ones based on what is happening inside your restaurant.
2) Mouthwatering photos
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that couldn’t be truer for social media. With smartphones and access to 24/7 news, people have shorter attention spans today than in the past. Posting photos on Facebook and Instagram is a simple way to advertise your restaurant and capture people’s attention. Ignite the taste buds in your followers with quality pictures of your dishes and food presentation.
3) Be social
Great service starts before customers even step a foot inside the restaurant. It’s not uncommon for restaurants to receive messages on social media from potential patrons who want to make a reservation, inquire about store hours, or ask about menu options for individuals with food allergies. Restaurants should use social media to connect with customers and answer their online questions promptly. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and many times that first interaction with a customer takes place online.
4) Target the right audience
For most small and medium-sized restaurants, it’s important to use social media marketing to develop lasting relationships with local customers. Sure it’s great to increase “Likes” and “Follows”, but how useful is that if the people are located in another state or country? Facebook allows businesses to target consumers (https://www.facebook.com/business/a/online-sales/ad-targeting-details) based on their zip code or proximity to a city. In addition, Facebook also provides businesses with the ability to choose the demographics of their target audience such as age, gender, and education level. While an upscale seafood restaurant may want to advertise to an older demographic, a trendy nightclub would likely want to target a younger audience.
5) Food bloggers
Developing relationships with local food bloggers is a simple marketing strategy but few restaurants actually take advantage of it. It benefits both parties. The blogger gets a free meal and new content to write, while the restaurant gets publicity. However, it’s important to target respected food bloggers who have a large following. Bloggers don’t need to be culinary experts, but they should be strong writers and able to discuss food in a compelling way. Finally, blogs can also help restaurants improve their search engine ranking by providing inbound links that connect to a restaurant’s website. These inbound links act as a referral that lets Google know your business is reputable. Here is an example of a blog that featured one of our clients Cafe Prima Pasta