The restaurant industry is competitive, and finding new customers requires creativity and consistent efforts. While traditional marketing strategies such as billboards, TV ads, and newspaper advertisements used to work well in the past, they have become obsolete. Restaurants need a reliable marketing medium for their ongoing efforts to attract and retain customers and thats why we have created this article on how to do restaurant social media marketing.
Social media is a free tool that is accessible to everyone. And the highly interactive nature of social media makes it perfect for marketing your restaurant. As per research, younger generations are much more likely to pick a restaurant based on social media reviews. Not to mention 3 out of 4 customers look at a restaurant’s Facebook page before deciding to eat there.
These stats are enough to show that social media marketing should be a part of every restaurant’s customer acquisition and retention strategy. But the question is, how can a restaurant do affecting social media marketing? If you need the answer to this question, then this article is for you, and we suggest you keep reading to know the detailed answer.
How does social media marketing work for a restaurant?
If you have been missing out on the marketing potential of social media for your restaurant, then you are probably wondering how it works. Since its inception, social media has been shaping how humans socialize and how they interact with the things they care about.
As a restaurant owner, social media platforms give you the power to interact with your potential customers directly. Since food lovers are passionate about their favourite foods, they like to interact with restaurants that they find interesting on social media. If you manage to grab the attention of the right audience on social media, you can easily convert them into loyal customers.
If you don’t have a social media platform for your restaurant, your potential customers might go to competing restaurants with social media presence. So as a restaurant, you can never go wrong by doing social media marketing.
Your customers can interact with your restaurant through social media pages to learn more about your star dishes. If you use social media marketing correctly, you will see results quickly.
How can restaurants do social media marketing?
Like any other form of marketing, you have to approach social media marketing with the right strategy. Once you have set up pages for your restaurant on different social media platforms, it is time to start reaching the audience actively. Without further ado, here is how you can market your restaurant using social media marketing:
1. Add your restaurant’s information to the social media pages
The first thing you should do when setting up your social media platforms is to ensure they contain the correct information about your restaurant. You don’t want to confuse customers about who they are interacting with.
Therefore it is essential to add the correct contact information, location, opening hours, and the restaurant logo to the social media pages. Updating all this information from the start will ensure that customers can reach your restaurant without too much effort.
In addition, if you have a food delivery service, you should provide clear instructions on how customers can order food. Once your restaurant’s social media pages are set up and up to date, you are ready to start the marketing process.
2. Set up a call to action:
Since your goal for social media marketing is to increase your customer base, adding a call to action to your social media can help you fulfil that goal. A call to action (CTA) can be set up as a button on your restaurant’s pages that directs visitors to perform a specific action.
This button can direct customers to your restaurant’s website, book a reservation, place a food order or more. The key benefit of a call to action is that it allows customers to perform an action quickly and convert into paying customers faster. In addition, it adds an element of convenience for the visitors.
3. Offer special discounts using social media:
One of the easiest ways to bring more guests to your restaurant through social media marketing is by running special discount offers on your pages. Often restaurants offer special coupons that are posted exclusively on their social media. Customers can save the coupons to avail discounts when they visit your restaurant.
This strategy will not only get more customers into your restaurant but also get them to interact with your social media pages often. Visitors will view your page frequently to find any new coupons and remain engaged in the process.
It has been observed that offering exclusive social media discount coupons builds the customer base and contributes to your social media growth.
4. Encourage customers to leave social media reviews
As mentioned earlier, customers rely heavily on social media reviews when choosing a restaurant. So if you have reviews on your social media pages, visitors are more likely to see you as an authentic restaurant. That said, getting the first few reviews on your social media is especially tricky.
You can encourage customers to leave feedback on social media by simply asking them to check in to your restaurant when giving them your Wi-Fi passcode. When customers check into your restaurant, they automatically get asked by Facebook to leave a review.
In addition, you can also offer discounts to customers that review your restaurant on social media. The customers who review the restaurant get a special deal the next time they visit and show the review they left.
Social proof is a powerful tool for restaurants, and when you have enough reviews on your social media accounts, you start a snowball effect. Your customers will start leaving reviews without even asking, and new customers will find it easier to trust your food.
5. Update your social media platforms regularly
Active social media pages are much more likely to get noticed by the target audience than inactive ones. So instead of posting a few updates here and there, try to post regularly.
The quality of the content you post matters a lot when it comes to building a loyal customer base. To create a coherent brand image, you must post content with a similar style and theme.
Similarly, you should sprinkle user-generated content into your daily post schedule. You can reshare images taken by customers at your restaurant on your page. Or you can encourage customers to leave video testimonials that you can post on your social media.
Similar to user reviews, user-generated content establishes trust with the target audience. When customers compare restaurants on social media to eat at, they will likely choose a restaurant that showcases happy customers.
Lastly, make sure that you post any changes or additions to your restaurant menu on your social media. The menu helps tell page visitors about the new kinds of food your serve that they might want to try.
6. Use a printed Facebook QR code
Facebook allows you to generate a QR code for your restaurant menu. So all you have to do is display the Facebook-generated menu QR on each table, and visitors can scan the code to view the menu on their phones.
In addition to displaying the menu, customers can also view your Facebook page when they scan the QR code. This simple and free tip can help you bring more customers to your social media so they can receive future updates.
7. Add # hashtags in your posts
Social media such as Facebook and Instagram use hashtags to help users discover content they find interesting. When you use hashtags related to the restaurant and food in general, anyone that is browsing these hashtags will be able to find your social media.
Using hashtags is the quickest and practically free-of-cost method to gain organic traffic and grow your restaurant pages. You may have to experiment with different hashtags until you find the ones that work best for your restaurant.
8. Collaborate with influencers
Influencers such as local food vloggers with an established audience have the potential to make your restaurant go viral. So inviting these influencers or food vloggers to your restaurant and offering a free meal in exchange for a detailed review can greatly boost your social media campaign.
If you have the budget, you can always pay a reputed influencer to create sponsored posts on their feed which is one of the easiest ways to skyrocket your restaurant’s social media page stats.
By now, you should be able to tell that social media marketing is a powerful tool for every restaurant business. Restaurants have to find a competitive edge over their competition without going overboard on their marketing budget.
The social media marketing strategies we have mentioned during this article cost little to nothing to implement into your campaign. However, these methods can help you reach a broader target audience and potentially grow your restaurant.
You don’t necessarily need a specialized team to run a social media campaign for your restaurant. With the knowledge provided in this article, you can set up and successfully run a social media campaign on your own. If you want more tips on how to do restaurant Marketing, check out our article here.