It’s vital to have a presence on social media if you’re in the restaurant business. Your competitors likely do, and they could be making the most of this powerful marketing tool. By incorporating social media into your restaurant marketing strategy, you could reach new customers and grow your business.
It’s safe to say that virtually everyone uses social media (nearly 4 billion people, according to Statista), and for restaurants it’s an ideal place to showcase your food, location and décor with high-quality imagery and videos. It’s also the perfect place to engage with customers and demonstrate trustworthiness by giving them a space to rate your restaurant and write reviews. And research shows that reviews are more effective in winning over new customers than paid advertising.
There’s an array of social networks to choose from, and Facebook is an especially good match for restaurants, as well as Instagram (consider how many people still take photos of their food). But it takes a bit of careful footwork to really do a proper job of it and avoid making costly mistakes. Here are some tips to help you effectively promote your restaurant on social media.
1. Use top-quality photos and videos
Don’t show off your restaurant with poorly lit photos, shaky videos, or low-resolution images won’t help to make your food look appealing. Professional quality imagery goes a long way to toward earning credibility and making your establishment look appealing. Social media is all about showcasing your looks, and that’s truer than ever when it comes to both food and venue.
2. Use targeting and tracking
A massive advantage of using social media marketing is the ability to home in on your ideal customer through targeting. With paid content, you can ensure that only people within your broader geographic area see your ad, for instance, so that you don’t waste your budget advertising to people who are less likely to visit your restaurant.
What’s more, you can monitor the performance of your ads and make adjustments accordingly, moving more budget to something that resonates and away from something that doesn’t.
3. Build human connections
Social media is a place where people connect, and a restaurant is where those relationships continue into the real world. It’s worth keeping that in mind because if your social media presence reaches your target market in a human way – making a personal and emotional connection – it’s more likely to be remembered and attract engagement. Over time, you can foster relationships and attract a community of loyal followers and brand advocates as you earn your place in their hearts.
4. Keep it professional
Many would-be customers judge an establishment by the professionalism of their social pages, and in the restaurant business, trust is golden. So that means having a professional logo and header, with a blurb about what you have to offer, your location and contact details, and your website address. This all needs to be neatly presented without spelling or grammar mistakes. Much like your images, words are important too, and you need to be careful about choosing the right ones to attract your customers’ attention.
5. Update your content regularly
It never looks good when a potential customer checks on your social media pages and finds that you haven’t posted anything in ages. They might wonder if you’re still in business, or if they might receive similarly sluggish and inattentive service. If you have a social media page, be sure to keep it fresh. You don’t necessarily need to post something every day, but doing so periodically suggests an active business and will help to draw organic traffic to your page.
6. Make the most of Reviews and UGC
Encouraging customers to write reviews on your social media pages is a great way to demonstrate transparency. Rather they write a negative review in a space that you own than somewhere else where you’d likely never know about it. Always respond kindly and promise to rectify any faults, within reason, and apologize. Granted, not every post is fair, but don’t delete every negative comment, as that makes you look dishonest. It’s better for others to see that you responded calmly and politely to criticism.
Take it a step further and encourage patrons to tag your restaurant when they upload photos of a meal they enjoyed, or a group shot from a family get-together. Think of ways to incentivize them, perhaps with a chance to win a prize. There are various ways you can encourage user-generated content (UGC) where customers do your marketing for you.
The sky’s the limit
There’s so much you can do with social media marketing as a restaurant. Get creative and learn about all the functionality at your disposal as you nurture your social media presence. Experts in social and digital marketing can help you succeed by pointing the way, and for that you can always turn to CODESM Marketing.