Every minute, someone is eating in a restaurant, taking a picture of their food, uploading it to Instagram with the hashtag #foodporn, and checking in through the restaurant’s Facebook page to let all their friends know where they just had lunch. Social media marketing for restaurants is simply taking advantage of that natural process which is happening literally millions of times a day.
Let’s say that someone is called Derrick and that he just checked in your restaurant. Now let’s say Derrick has a Facebook friend called Nick who clicks on the restaurant’s page, loves the cover image and decides that he absolutely has to take his girlfriend there next week, since it’s close-by and the menu looks appealing. Nick will “like” your page to make sure he won’t forget the restaurant’s name.
And let’s say Pamela, another friend, scrolls down the pictures of your Instagram feed and decides she wants to bring her coworkers for lunch to your restaurant the next day. One of the coworkers, though, is allergic to gluten; so Pamela posts on your Facebook page: “Hey, do you have a gluten-free-friendly menu?”. Less than one hour later, your social media manager will reply: “Hi Pamela! We are. You might wanna check our gluten-free pizza!”
At the end of it all, Derrick, Nick, and Pamela are going to get a better, more personal, more efficient experience — all thanks to your restaurant’s social media!
How can you maximize your social media potential to boost your restaurant’s popularity? Simple! Check these easy 5 tips to improve your restaurant’s social media marketing:
- Be Informative
Once, service used to start when the clients sat at the table of your restaurants. Not anymore. Now service should start the minute they click on your Facebook page. Make sure your Twitter bio has all the key words that describe your restaurants; that your Facebook page features the address of your place so that the clients will be able to easily check in through their accounts; that you provide a link to your menu. Don’t forget to share the best magazine reviews to the restaurant, as well! Be informative through visuals just as much as you are through words! Create a cover photo that shows a selection of your best dishes and captures the essence of your restaurant. Is your place elegant and sophisticated? So should be your cover photo. Is it hip and out of the box? Same for your Instagram feed.
Take a look at byCHLOE’s Facebook cover photo:
Your cover photo is just as important as the windows of your restaurant. Use it to show your food, the vibe of the place, and to advertise special promotions.
- Be Mouthwatering
People are eager to “like” a professional photo of your best dish. If you plan to keep a calendar in which you schedule and skim your social media content, make sure there is a regular share of (virtual) food. Use Instagram hashtags to reach a larger audience and check in your location in every picture you post on Facebook.
Look at this Facebook post by a famous Italian restaurant in Paris — doesn’t it make you wanna go there for lunch? Like, right now?
- Be Personal
Make your audience feel as if they were getting exclusive content through your social media. They are a group of aficionados and you’re rewarding them with something special and unique. Share behind-the-scenes content, tell them what’s going on in the kitchen (are the workers celebrating the chef’s restaurants today?) and post miscellaneous information about the restaurant’s history and its workers.
The Capital Grille, for instance, got quite personal by sharing a picture of their Master Sommelier:
- Be Transparent
The main purpose of social media is to communicate. If your communication is fast and efficient, you’re doing this whole social media thing correctly. Otherwise, you might follow this suggestions… First of all, allow users to send private messages to your Facebook page and reply within a couple hours. Don’t forget that Facebook allows its users to know how fast you are to reply your messages on average. Secondly, many users will post on your wall or tweet you their comments and questions. They might compliment you or criticize you. Answer politely, as if you were discussing that same issue in person, and make sure that whoever replies those messages signs their comment with their first name.
- Be Social
Last but not least, be social not only on social media, but in real life, too!
Use your menu to invite clients to check in to the restaurant on Facebook. Create Twitter hashtags and Instagram trends. Reach new clients through Facebook ads, by setting a location filter, offers and so on.
Social media is supposed to be fun: never forget that!