Getting started with your restaurant social media: 7 tips

When 88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments, it’s important that you plan an intentional online presence and incorporate it in your advertising strategy.

In particular, social media is nowadays an inevitable part of running a modern business: according to research, 75% of people purchased a product after seeing it on social media. That means that if you’re not active on social platforms, then you’re missing out on a large customer base.

Here’s what you need to know to get started on a social media strategy for your restaurant.

Social media benefits for restaurants

Before we dive into that, let’s round up some benefits of Social Media for your restaurant or cafè.

  • Show off your menu

If you’re trying to convince people on how great your food tastes, you need to show them how good it looks, first. Being visually oriented, Social Media platforms offer a great place to do that. Keep in mind that visual content it’s superior than any other kind of content: it’s faster to process, easier to remember and, when it comes to food, it stimulates appetite!

  • Get insights into your clientele

Social media provide analytics tools that help you define who your core customers are, so that you are able to reshape your strategy on that basis. Every platform gives different readouts of the same basic data: generally, they include impressions (how many people saw your post), engagements (how many people liked, commented, or shared your post) and likes (a subsection of engagements). By checking the analytics provided by each platform you use, you can determine whether you’re gaining or losing followers, as well as your top-performing content. From there, you can create posts based on your most successful ones, while phasing underperforming content out.

  • Engage customers

Social media are a powerful tool to generate greater involvement in your restaurant or cafè. Posting frequently is a good way to keep your brand at the top of people’s newsfeeds – however, witty, entertaining content is what you really need. Your potential customers are spending a majority of their time on social media: show them you have something interesting to say!

Now that you know about the importance of social media for your restaurant, you probably want to implement them in your marketing strategy: these 7 tips will help you get started.

1. Make room for your contact info

The less clicks it takes to find out about your restaurant, the better. Make sure you include pertinent information like your opening hours and contact details on your profile. Every social media platform provides a specific space to do that: Instagram has the bio space – even though that’s limited – while Facebook gives you distinct subsections – opening hours, messaging options, address, even popular times to visit.

Filling these spaces with your info makes your guests’ lives easier so that reaching you will be almost frictionless for them. Less friction = more customers!

2. Know the best time to post

It’s important to post at optimal times to generate maximum engagement. That depends of course on your core audience’s habits (you can easily find when your followers are more active by checking the analytics listed above), but also on other variables such as your opening hours. For example, if your bar doesn’t open until 7 pm, 9 am is probably not a good time to post about your new cocktail menu.

3. Choose the right platform(s)

Don’t think you have to be everywhere all at once! Every social media platform requires a specific strategy that you need to work out separately in order to get a return. If you’re not active on any platform yet, then start with Facebook: it’s still the most popular social media site across all demographics.

4. Define your culture

Give your social presence a precise connotation: you need to distinguish yourself from all the background Internet noise. Show the faces of your staff, share the stories behind certain dishes, whatever makes your restaurant a unique, funny, interesting spot to hang out and celebrate special occasions, not just a place to eat. Define how you want your restaurant to be perceived, then start cultivating that image – online and offline.

5. Curate your content

As a business on social media, you need to be careful about what you share. It’s not only about taking pictures of your dishes and instantly posting them – perhaps even with a banal caption. You need to work out a precise content strategy, planning your posts in advance – that will also save you a lot of time. Ask your staff to take pictures of menu items, or of themselves having fun (of course, not during the Saturday dinner rush). Collect plenty of relevant pictures and gather them in one central place, such as Google Drive.  Then you can easily share the photos on Facebook or Instagram any time. It will take just a few minutes!

6. Promote user-generated content

Approach social media as you were starting an actual conversation with your followers. Engagement is two-sided: focus on your customers, make them feel genuinely considered. There are several ways you can do that – for example, let them ask questions. Instagram provides a proper tool for that, called indeed Questions.we are talking about a sticker that can be added to your Stories to allow your followers to submit questions. Each question you receive can be answered publicly in an additional Story. Alternatively, you can be the one to ask questions: by using another Instagram Stories sticker, named Polls, you are able to get feedback from your audience in a direct way, by asking them to express their opinion on specific topics (the polling feature is available also on Facebook).

Not familiar with these features? No problem: you can solicit customer opinions directly in your posts, by asking for feedback in the caption.

Another great practice is to host contests – name a new menu item, guess the secret ingredient, cook a recipe. Most important, ask your followers to share what they made tagging you: you can then re-share the content and boost engagement. Keep in mind that user-generated content’s authenticity makes your customers ambassadors of your venue, and that’s the most powerful form of advertising.

7. Reward your social media followers

Even if it’s surely important to gain new followers, it’s also crucial to keep the old ones engaged –  for example, by offering special coupons. An idea is to include in your last post a code they can show at the moment of the payment so that they get a 20% (or whatever) discount.

We gave you some ideas, but the possibilities are endless: mix it up, be creative!

Want to learn more about restaurant social media? Leave your email below, we’ll get in touch with you.