How to Use Social Media for Restaurants Marketing in 2019
Restaurants that do not use social networking platforms are missing out on a great opportunity to attract more customers. Social media for restaurants has the possibility of reaching new markets and making your company survive.
If you have a small local business like a restaurant, obviously, you want to thrive as quickly as possible, right? For that, you need to include a professional marketing strategy for social networks in your marketing plan. This is not something new, (everyone already knows this) but the key is: strategy or professional plan.
Our team from Idorestaurantmarketing.com very often see restaurants that are participating in social platforms badly. They are using social channels to publish offers of all kinds without stopping. Most of the time, it has little to no results.
If you have a local business, and you want to promote it on social networks, here are some tips to start your social media marketing strategy correctly:
1.Keep up with trends
When you look at the number of people who use social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or Instagram it quickly becomes clear that companies need to make this an essential part of their marketing strategy.
A local search study conducted by ComScore shows that more than 63 percent of people prefer to use social networks to find out about local businesses like a restaurant.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become so prevalent, and popular that people simply expect to find everything they need there. If they do not find a business, they simply switch to a similar option that maintains a better online presence.
2.Establish your own strategy plan
A marketing plan in social networks should not be complex for a local restaurant. It should have the main data that will help you identify your current positioning, data of your competition, the profile of your ideal client and the goals you want to achieve. Trace your achievable and measurable goals. Discuss your content strategy, the actions need to execute, and foresee that you will need time, effort and money to reach your goals.
3.Create a brand identity
Local companies face a lot of competition from other businesses, from medium to large companies of the same category. They finally often sell products at lower prices as a strategy. The way to defend yourself against these strategies for a smaller company is to convince the potential customers of the quality of your service to gain their trust. You need to show them what they want and why it makes sense for them to come to your restaurant instead of going to others.
Establishing a brand identity helps to attract customers who crave a more personal shopping experience and who truly listen to you. Social media allows you to create a brand personality for your business.
Using Twitter or Facebook for example, gives your business a voice and a presence. Choose to connect with your followers, ask and listen to them. Therefore, you will build a community that trusts, buys your products and recommends you in social networks.
4.Reach new customers
Social networks allow people to share content with each other, with the push of a button. Local businesses can use this feature to reach new customers. For this, an attractive and useful content is necessary.
Generating good shareable content is not as difficult or expensive as you might think. Try to use YouTube for your customers to see a behind the scenes of your business. For example, if you use a little creativity, you could use a slide with good photos of your store, with background music to share with your followers on all social networks.
If you do something that attracts and interests your followers and customers, your followers will want to share it with other people, and this action exposes your name, your brand and your business to many more people (virality), who could become your new customers.
5.Get your customers involved
If you think about getting the most out of Facebook, Twitter, Pineterst, Instagram or any other social network, then you have to learn to be social. Generating commitment or engagement with your followers means sharing visual content accompanied by asking questions or asking for their opinion. The idea is to interact and promote the participation of your audience.
Local companies have several options that they can use to reach their clients for involved, here are some ideas:
- Create a contest for people who share a photo or video advertising of their business.
- You can ask to share your content giving you the opportunity to win a gift card or product of your business, etc.
- You can also use services such as Twitter, Pinterest and Foursquare to advertise offers for a limited time. (That can boost the business on your slow days).
- Use Facebook advertising to attract more people to your business.
- Offer discount coupons only for fans and exclusive promotions.
Social media gives you the opportunity to compete with companies of other sizes and achieve results with less investment than the traditional marketing. Those tips above are general tips. Now, let’s dive in to some specific strategies for Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook for Restaurants
Do you know how to promote a restaurant on Facebook? This social network seems one of the most useful ways to retain customers and attract new ones to your business. However, even if you invest efforts, you may not receive the result you expect. Before thinking that this does not work, consider yourself, are you doing it correctly? Here we show some key aspects that you have to take into account when promoting a restaurant on Facebook:
#1 Take care of your image
The Facebook cover and the profile are like your face. Therefore, you have to be careful, with an attractive image that invites your users to stay. From profile picture we advise you to use your logo.
#2 Constantly post useful content
Being constant is vital for Facebook. It is to keep your Edgerank high and show your post to more people. If you throw yourself time without publishing, Facebook will take it as you are no longer an interesting page and will not show it to many of your fans when you do an update. Therefore, it is important to be discipline. In addition, the regular publication makes us always remain in the minds of our users, which is key to customer loyalty.
#3 Take care of the amount
Posting too many posts in a single day is not a good option, since your fans will be saturated with your page. We know that there will be days that you have a lot of material and others not. Therefore, control yourself and keep the photos to publish them little by little. Ideally, once a day, at most two (noon and night). More is not recommended.
#4 Food photos, what triumphs most
Show your product and open the appetite to the user to go to your restaurant. If it can be, publish at times when people are hungry, since they will eat the post with their eyes 😀
#5 Show your human side
We are gossip by nature, so any photo of the team, of the kitchen, of the suppliers … Everything that allows us to know more about the restaurant, is very welcoming. It will help you connect with people and make them feel like family.
#6 Write small sentences
With two lines that you write is more than enough. The rest, nobody reads it. Think that Facebook’s timeline is very big and giving “read more” means stopping and opening it. The tirades are lazy. Try that what you write is perceived directly.
#7 Go Further
Your Facebook page has to appear on your website, on your business card and, if you can, physically in the restaurant. This way, you will get your customers to become fans.
#8 Do promotions from time to time
Promotions on Facebook encourage the page and can attract friends of friends to become fans. Your current fans will also see it as an incentive and increase participation. The ideal is to raffle dinners, bottles of wine, be creative!
#9 Forget the menu of the day
Facebook is not an appropriate channel to put your menu of the day from Monday to Friday. Apart from how unattractive it is to see a listing on the timeline, there are many of your clients at night can end up erasing you because they get tired of seeing it. Hang the menu on your website, create a database of interested. You have to segment the public.
#10 Put content that redirects to your web
What you want is for them to book, right? Well, take them to your website. One of the utilities of Facebook is to attract quality traffic to your website (customers or potential customers). The ideal thing for this would be that you were updating contents of your website and sharing them on Facebook, which is very easy to do through a blog on your website. That will be where you will see the results.
Instagram for Restaurants
After Facebook, let’s talk about Instagram. Every day millions of photos of gastronomic themes are shared with which our restaurant must compete if it wants to become a reference in the fashion social network. What to do to stand out in this sea of photos of dishes and recipes?
#1 Create an attractive profile
The first step to promote your restaurant on Instagram is to create an attractive and professional profile, including the location of the place and a link where you can book a table. Of course, you cannot miss a photo or a representative logo of the restaurant. Instagram also gives you the possibility to include a phrase or slogan, so use it to define, in a few words, the philosophy of your business.
#2 Share quality images
As you may have guessed, the most important thing in Instagram is to have quality images. You do not need to have the best camera on the market or hire a professional photographer every time you upload an image to this social network. But it is necessary to take care of both the lighting, the focus and the framing and that the photographs are made with a camera that offers a good definition. As we say, you do not need to be a photographer to publish in this social network: you will realize when an image is attractive and when it is not worth publishing. Oh, and do not forget to use a filter to help you get the perfect image.
#3 Find the appropriate hashtags
A key aspect in Instagram is to include hashtags (or tags) in the publications. This will help you exponentially multiply the reach of them. Thanks to the labels, any diner can reach your publication, even if he does not follow you or has not even heard of you. Therefore, you should investigate what are the appropriate hashtags in each publication. For this, you can count on tools such as All Hashtag or RiteTag. You can also create hashtags from your restaurant and encourage your customers to use them in their publications.
#3 Humanize your Instagram
Do not limit yourself to photographing your best dishes and sharing them on your profile. Although it is the most important, a restaurant is much more than food and you must reflect it on Instagram so that customers feel at home when they go to eat there. Share images of your waiters and your cooks, the decoration of your place, the new menus, etc. You can also take advantage of the visit of a known face to take their picture (always with your permission) and upload it to your Instagram. Who would not want to eat at the same restaurant as their favorite actor or singer?
#4 Create interactivity with your followers
Do not settle for having many “likes” in your publications and make your followers feel part of everything that happens in your restaurant. The first thing you should do is answer all the comments (good and bad) that your customers leave on your profile. However, you can also use other strategies, such as creating contests so they are the first to promote your restaurant on Instagram, giving a dinner (for example) to share the best photo of your menu. Sometimes, offer discounts for uploading images while having dinner there using the hashtag that you have previously created. There are many ways to retain your customers with Instagram and get them.
#5 Take advantage of the stories to develop your creativity
The stories offer us the possibility of developing our creativity on Instagram, with the added advantage that they are publications that by default disappear after 24 hours. Therefore, it can serve as a test bed to see what works and what does not when it comes to counting the day to day in your restaurant. In addition, you also have the option to save them so that they can continue to be viewed at any time. The stories can be very useful, for example, to make public the winners of a contest.
As you may have seen, originality is a point in your favor to succeed on Instagram. The more creativity you have, the more likes and followers you will get, although we know that it is not always easy to innovate. In the following link you have some creative examples for the marketing of your restaurant that may help you to establish your strategy.
At I DO Restaurant Marketing, we offer you our community management services so that you can optimize your publications and increase your community in this social network. Contact us and we will help you promote your restaurant on Social Media professionally.