With social media becoming such a huge part of our daily lives, a growing number of restaurants are using social media to attract more customers and showcase their menu using drool worthy content.

The beauty of social media is that it’s current, it won’t cost an arm and a leg and when used to its full potential, can increase your ROI.

Here are five ways restaurants are using social media to attract more customers:

1. Share Your Menu. Be Visual.

  • Add your menu on social media. Provide interesting details and tips about your dishes, such as ingredients, health facts, recipes, or even suggesting a wine pairing with certain dishes.
  • Build engagement on your social media pages by adding some WOW worthy images and using #foodporn!  Short video clips of your food are also winners and can help spice up your feed, big time! The goal is to make your customers crave your food so much that they can’t keep them away.

2. Run Contests

Create simple competitions and offer great prizes. Discounts, free appetisers or drinks, a buy one get one deal, and gift certificates always attract diners.

Great competition examples that get people in the door prior to entering are:

  • “Post Your Best Photo Featuring Our Food and Win A $100 Gift Certificate.”
  • “CHECK IN And Get A Free Drink On Your Next Visit.”

However you decide to run your competition, make it super simple for customers to enter, and the prize is worth their effort.

3. Keep You Social Media Updated And Interesting

  • Post timely newsworthy updates. From new dishes in the menu, events to current offers and promotions.
  • Personalise your restaurant by profiling your chefs and your staff. This is a friendly approach that helps customers get to know the restaurant.
  • Go wild with exciting content like a behind-the-scenes video of how your best-seller dishes are made, minus the secret ingredients of course!
  • Ask visiting customers if you can take their photo to post on your social media accounts.

You want people to know more about your business, to humanise it, and make it feel like they are going to someplace familiar – it is the Cheers approach (for those old enough to remember), where everybody knows your name.

4. Create Social Media Specific Deals

Provide unique coupon codes that they can only find on one of your social media platforms. This creates a call to action for people to LIKE or FOLLOW your page and encourages your existing followers to let their friends know about the deal. Make sure you track the coupons used to know how effective they are and which platform works best.

5. Respond to Reviews

This is a big one! A MUST! Whether you get a 5-star review for that to-die-for grilled salmon or a lengthy complaint from a customer who had not-so-fresh pasta, make sure you respond.

Your quick responses will show that you care, both to the person who left the review and to potential customers. And you should because 91% of diners will choose your restaurant based on online reviews. Let customers know that you appreciate their feedback and take action when necessary.