A good idea of how to manage social media for a restaurant and build your online presence is essential for any restaurant marketing strategy to help bring customers to your venue.
This is because social media has become an essential tool to help people make purchasing decisions - especially when it comes to choosing where to eat and what to eat, as people love searching for and sharing photos of food.
It is crucial for restaurants to have a strategy for how to use these platforms to attract customers. Even if you are not a social media expert, taking small steps such as setting up your profiles correctly can make a big difference to how much exposure you gain in the online world.
How Facebook and Instagram Can Affect Customer Decision Making for Your Restaurant:
Facebook for Restaurants
Showcase your brand - Facebook is the most diverse channel and is great for interacting with customers, posting images and videos. Sharing the important details like your menu and address are essential for customers looking to visit your restaurant.
Instagram for Restaurants
Images, images, images! Post great quality photos of your dishes, venue and customer experiences within the restaurant. Showcase popular dishes and always include a customer’s positive review about the food.
Three Things to Consider Before Setting Up Your Social Media Accounts for Your Restaurant
1 - Define the scope and targeting of your restaurant’s social media marketing:
Taking the time to craft a strong brand identity, as well as identify your target market, is an essential first step when putting together a social media marketing plan. You should define the following:
- Who are you targeting?
- What’s your budget?
- Which tools and tactics will provide the best results?
- How much will they cost?
- How will you monitor and evaluate results?
2 - Have a great website with a restaurant reservation tool to promote on social media:
A table reservation functionality, or an order and pay platform like WOWAPPS should be integrated into your website. You can link your social media accounts to your website where people can now book and order online.
3 - Get on a delivery platform, or invest in order and pay technology to use on social media:
Some delivery platforms might claim a significant portion of your takings, but they also allow you to reach a customer base, who might otherwise never have found you. Sharing that you use delivery platforms on social media can really increase your sales...Or better yet, do your own delivery.
Benefits of Social Media for Restaurants
- Free marketing
- Direct interaction with customers
- Humanises your brand
- Get customer feedback
- Visual advertising of your dishes
- Ability to be found and contacted
We are living in the age where digital marketing can make or break your business. While traditional offline methods are still viable, the internet has simply become too big to ignore.
The first thing to remember is to humanise yourself. Let people see a business made up of real people who live and work in the local area. You can even get ideas across your channels by asking people what they want to see. Ultimately, social media is about giving your brand a face and creating hype. Let followers know who you are, what you are about and what you can offer them.
How Your Restaurant Can Use Social Media to Get More Bookings
When 88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments, having an intentional social media strategy can take your restaurant to the next level. Here are some ideas proactive restaurants might do to boost their social media presence and get more bookings:
1 - Create a Profile with Accurate Information
If you are just getting started on your restaurant’s social media accounts, make sure pertinent information like your address, hours and contact information can be easily accessed on your profile. Ensure that all the information is correct and always update any information that may change in the future, for example your opening hours.
2 - Foodie Photos
Arguably the very best way to promote your restaurant online is with high-quality, drool-inducing photos; incorporate action shots or product placement in a way that is visually attractive to your customers. Make the customer choose what they want to order before turning up at the restaurant.
3 - Share Positive Reviews
Customers might leave a review on Google, directly to a staff member, or on various review blogs like Tripadvisor. Be sure to share every positive review on your social media accounts so patrons can read positive feedback and begin to trust your restaurant based on real, positive experiences.
4 - Talk To Your Customers
On social media you can include Q&As and reply to comments. This is a great tool that restaurants have been using to reassure their customers they are listening. Responding to questions like “do you serve any vegan options?” can help you gain bookings, not just from the person who asked the question, but also from any potential customers who see your answer.
5 -Post Blogs and Recipes
If you have a website and you upload blogs and recipes, the best place to share the links back to your website are on social media. Not only does it lead to more traffic on your website, but patrons can also like, comment and start a discussion about what you posted. This can lead to a lot of engagement, shares and eventually more followers.
Many restaurants tend not to care much about how many followers they have on social media, but it is extremely important. Having more followers leads to more impressions and views and eventually leads to more bookings and orders. Always aim to grow your account but ensure that you be yourself and showcase what your restaurant is all about in the process.
One last thing to take into consideration: it is a marathon, not a sprint. Do not expect thousands of new followers overnight, it does take time.
Remember to always try to be unique, trust your brand and stick to what your brand is all about. Your success on social media depends largely on your ability to be proactive, creative and consistent.
Did you know?
WOWAPPS had a commission-free partnership with Google?