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Mastering the Digital Dine: Innovative Social Media Strategies for Restaurant Success

June 08, 202312 min read

“The majority of your restaurant’s potential customers spend their time on social media, meaning you can only get their attention if you engage them where they are. .” - Brandon Q, Co-Founder of EatUp


Regardless of how enticing your food is, your restaurant may go unnoticed if you have not driven traffic to its sites. You can increase traffic to your restaurant and convert visitors to loyal customers by enhancing your social media presence.

Consider some statistics that underscore the need for social media marketing for your restaurant:

3 out of 4 customers on Facebook look at images and comments when deciding where to eat.

99% of Generation X and the Millennials will likely look at a restaurant’s social media reviews when deciding to dine.

67% of restaurants market their brands, products, and services on social media.

54% of active social media users use these platforms to research products, services, and brands before buying, while 71% of customers with a positive social media experience with a brand will likely recommend the brand to family and friends.

49% of adults and potential customers learn about different cuisines through social networks.

The majority of your restaurant’s potential customers spend their time on social media, meaning you can only get their attention if you engage them where they are. Social media is a must-have platform for any serious restaurant that wants to draw crowds.

Social Media for Restaurants

Why does your restaurant need social media marketing?

What do you do when you are hungry and want a good restaurant to eat at? Like most people, you will likely pull out your smartphone and surf the internet for restaurants near you. Google will undoubtedly give you “restaurants near me.” However, where are you likely to go next after spotting a restaurant? Their social media pages, especially Facebook.

Some potential diners looking for fancy places to spend time with friends will like to go to Instagram. All roads are leading to social media for restaurant information and offers.

If your restaurant or business does not have an established social media profile, you will lose out to a wider market that does not know your existence. The current generation is interested in reviews, food images, and menus before settling on a restaurant to eat from.

Social media enables you to engage with customers, thus building a community around your restaurant. You can also use these platforms to keep your guests updated on changes or events.

Furthermore, social media enhances your restaurant’s visibility and brand awareness. It also provides insight into your customers’ experience and areas of improvement.

Tips for Social Media Marketing for your Restaurant.

Each social media platform may have varied rules, but these general tips could help restaurants succeed.

1. Develop a complete social media profile.

Restaurants can use three social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Here are some interesting statistics on restaurants and the three major social media platforms:

  • 49% of dinners use Facebook to search for restaurants

  • The number one social media app for better restaurant brands engagement is Instagram

  • The restaurant industry gets the highest mentions on Twitter, with 32% of tweets mentioning food and drinks.

Your social media profile is the first thing prospective customers will see, so make it count in attracting them to your restaurant. When filling in the details concerning your business on your social media page, ensure the information is complete and accurate.

You do not want to give incomplete information that leaves customers with unanswered questions. Accuracy of the information will also ensure your restaurant is easily found.

Your social media profile should entail your location, picture of the premise, business hours, link to your website, phone numbers, and call to action icon. The information you include on your social media accounts should be consistent with the one you provided on Google My Business, TripAdvisor, and Yelp! Google search engines love consistency; therefore, providing consistent information about your restaurant on various platforms helps you rank higher on Google Maps.

2. Include menus and allow customers to order via messenger.

Without a well-written menu on your Facebook or Instagram page, potential clients may not take the next action of ordering from your restaurant. A menu will furnish your customers with vital information on what you offer and any special offer.

After adding a menu on your site, you can include delivery, pickups, and payment methods. Facebook allows you to create a payment option via messenger where customers can order and make payments online. Interestingly some statistics show that 75% of people prefer texting to talking; you can try this feature and reap its advantages. This convenience is welcomed by many diners who are constantly using social media.

3. Create discounts and special offers.

Everyone loves discounts and special offers since they know they will get more for less. You can use social media platforms to promote your offers. Here is how you can use offers and coupons:

Create your offer in Ads Manager that a recipient can save and use when visiting your restaurant. For instance, you can create an offer for morning coffee called Buy one coffee and get another for free. Your customers can save this offer and use it when they pass by your coffee parlor on their way to work.

4. Use live videos.

Content marketing is known for generating new leads and converting them to customers. If content is considered king, then video is king kong. Social media videos generate as high as over 1,200% more shares than a combination of images and texts.

Video will catch the attention of many social media users, allowing you to offer value to your audience. The video can be funny, educational, or promotional to help improve customer engagement.

Another way to use social media videos is to go live on Facebook or Instagram to promote an event or a special offer at your restaurant. Live videos are more authentic than pre-recorded videos, thus generating more engagement. Live videos also allow you to expose your vulnerabilities, enabling customers to identify with your brand. Furthermore, your audience will likely remember what you said on a live video than on text, image, or recorded videos.

5. Create social media contests.

One of the main objectives of social media marketing is to generate engagement and build rapport and loyalty with your customers. You can achieve this goal by organizing social media contests. Humans love competition and winning something, meaning you will generate conversation and organic traffic on your site by arranging such contests.

For instance, you may offer free dinner, tickets to an event, free shopping gift cards, or any relevant reward to your audience. With a major reward up for grabs, you will have the attention of several potential customers. After winners have been selected, inform your audience to like your page and stay tuned for the next contest.

Most people like the Facebook pages of companies that offer incentives and discounts to their customers. Instead of throwing discounts at customers, be creative with your social media contest, thus giving your customers something to win. It feels good to participate in a contest!

Social media contests also promote brand awareness. Whenever we see a contest or an opportunity to win something, we want to share it with our friends. Contest platforms like Binkd have a share button that enables your loyal customers to share the contest with their family and friends, meaning your brand will be known by those who did not know you.

Organizing content can also help you get more subscribers to your email lists. Those who subscribe to your list are valuable leads that you could target with your marketing strategies. Many restaurants and businesses have realized that targeting the general crowd is not as effective as chasing after leads.

6. Use Facebook advertising.

Facebook is an ideal social media platform to advertise your restaurant, with 93% of businesses advertising on social media using this platform. Facebook is an ideal social media marketing platform for your restaurant because of its several targeting options.

For instance, you could use geo-target and target only customers in your locality. This will help you save your marketing budget by focusing efforts on customers that matter. Some restaurants spread their advertisements to customers all over the platform and fail to meet their targets.

You can also use paid advertising on social media pages to get more visibility. Facebook gives priority to paid adverts that offer free promotions. If you don’t know how to use Facebook or Instagram ads, you can hire a marketing agency to manage your social media marketing.

7. Respond to your Customers’ review.

Reputation management is vital for any business off and online, especially for restaurants. Your goal is to build a sterling reputation in this competitive world and attract more customers. Customer reviews are important in building your reputation; therefore, carefully consider all reviews.

A single negative review that is not addressed can cast doubt on the quality of your services and food. If you see a negative comment, you want to be quick at responding to the issues or complaints raised. Other customers should see that you value them and want to give your best.

You could also post your customer’s social media reviews on your website with their names below the review. This strategy helps to build a community and brand loyalty. Interestingly, 71% of social media users say that they would easily recommend a company that promptly responded to their issues and reviews on social media.

Regardless of the customer's comment on your social media page, ensure that you promptly respond to each one of them. If your schedule is not flexible to allow you to respond personally, hire a social media marketing team to handle this responsibility. A quick response may help you solve the issue, and who knows, the customer may even take down the negative review and give you a positive one.

8. Optimize your content and photos.

Social media content also uses keywords, and your content should be informative and optimized. Well-written content will likely generate conversion online if your customers see it informative and address their issues. The more readers love optimized content and like it, the higher its chances of featuring on your potential customers’ tagline. Therefore, make your content interesting and ensure it addresses common questions your customers may have.

Another thing that you also want to optimize is the photos and videos you use on your social media page. Justuno indicates that 93% of consumers are influenced by visual appearance when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, you want to ensure that your product pictures on social media are high quality.

Ensure you capture your restaurant’s ambiance since these are likely to add to the beauty of your social media page. Customers want to spend time at a restaurant in a welcoming environment. Optimized pictures will help you attract customers looking for you.

You also want to optimize your photos with alt text rich in keywords. Photos will do your site justice if optimized rather than when you use them for decoration. There is a common adage that a thousand words can be illustrated in one picture, and by optimizing your photos, you allow the picture to speak to your audience.

9. Use influencer marketing.

Social media influencers are individuals with a huge following and authority on social platforms. You can leverage their fans and followers by collaborating with them to promote your restaurant. You could have an arrangement with them for pay or a special offer so that they can honestly review your services and post the reviews on their page.

This avenue will help you increase engagement since influencers are known to stir conversations online. Social media influencers will also help you get more followers, thus improving your brand awareness and traffic to your website. The influencer will help increase sales and business growth by bringing their followers to your doorstep.

The Bottom Line

Social media marketing is one of the best marketing strategies a restaurant can use to promote its products and services. However, if you want your restaurant to get the most out of social media marketing strategy, you do well learning its ins and outs. You also want to implement the tips discussed in this article, from creating a catchy, informative profile to involving social media influencers.

Why Your Restaurant Needs Social Media Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Step 1: Understand the Importance of Social Media for Your Restaurant Recognize that potential diners often refer to social media platforms to gather information about the restaurant's ambiance, menu, and reviews before choosing to dine there. Appreciate the power of social media in creating a community around your restaurant, enhancing your restaurant’s visibility, brand awareness, and customer insights.

  • Step 2: Develop a Comprehensive Social Media Profile Establish your restaurant’s presence on the three primary social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Fill in accurate and complete information about your restaurant, including your location, business hours, website link, phone numbers, and call-to-action icons. Ensure the information aligns with what you've provided on other online platforms.

  • Step 3: Digitize Your Menu and Enable Online Orders Post your menu on your social media pages to provide potential clients with detailed information about your offerings. Enable options for delivery, pick-ups, and online payments to enhance convenience for your customers.

  • Step 4: Run Promotions and Special Offers Leverage your social media platforms to advertise discounts, specials, and coupon codes. This not only helps draw in customers but also fosters brand loyalty and customer retention.

  • Step 5: Create Engaging Video Content Use video content, including live streams, to grab your audience's attention. These can be fun, educational, or promotional videos. Live videos allow for a more authentic interaction, resulting in higher engagement.

  • Step 6: Organize Social Media Contests Generate engagement and loyalty by organizing competitions on your social media platforms. This can also help increase brand awareness, attract more followers, and build your email subscription list.

  • Step 7: Invest in Paid Advertising Maximize your reach and visibility using paid advertising on Facebook and other platforms. Opt for targeted advertising to focus your efforts on a specific audience and optimize your marketing budget.

  • Step 8: Respond to Customer Reviews Promptly Maintain a positive online reputation by responding to customer reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely manner. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and can potentially transform a negative experience into a positive one.

  • Step 9: Optimize Your Content and Visuals Ensure your content is informative and uses relevant keywords. Similarly, optimize the quality and appearance of your photos and videos as visuals significantly influence consumer behavior.

  • Step 10: Collaborate with Social Media Influencers Work with influencers who can promote your restaurant to their followers. This can drive engagement, increase your follower count, improve brand awareness, and ultimately, boost sales and business growth.

Following these steps will help you understand why your restaurant needs social media marketing and guide you through implementing an effective strategy.

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