In today’s digital world of hashtags, tweets, likes, and online reviews, your restaurant’s social media presence is necessary for a successful marketing strategy. Many guests glance through your social channels before even entering your restaurant, and it’s vital to make these first impressions count. As a free source of marketing, social media is an easy strategy to implement that can significantly benefit your restaurant. Utilizing your social media platforms can help you promote your restaurant, generate excitement, build loyalty and community, and ultimately, drive customer traffic to your operation.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are the most commonly used platforms for social media marketing. If your restaurant utilizes more than one of these platforms, be sure to create consistent handles or usernames for easier recognition, and dedicate one person to update each site on a consistent basis. To make customer experiences easy, convenient, and hassle-free, include location, phone number, and the most up-to-date menu items.
Sixty-ﬁve percent of American adults and 90 percent of young Americans use Facebook. Engage customers of all ages on Facebook by proactively sharing photos of your newest offerings such as a soup or sandwich of the day to drive foot traffic to your store. High social engagements on Facebook lead to more sales and awareness. Create exciting posts that generate engagement about customer favorite menu items, limited-time specials, and upcoming events. If you have a takeout program, consider an online ordering platform that enables customers to order takeout right from your Facebook page. Take advantage of Facebook’s targeting functions to promote your posts to those in a particular geographic location and to those who like specific pages.
Instagram is a sharing platform largely focused on images. Post in-action shots of your chefs in the kitchen and the highest-quality photos of your food accompanied by the latest trending hashtags. Use hashtags such as #NationalCheeseBurgerDay or geographic specific hashtags such as #NYCfood for a broader reach. Encourage customers to tag your business in their photos to populate your Instagram account, display customer loyalty, and promote your offerings. Increased engagements will also boost Instagram’s algorithm to push your content into more followers’ feeds.
Twitter is a great platform to engage with customers. Let them know you’re there to listen to their concerns and you’re appreciative of their business and feedback. Twitter is also a fantastic tool for B2B marketing. If you work with local businesses, engage with them on Twitter to highlight those partnerships. Post on Twitter close to dining hours to keep your restaurant top-of-mind for customers and to see the most engagement. Utilize trending hashtags to draw more attention to your brand and geo-target your tweets to those in a particular geographic location.
According to Statista, 60% of Snapchat users in the U.S. are under the age of 24, making it a gold mine for businesses targeting millennials. Utilize Snapchat to capture authentic behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with chefs, satisfied customers, or feature event nights such as Taco Tuesday to gain a loyal following. If you post a Snapchat story, it only lasts for 24 hours, meaning you must be consistent with new content to stay relevant to your followers. Snapchat can be challenging to keep up with, but it’s a great way to test out new content, keep up with the trends, engage with customers, and draw attention to your restaurant.
All of these social media platforms have extensive technology that can be used to drive engagement and drive customers to your business. Get started today!