Need to Reinvigorate Your Restaurant’s Social Media? Try This Instead

It’s 2020. If your restaurant isn’t on social media, then you really should be. Everyone has at least one social page nowadays, from your customer base to your competition so if you’re not online then you’re at a significant disadvantage.

45% of American customers report that they’ve dined out somewhere for the first time because they saw the restaurant’s posts. If done right, social media encourages new diners to check you out so you might make a customer for life. There are ways to optimize your social pages for visibility and engagement to produce the most fortuitous outcome. Here’s how.

1. Identify your key demographic.

Who will get the most out of your restaurant? Is it a good date spot? Is it a family establishment? Will young adults want to hang out there, or is it for kids? Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of who you should market to. Get on the social media apps that those people most frequent and advertise to locals in your area.

Don’t forget tourists—Although you’ll certainly cater primarily to your own neighborhood, your restaurant might be one of the things that travelers want to try when they come to the area. Curate appealing photos of your location or add happy hour specials to draw in the foreign crowd during their visits.

2. Social media marketing

Create pages on all of the major platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are big right now, to name just a few. Your presence on these apps is an incredibly effective marketing tactic—and an affordable one, too. Compared to offline marketing or the use of third party apps whose high commission fees take up to 30% of your revenue, ads on Facebook and Instagram start as cheap as $1 per day. It’s a low investment for a potentially unbeatable reward.

3. Generate awesome content

The best social media pages have a little something for everyone. Post a mix of good photos, videos and more to keep readers engaged and your page well-curated. Customers have demonstrated interest in behind-the-scenes footage, like cooks at work or servers describing the best part about working in that restaurant. Don’t neglect your live feeds, stories and features like Boomerang, either.

4. Use hashtags

Not only do you need to tag all your posts so that more people can find you, but you can’t use too many or too few, nor should you choose irrelevant hashtags even though that may seem like the quickest way to convince new people to stop by. Your tags should be related to the cuisine you serve, your location and your restaurant as a whole, as studies show this encourages the highest engagement. For the best outcome, use one to two tags on Facebook or Twitter posts, and up to eleven in your Instagram posts’ comments section. Showing off your brand to a bunch of people who won’t be interested in it is simply a waste of ad money; trust the algorithm.

5. Boost posts

Organic engagement is hard to get when building your online presence from the bare ground up. You can boost your Facebook posts to get the attention of people in your local area, even selecting the geographic range you want your ad to reach. This ensures that you stay within your target demographic. Boosting Facebook posts is proven to increase your chances of people signing up for your mailing list.

6. Support audience engagement

One of the best ways to stay relevant in consumers’ minds is to encourage their direct interaction. You can host polls, competitions, trivia, giveaways and more on your social pages. This creates buzz and convinces your followers, even those who don’t win the grand prize, to drop by for a visit now that you’re on their minds.

7. Share UGC

User-generated content is an unbelievable asset for small businesses of any kind. They’re genuine, positive reviews of your establishment that serve as ready-made recommendations for the rest of your followers. Engaging with these posts also strengthens your relationship with their creators by showing your acknowledgement and appreciation.

8. News and announcements

Social media is the best place to tell your customers about new product launches, changes to your regular hours, opening a new location, seasonal menus and anything else you want to be sure reaches the most customers at once. Don’t be afraid to get creative: You can have someone “take over” the account on a day you’re doing community activism or make a poll for people to help name a new drink special. Have fun with it!

9. Optimize your website

Your website should be the focal point of your internet presence: All of your social media should lead back to it. Thus it needs to be optimized for easy use, whether the customer wants to order, reserve a table or simply browse the menu for now. You should also ensure that your website works on both mobile and desktop since so much of online ordering now happens on the go. Don’t forget to encourage customers to get in touch by filling out all of your contact information such as your phone number, email address and address. For added flare, include some photos on your website and menu too, as this will entice new customers if they aren’t already convinced.

10. Cross-promote

Social media pages work best when they’re working in tandem with one another. Link between pages and promote your posts from other platforms, as this will guarantee that your customers never miss an update. It’s sure to drive better engagement and lead to a stronger brand identity, too.

Now that you’re armed with the skills necessary to run a successful social media page, it’s time to put your new knowledge to action. Here are a few more tips on what your pages should look like:

  • Clearly display the name of your restaurant.
  • Choose a handle that identifies you with your brand, that’s simple to search and understand.
  • Add profile pictures that are relevant to the business.
  • Add your location so you show up in geo-searches.
  • Add a bio or about page.
  • Link to your website.

Your display name, handle and profile pictures should stay consistent across all of your social media so that customers can identify your brand no matter what website they travel to, and know that the account is run by the same business who handles all the others. When done right, social media can be the tool your restaurant needs to really flourish and drive more customers to your business.

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