Social media is a gold mine if utilised well. Here’s how to grow your restaurant’s online presence.
Let’s study how restaurants can use social media to move their businesses forward. We’ll briefly highlight branding, customer retention, marketing, and other activities like integrating a free menu maker to help increase your restaurant sales. However, your first step to a successful social media activity is brand building, as we’ll see below.
What You Should Know Before You Focus on Social Media
Your brand is your main selling proposition — it’s that thing that sets you apart from other restaurants and draws customers to you. Suppose you haven’t created a brand or an air of uniqueness around your restaurant. In that case, you’re more or less a commodity, reducing your customer acquisition channels down to prices, market proximity, and perhaps food taste.
So, if you want to engage in serious social media activity, you should first build a brand. That way, any customers your marketing attracts become loyal. Suffice it to say, sheer marketing without a proper retention plan is like tapping water into a leaking container.
We won’t tell you how to brand here because this isn’t our focus in this article. We only mentioned it to enable you to go back and fix your restaurant’s brand identity before commencing proper social marketing — that’s if you typically ignore branding in running a restaurant. That way, your social media marketing campaign becomes more effective.
Your menu is one of the vital branding components, and you can design a beautiful one using a free menu template.
Using Social Media for Marketing
Marketing activities on social media assume different forms. You need to leverage both free and paid activities (like pay-per-click) to make the most use of this digital tool.
Before initiating an intense activity on a social media platform, confirm that many of your present or future customers use it. Don’t waste time and effort on a platform you aren’t sure your customers are active on just because you’ve heard or seen another restaurant use it successfully.
However, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are typically must-haves for any restaurant. You can also include TikTok in your campaign to create viral content or target the younger generation. Create pages and channels for your restaurant on these platforms and regularly engage with customers there.
That said, the following tips should help you master the art of social media marketing for your restaurant:
1. Link your social media to a website.
You also need a website for further exposure online, and you can easily create one today. While it doesn’t have to be a complex website with hundreds of pages, it should have a homepage, about us, contact, and menu pages, at the very least. When people find you on social media or other platforms, they’re highly likely to check out your website to learn more before deciding whether to dine with you.
2. Publish enough marketing content.
You need to keep your followers and loyal customers updated and entertained with new content and promotions. Post at least twice a week on your main social media platform, and take the time to shoot high-quality videos and pictures for these posts. TikTok is best for creating content to follow trends, which has the highest likelihood of introducing you to users who wouldn’t usually hear about your restaurant, and may travel to find you.
3. Carry out sales promotions often enough.
Design and launch exciting promotions from time to time, especially when sales begin to dwindle. Promotional offers will rope in many who had no intention to eat at that moment, especially with sufficient urgency in the messaging.
4. Link your social media to third-party pages.
Your business will likely be listed on different platforms, from social media to review sites and directory pages. Most of these typically have an address function to pinpoint your restaurant’s location.
Ensure your restaurant is on Google My Business and verified by the major search engines and other popular platforms in your vicinity. Having a consistent address and contact information web-wide is critical because Google checks this and will demote restaurants with conflicting addresses or contact details. Google indexes your social media content too, so consistency is important.
Using Social Media for Delivery and Reservations
The pandemic has forced many restaurants to start providing delivery and reservation services. While most restaurants do this through their websites, many have integrated these services into social media as well. You can use both Instagram and Facebook to receive food orders from your customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a restaurant use social media?
Restaurants can use social media for marketing, branding, announcements, and receiving orders, among several other functions. Each of these activities entails a series of complex steps that must be carried out correctly to yield positive results.
For what three things do restaurants typically use social media?
Restaurants typically use social media to:
- nurture a loyal fan base,
- market new and existing dishes, and
- receive orders.
However, restaurants use social media for many other activities, all of which fall under two categories: marketing and order processing. Both Facebook and Instagram have dedicated functionalities to help restaurants display food items and receive orders.
What social media is best for restaurants?
The best social media platforms for restaurants include:
We’ve seen from this short post that restaurants can use social media to promote their business and receive online orders from customers. If you had no idea how restaurants can use social media in today’s business environment prior to reading this article, we hope it’s a different story now.