Social Media Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Social media is a crucial part of running a modern business. Whether your restaurant is currently active on social media or not, you can be sure that your customers are tweeting, posting, and Instagramming about your business online. You’re much better off, for many reasons, if you join the conversation proactively.

For many restaurant operators, managing social media profiles is just another item on their ever-increasing list of to-dos. For others, social media is a priority in their business development and something they’ve built into their restaurant marketing plans. Whichever you are, note that social media is crucial to your restaurant’s success today.

Nowadays, it's important to keep in mind that whenever someone visits your social media pages, it’s like they’re peeking into your restaurant and having a quick chat with one of your staff. What do you want them to see? Can they find one of your staff to talk to?

Whether you manage your restaurant’s online presence yourself, you’ve delegated the task to a dedicated team member, or you’ve hired someone to be a full-time marketing manager for your restaurant, be sure you’re actively engaging and sharing with your customers and audience which will ultimately increase sales and revenue of your restaurant.

I understand the stress of brainstorming on what to share and how frustrating it can be to get content ideas and curate them to share with your audience. But it’s always helpful to get inspiration from other restaurants who are killing the social media game.

Meanwhile, here are 10 simple and practical ideas to inspire your restaurant’s social media strategy:

1. Show Off What’s Behind the Scenes

Aside from sharing high-quality photos of your delicious prepared dishes, also regularly shares behind the scenes videos and photos from what goes on in the kitchen.

These days, restaurant-goers love to see how the food gets made in restaurant kitchens — in fact, there are countless extremely popular YouTube series that spotlight how a restaurant makes a signature dish. You can easily attract new guests/customers by chiming in with photos or a video on social media showing how food gets made in your restaurant. The best part is your kitchen staff are already doing the work that your customers want to see; you just have to film it.

Make sure the kitchen is spotless when you film, and showcase your most mouth-watering dishes. You can choose to show the whole process of making a dish, and upload it to YouTube, but even a 10-second clip of filleting a fish can be really effective. You want to show off the skills and talent of your staff, and entice new guests to come try their amazing food.

2. Spotlight Your Employees

Spotlighting your employees is always a great move on social media. It shows your potential guests that you care about your staff as individuals, and you celebrate their strengths.

Profiling the people behind any business is a great way to humanize the experience for customers. Whether or not your team is winning awards, posting pictures from "behind the scenes" or sharing funny anecdotes about the staff can make followers feel more connected to the business and the people that make it possible.

3. Spotlight your Vendors

Showcasing your vendors who provide the ingredients that make your food so amazing is a great way to show you care about everyone who makes your restaurant great — and helps you reach the clientele of those vendors.

Both businesses will drive their raving fans to the other's business — it's a great way to build your restaurant community, in terms of customers and potential collaborators and vendors. Additionally, restaurant clientele these days love to know about where the ingredients in their favourite dishes come from, and if you show that you support other local businesses, you can attract new customers that are looking to support their community.

4. User Generated Content

User-generated content, or UGC, is a restaurant's best friend. UGC is photos, tweets, and other forms of social media made by your guests/customers that show your brand in a positive light. You can repost any UGC that you find online about your restaurant, as long as you credit the original author in the social media post. Always take advantage of any and all UGC, including funny memes, or put on a background that’s a photo of your food.

In short, your raving fans are doing 95% of the work for you by taking photos of your business or talking about it publicly. By re-posting their content, you connect with them and show other guests that you are in touch with your community, while letting your customers hear from their peers, instead of from you, that your business is worth visiting.

5. Respond to Online Reviews

Constantly monitor your online business profiles and social media handles. Respond to almost every review, both good and bad, with a personal note addressing the reviewer's comments.

By addressing negative reviews and showing appreciation for positive ones, you will create a transparent and friendly persona online. You will not be afraid to talk about your flaws and make a public attempt to improve upon them. Make use of negative reviews as an opportunity to learn about your business and turn unhappy customers into brand advocates. Even if you're not able to address every post on your business profiles and social media handles, it's a good idea to address your disgruntled customers and to try to turn that relationship around.

6. Ask Questions to Engage Followers

Improve engagement on social media by asking fun questions and encouraging responses. Followers are more likely to remember the content of the post if they interact with it in some way.

Social media is about more than just telling your followers what's happening at your restaurant. It's also about listening to them. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to create a two-way dialogue with your customers. The question function on Instagram stories is particularly engaging and fun for potential customers to use. Asking questions can inspire followers to engage with your posts and to interact with you, rather than simply continuing to scroll to the next story, or down the page.

7. Host Social Media Contests

There are a million types of contests you can run on social media. They're quick wins for both your restaurant and your fans. By asking guests to participate in fun trivia questions, riddles, fill-in-the-blanks, photo contests, caption contests, or even just by tagging their friends. This helps your restaurant build rapport with guests and encourages engagement online.

8. Capitalize on Trending Topics

Jumping on topics that are already trending on social media is a great way to increase exposure for your posts, especially if you have a clever take on the topic. Marketers call this strategy "newsjacking" and use it as a way to be seen by everyone following the popular trend.

9. Create a Consistent Voice

Brand your restaurant with a unique identity. Have a theme and build your business around it, let it be consistent from your physical store to online platforms like websites and social media. Use the same visuals (photography quality and graphics) across all marketing materials, with a consistent tone of communication. Let your brand be recognizable even when your logo isn’t on the screen.

There’s no doubt that pulling out this sought of strategy will require a long and hard thought. But don’t worry so much as you can contact Oniontabs to help out, create consistent messaging and imagery for your business. This will extend your restaurant brand beyond the four walls of your location.

10. Ensure you are taking orders online

Since your guests/customers are already engaging with your restaurant online, it will be quite unwise if you are not taking orders online. As people spend most of their time surfing the internet, they virtually do almost everything online, including buying what they want to eat. And most of them choose to do it from their own smartphones.

If your restaurant can afford your guest/customers the opportunity to order their food online either for dine in, pick up or delivery, you will increase your revenue bottom line. You can only do this effectively if you are using an online food pre-order system.

Take advantage of Oniontabs’s custom built ordering system for restaurants, which let your customers order meals from you with ease.

Apart from helping you meet your customers where they are already, adopting this system will simplify the lives of your customers, help you unlock great opportunities to grow your business exponentially and above all ensure that your business is able to stand tall in the competition.

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Now, there you have it! The ten simple and yet powerful strategies you can employ now to get a massive turn over in your restaurant business. Let Me know which of these resonate with you and which strategy you are starting with.