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Social media platforms have changed the face of restaurant marketing altogether. Restaupreneurs no longer need to rely on word-of-mouth marketing and can use social media platforms to build brand awareness, display ads, and in turn, increase their revenues. If you are running a restaurant business and do not have an active or well-planned social media marketing strategy, you are missing out on so much!
Social media marketing is an excellent way of reaching out to a large pool of customers with less investment. Besides, for many potential customers, if you are not on social media, you virtually DO NOT EXIST. Period. So, unless you want to give up on a whole bunch of new customers and only wish to thrive on your existing customers, you should up your social media game. When you leverage the power of social media channels together, your fans and followers turn into real-life customers.
The best social media tools for your restaurant business might not be the best for others – this is the general rule. The exception to this rule is Facebook. All kinds of businesses, whether big or small, can leverage the platform and drive in a huge number of customers, not to mention, expand their reach with digital ads. Having a dedicated Facebook Page for your restaurant business is not just important, but mandatory, especially when a number of online ordering platforms now let you receive orders directly from Facebook. Here’s how you can make the best use of this platform:
✓Create a Facebook page that reflects the voice of your brand. Everything from the logo to the cover picture and display image should reflect the vision and the mission of your business. Most importantly, brand identity should be consistent across all sections.
✓Facebook Ads target based on your current customers and match them with over two million prospects who possess similar interests, preferences and demographics
✓Promote interactive content that engages your audience. Take examples of restaurants that are doing well both online and offline. Observe how they engage with their customers and try to create your strategies accordingly. Remember – engagement means brand awareness and good brand awareness means good business.
Instagram is the most effective way to promote visually stimulating content and draw in great engagement from your target audience. Sharing your menu and the photos of the restaurant on Instagram is a great idea! You can also conduct engaging contests for your audience to create a buzz about your brand on the platform. Here’s how you can do it best:
✓A good camera, proper lighting, and a decent photographer are a must-have to create a long-lasting impact about your brand on your followers.
✓Follow a consistent brand voice throughout.
✓Leverage on the feature of Instagram stories to spread awareness about events that you are planning at your restaurant and share details on how your users could be a part of it.
✓Get your hashtags game right – Use the most relevant and popular ones to drive in more traffic.
Foursquare is a social media platform that allows its users to check-in to different places using their smartphones. Others will use these check-ins to decide whether or not to visit your restaurant. Furthermore, users of Foursquare can see where their friends and family have checked-in and look for recommendations. Here’s how you can best leverage from it:
✓Ask your customers to check-in to your restaurant on Foursquare (you might want to give them something in return as a token of appreciation for doing this – may be 10% off on their next order with you?)
✓After you’re done with the process of claiming your space on Foursquare, engage with existing customers and entice them to order from you by offering special offers, loyalty rewards, etc.
YouTube is a great way to build brand awareness through videos. Create a YouTube channel for your business and make sure it is in sync with your restaurant’s brand voice. Decide on a theme for what you wish to post on YouTube – providing cooking tips and tricks, interviewing your customers, demonstrating the recipes, etc. Here’s how you can do it like a pro:
✓Be aware of what’s happening around and try to create a buzz about your company by covering annual events and participation
✓Think out of the box! – don’t limit yourself to what your competitors are doing (although keeping them in check is a good idea to stay up-to-date with the trends). Try out new ways and experiment with crazy ideas – maybe shoot a chat session with your top chefs and call it From the Chef’s table series. Get the idea?
✓Every time you post a new video, share it on all your other social media platforms
Twitter provides a focused and concise space to promote your restaurant. Short and precise 140-characters tweets can be used to announce quick contests, daily specials, weekend events, etc. It’s the best space to connect with a niche chunk of audience. Here’s how you can rock at your Twitter marketing:
✓Relevant usage of hashtags is very important to drive traffic from new users
✓The trick to amplify engagement is to ‘be’ genuine, straight-forward and have casual conversations with your users using simple and clear communication
✓Respond actively to customer support messages – both good feedback and not-so-good ones. Remember to write back to every customer who is interacting with your Twitter account. This shows that you genuinely care for your customers and helps build your reliability
Pinterest is a platform that lets people discover new ideas and save them as ‘pins’ to their digital ‘pinboards’. Setting up your restaurant page on Pinterest and creating engaging boards allows your customers to engage with your restaurant by repinning or sharing the images that they find useful, or “tempting.” Here’s how to do it best:
✓Create attractive pins using the images of most exotic dishes that you serve at your restaurant. If you can capture a few customers relishing those dishes, be prepared to get brownie points
✓Provide link-backs to your website or a particular sales page on your website that is running a timely Ad or a contest. Since most people use Pinterest on their smartphones, make sure your website is mobile friendly. Here’s a guide to help you analyze whether your site is mobile responsive or not.
✓Some board suggestions would be Recipe Boards (recipes are most looked up on Pinterest, and this can drive huge traffic to your website), special diets for achieving diverse health goals, menus, creating fusion dishes (people are actively looking to find recipes that is a fusion of two or more dishes from different countries, so this is definitely a go-to)
In today’s digital world, when people are using social media to seek recommendations on what to do, where to shop, what and where to eat – it has become even more important to have a strong social media strategy. Diners today are constantly looking up for information on social media sites to discover their next new favorite dish and to share their experiences – is your business equipped to cater to the tech-savvy generation?
If you’re ready to dive into restaurant marketing, contact My Digital Agents and request a personalized consultation. We’ll get you set up quickly so you can begin attracting new customers.