Social media marketing for restaurants can help you reach lots of your customers relatively easily. It’s also pretty inexpensive and can have an immediate impact when done well.
When you consider there are more than 4.5 billion social media users worldwide, you can start to see the power of social media marketing for restaurants. Many people use social networks to find out what's going on in the world, join the larger conversation and, of course, search for the best restaurants to try.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many businesses spend lots of time and money on social media marketing without necessarily reaping the rewards. It’s important to concentrate on the right areas and have a strategy that works for you.
With that in mind, here are six social media marketing tactics that are proven to get results.
6 tactics to nail social media marketing for restaurants
From Facebook and Instagram to newer tactics like TikTok marketing, you'll have to choose the most appropriate platform for your restaurant. But the tips below will give you a great foundation as you go after the all-important likes, shares and followers online.
If you already know your ideal customer profile and you're ready to go out and engage with them, here are the best ways to make your mark on the social media stage.
1. Focus on local content
Many restaurants and takeaways rely heavily on regular custom from local residents, and you can show that you are highly engaged and active in the community by posting locally relevant content. Local-based content is anything related to supporting your community, such as posts about local sporting or cultural events.
Along with this, you can talk about your own staff and anything interesting that the business is involved in locally. However, you shouldn’t make it all about your business - spread your involvement and influence wider wherever possible. By posting content that’s relevant to your area, you show that your business is part of the community and endear yourself to local customers.
2. Use high-quality, eye-catching images
Using images is absolutely crucial on social media and a surefire way to grab attention quickly. They are proven to be more impactful than text - a post accompanied by a photo is much more likely to generate engagement.
So it’s important to put out high-quality pictures that appeal to your target audience. Consider commissioning professional photos of your premises, staff and some of your most appealing dishes. However, it’s not totally necessary as people often value simple, user-generated images just as much. On Facebook and Instagram in particular, photos are prioritised so keep the visual elements very strong in your posts.
3. Use hashtags to increase your reach
You can really maximize the reach and visibility of your posts by using hashtags that are relevant to your business. People use the hashtag symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase within posts, to categorise the posts and help them appear more easily in searches. So including hashtags (#) in your posts helps other users easily find messages related to a specific theme or topic. It gets posts noticed a lot more.
A good starting point is to do a little research into which hashtags popular restaurants are using, and see which content performed best with specific hashtags. Try out different hashtags and get creative with your posting. Do this regularly and you should start to see more engagement with your content.
Read about how popular Scottish restaurants The Paper Mill and The Craigie received 3x more orders than expected when they switched to Flipdish.
4. Look at your data – and act on it
Social media analytics can give you a lot of vital information, such as your main audience demographic and the most optimal times to post to reach the most people. These data insights can also tell you which of your posts are performing best and generating the highest level of engagement.
Likes, comments, shares, retweets and other metrics are the currency of the social media world. Spend some time going through this data and use it to make decisions on content relevancy and posting schedules. There’s a wide range of social media analytics tools available, both paid and free options. As you start to discover which social platforms and content types are working best, use that information to guide future strategy.
5. Keep talking to your customers
Many businesses fall into the routine of putting out posts on social channels and just stopping there, mistakenly thinking that’s the end of the process. That’s a missed opportunity as they are not tapping into the full potential social media has to offer.
You can actually engage with customers on a much deeper level day-to-day by reacting and replying to their comments. In some cases you could be answering simple questions about things like opening hours, online ordering or your menu. Helping with these things can lead directly to more bookings and orders. This also helps to establish a personal connection with your audience. Never miss the opportunity to build more positive engagement on social channels.
6. Spend a little
You can concentrate primarily on free, organic posts but the results will be less impressive. Supplementing your organic activity with some paid social media can be very effective. Social media advertising is an easy way to get your name out there and reach new customers.
Firstly, consider what you are trying to achieve with your ads. Are you trying to reach new customers, engage with existing customers, or drive more conversions? Make sure to select the appropriate method of advertising to suit what you are trying to achieve. For instance, maybe you want to promote a special offer or encourage more downloads of your app. Allocating some budget to boost posts and place social ads could be money well spent.
Social media marketing for restaurants: patience and persistence will pay off
By following some or all of these six tips, you are sure to see an improvement in your social media marketing performance. It may take some time to build momentum but with a little patience and persistence, you will start to see a return on your investment.
Find out how Flipdish helps improve social media marketing for restaurants like yours.