7 Ways to Manage Social Media for a Restaurant
Albeit being one of the most popular in the business landscape, the food industry is also one of the most complicated segments in the world of business. Due to the thriving numbers of competitors popping out of nowhere every day, restaurant owners are expected to do everything just to stand out among the rest.
This applies specifically to new businesses. Being a first-timer in this do-or-die business setup means establishing your brand and formulating a good marketing strategy may not be such an easy feat to take on. Yes, some are lucky enough to have ample background in marketing and advertising. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is also a huge portion of business owners who are being left out.
As of today, there are over 600,000 restaurants operating in the United States alone. Whether you are operating using a virtual or brick-and-mortar storefront, your introduction to the foodservice industry counts.
For every business, there is a common ground for marketing, and that is to increase sales. As the old adage goes, “there is no easy way out”. Increasing sales requires an intricate process to become successful. Owners must first know different factors to help your brand fit into the sophisticated preferences of your target audience.
Regardless of what product or service you’re offering, be it fast food, pastries, or gourmet meals, your goal is to think of unique ways for customers to notice and patronize not only your dish but your brand as a whole. Aim for a broader and more lasting visibility.
You must be wondering how you are able to do this when you’re too busy organizing order stubs and serving your signature dish to your local customers. Not to mention, it is too impractical for anybody to visit every house in their community and do door-to-door advertising of their menu. By now, you must be telling yourself: “There’s no way I can do that!”.
Actually, there is a better alternative.
Consider using social media. Most owners are unaware of the benefits of social media marketing for restaurants. Social media is an invaluable tool to reach a wider group of potential customers and build stronger relationships with your current client base. The number of social media users today makes it easier to reach your target customers in the fastest way possible.
What’s the Perfect Platform for Your Branding?
Before going into the nitty-gritty aspects of how to manage social media for restaurants, it pays to know that each social media platform entails specific branding techniques. Every restaurant or food business owner must know how they can market their products more effectively on every social media platform.
Admit it or not, food involves arousing more than one human sense. In this light, it is necessary to prepare promotional content and marketing approaches that will cater to the kind of audience that comprise each type of social network.
While the main goals of social media marketing for restaurants are to increase followers, boost reviews using photos, videos, or text-based content, and entice more people to visit the business website and restaurant, there are far more efficient ways that businesses can use their social media pages to their advantage.
Check out how you can increase sales for your restaurant on each platform:
Today, Facebook still remains the number one social media platform when it comes to user count. With this fact alone, it is a clear indication that Facebook is the perfect channel for restaurants to reach a particular market both locally or internationally. The majority of businesses at present believe that creating a Facebook page is the best way to advertise their products. The social networking giant is also the leading name in increasing sales and website traffic.
To maximize sales and marketing for your restaurant on Facebook, you need to allot a budget for ads. Facebook Ads ensure that your promos are more targeted and it also helps new businesses earn more followers, likes, and visits on their website. You can also customize your page and add features where your audience can check your menu, prices, or even order online.
Add a “Menu” tab on your page and link the CTA or clickable button to your website so you can monitor orders made through your page. Don’t forget to make your contact information visible and update your establishment’s address to make it easier for potential customers to reach out to you or find you.
Twitter is yet another excellent platform for your restaurant’s social media strategy as it enables you to create and feature short-term deals and exclusive offers. For instance, try creating a contest wherein your followers must use a specific hashtag related to your product or promo. Along with the hashtag, they need to include what they like most about your food or what makes the dining experience in your restaurant one-of-a-kind. Of course, the winner/s get exclusive prizes and discounts.
Another strategy to try with Twitter is to ask your followers to voice out their feedback about your services by asking them to retweet questions or surveys. Tweet a question about what food items they wish to see in your menu in the near future, or ask them about the most memorable experience they’ve had while dining at your establishment.
Make sure that your tweets are short, concise, and catchy because Twitter only allows up to 140 characters in every “tweet” or post. Tweeting photos and videos are also allowed. Monitor the progress of your Twitter campaigns by checking and comparing the engagement and conversion rates for each of your promotions.
The secret recipe for this platform is to have creativity and art incorporated in your strategy.
Hashtags are also important for Instagram. Since restaurants have food and beverages as their main products, one of the popular hashtags that restaurants can use are #foodphotography #instafood.
Instagram is also all about high-quality visual content. Invest in professionally taken photos of your food and beverages. The more “instagrammable” and unique to your brand your photos are, the more useful it is in your marketing campaigns. Add a caption that will make your followers crave what you are offering and feel powerless to resist the appeal of your products. Prepare posts that align with upcoming local or international celebrations.
Better yet, encourage your followers to take pictures of themselves while dining at your restaurant, and then share it on their profiles and tag you on the post. Some restaurant owners partner with social media influencers and other food specialists in the industry to expand the audience reach of their brand.
YouTube is slowly becoming more and more popular for the younger generation. It has already been successful in helping create a number of globally renowned young influencers. Since it allows its creators to freely generate their own content and present it as distinctly as they want it through videos, it can also be used by restaurant owners to share their craft.
Sharing food recipes is a good start for a restaurant’s YouTube channel. From there, they can slowly shift to giving free lectures about nutrition, sharing food hacks, and even diet tips. As long as it is significant to the restaurant’s trademark, anything that can get the attention of viewers and followers is good content. Just make sure that it is informative and will leave the viewers satisfied.
Similar to Instagram, restaurant owners can also collaborate with other food-related channels and influencers to attract more viewers and potential customers. You can even work with internet media and entertainment companies like Buzzfeed and Mashable to create “Taste Test” videos for your products. Taste testing videos are effective in arousing viewer curiosity and letting your products known to a broader group of customers.
Now that the different platforms have been discussed, the second half of this blog will tackle more generalized yet still highly useful ways on how to use social media for restaurants and generate fantastic results.
Here are some effective tips that restaurant owners can apply in their social media marketing tactics:
1. Social media management
Undertakings that involve the internet are truly far from what a restaurant should be focusing on. Like in any other marketing venture, if an owner wants to be successful in their advertising project, then delegating an employee with an in-depth understanding of how to use social media for restaurant marketing is the winning move. By doing so, restaurant owners are assured that their marketing strategy is carefully and aptly implemented while they are busy managing the usual routines involved in keeping their restaurant afloat.
Blogging is a specialized skill that proves helpful for restaurants with an existing business website. The use of blogs can also be incorporated in social media and restaurant marketing in a way that these blogs help boost content and promotions on the business’s social media accounts. By including the link, the viewers are redirected to your website to read the topics that you prepared for them.
Since the goal is to attract website visitors and anticipated customers, topics should be within the interest of the target market. For instance, writers can speak about the benefits of a particular food or product that the business sells. The impact of a satisfied reader will reflect in building brand awareness.
3. Paid Promotions
Several social media platforms these days are free while some also offer paid promotions for posts. Facebook and Twitter are best known for using this strategy. If you feel like your advertisements are not reaching the desired number of people you are targeting, you can always boost your post in the same manner that tweets can be promoted to reach a larger audience.
Hashtags became popular along with the rising popularity of social media. It is used as a way to help speed up search results for desired content. Thus, keeping up with the latest and trendiest hashtags is a successful move for big and small food businesses. For restaurant owners, hashtags related to food are the most advisable ones.
A social media manager can add their own twists in creating hashtags to make it more relevant to the brand. They can use the name of a specific place, flavor, or target market to partner with the food. #chocolategoodness #chicagosbest #kidsfavorite can make the hashtag more specifically targeted for the promo’s intended audience.
5. Consistency and uniqueness
The evident differences in each of the social media platforms above make it crucial to stay consistent while creating a distinct identity for every restaurant’s social media account. The most obvious part is that different platforms require different photo sizes and character counts. As such, uploading the same picture repeatedly will diminish viewer interest. Restaurant owners must know the strengths of each platform to maximize the full potential of each.
Some platforms also allow their content to be shared on other social media accounts. For instance, YouTube videos can be linked and shared on Facebook and Twitter, instantly providing additional content for the page. It takes experience and familiarity for new businesses to get the hang of social media marketing.
Another important and often neglected aspect is creativity. For instance, taking good photos and creating superb video presentations makes you a step ahead of your competitors. Always keep in mind that it is the eyes that come first before the mouth. In simpler terms, your food must look good first to attract customers before it reaches their palate and your food is up for evaluation based on their preferences.
Another effective way of handling social media accounts for restaurants is to initiate personal engagement with existing followers. This technique can be done in several ways. Host social media games, polls, and promos that give away prizes and rewards to participating customers. Have followers include sharing their posts or following their pages in the mechanics to make increasing followers and engaging a broader audience more manageable.
Engagement is one of the secret recipes in a successful social media marketing strategy. If a person feels like they know a restaurant on a personal level, they will develop a bond and loyalty with the company.
It is advisable to incorporate moderation services in every social media marketing plan for restaurants. Keeping a watchful eye on user’s posts and comments help boost engagement and limit the possibility of offensive content and scams being linked to your business name. Moderation for social media accounts includes reviewing user posts and profiles on your pages, deleting inappropriate content, and monitoring the progress of every digital campaign.
Statistics show that the majority of potential customers base their purchasing decisions on the reviews left by real customers, and not on the information provided by the company. A company should strive to have satisfied customers. There are also platforms that are specially created for restaurant reviews, like Yelp.
This trick is to allow your customers to do the marketing for you. Concentrate on creating and maintaining a loyal fan base by consistently giving them the best service and products you can offer.
Here’s a very important tip: Dream for the best but always be realistic with your decisions.
Social Media marketing for restaurants is the easiest and also the most effective form of present-day marketing. Some restaurant owners tend to forget that any decision they make will only be successful if it is strategically executed. Each of the platforms has its unique features that, when used appropriately, can be helpful in promoting their restaurant. Food business owners must know the best social media site suitable for their products and strive to utilize the maximum potential of each.
Lastly, a social media marketing plan will not be complete without a solid content moderation team to back it up. Chekkee is a content moderation agency that offers a variety of tailor-made services for regulating user-generated content. Our expert moderators are well-geared to manage your restaurant’s social media by getting rid of inappropriate images and false reviews associated with your brand. Create a safe online community for your followers. With Chekkee, you are sure to get nothing but quality service for enhancing your brand online!