Recipe for Success: 30 Social Media Marketing Tips for Restaurants

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Every business could use a boost in marketing, whether it’s selling a product or a service. In the case of restaurants, it happens to be both through food and service.

Being able to show people that your restaurant is the place they want to eat, is the root of your marketing, and social media has made that much easier.

So if you wish to make your restaurant look the best it can be and bring in new customers via Social Media, then check out our 30 tips and recipes for sweet Social Media marketing success!

Social Media Branding

The most fundamental part of your Social Media marketing is having the audience recognize your brand. By having a carefully designed brand to carry the good name of your restaurant in Social Media, you showcase  an image of class and professionalism, which is very important for a restaurant.

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Know Your Target Audience

Be aware of what kind of establishment you run and aim for the people who are most likely to visit your restaurant. Whether you are a diner or a fancy high-class establishment, you should always be building an audience-focused Social Media marketing strategy.

Scope Out Your Competition’s Social Media

It’s important to be aware of what your competition may be doing with their social media, what new ideas they’re incorporating, and whatever they’re doing better than you. Have someone do a Social Content Audit for your site and Social Profile Audit for your pages.

Maintain Visual Consistency

This goes with your brand as it helps customers quickly identify with your posts. The colors, fonts, image quality, and overall visual theme should go well with your brand and be consistent across all social media platforms you are in. If you don’t have time to create social media images, you can always hire good designers to do it for you.

Spruce Up Your Pages

Going with the previous tip, you should put up cover images and other stuff on your Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as fill in all the details to help your audience know what you’re all about, where you are, and so on.

Do Facebook Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are basically ads on Facebook that show up like any other post, but can be visible to a target audience as a suggestion for them to like and follow. Go to Facebook insights and pick the best stories among your posts. It could be a video showcasing your customers and members, news on your latest’s offers, or even a contest you want your audience to participate in.

Target Your Ads at Your Local Area

For restaurants, any Social Media platform’s geotargeting option may be the most valuable ad you could run.  Market to places near where your restaurant is to get a higher conversion off your marketing. Consider moms, millenials and mobile diners to be your most valuable targets.

Pick Your Main Platform(s)

While the previous tip helps you become more visible online, you may want to focus your social media efforts in one or two of them for best effect. Facebook and Instagram seem to be restaurant favorites these days, with Snapchat jumping up in popularity as well.

Put Your Brand on Every Image and Video Post

It does not have to be a gigantic logo displayed everywhere. Just have it in a corner of an image, visible but discreet. As for videos, just have an intro that is a few seconds long.

Make Use of Different Social Media Platforms

Do whatever you can to reach as wide of an audience as you can. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a given, but you can also get into Foursquare, Yelp, Groupon, Snapchat, and others to boost your chances too.

Be Authentic

The one thing that will help your brand the most is authenticity. Being genuine with your intentions and your actions in the restaurant and in social media is a long-term strategy that pays great dividends in time.

Social Media Content

This forms the meat of your social media marketing as you provide value to the audience by consistently posting high-quality content. In order to get value from the people, you must first give value to them through rich and interesting content.

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Post Menu Items

You can post images of your menu items on Facebook and/or Twitter and include a link to the whole menu for those who may be interested.

Showcase Your Food and Services on Instagram

Since diners post pictures of food on Instagram nowadays, you should do so as well to show off what your restaurant has to offer. Other Instagram users can then see your food and be encouraged to check your place out.

Use Trending and Niche Hashtags

Hashtags are great for both utility and visibility. Trending hashtags expose you to a huge audience, while niche hashtags help potential customers within your area to find you.

Post More Videos

People always appreciate good video content. You can do things like showing how your cooks prepare your food or how your waiters conduct their service.

Practice Employee Appreciation

Similar to the previous tip, you can post content featuring your staff doing what they do. This lets customers see how much you care not just about your customers, but also the people who work in your restaurant.

Lists, Lists, Lists

Another thing people like are list articles. You can post something like “Top 5 Foods for Mother’s Day” or something else that is timely, offering information to the audience while still advertising your restaurant.

Images with Quotes

These are also popular in social media. While a picture is worth a thousand words, a quote can actually enhance the impact of that image. As long as it fits the image and resonates with the audience, it should do well.

Promos and Updates

Patrons of your establishment would like to know if you have new stuff going on, so provide updates on your primary social media outlets to let them know if you have a great discount or days when the place will be closed and so on.

Keep It Fun and Friendly

There is no need to be serious with your posts; restaurants are places where people go to relax and enjoy good food, after all. Inject some lighthearted humor into your content; casual, but not tacky. You’ll be surprised how well people take to it.

Be Consistent

Have a schedule for posting on social media. You may be able to automate your system, but it won’t do well if you don’t have a steady stream of relevant content at reasonable intervals. If you ever need a Social Content calendar, let us know – we have the best content chefs in town!

Social Media Engagement

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Content may get the people interested, but it’s engagement that will make them stay interested and come back for more. Communicating with customers and showing that you care about them is an act that pays for itself and it adds ‘value’ to your overall branding.

Have Someone Read Comments

It can be tough to stay engaged since the negative criticism may get to you. If this is a problem, yet social media marketing is still important, then assign a social media manager to do it for you.

Let Customers Know You’re in Social Media

You don’t have to shout it out loud, but you can have your Facebook page or Instagram profile on your menu or on signs to make them aware of your online presence.

Ask Questions to Customers

Whether through comments or asking them to post with a specific hashtags, ask them about your service, their favorite menu item, and so on. You can learn a lot about your customers’ tastes and preferences this way.

Conduct Photo Contests

Have customers post their best pictures of your food online with a specific hashtag. You can then reward the winners with a free meal, gift certificates, or so on.

Have Giveaways

It’s one of the oldest, simplest, and most effective ways to get an audience engaged. For a restaurant, a giveaway should be done in a way that can be done seamlessly within the establishment.

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Reward Customers Who Check-in with Location-based Networks

Show gratitude for those who check in with networks like Foursquare by providing exclusive discounts and other perks. This can encourage others to check-in as well.

Encourage Reviews

Customers appreciate establishments that value their input, so have them review your restaurant through platforms like Yelp in order to get feedback that can help improve your service.

Use Calls to Action

Humbly request your audience to follow, like, share, and comment whenever possible. Don’t be incessant about it; just drop it in whenever you have the chance and show them that you do care about your audience.

Keep Track of Your Followers

With the better analytics tools available in Facebook and other platforms these days, it’s much easier to track what they like and don’t like. It’s also a part of feedback in a way, so pay attention to that data.

Make Customers Feel at Home

What holds true in the restaurant is the same in social media. Being in the hospitality industry means being cordial and welcoming to customers. Thank them for their patronage and they will keep coming back.

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