Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: Crafting a Strategy That Will Attract Customers6 min read
Does your restaurant need social media marketing? The short answer is yes!
Statistics show that 72 percent of Facebook users have made a restaurant visit decision on the basis of video and comments posted by people in their network. Half a star rating difference on Yelp could contribute to 27 percent more business for restauranteurs.
The numbers are convincing but what does it take to craft a restaurant social media marketing strategy that attracts customers? Relevance, originality and content quality are just a few of the factors that matter.
Know Your Audience
To craft the right social media marketing strategy, you’ll need to answer the following questions:
- How old is your ideal restaurant customer?
- Which communication channels do they use?
- Where do they live?
- What’s their status – single, married, with kids?
- Where do they work and how much do they earn?
These are just a few of the questions you can use to bring an ideal buyer persona to life.
Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest provide wonderful opportunities for audience segmentation and addressing the right crowd. This is the biggest strength of social media marketing. You’ll be driving a targeted audience to your message, especially if you have an idea which audience you’d like to expose to your promo content.
Create Comprehensive Profiles (and Make Them Social Media-Specific)
Effective social media marketing starts with the creation of the right profile.
Understand the fact that Facebook isn’t the same as Twitter. These platforms are used in different ways to accomplish specific marketing goals. As a result, your profiles should be platform-specific and comprehensive.
A good profile provides a potential customer with all of the important information:
- Your location
- Contact information: website, email, phone number
- The price range
- The types of food you serve
- The services you offer (online booking, food delivery, catering, etc.)
- Your working hours
On Facebook, you’ll also need a solid cover photograph that represents your restaurant. The more visual your profile is, the better. People respond well to visual information, especially when it comes to delicious food they’d like to savor.
Through Facebook, you have a chance to upload a few other key elements that establish your uniqueness.
You can add reviews and even your menu. A beautiful digital menu gives profile visitors an overview of your food, the price range and the diversity they could enjoy. Don’t hesitate to feature your digital menu centrally, since it can drive a bit of engagement.
Finally, Facebook gives you a chance to tell your story and describe your business in the About Us section. Make the information relevant and approachable. Social media are less formal than other communication channels, which means you can have a bit of fun with your presentation.
Keep things short and simple on Twitter and Instagram. Twitter does limit your presentation, hence focus solely on the essentials. As Instagram is visual, very few people will pay attention to massive chunks of text. You’ll need to find ways to present the important information alternatively (through branded stories or corporate videos, for example).
Relevant Content Creation
There are two more elements needed for effective social media presence that will drive customers to your restaurants – quality publications and regular interactions with your audience.
Let’s start with the content.
The characteristics of content that converts on social media include the following:
- Relevance: use your posts to establish yourself as an authority in the respective industry.
- Emotional appeal: people want to know your business better. Behind the scenes footage (how food is made, interviews with staff members) present the “human” face of your business. This way, people can relate and feel more attached to your brand and what it stands for.
- Quality visuals: hands down, visual content ensures optimal conversion. After watching an online video, 64 percent of people are more likely to buy a product online. In a survey, 45 percent of people said that they watch more than an hour of Facebook and YouTube videos per week. Ninety percent of people said that video is helpful in making a decision about choosing a specific service provider.
- Informative: fun, interesting and informative content performs much better than heavily promotional social media posts.
- Incorporating product placement unobtrusively: you can still feature your products and services. There’s just no need to hit your audience over the head with the message. Cool pictures, celebrity endorsements and professional food photography can yield excellent results without making the promotion obvious.
- Easy to find: the use of hashtags on Twitter and Instagram is a powerful tool if you want to make your content easy to find. It’s even possible to create your own branded hashtag and make it go viral through a competition.
- Feature user-generated content: people trust content generated by other customers. A focus on authentic user-generated content can diversify your marketing strategy and add yet another element of credibility.
Once you start publishing content, get in the habit of checking its performance regularly.
Even if you think that certain types of posts will appeal to your audience, you can never be certain that the engagement level is going to be high enough.
Pay attention to the number of new followers, like, comments, reactions and reposts. Note the types of content that are doing best and fine-tune your social media marketing strategy on the basis of this information.
Have Meaningful Interactions with Your Followers
People like social media because they give them an opportunity to interact with favorite brands. The communication isn’t one-directional, which contributes to the high level of engagement and effectiveness of social media marketing.
To turn your profile visitors into restaurant customers, you’ll need to do the following:
- Respond to questions as soon as possible – profile visitors expect immediacy in their communication with brands
- Enable reviews for your restaurant venue (even if you get a negative review, you can respond adequately, offer the person some compensation and turn them in a lifelong fan)
- Ask questions and use polls to get people interacting with your profile
- Encourage republications and comments through giveaways and contests
- Create a safe discussion environment and moderate comments for racist, abusive or other types of unacceptable remarks
- Use the Facebook chat and the direct messaging options on Twitter and Instagram to answer questions and provide more information about your services
Online reviews are a powerful, powerful thing. So are comments and other types of user-generated content. Be present and respond to those. Be polite and respect the opinions of people, even if they don’t like what you’re doing. Informative and well-intentioned responses will craft the right type of reputation for your restaurant, resulting in higher levels of popularity.
A final suggestion we have for you focuses on the use of social media ads. Advertising on Facebook or Instagram is a great option for kickstarting your social media presence.
The social media paid advertising options are cost-efficient and you can do a lot of targeting to determine who’s going to see your ads. Set a reasonable daily budget and a goal (Facebook page likes, website visits, bookings, etc.). Monitor performance over a short period of time to see how the campaign is doing and to determine whether any tweaks are