5 Examples of Amazing Restaurant Twitter Strategies

Restaurant Twitter Strategies

Do you have a Twitter strategy for your restaurant?

Of all the different social media platforms, Twitter is one of the most popular choices for restaurant owners. You can reach thousands of people every day, quickly, and mostly for free.

Although millions of people use Twitter – 140 million US users, in fact – many restaurant owners aren’t sure how to make the most of their Twitter page. In this blog post, you’ll find five amazing Twitter strategies you can put into practice on your own Twitter page and watch it gain steam on a daily basis.

Use Twitter Specific Promotions

Reward your current followers and incentivize new ones with Twitter specific promotions. Always announce your winners – everyone likes a winner! Here are a few examples of Twitter restaurant promotions:

  • Ask for feedback. For example, “How’d you like our new dish? We’d love to hear your comments.” Offer them a comeback coupon for another new menu item.
  • Promote a sudden menu special just for Twitter followers.
  • Give “insiders” a special deal. Have them mention the Twitter promo for a free drink or appetizer.
  • Try Twitter Tuesday. Do this every week and promote a special deal revealed in a tweet only on Tuesdays.
  • Offer people a chance to win a gift card if they retweet one of your tweets by, for example, 5 pm.
  • Have people guess and comment on your chef’s favorite item of the day to be entered for a chance to win the dish.
  • Occasionally “thank” your followers with a contest or special. Your customers like to be thanked for visiting your restaurant!
  • Encourage restaurant goers to tweet about their meal for a chance to win something.

Tailor Your Tweets

Include a link to your restaurant website or blog in each tweet. Optimize the click through rate (CTR) of your tweets by making them relevant to your restaurant customer. A recent study shows the following can increase your restaurant’s Twitter success:

  • Write your tweets with 120 – 130 characters.
  • Tweet on the weekends for a higher CTR.
  • Use action words – verbs and adverbs do better than nouns and adjectives.
  • Tweet in the afternoon and evening.
  • Choose the right words. Posts with via, @ and RT (retweet) have a higher CTR. (tweet this)
  • Place links ¼ of the way through your tweet for a higher CTR.
  • Use engaging photos of your food, wait staff and kitchen staff.
  • Ask users to retweet. You can use RT or Retweet. Tweets that contain these terms receive 12x higher retweet shares than those that don’t have a call to action.

Additionally, search Twitter on a weekly basis for tweets about your restaurant. You can also search hashtags online. Then retweet to draw attention to your Twitter account.

Make Good Use of the Hashtag

A hashtag is a word or short phrase (with no spaces or punctuation) that follows the # sign and is used on most social platforms. Hashtags are searchable terms; they can help you find out what others are talking about.

Promoting a new menu item or special event? Create a unique hashtag that your followers, and those who might be searching for you, can find easily. Make use of popular “trending now” hashtags that are relevant to your restaurant so more people see your tweet.

Think of an interesting or funny way you can engage your potential restaurant customers with a clever and original hashtag. Have fun and be creative.

Restaurant Social Media Strategies

Twitter can help bring new customers to your restaurant.

Improve User Experience with Twitter Cards

Twitter Cards let you take your tweets beyond basic text. When you use Twitter cards, you can attach photos, videos and rich media to Tweets that drive traffic to your restaurant’s website. You’ll add visual interest with photos of your restaurant, menu and special events.

Simply add a few lines of HTML code to your website, and people who Tweet links to your content have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

You’ll stand out in a mostly text arena by creating a media-rich experience for your followers with one of these seven different cards:

  • Summary card (default) – includes title, description, thumbnail and attribution
  • Summary card with large photo – same as above but with featured image
  • Photo card – photo only
  • Gallery Card – highlights four photos (think menu items)
  • App card – details a mobile app with download option
  • Player cards – showcase videos (think video testimonials)
  • Product cards – optimized for product (think menu item) information

Don’t let the foreign term, Twitter Cards, scare you. In most cases, you can implement cards in less than 15 minutes. First, gather your rich media – photos and videos. Open your Twitter page. Login to your website’s dashboard so you can add Meta properties. Then, follow these steps directly from Twitter:

  1. Review the documentation for the type of Card you want to implement.
  2. Add the pertinent meta tags to your page.
  3. Run your URLs against the validator tool to be approved.
  4. After approval, tweet the URL and see the Card appear below your tweet.
  5. Use Twitter Card analytics to measure your results.

Most exciting for your restaurant is the ability to set your content apart from the competition, increasing the likelihood that your customers will click on and retweet your posts.

Host a Twitter Chat

You’ll interact publicly with your followers and promote your restaurant with a Twitter Chat. This is a public Twitter conversation based around one unique hashtag that allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter Chats are usually recurring on specific topics that allow you to regularly connect with like-minded people.

Your restaurant’s Twitter chat could ask for instant menu feedback, provide support, discuss new menu items, spices, recipes, working with mozzarella, etc. Spend some time looking around at other people’s chats to get some ideas and get comfortable with the set up.

The most crucial step to the Twitter Chat brainstorming the hashtag. (tweet this)

The hashtag pulls the whole chat together.  You want it to be absolutely unique, short, easy to type and easy to remember.

Next, set the time. One tip – make sure one of your competitors isn’t having a chat on the same day/time you schedule yours. You can’t do it all, so pick a moderator. Perhaps one week it’s your chef, the next your bartender, etc…

Lastly, be sure and promote your chat. Use all available channels – your restaurant website, blog, Twitter page and other social media. You can also ask your current Twitter followers to retweet the info about the chat.

After your Twitter chat, be sure and repurpose the content on your restaurant blog by creating a well-organized summary and posting it to your blog with your official chat hashtag in the title. This allows you to both update your blog regularly with useful, relevant content and spread the word about your Twitter chat.

It might take a while for your chat to become “popular,” so be patient. The outcome is well worth it!

With more than 135,000 new Twitter users signing up every day, you’ll want to take advantage of these five amazing Twitter strategies to grow your Twitter following and increase your restaurant business. You’ll have the most success with your Twitter marketing if you tweet at least daily – some people recommend up to 20 times per day.

Be patient and be consistent. Results may be slow. Twitter has a lot of power, but it comes from you delivering great customer service at your restaurant and on Twitter. You’ll find soon, that as one Twitter follower comes to your restaurant and enjoys it, you’ll slowly get more buzz on your Twitter page.

Have you tried one of these amazing Twitter strategies? Please share your comments and tips on how you integrated these strategies on your own Twitter page. What worked well?

Images: Andreas Eldh & Trysil

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