Food is a way to connect with others. It’s a way people express themselves.
For example, a person’s choice of restaurant says a lot about his/her personality.
So, it only seems natural that social media is the perfect place for today’s generation to connect and share a bit of themselves through their food posts.
Just do a search for #food and #foodporn. You’ll see millions of posts. And, consider Pinterest’s more than 100 million food-related boards. For these reasons, your restaurant must be on social media.
To help you succeed in the social arena, we look at the secret to effective restaurant social media marketing and provide you tips for making the most of your posts and tweets.
The secret to social media is your audience. It’s meeting their needs and exceeding them in terms of content, both written and visual.
At the heart of your effective social media marketing is the people you are marketing to. Next, it’s your objectives, the strategy you put in place and the platforms you use.
To be successful at social media, you have to know and understand your audience. This not only helps you create the right content, but it helps you choose the right platforms for your restaurant.
The strategy you choose hinges on your objectives as well as the benefits to your customers. In other words, what do you hope to achieve, and what’s in it for your audience?
Once you clearly understand the needs of your current and target audience, you’ve got “the secret.”
Now, let’s look at some tips for implementing great social media marketing.
Let’s say you have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and you’re ready to start posting and tweeting.
Before you dive in, you want to complete your entire profile including your about pages.
Include your website address, phone number, location and even your menu.
You don’t want users to have to look hard for your information – provide it all right there in your profiles. Tell people what your cuisine is like. Let them know if your restaurant is kid-friendly and if you offer take-out.
In addition, you’ll find a few more things to attend to so that your Facebook page really shines:
Whether you are the one creating the content, someone else, or a team of restaurant staff, you want to make sure you create a consistent brand voice.
This means you want your posts, images and video to be consistent with your entire digital and print presence.
Your social media pages should match and be compatible with your website, your restaurant app, your logo, your brand colors and your brand voice.
If you use a casual, friendly tone on your website, mimic that in your social media posts.
When it comes to photos and videos, they should also have the same aesthetic no matter where they’re placed online.
Making sure your voice is consistent helps customers remember your restaurant and your food through your text and imagery.
Social media is an extension of what your customers find inside your restaurant. (tweet this)
If you have multiple restaurant locations in town, you can have one Facebook page and specify different locations on that page.
Or, if you have multiple restaurants in multiple cities, you can list your locations, but you can also manage sub-pages that are location-specific. A spreadsheet is an easy way to do this.
Some of the benefits of listing locations include:
Do make sure that everyone posting on these pages knows your brand standards and maintains the correct voice.
Get in the habit of responding to all of your reviews, both positive and negative.
This includes reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and others.
It pays to acknowledge your positive reviewers because it shows you care, appreciate the review, and that you are listening.
When responding to negative reviews, it’s best practice to respond with kindness and empathy while offering a solution to your customer’s problems.
Use negative reviews as a chance to learn how people perceive your restaurant and where you can improve. (tweet this)
Feel free to follow your customers, especially on Twitter.
Then, as they post content, share it on your restaurant’s business page. Encourage your customers to post and tweet pictures of your food and your restaurant.
Doing this is free advertising and creates brand ambassadors of your customers.
In addition, show your customers you appreciate them. Pick one of your followers every week and give them something – free food, a discount or something unrelated to surprise them.
Consider this part of the thank-you economy. By showing your customers how much you appreciate them on an individual basis, you build loyalty.
You can randomly pick customers for special gifts, or you can encourage people to add a hashtag specific to your restaurant to their posts. When they do so, you can send them a coupon.
Video is the medium of the future.
Create videos on a regular basis to highlight recipes, customers, staff and helpful tips.
These days, your mobile phone is perfect for shooting video.
You can also leverage live video to really engage your audience. It’s a two-time bonus – you get the viewership during the live video, plus the post stays on your social media page, and people can watch later.
Social media is here to stay, of that you can be sure. What your restaurant chooses to do with it will set you apart from the competition.
It requires proper planning, a strategy, careful execution and a posting calendar to be effective. You can tackle social media marketing especially now that you know a few useful secrets.
The return on your social media investment can be huge if you leverage interesting content, video, engaging photos and information.
Finally, if you’re still wondering if social media is worth it, consider a study that found 75% of people bought a product because they saw it on social media. Imagine how many restaurant customers you can gain.
The arena for success is wide open, and all you have to do is jump in.
At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but we’ll integrate your social media accounts on your website. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!