For many of your customers, social media is a daily affair. They may visit their pages multiple times per day and for hours on end.
In fact, the time people spend on social media is increasing daily with 30% of all online time spent interacting on social media. Your customers are spending nearly two hours on social media every single day.
So, you can see that social media should be an integral part of your restaurant’s marketing strategy.
Many restaurants don’t have time or don’t realize how much potential exists for them on social media.
It’s time to leverage the opportunities that social media provides. To do that, you might be wondering what social media you should be using for your restaurant. In this article, we look at your options.
You should definitely be using Facebook for your restaurant.
With millions of users, it’s the number one platform you should be using.
Establish a presence on Facebook by engaging with your customers and sharing videos, recipes, funny stories, inside looks, contests and coupons.
Respond to customer comments as they come in, both positive and negative. This helps show all of your Facebook followers you care and are interested in what they have to say.
Get familiar with Facebook and the Insights tab. You’ll learn a lot about your followers – when they’re online, their demographics and much more. Use these insights to target people in your area.
As an added bonus, Facebook paid advertising is a cost-effective way to get more out of your posts and to advertise on Facebook. (tweet this)
As a business page, your restaurant will want to leverage Facebook paid ads to extend your reach and get in front of more customers. You can choose from a number of goals such as promoting an offer, getting more followers, encouraging users to visit your website and much more.
Visit the Facebook Ad Manager to peruse your options and learn more about advertising your restaurant on Facebook.
Another good social media platform for you to build a presence on is Instagram.
This platform is image based, and since your customers are driven by not only their stomachs but their eyes, you can engage your followers with beautiful photos of your menu items.
Food is visual, and Instagram is a visual platform, so your restaurant and Instagram are a great match. (tweet this)
As an added bonus, if you use Facebook paid advertising, you can extend those same ads to Instagram all from your Facebook dashboard.
When it comes to Instagram posts, post incredible photos of your food and share the fun that goes on in your restaurant. Funny staff photos or diners doing interesting things are always popular.
Unlike Facebook where you want to keep your posts light on the hashtags, feel free to use as many as you’d like on Instagram. Here are a few tips for using hashtags on Instagram:
You might be wondering why we suggest using Google+ because it doesn’t have a lot of active users, and it’s not popular.
That may be, but Google+ is definitely a social media platform you should be using because Google puts its own results first. Just by having a Google+ account makes you more favorable to Google than those who don’t.
The first thing you want to do is claim your Google listing and create your Google+ page.
Fill out all of the information (using keywords), add your logo and some photos. When you add photos, they’ll show up in your Google listing along with the map photo, personalizing your presence.
Your address, phone and hours are crucial here because that is what shows up when people search for restaurants in your area. It also ensures you are listed correctly on Google Maps.
Another way to stand out on Google+ is with reviews. Encourage your customers to leave you a review.
The more positive reviews you have, the better Google will list you in local searches.
Before you start posting and advertising on social media, you want to make sure you have fully completed your profiles.
This means adding profile and cover photos that are the right size for each platform. You can easily Google these sizes, and it’s a good idea to do so before changing or adding them as the size requirements change often.
Your logo is appropriate as your profile photo. When it comes to cover images, include tantalizing photos of your food or customers enjoying a meal out. You can use this space to advertise new items and rotate it regularly.
You also want to complete all of your business information including a brief description about your restaurant. Always include your website address in your about sections as well.
Run sweepstakes and contests on your social media platforms. These benefit your customers while generating excitement. Use sweepstakes to drive business, showcase a new menu item or get diners in the door.
Another good rule of thumb is to include photos or videos in every post. Text-only shares don’t get read as often or seen by as many people.
Finally, as you post on social media, keep your audience in the front of your mind. Social media isn’t about outright promoting your restaurant. It’s about building customer relationships.
Ask yourself the following questions when planning your posting strategy:
Generate buzz for your restaurant and build relationships using social media. If you haven’t started yet, it’s time to jump in. If you have started your social media marketing, consider increasing your activity.
You want to be where the people are, and they are definitely on social media.
Social media is a terrific way to communicate with your guests when they aren’t inside your restaurant (and sometimes when they are).
Choose a few platforms and get started building relationships, generating buzz and providing customer service that beats the competition.
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!